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rongo

join:2010-06-25

[VA] PhonePower VOIP service bad with Cox HSI

I have Cox HSI (Preferred Package) in Roanoke VA. I've been using VOIP phone service through PhonePower for about 1 year. for the past month, the phone service has gotten progressively worse. I can always hear the other person, but my part of the conversation to them is always broken up so badly that I have to return the call on my cell phone. PP says it is the ISP's problem. Cox has been to my house and says the service is up to their specifications. I have a Motorola SB 5101U cable modem and have taken my router out of the loop. PP has had me run their "speedtest" and based on that they still say the problem is with Cox. This was their last reply:
Hello,

I have reviewed your speedtest results, their is still a very high Forced idle on all your tests as well as a Max delay on the line which is causing the latency and audio issues you have been experiencing. On one of your tests your Max delay had exceeded 3000 MS, your Download QoS was 0%, Forced idle was 58%, and your download speed was 299 ms, it seems the whole test on the last speedtest dropped the whole test midway through the graph. You have some extreme latencies on your line. You Internet Service Provider can correct this issue on their end, this has nothing to do with our service because we are fully based on the Internet connection being supplied by your Internet Service Provider. Please contact your Internet Service Provider and have them correct this issue on their end. Please ask to be escalated to a Tier2 Tech or a Supervisor to get these issues corrected. You want them to fix the issue with your Max delay, and Forced idle on the line. They should also take a lo
ok at the Quality of Service they are providing you as well as the consistency of the download speed because on your third test was extremely low. I will post the speedtest results below so you can forward them to your Internet Service Provider as well as the graphs I have attached to this email so they can see exactly what they are providing you. The Internet Service Provider are more focused on how fast they are providing you Internet not how consistent the line is because for your phone service we use all aspects of your Internet connection to provide you the phone service.

Test#1
Download speed 5458 Kbps
Upload speed 854 Kbps
D/load QOS 96 %
U/load QOS 81 %
RTT 85 ms
Max Delay 66 ms
Avg Delay 3 ms
Max Bandwidth 12800 Kbps
Route Speed 6168 Kbps
Forced Idle 53 %
Route Conc 2.3
Download test s
Upload test s

Test#2
Download speed 5413 Kbps
Upload speed 811 Kbps
D/load QOS 95 %
U/load QOS 76 %
RTT 86 ms
Max Delay 69 ms
Avg Delay 3 ms
Max Bandwidth 13600 Kbps
Route Speed 6096 Kbps
Forced Idle 55 %
Route Conc 2.5
Download test s
Upload test s

Test#3
Download speed 299 Kbps
Upload speed 812 Kbps
D/load QOS 0 %
U/load QOS 67 %
RTT 85 ms
Max Delay 3883 ms
Avg Delay 68 ms
Max Bandwidth 14400 Kbps
Route Speed 6168 Kbps
Forced Idle 58 %
Route Conc 48.0
Download test s
Upload test s

I've downloaded PingPlotter Pro but frankly don't know exactly what to do with it. My question is: what can I tell Cox to convince them that they need to do something? One other thing I have checked that seems to be relevant is that the jitter is always in the 40's when I run the speedtest. I can connnect to my next door neighbors unsecured wireless connection (he also has Cox HSI) and running the same speedtest, the jitter is about 2. If there are other tests I need to run I'd appreciate knowing what they are and how to do them....at least where I can look. Thanks very much!!!


60373562

join:2004-04-13
Glendale, AZ
Honestly there's nothing Cox will do. No changes in routing, no changes in QoS.

If your connection is fine, ie are you able to speedtest consisently? If so not much to be done.

I'm curious if they're throttling it.

What port/protocol is it using? Do you know?

rongo

join:2010-06-25
Well this is very sad news! I don't really have any other choice of ISP's here except maybe DSL through Verizon. We don't have FIOS yet.

What do you mean by: "I'm curious if they're throttling it."?
And I have no idea what port/protocol because i have no idea what you mean.

As far as my connection being OK, I wouldn't say it is, but they say it's within their specs. You say there's nothing Cox will do which makes me wonder if there is something they COULD do, but just won't.

Thanks.


DDR329

@cox.net
reply to rongo
Go ahead and PM one of the Cox reps on this forum and have them assist you. They can verify well the modem is working and keep logs of it.

As far as throttling, there has been several times where it has been specifically stated by the Cox reps on this forum explaining in no way is Cox throttling any type of connection.

The reps on here are rather knowledgeable and can give you better assistance. My suggestion is to reach out to one of them first.


Fubar16

join:2001-02-20
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:2
reply to rongo
Open Pingplotter and have it trace to speedtest.phonepower.com for a while (Several Hours)

Post an image of the results here.
You can save an image of the results under File--- Save Image,

rongo

join:2010-06-25
Thanks for the suggestion to contact the Cox repr. And for the PingPlotter test. I am doing that now and will post results.....


dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
Premium
join:2001-04-27
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4
reply to rongo
said by rongo:

I have Cox HSI (Preferred Package) in Roanoke VA. I've been using VOIP phone service through PhonePower for about 1 year. for the past month, the phone service has gotten progressively worse. I can always hear the other person, but my part of the conversation to them is always broken up so badly that I have to return the call on my cell phone. PP says it is the ISP's problem. Cox has been to my house and says the service is up to their specifications. I have a Motorola SB 5101U cable modem and have taken my router out of the loop. PP has had me run their "speedtest" and based on that they still say the problem is with Cox. This was their last reply:
Hello,

I have reviewed your speedtest results, their is still a very high Forced idle on all your tests as well as a Max delay on the line which is causing the latency and audio issues you have been experiencing. On one of your tests your Max delay had exceeded 3000 MS, your Download QoS was 0%, Forced idle was 58%, and your download speed was 299 ms, it seems the whole test on the last speedtest dropped the whole test midway through the graph. You have some extreme latencies on your line. You Internet Service Provider can correct this issue on their end, this has nothing to do with our service because we are fully based on the Internet connection being supplied by your Internet Service Provider. Please contact your Internet Service Provider and have them correct this issue on their end. Please ask to be escalated to a Tier2 Tech or a Supervisor to get these issues corrected. You want them to fix the issue with your Max delay, and Forced idle on the line. They should also take a lo
ok at the Quality of Service they are providing you as well as the consistency of the download speed because on your third test was extremely low. I will post the speedtest results below so you can forward them to your Internet Service Provider as well as the graphs I have attached to this email so they can see exactly what they are providing you. The Internet Service Provider are more focused on how fast they are providing you Internet not how consistent the line is because for your phone service we use all aspects of your Internet connection to provide you the phone service.

Test#1
Download speed 5458 Kbps
Upload speed 854 Kbps
D/load QOS 96 %
U/load QOS 81 %
RTT 85 ms
Max Delay 66 ms
Avg Delay 3 ms
Max Bandwidth 12800 Kbps
Route Speed 6168 Kbps
Forced Idle 53 %
Route Conc 2.3
Download test s
Upload test s

Test#2
Download speed 5413 Kbps
Upload speed 811 Kbps
D/load QOS 95 %
U/load QOS 76 %
RTT 86 ms
Max Delay 69 ms
Avg Delay 3 ms
Max Bandwidth 13600 Kbps
Route Speed 6096 Kbps
Forced Idle 55 %
Route Conc 2.5
Download test s
Upload test s

Test#3
Download speed 299 Kbps
Upload speed 812 Kbps
D/load QOS 0 %
U/load QOS 67 %
RTT 85 ms
Max Delay 3883 ms
Avg Delay 68 ms
Max Bandwidth 14400 Kbps
Route Speed 6168 Kbps
Forced Idle 58 %
Route Conc 48.0
Download test s
Upload test s

I've downloaded PingPlotter Pro but frankly don't know exactly what to do with it. My question is: what can I tell Cox to convince them that they need to do something? One other thing I have checked that seems to be relevant is that the jitter is always in the 40's when I run the speedtest. I can connnect to my next door neighbors unsecured wireless connection (he also has Cox HSI) and running the same speedtest, the jitter is about 2. If there are other tests I need to run I'd appreciate knowing what they are and how to do them....at least where I can look. Thanks very much!!!
Hmmmmmmm. cox has their own phone product.
know anyone in your area with cox telephone? if so do they have issues like you?
-
theres a voip test site, have you tried that one?
--
The shortest distance between 2 points adds 1.5 stars to T. want $25? solve »coord.info/GC20A37 for me

rongo

join:2010-06-25
I did have Cox phone service, but when it became very expensive I switched to PhonePower and it worked very well for about a year. I don't know anyone who has Cox phone service but I'm not sure that if I did that that would solve my issue. Several months ago I was having trouble with my Cox HSI connecting. I talked to a Cox support person. I explained that I could connect wirelessly to my next door neighbor's unsecured wireless connection routinely, but my connection was very slow or wouldn't connect at all. The response was that my neighbor and I were going out of different "train stations" and that I was running into more traffic and that there was nothing wrong with my connection. My connection did improve but I never found out if they did anything.

You said there is a VOIP test site. Could you tell me where to find it?

I ran PingPlotter overnight but when I checked this morning my computer had crashed and restarted. Can PingPlotter cause crashes? that hasn't happened in quite a while.

thank you.

daveinpoway
Premium
join:2006-07-03
Poway, CA
kudos:2
reply to 60373562
I wouldn't think that throttling would be responsible (unless it was taken to an extreme), since VOIP phone service can work properly at a pretty low data rate. Here, Ooma works just fine with my AT&T 768 kbps download/384 kbps upload ADSL connection.

rongo

join:2010-06-25
Click for full size
Here are (I hope) the results of PingPlotter. I've been running it for the past 12 hours or so.

Hmmm.....I'm not sure what this tells you. Oh well, maybe someone can tell me.....or let me know if I did this incorrectly....thanks.

rongo

join:2010-06-25
Anyone have any further suggestions? I've asked 2 Cox tech support people and One said the modem looked fine and one there might be a problem with the server PhonePower uses. Does anyone know if VOIP services work pretty much the same way? What I mean is, if I switched back to Cox phone service or Vonage would there likely be any difference? Actually today my phone service has been fine. Help!

AJ_Z0

join:2009-05-12
Vienna, VA
No advice or help, but a data point and offer to make relevant comparisons.

I have PhonePower on the Preferred (15/2) service in the Fair Lakes area of Fairfax and apart from a few recent outages have had no problem with it for the year or so I've had it.

I use the G711u high bandwidth codec and have the Grandstream HT502 wired to a TRENDnet TEW611-BRP router/firewall/switch with SPI and SIP disabled connected to a Scientific Atlanta DPC2100R2 modem.

Since you didn't mention it (or I missed it), how is your ATA connected and which codec are you using?

rongo

join:2010-06-25
I have the Grandstream HT502. As far as the "G711u in high bandwidth codec", I have no idea what that is. If you could tell me what that is, I'd appreciate it. I have TRENDnet TEW-432BRP router, but I took that out of the loop in cas it was causing the problem. Didn't seem to help though.

So if you could enlighten me on the codec, thanks very much!


60373562

join:2004-04-13
Glendale, AZ
reply to daveinpoway
Yeah it works at a low data rate, but if the packets are being segmented, they are arriving out of sync and have to be reassembled. Even a few ms of out of sync packets sounds like clicks, skips, and static.

daveinpoway
Premium
join:2006-07-03
Poway, CA
kudos:2
Are there any tests which will tell you that the packets are being segmented?


60373562

join:2004-04-13
Glendale, AZ
I don't know of any offhand, I just watch Wireshark chug along.

AJ_Z0

join:2009-05-12
Vienna, VA
reply to rongo
You have a choice of two codecs with high or low quality/bandwidth. For our connections the high quality one is the right choice.

Eliminating the router in your tests is good, but make sure you're not using SPI or special SIP handling on it.

FWIW, here are my »speedtest.phonepower.com results taken at 04:00 this morning from my weakly wireless connected system:

Jitter: you --> server: 0.4 ms
Jitter: server --> you: 1.1 ms
Packet loss: you --> server: 0.2 %
Packet loss: server --> you: 0.0 %
Packet discards: 0.0 %
Packets out of order: 0.0 %

Estimated MOS score: 4.0
Download speed: 6030856 bps
Upload speed: 3736952 bps
Download quality of service: 97 %
Upload quality of service: 98 %
Download test type: socket
Upload test type: socket
This doesn't show things like forced idle in your earlier results.

rongo

join:2010-06-25
Thanks for the explanation that I have 2 codecs available. unfortunately i have no clue what that means or how to get the high quality one. And in using the router I have no idea whether I am using SP1 or special SIP handling on it. Do you have some references that i could check out to see what all of these terms mean? Or just how I get the codec with high quality? I just did a speed test with phonepower (at 11:45PM on July3rd):

VoIP test statistics
--------------------
Jitter: you --> server: 11.3 ms
Jitter: server --> you: 10.7 ms
Packet loss: you --> server: 0.0 %
Packet loss: server --> you: 0.2 %
Packet discards: 0.0 %
Packets out of order: 0.0 %
Estimated MOS score: 3.7

Speed test statistics
---------------------
Download speed: 5310632 bps
Upload speed: 787088 bps
Download quality of service: 96 %
Upload quality of service: 48 %
Download test type: socket
Upload test type: socket
Maximum TCP delay: 60 ms
Average download pause: 5 ms
Minimum round trip time to server: 90 ms
Average round trip time to server: 91 ms
Estimated download bandwidth: 17600000bps
Route concurrency: 3.3141065
Download TCP forced idle: 68 %
Maximum route speed: 5825328bps

The jitter seems to be high and according to PhonePower a forced idle of 68% is high. Again all they tell me is that it is my ISP's problem, but Cox says my internet connection is satisfactory. It seems as if both Cox and PhonePower either don't know that much about their own systems or what should be checked. I personally don't have a clue how to correct this and it looks like it's easier for PhonePower and Cox to blame each other than tell me exactly what I need to tell the other one to correct the problem. Cox tells me that if I use their phone service they would make sure my phone worked. I bet they would....for about $45 more a month I'm sure they'd figure out the problem. Thanks.....

rongo

join:2010-06-25
reply to AJ_Z0
I use the G711u high bandwidth codec and have the Grandstream HT502 wired to a TRENDnet TEW611-BRP router/firewall/switch with SPI and SIP disabled connected to a Scientific Atlanta DPC2100R2 modem.

What's that mean??


Shrapnel64
Premium
join:2001-01-24
VA, USA
kudos:1
reply to rongo
Click for full size
Service Settings
Click for full size
Bandwidth Settings
Rongo,

If you log in to your PhonePower control panel (I am also a customer on Cox HSI with the Preferred Tier), you can check your settings by going to "Service Settings" and then click "Bandwidth Control (Codec)". You will see through the attached screen shots, that you can change this option which will change it on the Grandstream HT502 device.

Try changing it to lower bandwidth and see if that makes a difference for you.

I know this is a bandaid fix (if it works), but it'll at least allow you to use your service while things are being looked at.

When I get home, I will try to run a speed test to see what I have as well. I have a seperate VLAN configured on my Switch (192.168.8.x) which goes through a Linksys RV082 (192.168.25.x) to my Motorola SB5101 modem. I don't have any problems...but I know I have a more advanced setup so I wonder if I would see similar results (although none have been reported to me).

fiveup1dn

join:2009-01-06
Chandler, AZ
reply to rongo
We have Vonage and have the exact same issue. To us it all sounds fine, but on the other end the connection sounds horrible. It only started about 1 to 1.5 years ago. It's very frustrating and I know Cox doesn't feel responsible for the problem. I suppose it is their way of selling us their digital phone service.

rongo

join:2010-06-25
reply to AJ_Z0
"I use the G711u high bandwidth codec and have the Grandstream HT502 wired to a TRENDnet TEW611-BRP router/firewall/switch with SPI and SIP disabled connected to a Scientific Atlanta DPC2100R2 modem.

Since you didn't mention it (or I missed it), how is your ATA connected and which codec are you using?"

Can anyone tell me in simple English terms what this means??

rongo

join:2010-06-25
reply to fiveup1dn
You bet it is. I called them yesterday because they've been advertising a $99 bundle that includes cable, internet and phone. Oops, they forgot to mention that this is basic cable, basic phone and with taxes, it's really $125. My bill without phone is about $152. My PhonePower bill is only $10.33/month. Cox did point out that I'd get better phone service with them.....no doubt I would for only $45 more per month.


your answer

@..42.xx.in-addr.arpa
reply to rongo
Vonage and other Voip providers tend to be bandwidth hogs.....

Turn down the bandwitdh as suggested or thrown in a router to help allivate your bandwidth concerns.
This is and has been a nomrla thign with most Voip providers

AJ_Z0

join:2009-05-12
Vienna, VA
reply to rongo
I'm not sure how much more simple to make it.
I use X.

I have A connected to B connected to C.

B is configured with N and M.

How is your B connected?

Do you use X?
That's the language part. Everything else is just technical terminology and if you are using PhonePower on Cox HSI then the product names should be familiar.

X = G711u (the high bandwidth codec which you configure on the PP web site)
A = Grandstream HT502 (the ATA)
B = TRENDnet TEW611-BRP (the router/firewall/switch)
C = Scientific Atlanta DPC2100R2 (the modem)
N = SPI (Stateful Packet Inspection)
M = SIP (Session Initiation Protocol)

I hope that clarifies any uncertainty so you can answer the questions.

It helps if you quote quotes. You can use the [qreply] button to make it easy.

rongo

join:2010-06-25
reply to Shrapnel64
said by Shrapnel64:

Rongo,

If you log in to your PhonePower control panel (I am also a customer on Cox HSI with the Preferred Tier), you can check your settings by going to "Service Settings" and then click "Bandwidth Control (Codec)". You will see through the attached screen shots, that you can change this option which will change it on the Grandstream HT502 device.

Try changing it to lower bandwidth and see if that makes a difference for you.

I know this is a bandaid fix (if it works), but it'll at least allow you to use your service while things are being looked at.

When I get home, I will try to run a speed test to see what I have as well. I have a seperate VLAN configured on my Switch (192.168.8.x) which goes through a Linksys RV082 (192.168.25.x) to my Motorola SB5101 modem. I don't have any problems...but I know I have a more advanced setup so I wonder if I would see similar results (although none have been reported to me).
I don't get why lowering to a lower bandwidth would help my phone service. Someone else suggested using the higher bandwidth......what's the reasoning?

rongo

join:2010-06-25
reply to AJ_Z0
said by AJ_Z0:

I'm not sure how much more simple to make it.
I use X.

I have A connected to B connected to C.

B is configured with N and M.

How is your B connected?

Do you use X?
That's the language part. Everything else is just technical terminology and if you are using PhonePower on Cox HSI then the product names should be familiar.

X = G711u (the high bandwidth codec which you configure on the PP web site)
A = Grandstream HT502 (the ATA)
B = TRENDnet TEW611-BRP (the router/firewall/switch)
C = Scientific Atlanta DPC2100R2 (the modem)
N = SPI (Stateful Packet Inspection)
M = SIP (Session Initiation Protocol)

I hope that clarifies any uncertainty so you can answer the questions.

It helps if you quote quotes. You can use the [qreply] button to make it easy.
The simpler, the better
I have mine set up exactly as you do...only difference is I have a different TRENDnet router (TEW 432BRP) and modem is Motorola SB. I have no idea if B (the TRENDnet router) is configured with N & M because I still have no idea where to find either N or M. I Googled and went to the TRENDNET support site and looked at the settings of my router online. Didn't find either of those things. Sorry that I am so dense, but if you're still willing to help, I appreciate it!

AJ_Z0

join:2009-05-12
Vienna, VA

1 edit
In the web interface to my TRENDnet device, SPI is set by a radio button found on the "FIREWALL" page and SIP is one of several radio buttons under "APPLICATION LEVEL GATEWAY (ALG) CONFIGURATION" on the "SPECIAL APPLICATIONS" page under the "ADVANCED" tab.

As PhonePower recommends, they should be unset. Are they?

Do you have the LAN IP of the ATA configured to be in a DMZ? [All those TLAs should be found on or around the same place on your TRENDnet device]. I do not, but some suggest doing so.

If so, then I think you'll have narrowed down the problem to some aspect of your connection, at which point I hope it will help to compare to the data I provided.

leehaak

join:2001-12-01
reply to rongo
Wanted to chime in, because some things here sound familiar to me. For background:

I have had PP for 1+ years, and the service has been rock solid. About a month ago, I began experiencing short intermittent internet outages that would cause Skype, gaming, etc. to shut down. These would occur several times a day. After having my ISP out twice with no change, I decided to try disconnecting my Grandstream from the network. I had placed it in front of the router. When I did this, the intermittent outages disappeared. I reconnected the box, and they resumed. I also noticed that the two phone lights were flashing from time to time when the phone was not in use.

I contacted PP tech support, and requested a new box. I was told that I needed to perform some tests. Those tests also showed a forced idle that was very high, and I was told that this forced idle would cause my internet connection to drop because the Grandstream had to reset the service. This sounded fishy to me. Forced idle is simply an indication that I am not able to use all of the bandwidth I have. It doesn't make sense to me that this would cause the Grandstream to reset the internet connection. PP refused to send me a new Grandstream however. So, I decided to place the Grandstream on the other side of the router. I did so, and the problem is now gone. So, it turns out that the Grandstream was not resetting my internet connection (which never made any sense), but was somehow interfering with my router such that it appeared the internet connection had dropped.

Bottom line, my VOIP scores are fine, my MOS is at 4.0, and I believed that PP tech support misdiagnosed my problem. That is a concern to me. I would no longer put a lot of stock in their responses to this speed test. You can download a similar software testing suite, or do your own tests. I am not sure what impact forced idle has on call quality, but I don't think forced idle, in and of itself, would cause the problems you described. I would now take any interpretation of the Forced Idle results with a grain of salt. I suspect that most people with high bandwidth connections are going to have higher forced idle scores, but that's just a hunch. Bottom line, they missed the boat on this one, and if I had listened to them instead of coming up with my own solution, I would be on the phone with my ISP this morning instead of typing this. In general I am happy with the service, but this does give me pause.


dlarkin_dc

join:2009-08-24
Alexandria, VA
Reviews:
·VOIPO
·Cox HSI
reply to rongo
Similarly,

I have VOIPo for over a year. Love it, great value quality and service (when something does hiccup.)

I suspect that something Cox is doing on the broadband side causes my phone device to stop seeing the service provider, and then I loose phone service. It takes a restart of my modem, router and phone device to get it back working. This has been on/off but recently it's been every week. Looking at my logs in my router is something on the broadband side.