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Zeonis

join:2009-03-16

Unreliable speed

Hey Dane I don't know what it is going to take to get my internet speed fixed. I have spent so much time and energy talking to tech support and everything. Basically the modem syncs at around 17-18 Mbps but when I run speedtests the result varies anywhere between 6-14 Mbps... This has been checked on ftp.sonic.net also. When I first called in about the issue I was seeing 1-2 Mbps on the speedtests. They have already sent me a loaner modem and it made no difference. They did a port change which took an act of congress and I really thought that would fix the issue but it didn't. The issue has been verified by a sonic.net tech with a laptop at the MPOE completely eliminating an inside issue from the equation. Plus I tried a speedtest on my brother's computer and the issue was still there. They requested a F1 change but apparently AT&T says there is nothing wrong with the line and won't do it. Although during a vendor meet the AT&T tech said he put a ticket in for a F1 change and my phone and internet were down for 3 hours after that so I thought it was done then. Anyways Dane after all that I have gone through trying to get this fixed and proving that it is not a problem inside my house your DSL specialists are trying to say it must be something wrong inside my house. Yesterday (Friday) I called to see if the F1 change had been done and they had me go through a bunch of troubleshooting steps which I have already done before. And then after all those troubleshooting steps the person I was talking to said he was going to bug the DSL specialists again but after he came back he said they said I need to try another computer when that as already done before. Do you know how frustrating that is? I would think they would be scheduling a time to come out and check it with one of their laptops again. Also I know your guys are busy but I send e-mails sometimes which don't get replied to so then I end up having to call in. It is like they don't know what to do about my issue. Why can't someone spend the time to figure out what the problem is? Beyond the copper lines and beyond the port change there has to be other things that could be causing it.


leibold
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
said by Zeonis:

Beyond the copper lines and beyond the port change there has to be other things that could be causing it.

Many things. The most common explanation for a speedtest to show less then expected results is that there is other activity on the Internet connection that consumes some of the bandwidth.

Most consumer DSL modems and broadband routers have the bare minimum amount of memory and CPU speed that the manufacturer feels that they can get away with. They tend to be able to provide the rated bandwidth under ideal conditions that involve a minimum of packet inspection when they are just passing packets through. With firewall rules, NAT and QoS features enabled the amount of processing increases and it can be the modem/router that becomes the bottleneck instead of the DSL line. That is rare at lower line speeds, but your connection is fast enough that it may effect you.

With the ever increasing variety of online threats it is common to install advanced antivirus software for protection. Most antivirus software hooks into filesystem I/O to prevent virus data from being written to disk. However there are antivirus packages that hook into network I/O to prevent harm as soon as it arrives and before it has any chance to be executed on your computer. If your antivirus software does inspect network traffic it may cause sufficient delay to show lower performance results. Note that this is one possible explanation for low speedtest results that I would not recommend to "fix". I'd rather take the online protection then the faster speed result.

You don't mention whether you are conducting the speedtests always from a wired computer but wireless connections to the modem/router are also subject to interference and inconsistent results.

I'm sure there are many more possible explanations.

The best way to determine whether you even have a problem with your DSL line is to take a snapshot of the DSL modem statistics and the error log both before and after conducting a speedtest. If the modem syncs at a high rate and there are no disconnects, no retraining at a lower speed and no significant amount of retransmitted ATM cells due to errors then whatever is causing your speedtest to show a low result has absolutely nothing to do with the copper pair between your DSL modem and the Sonic DSLAM. Note that some errors on a DSL line are normal and the protocols are designed for it. Correctable errors do not require any data to be retransmitted and therefore don't reduce the usable bandwidth of the connection.
--
Got some spare cpu cycles ? Join Team Helix or Team Starfire!

Zeonis

join:2009-03-16
I am always testing from a wired computer. I did not mention that fact because I had said that a sonic.net tech had verified the issue with a laptop at the MPOE so that in itself eliminates wired or wireless from the equation. I understand what you are saying about looking at the modem statistics before and after a speedtest but the errors are very low and I remember looking at that before. I may look at it again though just for the hell of it. Also I want to be clear the issue is still present when the modem is directly connected to the computer (No router in between). Bottom line is there is something wrong and I don't understand why we can't get to the bottom of it... My previous message doesn't even fully describe what I have gone through to troubleshoot this issue.

Zeonis

join:2009-03-16
reply to Zeonis
When they change ports does it just change to a different port on the DSLAM or does it change to a totally different DSLAM? The reason I ask is perhaps there is something wrong with the DSLAM itself. Also I wanted to mention they had me disable my antivirus software (Microsoft Security Essentials) and firewall while troubleshooting on the phone previously and it made no difference.


leibold
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
said by Zeonis:

When they change ports does it just change to a different port on the DSLAM or does it change to a totally different DSLAM?

A port change could be a change to a different port on the same linecard or it could be a change to a port on a different linecard but within the same DSLAM or it could be a change to a different DSLAM. While there are compact mini-DSLAM I expect that the ones used by Sonic are of the more typical modular design that have field replaceable linecards. The number of DSLAM in a given CO is likely to vary based on the number of customers in that area. Some CO may only have a single Sonic DSLAM.

A technician performing a port change is going to be limited in his choices by the ports that are unused. However where port availability allows to do so the change would be at least to a different linecard. This will solve the problem regardless whether the cause is limited to a single port or the entire card (and to fix such a hardware problem the entire card has to be replaced in either case). One exception is bonded Fusion since both lines need to be terminated at the same linecard. To troubleshoot one pair in bonded Fusion it either has to be moved to another port on the same linecard or both pairs have to be moved to new ports on another linecard.

However you are probably more interested in possible network congestion issues instead of a defect port/linecard. There are too many unknowns for me to guess whether or not moving a DSL port to a different DSLAM would be helpful, but my guess is that in most cases it wouldn't (if there is a performance problem it is more likely on the WAN side and would effect all the DSLAM at that CO).

Do you know whether any of your neighbors have Sonic Fusion ? If they have the same issue it would make it more likely to be a problem with Sonic at your CO.

Since you mention windows, have you used the tools link here at dslreports.com to check (and if necessary tune) your network settings for optimal performance ?
--
Got some spare cpu cycles ? Join Team Helix or Team Starfire!

Zeonis

join:2009-03-16
No unfortunately I don't know if any of my neighbors have Sonic Fusion. I have Windows Vista and I have already looked into what you are talking about to optimize performance. For Vista they don't recommend messing with the settings because Vista auto adjusts. I did try a program from speedguide.net called TCP Optimizer v3.0.8 and I changed the settings to what the program recommended which required a restart of the computer but it did not make any difference. I posted here in hopes Dane would see my post and do something about it... I know he must be a busy man but if Dane does not do anything I will call Sonic.net on Tuesday and ask to speak to a manager which I have not done before because I want to know what they are going to do about this. I want this fixed and I have been very patient.


leibold
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
reply to Zeonis
said by Zeonis:

I understand what you are saying about looking at the modem statistics before and after a speedtest but the errors are very low and I remember looking at that before.

Based on your earlier comment it seems like it may not be your DSL line that is causing the performance problem.

Was the loaner DSL modem the same model that you used ? If so, perhaps try a different brand to eliminate the possibility that it is a common issue with that particular modem.

You also say the problem was reproduced with your own computer, your brothers computer and a laptop that Sonic brought to test at the NID ? That does make it unlikely that it would be the computers that are limiting the speed. What did Sonic say to explain the low performance when they were testing the line with their own laptop ?

Based on reading the comments here in the Sonic forum for years, slow downs because of congestion are very rare and typically quickly remedied by Sonic.
--
Got some spare cpu cycles ? Join Team Helix or Team Starfire!

Zeonis

join:2009-03-16
Yes the loaner modem is the exact same brand and model (ZTE 831II)... however the Sonic.net tech used a different brand modem when doing a speedtest at the NID. Also when they saw the low performance that is when they put in a request for a port change. So they thought and I thought that would solve the problem but it didn't and because it didn't solve the problem they now again think it is a problem on my end. That is why I am going to try to raise hell on Tuesday...

Zeonis

join:2009-03-16
Well I did not raise hell today cause the speeds seem to be better based on my speed tests so I am going to give it some time and monitor it... maybe Dane did something and did not say?

Zeonis

join:2009-03-16
Just wanted to post an update... last night the unreliable speeds returned and so I called tech support. I asked to speak to a manager but apparently they have to have a manager call you which kind of stinks but hopefully I will hear from one soon.

Zeonis

join:2009-03-16
Okay so final update... after requesting to speak to a manager a dsl specialist called me and took it over so I was just dealing with him. After working with him to resolve this issue they finally replaced the DSLAM card but that did not resolve the issue. Finally it came down to they were saying there is a problem with the copper line. I requested them to run speedtests at the CO but the person I was dealing with said the NOC (Network Operations) department said it was not technically viable to do testing at the CO. So they basically said they have run out of options and there is nothing more they can do. So I am stuck with the unreliable speeds which run at .75-2 Mbps at its worst. *sigh* I would change ISPs but sonic.net is an incredible value and I hate AT&T and Comcast. Plus I don't want caps...


bobrk
You kids get offa my lawn
Premium
join:2000-02-02
San Jose, CA
Surprised they didn't roll an AT&T truck. When I had issues, that's what fixed it.

Zeonis

join:2009-03-16
They did several AT&T truck rolls... AT&T says there is nothing wrong with the line.

Zeonis

join:2009-03-16

1 edit
So looks like I will be getting DSL Extreme for internet. The speeds were so horrible last night and tonight that I could not even watch Netflix without extremely long loading pauses and then if you wanted to go back a little bit in a scene another extreme long loading interval and the loading bar stopping too cause the speeds are so bad. It is really pathetic... I think I will keep sonic.net for the phone for now though. DSL Extreme is the only one that offers internet at a reasonable price being that this is a U-verse neighborhood. I know you are reading this Dane. I feel your network operations people dropped the ball on this and it is really sad that the internet service you are providing me is not reliable enough and I have to go elsewhere even though I am already paying for internet through you.

Edit: Okay so after reading all the bad reviews about DSL Extreme maybe not (Also I hate contracts) but I certainly am looking to get internet elsewhere.


bobrk
You kids get offa my lawn
Premium
join:2000-02-02
San Jose, CA
Surprised. Usually Sonic will get a problem like this fixed. Are you in contact with them, either by phone or email? Or did they tell you that they couldn't do anything for you?

Zeonis

join:2009-03-16
I was in contact with them by phone and e-mail. As I said previously in a prior post I was dealing with a dsl specialist... and yes they told me that they had run out of options and they couldn't do anything for me.


DaneJasper
Sonic.Net
Premium,VIP
join:2001-08-20
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:9
said by Zeonis:

I was in contact with them by phone and e-mail. As I said previously in a prior post I was dealing with a dsl specialist... and yes they told me that they had run out of options and they couldn't do anything for me.

Odd. What's your username here?

Zeonis

join:2009-03-16
Same username... I received a message yesterday from the DSL specialist I was dealing with and he was wanting to send another tech out because he said he did research in to what AT&T is required to provide. Well I had already made the decision to switch to AT&T Legacy DSL because the horrible speeds have become too much for me.

Zeonis

join:2009-03-16
Well after about a month of using internet through AT&T guess what? No speed problems... I never believed it was the copper line like Sonic.net network operations (NOC) was trying to say it was. Go to hell NOC! I spent months trying to get them to fix it to no avail. Boy am I glad I am done with them... especially with this mandatory equipment rental. I want to own my equipment thank you... I refuse to pay to rent it.


DaneJasper
Sonic.Net
Premium,VIP
join:2001-08-20
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:9
said by Zeonis:

Well after about a month of using internet through AT&T guess what? No speed problems... I never believed it was the copper line like Sonic.net network operations (NOC) was trying to say it was. Go to hell NOC! I spent months trying to get them to fix it to no avail. Boy am I glad I am done with them... especially with this mandatory equipment rental. I want to own my equipment thank you... I refuse to pay to rent it.

Can you give us some details here? Were you on Sonic.net's AT&T DSL service, or Fusion?

Did you switch to AT&T's U-verse service, or DSL?

-Dane


bobrk
You kids get offa my lawn
Premium
join:2000-02-02
San Jose, CA
This is interesting to me, because in my neighborhood, I can only get 6Mbps AT&T DSL from Sonic because I'm behind an RT.

A Uverse guy came by one day and told me I could get 18MBps from them. How can that be?


DaneJasper
Sonic.Net
Premium,VIP
join:2001-08-20
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:9
said by bobrk:

This is interesting to me, because in my neighborhood, I can only get 6Mbps AT&T DSL from Sonic because I'm behind an RT.

A Uverse guy came by one day and told me I could get 18MBps from them. How can that be?

This can be the case in areas where they wholesale to us their older RT and CO served ADSL1 service, but they do not provide us access to their newer VRAD served U-verse product.

-Dane

Zeonis

join:2009-03-16

1 edit
reply to DaneJasper
said by DaneJasper:

Can you give us some details here? Were you on Sonic.net's AT&T DSL service, or Fusion?

Did you switch to AT&T's U-verse service, or DSL?

-Dane

I was on Sonic Fusion and I switched to AT&T standard DSL not U-verse.


DaneJasper
Sonic.Net
Premium,VIP
join:2001-08-20
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:9
said by Zeonis:

I was on Sonic Fusion and I switched to AT&T standard DSL not U-verse.

I wonder which network they put you on. Can you provide the make and model number of the modem you are using with this service?

I'm trying to run this down because if it's truly the ADSL1 platform, as you were on when you were with us, I'd like to dig into the questions around congestion. We're seeing some RTs and some COs exhibit congestion, and they've closed some markets and are forcing some customers to migrate, so we're trying to determine if they are treating everyone consistently as this occurs.

Zeonis

join:2009-03-16
said by DaneJasper:

I wonder which network they put you on. Can you provide the make and model number of the modem you are using with this service?

I'm trying to run this down because if it's truly the ADSL1 platform, as you were on when you were with us, I'd like to dig into the questions around congestion. We're seeing some RTs and some COs exhibit congestion, and they've closed some markets and are forcing some customers to migrate, so we're trying to determine if they are treating everyone consistently as this occurs.

It is the Siemens Speedstream 4100. You lost me when you are talking about which network cause I thought they connect you to the nearest CO and that you connect to the network from there. But yeah I am sure you know the technical stuff better than me...


DaneJasper
Sonic.Net
Premium,VIP
join:2001-08-20
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:9
Interesting. This is a standard ADSL1 modem, which would imply that in switching from Fusion ADSL2+ (up to 24Mbps technology) to AT&T ADSL1 (up to 6Mbps, capped), you are seeing BETTER performance after the switch? Doesn't make a lot of sense....

-Dane


bobrk
You kids get offa my lawn
Premium
join:2000-02-02
San Jose, CA
reply to DaneJasper
Yeah, it must be the VRAD. They put in a new box a few years ago...

Zeonis

join:2009-03-16
reply to DaneJasper
said by DaneJasper:

Interesting. This is a standard ADSL1 modem, which would imply that in switching from Fusion ADSL2+ (up to 24Mbps technology) to AT&T ADSL1 (up to 6Mbps, capped), you are seeing BETTER performance after the switch? Doesn't make a lot of sense....

-Dane

Yes I am glad you are seeing why I got so frustrated and angry. Also when I experienced the horrible speeds (.25-1 Mbps) I tried switching to ADSL1 mode on the ZTE 831II but the horrible speeds were still there. Granted the horrible speeds came and went but I just could not deal with it anymore. Synced at about 17 Mbps and having the speed vary so much... typically it was below 10 Mbps.


DaneJasper
Sonic.Net
Premium,VIP
join:2001-08-20
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:9
Did we have our tech visit to test at the MPOE, with their equipment? Maybe it was your modem?

-Dane

Zeonis

join:2009-03-16
Yes I went through a big song and dance... working on this for months. They tested at the MPOE and at the BBOX. Using their own modem (I believe it was a Motorola) and laptop. They even sent me a loaner modem. Eventually they replaced the DSLAM card. After replacing the card the issue was still there and they could not figure it out so they blamed the copper line and essentially said there was nothing that could be done.