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Zoomtown throttling now? In May 2011 cbt installed a remote dslam down the street and my signal levels and speed have been GREAT.
Yesterday (6/6/12) around 2:30 I sort of lost connectivity. "Sort of" because even though the modem was still synced at the full 5mb, with still great signal levels etc, I was getting NO traffic through it. Then about 3:00 it started working again. It did this a number of times for varying periods. At NO point did I loose sync or incur errors. (I run the westel modem utility continuously on my 'network server' box logging statistics, so I KNOW it didn't loose sync or take signal hits.)
Things have settled down now but I've noticed a significant change in the behavior of my line. When I kick off a download (say the 3GB Windows 8 preview iso), instead of the line saturating at around ~4500kbps, I'm seeing this range-bound behavior where I get a minimum of ~2Mbs (which can go for varying periods) with spikes / ramps / segments at the line max.
Now that sort of sounds 'normal' (ie network congestion sometimes slowing down the transfer) but please believe me, the graphs (Task Manager Network tab) I'm looking at are NOT normal. For example, if it was congestion, I would NOT see a rate 'plateau' at ~2Mbs. What I am seeing looks like some sort of bandwidth management algo, where I'm being guaranteed a 2Mbs MIN xfer, with higher rate bursts as 'something' decides there is available bandwidth.
So... Has anyone else seen anything like this recently? Try a big download and watch the Task Manager Network tab. Does your line saturate, or are you seeing a lower plateau with spikes to the line max?
BTW, I've had four conversations with zt support so far; in the most recent one the rep said basically, 'you are getting between 768k and 5M, there is no problem'.
PS - It isn't just HTTP downloads being affected; newsgroup binaries, torrents, even Netflix and YouTube streams are being throttled.
| ||Thanks for the contact pointer; I may pursue that avenue.|
Speeds shown by the zoomtown speedtest range (they used to be VERY consistent) between 2000k to 4400k depending on what 'the system' decides to give me. Attached is a quick snap I just took; the first segment is a speed test (gave 2900k), the second one is me starting a download of the win8 iso.
FWIW, I swapped out the modem (westel 6100) this morning. The new 6100 has updated firmware (so none of my links to the previous version's hidden pages work anymore). Also, the "Westel Modem Browser" monitoring utility doesn't seem to be able to find the modem now (is there a newer version?)
The new firmware shows:
Model Number G90-610060-20
Software Version VER:5.01.00.05
Software Model ProLine Modem
Boot Loader Ver:01:00:06
(I blanked the serial / mac above)
Last night about 4AM data throughput went to zero again (modem was synced fine). I poked at it for a while this morning (made some 'interesting' observations which I'll post later) and decided to swap it out just to make sure. As you can see in the
attachment, I'm back to the throttled behaviour again.
Oh, and here are the current levels.
Transceiver Revision : 188.8.131.52.0.1
Vendor ID Code : 4D54
Line Mode : ADSL_2plus
Data Path INTERLEAVED
Transceiver Information Downstream Path Upstream Path
DSL Speed (Kbits/Sec) 5052 764
Margin (dB) 24.8 19.6
Line Attenuation (dB) 9.8 5.1
Transmit Power (dBm) 18.3 9.9
Downstream margin is lower (used to be 31db) and upstream is higher (used to be 13db). Transmit power is a bit higher, too.
This is very frustrating :(
PS - I wanted to put the pic at the bottom; how??
Re: Zoomtown throttling now? The previous snap was at 12:20; this one was at 14:20.
Same sequence - speedtest (~2800k) then win8 iso dl.
In the first snap I was obviously being strongly throttled to ~2Mb. This one has opened throttle up some, including a segment at max line speed (~4500k).
Re: Zoomtown throttling now? And roughly two hours later (16:10), I started yet another copy of the win8 iso (no initial speedtest this time). You can clearly see the throttle fully kick back in. (Note: Task Mgr running at Low update rate to compress horizontal scale).
I really hope some other ZT users, in particular those in copper-based 'Fioptics' areas (with remote dslams) will try similar tests and report back. (FYI - I'm on Mack Rd in Fairfield)
Re: Zoomtown throttling now? Comparing with copper based VDSL2 Fioptics customers probably won't help because on those connections the internet access component is throttled. e.g. the line may be synced at 50 Mbps down but the internet connection is throttled to 10/20/30 Mbps down while the IPTV traffic can use the line speed.
Don't ya wish 'congestion' was always this well behaved?
Monday morning I finally got past the Philippine script readers to a senior support rep, who within 2 minutes also concluded there was a problem (gasp) and elevated it to 'engineering'. Called back this morning, and they've concluded they need to roll a truck, which will be here Wed. AM (almost a full week from initial incident).
This 'change in behaviour' I'm experiencing has at least two aspects.
1) There are times when the line is basically useless. I mentioned earlier about some interesting observations; well the most significant is that the 'no throuphput' events are frequently extremely slow throughput events. For example if I ping my modem's default gateway and specify a huge timeout, I will often actually receive the echo. I've gone as high as 60 second timeouts and seen some replies hit 59.9 sec. I've also tried & seen cases where file xfers or speedtests report sub-dialup speeds. But note that my dsl signal levels stay excellent and dsl error rates are practically non-existant. I've been focusing on this aspect lately as it seems easier for 'them' to understand.
2) The other aspect is the 2Mbs throttling (like above). Over the days since this started I'm also beginning to see time-of-day related aspects to this. (more on this later).
You may notice I'm posting this via TWC/RR. Saturday I signed up for a 3Mb/$20 special, which has made testing much easier (as well as providing some sorely needed connectivity, sigh).
Re: Zoomtown throttling now? Well, that was interesting...
CBT repairman arrived, examined and tested line etc. He found one phone that was not presenting as high of an on-hook impedance as it should have (not a full blown short, but out-of-spec). Other than that, line, signal, etc was damn near perfect (31db margin, 24+Mb capable) and unplugging that one iffy phone made NO difference.
The guy was obviously a 'telephone repairman' and not a networking type (for example, at one point I had to explain 'packet'), so I had to walk him through the problems. Luckily my line was pretty much operating in mode 1 (above) while he was here, so it was easy to show that despite excellent DSL connection, internet access was impaired. He called some of his support folk; none of them had any suggestions on how to tackle it. ("To a carpenter everything looks like a nail").
We talked about the possibility that the problem was at or past the dslam. Only thing he could think to do, which is what he ended up doing, was to rewire my entire line from the CO switch on, connecting me to new ports at both the CO and remote dslam. We also swapped modems again (got an E90 now, so Westel utility works again, yeah!)
End result - everything seems to be working again. However, no one at this point has any REAL idea what / where the problem was. For that matter, I'm not convinced it was even the physical port moves that fixed it vs the software reconfiguration of nearly all aspects of my circuit.
Anyway, given my observation above about very long ping times, out of curiosity I ran a ping scan on the /16 subnet I was in, looking for other instances. Obviously an imperfect approach, I nonetheless actually found a few other customers whose lines APPEAR to be experiencing the same issue mine had. Of course I can't run speed tests through their modems remotely, but the ping behavior looks similar. For those curious, here are a few: 184.108.40.206, .170.47, .237.51, .238.190. Just make sure to set the ping timeout high, say a minute or so (ie PING -t -l 0 -w 60000 74.215.x.y). Let it run for a while and observe times (and don't assume a series of timeouts means modem is off - let it run a while).
And in response to my original question: I still don't know whether cbt is throttling or not. 'Mode 2' above sure looks like it (graphs), and even 'Mode 1' could be considered an extreme case of throttling. However it seems more likely there is some sort of obscure failure / misconfig going on. I feel sorry for other folk in the same boat, given the battle I had to wage to get my line fixed...
Re: Zoomtown throttling now? Well at least yours is working again.....
I tried trace route to some of those IPs from Level 3 in Cincinnati. One odd thing is that the path was: Level 3 Cincinnati, Level 3 Atlanta, Level 3 Washington, TiNet Cincinnati, Fuse Cincinnati. Odd because pinging speedtest.zoomtown.com from the same location takes a single hop......
The pings certainly showed as a lot slower than "normal" Zoomtown circuits on the final hops!
| ||Addendum: f'ing unbelievable|
My phone rang (once) a while ago (not the first time since the rewiring), but when I went to answer it - noise, buzzing, eventually complete silence. My guess is the ring current triggerred a short someplace.
So now I've lost voice service - but my DSL is still working!
Transceiver Information Downstream Path Upstream Path
DSL Speed (Kbits/Sec) 5051 764
Margin (dB) 17.0 9.0
Line Attenuation (dB) 12.5 7.0
Transmit Power (dBm) 21.0 9.7
Re: Zoomtown throttling now? Zoomtown up to 5Mbps? Hah! You bet they throttle and won't admit it. At least they have done so with me and all my neighbors:
»Connection buffoonery in Dayton
I know the day it happened, and I know that I didn't cause it by messing with the physical plant.
Re: Zoomtown throttling now? It makes absolutely zero sense for them to intentionally "throttle" the comparatively low-end connections. What makes more sense are the numerous issues that plague an aging copper network and CBT doesn't care enough or have enough resources to sort them all out (at least in a timely manner). DSL connection speeds dialing down on their own are due to error from malfunctioning/poorly-maintained equipment or any number of line quality issues along the loop (which may not be apparent with end-user diagnostics).
I had a number of speed and connection issues back when I had DSL. All were due to either equipment problems or line quality.
Photos By Greg Strong
Re: Zoomtown throttling now? Guess I should wrap this up...
Second repairman arrived Monday. Ran tests, measured a ground on line. Ran a TDR which pointed to a spot about 200ft from residence. Further investigation located problem between 'my' pedestal and the 'next' one (all underground wiring). He checked some other pairs, didn't find any other problems, so decided to move me onto a new pair (which I believe meant some rewiring at the remote dslam).
At this point (unless I misunderstood) the only part of my loop that has NOT been rerouted is the final 50ft segment from pedastal to sni. As I am original homeowner (pushing 30 years here) I guess at least PART of my recent issues WERE due to "numerous issues that plague an aging copper network".
| || I'm thinking that I may have been throttled or held back in some way. My wife and I have both noticed that our Internet connection has gotten slower over the past couple of years, but it was fast enough to get by, so we did nothing about it. Recently, we experienced pretty frequent lags and drops and speeds about half of what they were a year ago and thought it might be our router. A new router was purchased and installed, but the speed was consistently around 1.3 Mbs. Just this morning I talked to a customer service rep at Cincinnati Bell and asked him what speed we should be getting at our location. I also mentioned to him that we had scheduled an installation of an Insight cable Internet connection to "try them out."|
The customer service rep told me that he would try to "optimize" our connection. He told me to turn off the modem for a couple of minutes. When I turned the modem back on and re-established a connection to the Internet, my speed (as measure by both speedtest.zoomtown.com and speedtest.net) had jumped to 4.5 Mbs! I asked him what he had done to "optimize" the connection and he said that he could see our line could handle a higher speed, so he simply set the speed to a higher setting. He said they need to "observe" the connection for 24 hours to see if it is stable.
Just thought someone out there might like to know what a phone call can sometimes do to help your connection speed.