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Nemesis158

join:2012-09-15
Spokane, WA

[Qwest] Centurylink upgrades speeds, but service is horrible now

The story starts out as any other user on Qwest lines probably, I was not sure if Centurylink and Qwest's merger was a good idea, seeing as there is already a distinct lack of competition amongst ISPs in the USA, but i was excited when i read that one of the FCCs mandates of approving the merger was that CenturyLink was to upgrade Qwest's rural offerings to match their own (which in my area was 1.5 on Qwest vs. 12+ on CenturyLink).

Just so we're on the same page here, I have an FCC/Samknows Broadband Test router (yes, the Netgear WNR3500L-100NAS with SK* firmware) Hooked up to our connection. I signed up for said program the moment i heard about it, as a result i was one of the first 10,000 users in the program.

My dad had been paying for Qwest's 1.5Mbit service, then it became Centurylink and nothing really changed. (my trace-routes still show the network hardware as QWEST).

as far as my issue goes, here is what happened. According to the test router, we consistently got ~1.29Mbit/s down and .75Mbit/s up.
On July 16th, our download speed dropped from 1.29mbit/s to .84mbit/s, and stayed at roughly .85 from then until the 19th. on July 20th, the graph showed a rise to 1.77Mbit/s, then to 2.42Mbit/s on the 21st. To make a long story short, the reports currently show my connection having a maximum speed of ~3.3Mbit/s.

However, Such speed is only possible during the hours of 2am-5am, give or take depending on the day. not only do we not see constant speeds, During peak times of the day our download speed actually Drops BELOW what we got originally, sometimes even so low as to drop underneath our still-constant .75mbit/s Upload speed.

I have already spoken to several technicians, one of which was at the node. the one which was at the node informed me that they were running more T1 circuits to said node to upgrade it, but from what i understood, said circuits would only be supplying other sections of the node. whatever the case, he said it should be finished by the next Friday (this was about a month ago).

It has become quite obvious to me that our node doesn't have anywhere near enough bandwidth (or the section of the node that my connection is wired into). I'm not going to call CS because as most of you will know, that probably wont get me anything more than: "you need to reset your modem" and i know better than that.
I did try writing up a nice informative letter, with graphs showing data from the router, and leaving it at the node in hopes that one of the technicians would see it, but that doesn't appear to have worked.

what do you guys think i should do?
I can provide pictures of the node and graphs from the router data if you would like to see.


NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
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Reviews:
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Re: [Qwest] Centurylink upgrades speeds, but service is horrible

Not sure what a "node" is in the context of DSL service; never heard it applied outside of the context of HFC ("Hybrid Fiber Coax/copper"), where it refers to a media converter (the device where the fiber meets the coax/copper).

It sounds like a standard ADSL plant, with an ATM backhaul. And an "exhausted" aggregation router.

Here is a link to explain how to measure the speed of individual packets, which includes a graph for the exhausted router condition.
--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum

Nemesis158

join:2012-09-15
Spokane, WA
reply to Nemesis158
The node for DSL service is more accurately called the DSLAM (Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer).
As far as i am aware, there is no fibre optic cable feeding the DSLAM that serves my area, but more likely T1 Dedicated Copper cables, coming from another, larger DSLAM that is Fed by fibre optic cables.

Also i dont see a link in your post anywhere......


NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:12
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
·Pacific Bell - SBC
said by Nemesis158:

Also i dont see a link in your post anywhere......

Sorry. Teach me to post so late after a party!

»SBC DSL FAQ »How to measure throughput speeds on individual packets?

First time I had heard a DSLAM referred to as a "node". As I said, I've always encountered the term in a cable context. And the "aggregation router" I mentioned is the first IP hop when an ATM circuit is used for the backhaul. When I was with AT&T I encountered router exhaustion, and SBC (as the company was called when this happened) moved me to another aggregation router.
--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum

Nemesis158

join:2012-09-15
Spokane, WA
Click for full size
FTP Packet Thourougput at 1:30 AM
Ok, so i followed that, and this is what i got. the graphs on the page you listed were from a connection that was much faster than mine, so there were more packets in them. this makes it difficult to see any similarities. what do you think?

Nemesis158

join:2012-09-15
Spokane, WA
reply to NormanS
Click for full size
16MB thourougput test at 1:40AM
Click for full size
64MB Thourougput test at 1:50AM (download incomplete)
Ive got a few more graphs here. one thing i found odd was that i tried using the OOL 64mb test twice and couldn't finish the download....


NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
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Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
·Pacific Bell - SBC
Unfortunately, I've never been good at interpretation; nothing like d_l See Profile over in the AT&T forums. But, given the connection speed difference, and the normalcy of your speed in off-peak times, and the history of CenturyLink problems across their footprint, I am inclined to suspect router exhaustion. Generally only fixed by adding bandwidth; unless there is a less congested router available.

Not sure how the OOL test is run; but Java and Flash test results tend to be inconsistent. Maybe try "ShaperProbe"; it works with my ADSL2+ connection:
DiffProbe release. January 2012. Build 1008.
Shaper Detection Module.
 
Connected to server 4.71.254.149.
 
Estimating capacity:
Upstream: 698 Kbps.
Downstream: 15950 Kbps.
 
The measurement will take upto 3.0 minutes. Please wait.
 
Checking for traffic shapers:
 
Upstream: No shaper detected.
Median received rate: 709 Kbps.
 
Downstream: No shaper detected.
Median received rate: 15642 Kbps.
 
http://www.cc.gatech.edu/~partha/diffprobe/shaperprobe.html

--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum

Nemesis158

join:2012-09-15
Spokane, WA
Click for full size
TCP download on the left, FTP download on the right
One thing i noticed, was that after a few tests the graphs changed.
if you look at the first two graphs i posted, they are quite jittery, but remain mostly flat and level in sections. in the third graph i posted, there appears to be many upward curves. every time i tested with FTP downloads after that test, i got similar results. i then tested ftp vs tcp and this graph is what i got. the FTP graph looks like situations 5/6 on the packet test page. shaperprobe didn't detect any shaping.

Nemesis158

join:2012-09-15
Spokane, WA
reply to NormanS
Click for full size
16MB packet thourougput test at 10:50AM
Click for full size
The same test, with thouroughput levels marked
Did another 16mb FTP test today, im thinking the graphs i was getting last night might have been some kind of fluke. anyways i widened this one out and marked what i saw, between the two of them.


d_l
Barsoom
Premium,MVM
join:2002-12-08
Reno, NV
kudos:7
reply to Nemesis158
OK Your first two graphs look like what we have come to interpret as congestion in the AT&T gateway (either redback or BRAS) which would be the first ping hop off your network. The key to identifying this congestion are those nearly vertical plotted packets that look sort of like drops dripping straight down. I've speculated that they are showing some sort of buffering of the ATM cells before the gateway puts it out to the TCP/IP side. Anyhow, these sort of graphs are associated with throughput slowdowns, often in the evenings, at the gateways for AT&T customers. Sometimes they have higher than normal gateway pings with the slowdowns.

I have no idea what CenturyLink uses for gateways and if an AT&T type explanation would fit those graphs.

The second through fourth graphs seemed to have mixed problems. There are definite TCP/IP slowdowns that probably occur along the transit on the internet backbone to the server. These slowdowns curve upwards at the bottom and then go vertical as the TCP/IP packet transmission picks up speed. If you look in the info text about each packet, you should see TCP previous segment lost and Duplicate ACK messages at the point one of those slowdowns start.

There seem to be some of the gateway buffering mixed in those graphs.

When you spread out the last two graphs, it disports the patterns I'm used to seeing and I can't make an interpretation.

Hope this helps you some.
--
TCE Weather -- Mt. Rose Cam

Nemesis158

join:2012-09-15
Spokane, WA
As i had stated in my OP, the hardware of the node in question is Qwest's doing, Not CenturyLink's. I think there are probably similarities to how Qwest and AT&T operate their equipment, since both were formerly BellSouth. all the phone line marker signs in my area are marked with the Bell.
Following is a picture of the node setup for my area. The large Cabinet is the main box obviously, but the three small boxes in front are newer than the rest of the equipment, and i am unsure if they are even in use.


The last two graphs i interpret as the router's aggregation of available bandwidth to my connection, fluctuating because there isnt enough bandwidth for it.


d_l
Barsoom
Premium,MVM
join:2002-12-08
Reno, NV
kudos:7
reply to Nemesis158
Actually AT&T was not BellSouth, but SBC.

That photo looks like a Remote Terminal. From there to the gateway router there should be a fiber backhaul for ATM traffic. That fiber capacity might be overloaded.
--
TCE Weather -- Mt. Rose Cam

Nemesis158

join:2012-09-15
Spokane, WA
there is actually no fiber to that "terminal" as far as i am aware.
I am forced to assume that this terminal is the one servicing my connection, because it is the closest one to my house (approx 3mi away) and it follows the road that i know our phone line runs next to.
I believe there is dedicated T1 copper lines feeding that terminal, coming from a larger terminal several miles away that is fed by fiber optic cable.


NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:12
Reviews:
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·Pacific Bell - SBC
reply to Nemesis158
said by Nemesis158:

I think there are probably similarities to how Qwest and AT&T operate their equipment, since both were formerly BellSouth.

Have some ...

Telco spaghetti!

--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum

Nemesis158

join:2012-09-15
Spokane, WA
except that it was Bell Telephone before it was AT&T, hence why all the phone lines around my area are marked with ancient Bell signs. the lines that run to my house are 40-50 years old.....


retiredqwest

join:2005-04-01
Spokane, WA
reply to Nemesis158
Would you mind telling me where this is located?

I've never seen 3 remote cabinets that are used for ADSL and VDSL2+ at one location before! The light green box is the cross connect box, it should have an address on the road side of it. The tallest box is the remote pair gain for dialtone. It has a CLLI code that starts with 'SPKNWA.....' can't read all of it. The number below that might be the numeric address.

As far as your speed situation.... even if I was still working there I doubt I could help you. I turned up DSL in Spokane in the mid 90's when we used the Netspeed 675 and they defaulted in bridge mode. When I heard that PPPOE crap was coming I beat feet away as fast as I could. Fortunately some other projects came up for me to work on. Wow, that was almost 16 years ago.... altho I usually got calls from the other techs doing DSL.

More than likely there is some congestion or misconfiguration somewhere. Doing a traceroute might give you a clue as where to look for a problem. And as far as Qwest being shown in traceroutes, that may never change since Qwest was a long haul carrier before they bought USWEST.

And have you checked to see if higher speeds are available? Try both your address and phone number.


NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:12
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
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reply to Nemesis158
It was the Bell Telephone Company from its founding on July 9, 1877 until its merger with the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company on Feb. 17, 1879. The merger produced the National Bell Telephone Company, with headquarters in Boston, MA, and the International Bell Telephone company, with headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. On March 20, 1880, the National Bell Telephone company entered further mergers to form the American Bell Telephone Company. On Dec. 30, 1899, the National Bell Telephone Company transferred its assets to a subsidiary called, American Telephone & Telegraph Company. At this point AT&T became the owner of the Bell System; including the Bell logo.

It appears that Sunset Telephone and Telegraph covered Washington in the later years of the 19th Century, but it isn't clear that they were a part of the Bell System prior to the 1917 acquisition by Bell's Pacific Telephone and Telegraph.
--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum

Nemesis158

join:2012-09-15
Spokane, WA
reply to retiredqwest
I guess posting Links or pictures not through the uploader makes the posts need approval before they appear. i submitted a post several hours ago to reply to this, to sum up the answer to your main question, the code on the box is SPKNWAU6112 and it is located at 12618 S Sherman Road, zip 99224. the letters underneath the code are its address

Nemesis158

join:2012-09-15
Spokane, WA
reply to retiredqwest
the code on the main box is. SPKNWAU6112. the number below that is 12618S. if i look through the vent-space in the top of the small cabinets, an IP address can be seen. I tried pinging the address but it didn't get me anywhere. The box is located on Sherman road, just north of Washington road, zip 99224. here is a link to it in gmaps.
»maps.google.com/maps?q=47.537691···t=h&z=20

Qwest didnt offer any higher speeds on this node than 1.5, at least as far as they reported to Wabroadbandmapping.org

This boost in speed is only part of the FCCs mandate that Centurylink upgrade qwests old hardware to match their own offerings. According to the map on Wabroadbandmapping.org, mostly all of Qwests offering in my area were limited to 1.5, while CL at least provided higher speeds closer to the terminals.

Also, without them installing another DSLAM/Terminal closer to my house, the speed they have me connected at is probably as high as they can go on these old phone lines at the distance we are from the node.


retiredqwest

join:2005-04-01
Spokane, WA
I was almost going to guess down south of town.....

I checked a few addresses near the dslam and got 1.5 meg as the only speed. Which means there is no fiber there at all. So they must be all ADSL dslams, without looking inside them I can only guess how many ports they have.

Moran C.O. is at 57th and Regal, to give you an idea as to how far they would have to place fiber to that remote. I'm not all that familiar with down south, but I do know there are a lot of cables that go cross country rather than follow roads. I do know that cables leave Moran in NSEW routes. Hangman Valley area is fed via Palouse Highway then down Baltimore Rd.

To get to 12618 Sherman, the feed either comes across Gibbs Rd and then south or maybe across Paradise Rd and then north.

There is a remote pair gain near Paradise and Keeney Rd, that feeds a KJRB antenna site on E. Stutler Rd.

If you are truly fed out of 12618 Sherman then your chances of getting more than 1.5 meg are extremely slim unless they place fiber closer to you and a cross connect point and of course commercial power.

And the remote pair gain on Sherman is probably an old SLC-96 that cannot utilize fiber.... copper T1 only for the feed.

Since I don't have company intranet access I can't do anything else.

Nemesis158

join:2012-09-15
Spokane, WA
Moran CO is where my Internet originates. i did some digging around along time ago and found that. from there my guess would have to be that there is a fiber line running down hatch to 195, then immediately turning off on White rd (or comes down the hill not following hatch, and crosses the highway). it follows white rd until it hits cedar road, and about 100ft down the road it goes into a larger DSLAM at 8101 S Cedar road. my guess would then be that it follows the T1 circuit down cedar until taylor or gibbs (gibbs more likely), then over to sherman and down to my terminal. that route makes the most sense

Nemesis158

join:2012-09-15
Spokane, WA
reply to retiredqwest

area map
Ive made a little map here. this is the Wireline download map from Wabroadbandmapping.org, with markers of hardware and lines of cable routes.
red lines are known cable routes, while black and grey are the ones that are unknown, since they aren't marked any better.
I have to say that im 99% sure i am served by the sherman terminal, because NOANET and the Port of Whitman County were laying a fiber line down the road and they tore the whole copper carrier line for my whole neighborhood out of the ground just up the road along that dark red line. there are other terminals up on Cheney-Spokane road, but knowing that Moran CO is where my stuff comes from it just would make sense that the route doesn't follow those.

whats really odd is that centurylink reported to the site that they can serve 10-25 (most likely 12 or 15 max) across the street from me, and my phone line originates on the other side of the road. i dunno.......


retiredqwest

join:2005-04-01
Spokane, WA
I'll just say this, I'm not impressed by the accuracy of that website.....

Fiber west on 57th down Hatch and West on White would make more sense to get to Sherman. If you want grab some photos of the boxes at Cedar and White, I'm going to guess the large box on the field side is a Litespan 2000 which is only fiber fed.

CenturyLink
VIP
join:2009-03-09
Boise, ID
kudos:7
reply to Nemesis158
Hi,

We would be happy to help with your questions on your service if you email us your information talktous@centurylink.com

Thanks,

Corey Tidwell
talktous@centurylink.com
Centurylink Help Team

Nemesis158

join:2012-09-15
Spokane, WA
reply to retiredqwest
Click for full size
The Terminal at White & cedar
here is a pic of the large terminal on cedar.
code on the main box is:
SPKNWA RPH01
RT S8223 CEDAR

it says Binford 2000 under the code/adress.

I was able to catch a guy working at this terminal when i went to town today, so i told him what was going on and he said he would check it out and see if i needed to be moved to another gateway/dslam

The large box on sherman says Northern Telecom on it.


NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:12
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
·Pacific Bell - SBC
said by Nemesis158:

The large box on sherman says Northern Telecom on it.

»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Telecom

Equipment manufacturer.
--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum


retiredqwest

join:2005-04-01
Spokane, WA
reply to Nemesis158
Binford 2000 is a local joke..... Tim the Tool Man....anyway.

At Cedar The big cabinet in the back is a Litespan 2000 fiber fed. And looks like the fiber stops there. On the right is a x-connect box. The light green cabinet street side is a splice chamber. And the vented cabinet is the ADSL cabinet fed with fiber. The white cabinet on the left looks like an old N1 analog carrier repeater. Don't know why that is still there.

At Sherman the RPG is a NT DSMUrban. The 3 other vented cabs are ALL ADSL fed from the Cedar Litespan via copper T1's. And they all have 8 T1 feeder capability, don't know if they are all active.

And at Keeney and Paradise is a SLC-96 with no ADSL cabinet.

So, at Sherman you might see if you can get someone to cut your DSL line to a different system since there are 3 of them there. And a outside tech has to redo the jumpers at the x-connect.

One thing I noticed is there is no VDSL2+ node at Cedar, which makes sense since 40M/5M only reaches out about 2000 wire feet from the node. I did some unscientific calculations on my neighborhood since I know the routes of the cabling. Each situation will vary because of cable gauging.

At Cedar I tried an address about 1000 ft south on Cedar Road and it came back 20M/896K. But what caught me off guard is it is ADSL. I only tried the one address since I'm not positive about the cable routing down there.

Nemesis158

join:2012-09-15
Spokane, WA
what i don't quite get is why there is only one adsl cabinet at the cedar terminal and 3 at the Sherman terminal. is it dependent on what is feeding them?

Also, im not sure but i think the guy may have figured out what was going on, at least partially. im getting almost 3.3 on speetest at 1pm, and that's like unheard off. the samknows graph also started out much more consistent today. time will tell i guess.


retiredqwest

join:2005-04-01
Spokane, WA
said by Nemesis158:

what i don't quite get is why there is only one adsl cabinet at the cedar terminal and 3 at the Sherman terminal. is it dependent on what is feeding them?

Comcast provides service around Cedar and White. I don't know how far south they go. Supply and demand and there is always the ROI......


Nemesis158

join:2012-09-15
Spokane, WA
well im not sure if it means anything, but on thursday morning our internet got disconnected, and reconnected a little while later. problem is, currently its stuck at 0.8mbit down / 0.6mbit up.
these values are the same as those we saw during the 4 days before it was upgraded. is this some kind of line test phase or is it just setup incorrectly?