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Amadeus

@charter.com

[Speed Issues] Unacceptable slow speeds during prime time

I know this issue is being discussed in other threads, so I thought you might be interested in an update based on my experience with CS on Sunday night.

After a couple of hours on the phone, I finally lost my patience and asked to talk to a supervisor. After it was all said and done, she gave me her email address and said that she would try to serve as an intermediary with a higher level technician.

Honestly, I have no idea if anything will come of it; however, I thought I would share my email with all of you.

quote:
This email is being sent after a conversation on Sunday evening, February 25. The technical customer support supervisor requested that I send her an email directly with my issues and corresponding data. (I apologize that I cannot remember her name.)

My name is [EDIT], my address is [EDIT], Grover Beach, CA 93433. My security code is [EDIT]. My IP is [EDIT]. I have been with Charter high speed internet since 2008 (first in Turlock, California and now in Grover Beach, California.) I am an advanced user with experience using cable modems since the early 2000s.

Here is a synopsis of my issue:
1. My Internet DOWNLOAD speeds are reduced to a *very* slow rate from approximately 5-7 p.m. until around midnight local time. During this time, I rarely get above 5.0 Mbps download speeds, with most speedtest results being around 2-3 Mbps. (This compares to 25-35 Mbps during other times of the day.)
2. UPLOAD speeds do not seem to be affected. I am getting a solid upload rate all hours of the day.
3. This issue has been persistent (every night) for approximately 3-4 months. I had been hoping it would be resolved by now, but it appears as though Charter is unaware of the issue.

Now, I’m very well aware that I cannot expect 30 Mbps during prime time. However, I do expect to be somewhere in the 15-20 range (50-60%), especially given that I am paying a special surcharge for higher speeds. Prior to this issue becoming a problem, I was always slowing down during the 6-midnight timeframe; however, it was somewhere around 15-20 Mbps. 2-5 Mbps is just not acceptable for a solid 5-6 hours every day.

Please note that I have found multiple conversations on this issue on a forum for advanced users. These threads indicate an almost identical problem to what I’m talking about. And, I think there are users here in my area of California in specific (NOTE: the URL says ‘dslreports’ however, the forum is specifically about “Charter Internet/TV”)
- »[Speed Issues] Nightly slow speeds...
- »Slow internet speeds at night

Now, it’s pretty obvious to me that there is a capacity problem affecting my area of California. I’m not sure if it’s a small radius or a large radius; however, clearly there is something that needs to be fixed. As I mentioned before, I know that getting really high speeds at night is not really possible with the current infrastructure; but, I do think that getting 50-60% of what I’m paying for is something that I should be able to expect.

My hope is that you will forward this email to a high level technician that can review the data that I am providing (at the bottom of this email, below my signature) and that he/she will be able to quickly see the problem and dispatch someone to fix it, either by adding capacity (hardware) or adjusting software settings on your end.

If you, or anyone else at Charter needs additional information, or if your technicians would like to contact me directly, I am happy to provide any data needed. I know that direct contact with high level technicians is akin to a conversation with God; however, in this instance I think it might be the best way to isolate this problem and determine the best course of action. I feel that having a low level technician visit my residence in the middle of the day would do no good at all.

Thanks,

[EDIT]

========================================================
Below is data that I gathered in the past 24 hours using »speedtest.charter.com If you look closely at the timestamps, you can see the issue that I am describing very clearly. If you want additional days’ worth of data, please let me know. (NOTE: Unfortunately I could not be home before 9:30ish tonight, and I started fairly late the night before, so this particular set of data does not include the slow speeds from about 5-9 p.m. For your reference, the speeds are pretty consistent from about 5 or 6 p.m. until around 11:30 p.m/midnight.)

Also, this tool does not provide “packet loss” information; however, in all my ping tests, I have noticed no packet loss at all. Latency is very high at times; however, I’m never showing time-outs or packet loss. So, I’m thinking this is probably not a routing issue (but, I’m not an expert on that subject.)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Download Speed: 4.55 Mbps (0.57 MB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 3.16 Mbps (0.4 MB/sec transfer rate)
Latency: 33 ms
Sunday, February 24, 2013 10:55:51 PM
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Download Speed: 9.01 Mbps (1.13 MB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 3.16 Mbps (0.39 MB/sec transfer rate)
Latency: 35 ms
Sunday, February 24, 2013 11:00:41 PM
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Download Speed: 6.06 Mbps (0.76 MB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 3.15 Mbps (0.39 MB/sec transfer rate)
Latency: 37 ms
Sunday, February 24, 2013 11:11:28 PM
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Download Speed: 11.88 Mbps (1.48 MB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 3.11 Mbps (0.39 MB/sec transfer rate)
Latency: 34 ms
Sunday, February 24, 2013 11:17:17 PM
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Download Speed: 17.28 Mbps (2.16 MB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 3.16 Mbps (0.39 MB/sec transfer rate)
Latency: 38 ms
Sunday, February 24, 2013 11:57:28 PM
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Download Speed: 32.14 Mbps (4.02 MB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 3.21 Mbps (0.4 MB/sec transfer rate)
Latency: 42 ms
Monday, February 25, 2013 2:08:24 AM
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Download Speed: 31.9 Mbps (3.99 MB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 3.19 Mbps (0.4 MB/sec transfer rate)
Latency: 32 ms
Monday, February 25, 2013 3:50:56 AM
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Download Speed: 36.97 Mbps (4.62 MB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 3.14 Mbps (0.39 MB/sec transfer rate)
Latency: 42 ms
Monday, February 25, 2013 11:57:04 AM
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Download Speed: 37.2 Mbps (4.65 MB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 3.18 Mbps (0.4 MB/sec transfer rate)
Latency: 38 ms
Monday, February 25, 2013 1:16:01 PM
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Download Speed: 3.14 Mbps (0.39 MB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 3.18 Mbps (0.4 MB/sec transfer rate)
Latency: 40 ms
Monday, February 25, 2013 9:54:31 PM
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Download Speed: 3.68 Mbps (0.46 MB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 3.17 Mbps (0.4 MB/sec transfer rate)
Latency: 42 ms
Monday, February 25, 2013 10:01:46 PM
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Download Speed: 3.74 Mbps (0.47 MB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 3.17 Mbps (0.4 MB/sec transfer rate)
Latency: 36 ms
Monday, February 25, 2013 10:20:40 PM
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Download Speed: 6.52 Mbps (0.82 MB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 2.14 Mbps (0.27 MB/sec transfer rate)
Latency: 37 ms
Monday, February 25, 2013 11:00:18 PM
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Download Speed: 6.33 Mbps (0.79 MB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 2.41 Mbps (0.3 MB/sec transfer rate)
Latency: 40 ms
Monday, February 25, 2013 11:25:22 PM
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Download Speed: 27.04 Mbps (3.38 MB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 3.19 Mbps (0.4 MB/sec transfer rate)
Latency: 33 ms
Monday, February 25, 2013 11:50:14 PM
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Download Speed: 33.96 Mbps (4.25 MB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 3.15 Mbps (0.39 MB/sec transfer rate)
Latency: 35 ms
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 12:55:10 AM
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Download Speed: 40.87 Mbps (5.11 MB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 3.17 Mbps (0.4 MB/sec transfer rate)
Latency: 34 ms
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 1:28:34 AM
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Ryan818

join:2006-12-14
Medford, OR

Looks like an informative and well documented write up. I hope we all get some kind of resolution as this is not just isolated to California. It has been an issue in Southern Oregon as well for months now. I believe Charter pretty much only serves S.Oregon as Comcast has the market further north you go on I-5. It appears that Charter is kind of trying to ignore the problem and hope that users don't complain about it. I have called numerous times and just get the standard runaround of lets check your modem and signal levels etc. 100/5 packages in our region are not even worth half the cost they are charging, because you can't hit 100 Mbps download but maybe once in a month. I downgraded to 30/4 after about 2 months of sub par performance.


Tanker

join:2012-09-18
Montgomery, AL

When I was on 100/5, I used to get about 60-70 most of the time, sometimes in the 80s. Since downgrading to 30/4, I hit 34-35 almost all the time.



Amadeus

@charter.com
reply to Amadeus

Anyone can feel free to copy/paste/edit my email for their own use when contacting charter. The hard part is convincing them to give you an actual email address to copy....

You'd want to do your own speedtests of course.



cork1958
Cork
Premium
join:2000-02-26
reply to Tanker

said by Tanker:

When I was on 100/5, I used to get about 60-70 most of the time, sometimes in the 80s. Since downgrading to 30/4, I hit 34-35 almost all the time.

You do realize that no matter what speeds Charter sells you, if the server isn't serving it that fast, it will be impossible to get that speed, right, and MOST websites simply DO NOT serve stuff that fast! Which is exactly why I never jumped on that "ultra" fast tier, besides the fact it isn't worth it, even if every site on the net went that fast!

That's partially why when Charter asks you to do a speed test, they want you to use their server, as it probably won't be as busy as say speedtest.net, or some other popular test site, so your results there SHOULD almost always look good.

My pretty usual speed test result on the 30/4 plan!
--
The Firefox alternative.
»www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonkey/

KoRnGtL15
Premium
join:2007-01-04
Grants Pass, OR
reply to Amadeus

Click for full size
Not even close for 100mb/5mb tier.... Just got a kick out of that advertisement.

Ryan818

join:2006-12-14
Medford, OR

As I stated earlier. Don't waste your money on the 100/5 package. You may see times when you are close or over 100 Mbps but my experience is that it was far and few between. Other than the almost dead times from 6-11 PM my 30/4 package is almost spot on or above the advertised speeds by 20 Mbps download. I am growing more impatient with the slowdowns in the evening because that is the only time I am home and I sure as heck won't be watching videos at 1 AM.


Ryan818

join:2006-12-14
Medford, OR

I have to say I am pleasantly surprised tonight. My speeds have been way above the abysmal 3/4 that I have seen the last three months from 6-12 . No slow down or anything on my end and slightly better pings. Maybe I am dreaming or something finally got fixed on Charter's end. Hopefully this is to stay for awhile and not some one day experience. I can actually watch Netflix without constant buffering tonight.

»speedtest.ookla.com/result/2024749135.png


KoRnGtL15
Premium
join:2007-01-04
Grants Pass, OR

1 edit

Must be nice. Nothing here. 7:26 pm.

»speedtest.ookla.com/result/2024757394.png

And full speed ahead at almost 2am.


Tanker

join:2012-09-18
Montgomery, AL

I'm calling BS on this one.

»speedtest.ookla.com/result/2024767368.png


A_Team

join:2006-10-16
San Luis Obispo, CA
reply to Amadeus

2/3 tonight, really hauling some butt on my 30 Mbps plan.

»speedtest.ookla.com/result/2024798424.png



Amadeus

@charter.com
reply to cork1958

said by cork1958:

said by Tanker:

When I was on 100/5, I used to get about 60-70 most of the time, sometimes in the 80s. Since downgrading to 30/4, I hit 34-35 almost all the time.

You do realize that no matter what speeds Charter sells you, if the server isn't serving it that fast, it will be impossible to get that speed, right, and MOST websites simply DO NOT serve stuff that fast! Which is exactly why I never jumped on that "ultra" fast tier, besides the fact it isn't worth it, even if every site on the net went that fast!

That's partially why when Charter asks you to do a speed test, they want you to use their server, as it probably won't be as busy as say speedtest.net, or some other popular test site, so your results there SHOULD almost always look good.

My pretty usual speed test result on the 30/4 plan!

I used speedtest.net as well and the results were exactly the same as my first posting in this thread. The reason I posted the charter speedtest (website) results is because I know that's what they would want to see.

Also, as you might imagine I notice this slow down (in prime time) to EVERY site and with multiple applications (streaming, gaming, etc.) So, it's definitely a problem...and, the data I posted is pretty much dead on.

Your speedtest graphic (results) was from the early morning hours. I get 30-40 during those times myself.

Finally, as I mentioned in my initial posting, this "prime time slowdown" started becoming a major problem just a few months ago. And, given that you're in somewhere in MI (as opposed to where I am in CA), perhaps the capacity problem hasn't hit your area yet.


Amadeus

@charter.com
reply to A_Team

said by A_Team:

2/3 tonight, really hauling some butt on my 30 Mbps plan.

»speedtest.ookla.com/result/2024798424.png

I'm in San Luis Obispo County as well (Grover Beach) and your speedtest mirrors my experience. There is clearly something going on in our area. I'm really close to making a trip down to the office and demanding to talk to a manager/supervisor.


Amadeus

@charter.com
reply to Tanker

said by Tanker:

I'm calling BS on this one.

»speedtest.ookla.com/result/2024767368.png

Because our experience on the west coast is supposed to be invalidated by your experience in Georgia? It's pretty obvious that the issue being discussed in this thread is a local capacity issue, not some global Charter problem (although, I imagine it is happening at various "local" areas around the country, not just in my community.)

Or maybe you mean something else -- I'm not exactly sure I follow your line of reasoning/thought with your statement here.

Tanker

join:2012-09-18
Montgomery, AL

1 edit

I'm saying there is no way I'm getting 71/4. Charter is pumping those numbers.

ETA: I'm not doubting you are getting boned by Charter and I know how frustrating it is. I went through it before with my previous ISP. I hope that everyone gets a full resolution to the problem, sooner than later.


giant25

join:2013-03-13
Arroyo Grande, CA
reply to Amadeus

Boy, I couldn't wait to get on here and post after seeing this. I'm in Arroyo Grande, CA (touches Grover Beach, CA) and I'm on the 15 Mbps plan. My problems are exactly as in the OP. Slow speeds (less than 5 Mbps, often 2-3) from 5-11 pm give or take. Upload speeds are constant at just over 3 Mbps. I too, am an experienced user and a network engineer as well. I've played all of Charter's first-line-of-defense games: bypass the router, reset modem, send out a technician, etc. No change. The technician who came to my house told me straight up "Are you seeing slow speeds from 6-10pm? Yeah, the whole area has been like that since the end of last year. It's very frustrating." Of course, he works for a 3rd party telecom company and not Charter, so he gets money for every one of these boondoggles. I would love to know if you have any progress with getting this on the Charter radar. I was told tonight by Charter that the technician's statements about our area having congestion "sound like B.S." So it appears Charter is still in no rush to acknowledge the issue. On top of that, they tried to sell me the 30 Mbps plan to increase my speeds and fix my problem. I'm paying 34.99/mo now, but could lock in faster service for 49.99/mo. I said I would be willing to try it but would like to be able to go back to my original plan if it didn't help, but alas, that would not be an option, as I'd be "locked in." Good times. Let me know how I can help. I have exports of my speedtest.net results as well. I'm not a noob to this site, but it's been a few years (since my SBC Yahoo DSL days) so I made a new account. Great OP, btw.


15444104
Premium
join:2012-06-11

said by giant25:

On top of that, they tried to sell me the 30 Mbps plan to increase my speeds and fix my problem. I'm paying 34.99/mo now, but could lock in faster service for 49.99/mo. I said I would be willing to try it but would like to be able to go back to my original plan if it didn't help, but alas, that would not be an option, as I'd be "locked in."

Do NOT take the bait!!!

It won't solve your problems and indeed you are correct. Once you
"take the bait" there is NO going back. Keep the plan you have and save the extra money.

The only other thing I would advise is to contact the FCC and the your city that give Charter their franchise agreement. You must put the complaints in WRITING and send them snail mail return receipt requested. Then inform a supervisor at Charter, or call the St. Louis HQ offices and inform them of the action you are taking. The only thing they seem to react to now is the "stick" approach. If they think they will be penalized, fined, or lose their franchise agreement with your city they will fix the problem.

giant25

join:2013-03-13
Arroyo Grande, CA

1 edit

Ha ha. Yeah, I had no intention of taking the bait. I thought it was laughable that they thought that was a solution to the problem, give them more money...

Does anyone know the structure of Charter? Is there a regional branch somewhere that can be reached with someone who would be familiar with the area but have ties to corporate? I know, a lot to ask.


giant25

join:2013-03-13
Arroyo Grande, CA
reply to Amadeus

An update:
I've been trying to make progress with Charter regarding this issue. I have gone through the tech support a half dozen times to appease them, had two technician visits to check lines, been upgraded to a DOCSIS 3.0 modem (Cisco, I miss my Surfboard already), spoken to 3 supervisors, and finally spoke to someone at Charter corporate. Up to this point, no improvement in download speed performance during peak hours.

However, Charter Corporate did contact my regional Charter management and found that indeed my node (GB209) is congested and it is a known issue. There is an effort underway to add 4 additional DOCSIS 3.0 8-channel carriers. This is supposed to be complete in April/May timeframe of this year. Keep in mind that this is what I was told, and may not be 100% accurate. The second technician that came out also mentioned something about moving/shuffling capacity around to alleviate the issue as well. I thought I heard someone say that my node services 751 households, but don't quote me on that. Since I live on the edge of Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach, it's very likely that the OP is on the same node. I would at least call and see if you can find out your node.

Since I was on the 15/3 legacy plan and the promo price of 34.95 was due to go up next month to $52/mo, Charter Corp decided to up my plan to the 30/4 and give it to me for $29.99/mo for 12 months like I was a new customer (and no contract, which is how Charter operates now). They also credited me half of my monthly bill for March and April for my troubles, and will revisit it again if the issue isn't resolved by the end of May.

Tonight, my download speed was 2.64 Mbps with upload now of just over 4 Mbps (my new Upload speed). If anyone wants contact info for the person at Charter Corporate, let me know, I have their direct extension. Good luck to anyone else out there.



Amadeus

@charter.com

Thanks for the update! I'll give them some time to make that change before I get that contact info from you. If you hear anything else though, please do post here -- it's a great help.

I'm not really a hardware guy: Do I need to get a modem with 8-channel up/down in order to take advantage of the upgrade they're hoping to install? Or, will my DOCSIS 3.0 4-channel modem be enough?


Ryan818

join:2006-12-14
Medford, OR

If you want to take advantage of the 8 channel downstream you need to upgrade your modem. You have two options either have Charter supply you with a new Cisco/Motorola modem or live with the 4 channels your older modem can handle. I am pretty happy with the Cisco modem Charter provided me over my personally owned Motorola 6120. I have been told our area will be upgraded to 8 channel downstream sometime in the next 6-8 months. This may improve the terrible download speeds at night. Fingers crossed.


KoRnGtL15
Premium
join:2007-01-04
Grants Pass, OR

What is the Cisco model number? And it supports 8 streams on the downstream side right?


Ryan818

join:2006-12-14
Medford, OR

It is a Cisco DPC3008. Yes it does support 8 channel downstream.


KoRnGtL15
Premium
join:2007-01-04
Grants Pass, OR

Thanks for replying! Just to be clear though. Its not actually using 8 downstream currently? Only using 4 channels?


Ryan818

join:2006-12-14
Medford, OR

Yes I am only getting 4 bonded downstream channels at this time. From what I heard from a recent conversation with a technician that came to my house to check on speed issues, this may change soon. I don't think 8 channel bonding is too far off. But who knows with Charter they can always promise the world but never deliver.


KoRnGtL15
Premium
join:2007-01-04
Grants Pass, OR

Yeah pretty sure 8 downstream is coming soon. Mine only does 4 currently which is a Ubee U10C035. I might go ahead and pick up that Cisco modem myself to be future proof.


pao_revolt

join:2013-01-09
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
reply to Amadeus

I also have the same problem, during the day (before 4pm), i have full 100/5 mbps but in the evening/night (before midnight), the speed drop to 1-2/5 mbps. The upload is not effected. I have a Motorola SB6120 wonder if i change the modem will improve my speed?

ps. Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91739



Lewy

@charter.com
reply to Amadeus

I'm just a few miles up the sand from you on the Charter HSI 30/4 plan. With SpeedTest, I consistently get 15.75/3.25 connecting to Charter sites in San Luis and Monterey Park, CA. I get somewhat better numbers connecting to other sites in the LA area (DreamHost, for example). And, I get these numbers anytime of the day or night - 8 am or 8 pm.


BETA4

join:2010-12-26
reply to Amadeus

I think there should be a thread as a sticky with this issue for the general los angeles/OC/ San bernadino counties. I am still experiencing slow speeds during prime time and im kinda amazed that Natalie the project head of getting this issue resolved still rememberd to contact me at the end of the month to give me a proper bill adjustment. Knocked my bill down from 89.99 to 44.99 again. This is with my 100 down / 5 up package. In the meantime folks, keep trucking, keep complaining.


Seiyorah

join:2013-03-26
Cleveland, TN
reply to giant25

Good sir, I would love that extension/number. I am having the exact same problems but not a single support technician will give me information outside of "reboot your modem"!