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Broadband slowing down in evening/afternoon

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Dabbler
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Broadband slowing down in evening/afternoon

Have been with Plusnet for around 14 months and generally been OK given we are 1500m from the cabinet.

Normally getting 13-15 Mbps download and around 800 Kbps upload but since early June this has dropped everyday from about 4pm and gets down to around 1 Mbps by 7pm - watching Netflix or even browsing becomes a real challenge.

Have a support ticket raised (Question #202412808) and a line test proved the line was OK but insisted on an O/R engineer.

He came yesterday and replaced our master socket but basically said there was nothing wrong with the line - he came at 11am when the connection is always OK though.

The new master socket seems to improve the down speed to about 16Mbps but within an hour this started to drop off. After 4pm it was following the same pattern as before.

This morning the connection is OK - this is my (new) router's info:

Line 1 Information      (VDSL2 Firmware Version:  779517_A/B/C   with Vectoring support )
  ProfileStateUP SpeedDown SpeedSNR UpstreamSNR Downstream
  17ASHOWTIME395 (Kbps)16,557 (Kbps)6 (dB)5 (dB)

 

up speed is a bit slow but apart from that looks OK.

I'm expecting the same pattern of slower speeds today - anyone got any suggestions or experiencing a similar pattern?  Plusnet have denied this is anything to do with profiling or throttling and it looks too stark (and follows the same pattern every day) to be contention issues.

 

(Speedtest from last 12 hours attached)

 

 

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Rising Star
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Registered: ‎12-09-2010

Re: Broadband slowing down in evening/afternoon

First question - Would you know how far way is your green BT cabinet in the street? With that kind of sync speed I'm assuming it's about 2 kms away. If it's closer that would be interesting.

In terms of the speed tests etc. Is the router plugged into the master socket itself? Is the computer plugged into the router (not using wifi)?

Has anything changed in the house or immediate environment  around the time the problem started?

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Superuser
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Re: Broadband slowing down in evening/afternoon

Looks typical of under capacity or "Hot SVLAN" at the exchange.  Plusnet can check this with BT, but it can be very difficult to get OpenReach to accept it.

Perhaps one of the Plusnet staffers will pick this up.  @Gandalf  ?

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Dabbler
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Re: Broadband slowing down in evening/afternoon

@grahamn 

Thanks for your help - the cable run is 1.5km so I don't expect amazing speeds, but would like some consistency and I don't think wanting to stream netflix in even low def is asking too much!!

It's really odd that the pattern of drop off in speeds is the same every day.  I've set up a schedule for testing every half hour for the next 25 on a PC that is wired through a 1Gbps connection directly to the router - it's a long run but I tested the internal LAN at reading/writing a file and (even on a slow, old, hard drive, it managed 250 Mbps consistently so it should give a good result.

I guess the one thing that's changed is more people working from home but I'd assume that would affect the speed more 9-5 than 4-10/11.

The BT chap was at a bit of a loss apart from saying the fault must be with plusnet and I have thought about moving to BT but wonder if they use the same infrastructure given they are the same co?

I'm getting a second VDSL line installed next week but the BT engineer who came yesterday said they'd use the same cable as there are 4 pairs spare and it avoids running another, but at least it will rule that out as a fault if the speed on the new line (through BT Broadband) is normal.

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Dabbler
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Re: Broadband slowing down in evening/afternoon

@MauriceC 

That was my thought initially, however, the drop off is very consistent - do you think changing ISP's would help?

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Rising Star
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Re: Broadband slowing down in evening/afternoon

It does sound like possible contention/congestion if it's that predictable. The problem is knowing where in the network that is occurring Running "tracert" may hint at which hop is taking longer when compared with the timings when it is performing...but of a lottery though as not all devices respond to the ping echos and can leave you wondering.....BT and PN network management would undoubtedly know, but them disclosing that is another ballgame!

Obviously going to an LLU supplier will put you into their equipment in the exchange, so if the congestion/contention is after that point currently, that bottleneck would be avoided....but you're equally uncharted territoriality with the new ISP too..... 

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Superuser
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Re: Broadband slowing down in evening/afternoon


@wanblue1 wrote:

@MauriceC 

That was my thought initially, however, the drop off is very consistent

Prior to COVID-19 a typical slowdown would be seen around 20:00 - 01:00 (roughly) so in the same ballpark.

- do you think changing ISP's would help?

 

Unlikely unless you get to know where the congestion is occurring.

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Dabbler
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Re: Broadband slowing down in evening/afternoon

@grahamn @MauriceC 

Just got off the phone with P/N and they suggested changing router  - but this is the third, 2 of which are branch new and work at the speeds expected for at least 8 hours a day.

Another O/R engineer coming tomorrow in the afternoon this time so we'll see what happens.  Ran a tracert on P/N's DNS server - looked to me like each hop outside of my LAN (that wasn't refused) was taking far too long so tried a simple PING, 1st one using my Three mobile as a hot spot using 4G, 2nd one using wifi and broadband.  Results are the opposite of what you'd expect:

4G Hotspot

Pinging 212.159.6.9 with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=45ms TTL=47
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=41ms TTL=47
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=33ms TTL=47
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=31ms TTL=47

Ping statistics for 212.159.6.9:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 31ms, Maximum = 45ms, Average = 37ms

Plusnet Broadband

Pinging 212.159.6.9 with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=350ms TTL=61
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=411ms TTL=61
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=360ms TTL=61
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=449ms TTL=61

Ping statistics for 212.159.6.9:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 350ms, Maximum = 449ms, Average = 392ms

 

Here is the Tracert output - looks like the plusnet backbone doesn't respond hence time-outs (I tried allowing 4 seconds but even then it's timed out)

 

C:\Users\ianhu>tracert -w 4000 212.159.6.9

Tracing route to cdns01.plus.net [212.159.6.9]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 1 ms 1 ms 1 ms VIGOR [192.168.0.1]
2 * * * Request timed out.
3 * * * Request timed out.
4 226 ms 350 ms 221 ms 136.hiper04.sheff.dial.plus.net.uk [195.166.143.136]
5 295 ms 303 ms 246 ms cdns01.plus.net [212.159.6.9]

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Rising Star
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Re: Broadband slowing down in evening/afternoon

Ref tracert - some may be very slow to respond due to latency/congestion, but some devices are set not to respond to ping (so those time-out regardless).

Be interesting to see what the Engineer says, but latency certainly looks significant over the PN connection - not surprised given what you describe,

For comparison. my pings are returning in about 22ms using the same ip addresses you were testing against.

Pinging 212.159.6.9 with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=18ms TTL=60
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=18ms TTL=60
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=18ms TTL=60
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=18ms TTL=60
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=18ms TTL=60
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=18ms TTL=60
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=18ms TTL=60
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=18ms TTL=60
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=18ms TTL=60

Ping statistics for 212.159.6.9:
Packets: Sent = 9, Received = 9, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 18ms, Maximum = 18ms, Average = 18ms

 

 

And again my tracert hops that have timings are sub 22ms.

Tracing route to cdns01.plus.net [212.159.6.9]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 <1 ms <1 ms <1 ms 1**..**.***.***
2 * * * Request timed out.
3 * * * Request timed out.
4 18 ms 19 ms 18 ms 136.hiper04.sheff.dial.plus.net.uk [195.166.143.136]
5 18 ms 18 ms 20 ms cdns01.plus.net [212.159.6.9]

 

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Superuser
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Re: Broadband slowing down in evening/afternoon


@wanblue1 wrote:

@grahamn @MauriceC 

Just got off the phone with P/N and they suggested changing router  - but this is the third, 2 of which are branch new and work at the speeds expected for at least 8 hours a day.

They are wasting time and OpenReach resource going down that path and it may cost you a £65 charge if the engineer reports 'No Fault Found'.  Needs a more experienced Plusnet guy to check for a capacity problem at the exchange via OpenReach..

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Rising Star
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Re: Broadband slowing down in evening/afternoon

I know they charge when a fault is found to be the customer's equipment. I've never heard of NFF charges. Is that a new one????

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Dabbler
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Re: Broadband slowing down in evening/afternoon

@grahamn @MauriceC 

Hi Both

 

Thanks for your help today and those tracerts/pings which are really helpful.

I told them I thought it was a waste of time and would not pay a fee for the callout - it can't be a fault with my equipment though as there is nothing else connected apart from the modem/router.

Typically, it not too bad tonight - getting about 5 Mbps which is useable if nowhere near the sync speed of 16Mbps or the guaranteed of 8 - my upload sync speed is really slow though - only 395 kbps which is a lot lower than normal - and in reality, the speed tests often report 0 upload speed.

Given those tracert times, I think the problem is somewhere with Plusnet so am considering going back to Sky for this line - a new one being installed next week is already with BT and I intend to load balance (hence the new router).  If the new line doesn't meet the min guaranteed, I can always cancel.

I'm going to try those tracerts and pings tomorrow morning  when the download normally shows a decent speed.

 

Thanks Again

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Dabbler
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Re: Broadband slowing down in evening/afternoon

Just added this to the open case following O/R visit yesterday:

Engineer called yesterday around 1.30 which was not ideal as the problems really start late afternoon.

Prior to him testing, a speed test through both Ookla and BTWholesale on a wired connections was around 3.5 Mbps. His speed test onto my master socket showed 13.5 Mbps consistently over 5 mins. When my internal network was reconnected, still only getting 3.5 Mbps on a wired PC.

He said the problem is not the connection to the echange although would not say/did not know how his speed test works (ie: does it go all the way to Plusnet's backbone, or an internal O/R server (seems more likely)). Left saying I'd need to take it up with Plusnet as there is nothing more O/R can do.

I disconnected every LAN and disabled wifi on the router. Connected 1 PC directly and got 3.5 Mbps, tried another PC which gave same speed. Power cycled router (left disconnected for 10 mins) and same result. This rules out any sort of internal LAN problem (even though the 1st engineer said it couldn't be this, thought it wise to check). Speed continued to decrease though the evening.

No internet use of high bandwidth connections from 7pm onward (everyone was watching a DVD till after 10), no netflix or sky downloads being used and I monitored the connection overnight again - shows it struggling to get to 3 Mbps till about 1.30 am when it goes back to 14.x Mbps which is where it is this morning. (doc attached - the 25Mb lines are the download, 1Mb lines the upload).

Checked a neighbours (less than 10 m away) connection which gave 8.5 Mbps on wifi through a mobile phone which is a FTTC connection with BT.

After all this testing, I am convinced this is Plusnet specific. Please contact me today with a way forward or I will switch to another provider.

 

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Rising Star
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Re: Broadband slowing down in evening/afternoon

PM sent. 

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Superuser
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Re: Broadband slowing down in evening/afternoon

I think you'll find that the OR guy was measuring the sync speed of the connection whereas from your PC you're measuring throughput.

Both values are correct(?) just measuring different things.  Now more likely to be a problem with network capacity at the exchange.