An important topic of discussion within the industry is how technology continues to develop at a fas... Read the full story
2018-01-24 11:02 PM
As a user of Optus cable in Newtown (Sydney), since July 2016 my experience has been relatively hassle-free. I am on the 100Mbps Speed Boost plan and up until recently, even if potential drops in speed during peak hours were occurring (as most people would anticipate with any kind of cable congestion), they would be pretty negligable in effect since I would always be able to stream/game on multiple devices at once without issue. During the day, download speeds would regularly sit above 70Mbps. Even if congestion did occur, I would estimate it would have been rare for the download speed to drop below 30Mbps at any point consistently during this period (and never to the point where I would have to run a speed test to check)
However, all of a sudden as of 15/01/18, at approximately 8:30pm every night the download speed drops considerably, at least until 12am or so. Whereas previously the connection at night was suitable enough to stream/game on multiple devices at once, now I am lucky to get anything above 5Mbps during this period. Through the all other hours during the day, download speeds still regularly sit above 70Mbps, but during this choke period some services are practically unusable.
So what could this possibly be? The pattern of speed shaping during this time suggests to me that congestion must be an issue. But how could this all of a sudden cause such a drastic drop in performance - to the point where I can pinpoint the exact time this issue began to occur?
Below is an small example of this pattern between the two periods - I have been monitoring this regularly since the 15th.
2018-01-24 11:35 PM
Maybe all the screaming NBN users got some extra bandwidth, and they take it from you.
2018-01-25 07:27 AM
Have you checked your address at the NBN checker site? It appears you are getting FTTN in October this year? Not cable unfortunately.
I'd spend some time pinpointing is there is an actual time the speed drops. 8:28 (OK) 8:31 (OK) 8:33 (Right down!) it may be a systemic issue at Optus but more likely just the system reaching some peak capability. Also somone in your street might be deciding to download 4K from Netflix regularly and Optus slow all connections etc. Ultimately if its simple congestion then there's not a lot you can do.
The Optus cable is due to be torn down in 2019 so Optus have little incentive to maintain or upgrade it. Also customer behaviour is changing rapidly and getting plenty of people with unlimited downloads and wanting to Stream TV on what was once a fairly quiet digital neighbourhood hasn't helped.
One practical thing to check is any child settings on your modem (wired and wifi settings). Its possible you've set the phone to decrease bandwidth or also the QOS settings where data can be treated differently. If it comes to it try a factory reset on your modem (first thing optus will ask any way).
Otherwise ring up and ask Optus to test your line (when its slow). Its probable you'll get the standard responce that "We've noted that there is a problem in you're area, although there's no timeframe for a fix" (Which is Optus speak for congestion that we're not going to do anything about because the NBN is coming soon)
Good Luck and let us know if you find anything or it does improve.
2018-01-25 04:29 PM
Yes I have checked the NBN rollout map and noted that our area is due for FTTN in October. Having researched the range of connection types used, I would have assumed that FTTN for the most part would be more reliable/better than the HFC under NBN? Correct me if I am wrong.
As far as pinpointing an exact time for speed drops, although I can confidently say 8:30 is a time I definitely notice severe speed shaping by, on some occasions the transition to these slow speeds is more gradual than others. Because of this I would learn towards believing that some sort of congestion issue is the cause, but personally I am also trying to learn and understand more about it. (I have been doing a lot of research on here and understanding through other people's cases what kind of trends to look out for, and seeing the similairites in patterns to what I have been experiencing here over the past few days).
I am newly aware of Optus' plans to scrap their HFC network after browsing through these forums (not that Optus themselves would inform you of that anyway, right?), and also the issues they have been creating through oversubscribing customers relative to the amount of bandwidth they have available to distribute.
I might perform a factory reset on the modem to theoretically check it off the list as a last resort. I cringe at the thought of dealing with Optus over the phone for any kind of support on this through past experience though, and especially even more so now after reading people's cases over exactly what you're describing with their transition from HFC to NBN. The amount of times I've seen that "standard response" quote across the forums is laughable.
Thanks for your advice though! It is very much appreciated.
2018-01-25 05:22 PM
HFC is a tough shielded coax cable, whereas the FTTN VDSL2+ goes down your unshielded telephone line, which may be corroded. Depends on how good your phone line happens to be.
2018-01-25 05:56 PM
In general NBN HFC will be better than fttn. Fttn is basically an amped up version of current ADSL. They just install more nodes so it ends up closer to your home. For fttn closer equals faster. It's just not certain whether a given fttn install will max out at 25mbps or 100mbps.
Cable should generally hit 100mbps however the NBN had recently shut down all new cable installs for 6 months and gone back to existing installs to fix a cross talk issue that has meant speeds are no where near 100.
Typing on the phone , so can't say much more. Hope your congestion issue is fixed. It's good to know regardless a complete revamp is available in 6 months. Can't be wise than 830 now?
2018-02-03 04:26 PM
Yeah. Best strategy is to stay on cable and wait for some other company. You have to be certain whether the cable will stay deployed. Otherwise ADSL might be better in the meantime.
2018-02-03 06:15 PM - edited 2018-02-03 06:16 PM
So I assume the Optus mods just deleted my last post? If so, that's very much appreciated after I spent quite some time composing that. Long story short:
- I called Optus about the issue at the time of problematic congestion to prove my point (around 9pm).
- Line was tested and was told nothing was wrong with it (assuming all they did was a ping test, which has had no issues).
- I reiterated my issue once again, was eventually told congestion the likely cause (for some reason in their mind they act like this absolves them of all blame).
- Was told that nothing could be address until the issue was escalated to the next department up. Ironically that department was closed for the night, making my point of calling at the time of issue redundant.
- I was promised a call back from that department the next day at 2pm in order to continue where we left off.
- Never received any call back.
P.S: It can actually get worse than 8:30pm, I now have instances of congestion during the day more severely than I've ever had before.
This lovely customer service in combination with their negligent broadband service means I cannot wait until NBN is ready in my area so I can have the option to switch to an ISP that actually cares about its service and its customers.
2018-02-03 07:02 PM
The mods don't appear to delete on a whim. More likely just something didn't go though correctly.
It is pretty frustrating having a problem and then finding the helpdesk is anything but.
Unfortunately with congestion the people on the desk can actually do nothing. Its the result of a deliberate management decision to increase user numbers, offer unlimited data plans coupled with ratcheting up Netflix and a general steady increase in household usage. That plus the fact its all going to be replaced by the NBN anyway in a while.
My limited observation is that about 8-10 months out from an area going NBN live the local cable network and speeds starts getting posted about.
All I can suggest is just recontacting, perhaps an official written complaint? Although in these cases Optus tends to just allow you to exit your contract which isn't much help when they are the only cable around. You might be able to get a monthly discount (and should get the 100Mbps speed pack applied for free as a minimum)
2018-02-03 07:28 PM - edited 2018-02-03 07:30 PM
I would have thought so too but after I refreshed about an hour later, my response was gone without notification. Weird.
Of course, I understand that given the impracticalities of their infrastructure and their management of the situation with NBN around the corner, tech support have their hands tied to a degree since the issue is above them. If anything my attempt to contact them is motivated by a desire to at least gain a 'last resort' discount on a poor service which I'm essentially still playing full price for.
It's interesting what you say about cable speeds getting posted about. Do you mean to suggest that its a trend for congestion to become a more severe problem 8-10 months out from HFC to NBN transition, or are you just saying that the congestion has likely always been an issue, and that people are just happening to raise more attention and post about it 8-10 months out? (The most confusing thing for me in this whole situation is how I never suffered from congestion considerably until the 15th of January, and from thereon after it kicked in quite severely).