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  #1  
Old 12-04-2009, 7:56 PM
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Default Question for the computer / net techs

Every friday and saturday evening / night my internet speed goes to hell. I can't play any games online and downloads like youtube take forever.

I currently have a cable connection with comcast "6mb down / 1mb up".

I got a quote from them saying they'll upgrade me to 16mb down / 2mb up for $10 a month.

Would this really be worth it? Would I really notice a difference?
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  #2  
Old 12-04-2009, 7:58 PM
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Everyone in your neighborhood shares the same pipe as far as cable modems go.

You really dont have a dedicated line like you would if you were dsl.
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  #3  
Old 12-04-2009, 7:59 PM
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Yep, Bandwidth is split between all on a cable connection.


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  #4  
Old 12-04-2009, 8:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Nodda Duma View Post
Yep, Bandwidth is split between all on a cable connection.


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Just as bandwidth is split between all at the DSLAM with DSL....
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  #5  
Old 12-04-2009, 8:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Bizcuits View Post
Would this really be worth it?
Totally subjective, but I think so. (Unless FiOS, etc. is available in your area for the same price.)


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Originally Posted by Bizcuits View Post
Would I really notice a difference?
Depends, if the CMTS bandwidth is already oversold, then probably not (during peak times anyway). Not sure about Comcast, but most cable companies don't require a contract, so you could always try it for a month and see.
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  #6  
Old 12-04-2009, 8:48 PM
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You don't have an unsecured wireless connection off of your service, do you? It's possible for someone "borrowing" your service to suck out all of the speed, leaving you, the guy who actually pays the bill, high and dry.
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  #7  
Old 12-04-2009, 9:32 PM
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Originally Posted by spsellars View Post
Totally subjective, but I think so. (Unless FiOS, etc. is available in your area for the same price.)


Depends, if the CMTS bandwidth is already oversold, then probably not (during peak times anyway). Not sure about Comcast, but most cable companies don't require a contract, so you could always try it for a month and see.
Verizon doesn't have it in my area.

Is there a way to find out if the bandwidth is oversold?

I was thinking about going with something like frontier with a dedicated 3mb downloaded speed, but wasn't sure what would be better during peak hours.

16mb being shared with the neighborhood, 6mb being shared with the neighborhood or just a dedicated 3mb line?

What I feel right now is kinda a "whats the point" of getting 16mbs of download speed when I can't even really get 6mb when I want too...

I guess what I'm asking is how is 16mb of download speed going to be faster then 6mb on a shared bandwidth.


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You don't have an unsecured wireless connection off of your service, do you? It's possible for someone "borrowing" your service to suck out all of the speed, leaving you, the guy who actually pays the bill, high and dry.
Yea we have wireless, but it's locked.
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  #8  
Old 12-04-2009, 9:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Bizcuits View Post
Is there a way to find out if the bandwidth is oversold?
I highly doubt it (without having a friend who does the local provisioning.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bizcuits View Post
I was thinking about going with something like frontier with a dedicated 3mb downloaded speed, but wasn't sure what would be better during peak hours.
I'm not sure Frontier would be any better than your local telco for DSL. AFAIK they just use their network with a different end point. (So you'd run into the same problems DSL through your telco would have.) They may put you on a different card at the DSLAM, but depending on where the congestion is, that might not matter.

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Originally Posted by Bizcuits View Post
16mb being shared with the neighborhood, 6mb being shared with the neighborhood or just a dedicated 3mb line?
Again, AFAIK the "dedicated line" from Frontier is just marketing hype, it's no different (other than end point) than what your telco's DSL would provide. (In terms of congestion.)

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Originally Posted by Bizcuits View Post
I guess what I'm asking is how is 16mb of download speed going to be faster then 6mb on a shared bandwidth.
That entirely depends on your cable company's setup in your area. They may give the upgraded package up/downstream channel higher priority at the CMTS during peak hours. (Which wouldn't have much of an effect if everyone on that CMTS has the upgraded package.)

Honestly, I think the only way you're going to find out if it's worthwhile is by trying it. If Comcast doesn't do contracts, at most you lose $10. If they do require a contract, ask if they'll guarantee a certain level of performance.
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  #9  
Old 12-05-2009, 7:55 AM
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Is there a way to find out if the bandwidth is oversold?
Bandwidth is always oversold. It has to be.

Your problem is not bandwidth. Buying a fatter pipe isn't going to help you. Your problem is latency. All you can do about this is to keep calling them every single time it happens and hope that they get tired of the calls and look into the real problem, which is probably saturation of the link from the headend back to their equipment.
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  #10  
Old 12-05-2009, 9:57 AM
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Buying a fatter pipe isn't going to help you.
If they assign different channels to different tiers (as TW and Cox do), it most certainly can. Reducing the pool of competitors in a bus system has a huge effect on latency. (Conversely, if he hops into a more crowded tier, it can obviously get worse.)
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  #11  
Old 12-05-2009, 7:26 PM
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I ended up just shelling out the $10 for the upgraded service, I'll see how it goes and being the complaining immediately upon obvious failure of the upgrade.

So far, so good, but I haven't put it to the true test of game play yet.
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  #12  
Old 12-05-2009, 8:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Nodda Duma View Post
Yep, Bandwidth is split between all on a cable connection.
-Jason
ATT would like you all to believe that. While your DSL line is a dedicated copper, when your signal enters the local switching center, you are allocated the bandwidth you subscribed to, and not a bit/sec more. With cable, you share the same medium to their switching center, but they have so much margin, that whatever bandwidth you subscribed to - you get.
Cable is have way more capacity than ATT and can provide it at the same consistency.
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  #13  
Old 12-07-2009, 11:59 AM
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Well the upgrade didn't work, everything was still running like crap Saturday night.

So I gave them another ring and an ear full.

The tech on the phone said he was seeing pikes in my connection it was jumping from 40 to 400 regularly. They scheduled a tech to come out and check the line tomorrow.

Honestly wondering if this isn't because I let the original installer use the existing cable lines. He said he could replace them, but asked if I was alright with the old ones.

Maybe I'll get some answers tomorrow
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  #14  
Old 12-07-2009, 12:26 PM
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The fact that your speeds are inconsistent... and related to particular times of the day/week, points to there being no problem with your equipment or installation (as long as you don't have someone "borrowing" your connection through a wireless link).
If you are ever able to get your "paid for" bandwidth, then your hardware is fine, and the problem lies with something on their end... as mentioned, most likely oversold bandwidth.

DSLReports.com and some other servers offer bandwidth test routines that you can run from your desktop. They're pretty good, but still not as good as something that your ISP could run, as they are only testing your connection to "them" and not your connection to your ISP. If there is a choke point anywhere on the path to their server, it will impact the rating, and selecting a server that is physically closer will nearly always result in better numbers.

Example:
Quote:
C:\> tracert www.dslreports.com
Tracing route to www.dslreports.com [209.123.109.175]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 1 ms <1 ms <1 ms 192.168.1.1
2 29 ms 28 ms 28 ms dsl-gw-gen1.linkline.com [64.30.2xx.xxxx]
3 29 ms 29 ms 28 ms f0-0-1-core.lcinet.net [64.30.215.30]
4 31 ms 33 ms 30 ms ca-la2-core-gsr.linkline.com [66.59.246.253]
5 30 ms 49 ms 30 ms 209.234.254.21
6 102 ms 98 ms 98 ms te3-2.bbr1.phx1.bandcon.com [216.151.179.197]
7 107 ms 100 ms 96 ms te8-1.bbr1.dfw1.bandcon.com [216.151.179.210]
8 98 ms 97 ms 98 ms te3-4.bbr1.ash1.bandcon.com [216.151.179.218]
9 102 ms 102 ms 101 ms eqix.ge-0-0-0.gbr1.ash.nac.net [206.223.115.69]

10 100 ms 106 ms 105 ms 0.e2-19.tbr1.ewr.nac.net [209.123.11.17]
11 100 ms 105 ms 103 ms 0.e1-4.tbr1.oct.nac.net [209.123.10.122]
12 106 ms 103 ms 103 ms vlan804.esd1.oct.nac.net [209.123.10.2]
13 104 ms 103 ms 105 ms www.dslreports.com [209.123.109.175]

Trace complete.
You can see that I'm running <30ms latency to my ISP, and my ISP is running 30-50 to the 5th hop, but at that point, the latency more than doubles on the way to Phoenix.
The first address is my local machine... the 2nd is my router, and the 3rd is my gateway to my ISP.
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  #15  
Old 12-08-2009, 2:08 PM
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Well the tech came out at around 11:30AM, he ran a scan on the modem line and said I scored a 9? Not sure what that exactly means, but he said it wasn't very good for internet, but it was fine for cable television.

He went out in the backyard and checked the cable running from the cable box on the telephone pole to the house. He said the line was over 10 years old and he noticed a lot of wear.

He spent about 20 minutes changing the entire line, then ran another check of the modem line. This time he said I scored a 7 (apparently a lower score is better) and the line was reading much clearer.

He also said while changing the cable lines he checked the cable box on the telephone pole and recieved some minor errors on his meter, so he had sent an email out for another tech to come by later in the week and check out the cable box on the telephone pole.

Haven't had a chance to test anything out, but at least it appears they're actually fixing and improving the line / connection.
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