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Author Topic: Virgin Media (ADSL) break gaming - will fix in the New Year  (Read 15708 times)

mcbazza

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Virgin Media (ADSL) break gaming - will fix in the New Year
« on: December 01, 2007, 11:41:08 AM »

See this post at TBB.

Which states:
Quote
"Mark one of the managers has just phoned me from Virgin and headoffice are locked in a meeting about the gaming issue all of us VM customers are experiencing (Mostly ADSL users) Mark fully admitted they have f**ked up and the outcome is this

Any games release 2 years and older will work fine any games release within the last 2 years are being treated as torrent traffic and are being managed by their traffic management system.

THIS WILL NOT BE RESOLVED UNTIL MID JAN "


This is clearly a breach of H.1.3(b) of their *own* T&C's:

Quote
" 3. If
2. we make significant changes to the Services so the Services you are entitled to receive in return for the charges you pay are significantly altered or reduced; or "

And yet they still ask for 'exit fees' to be paid for those that wish to leave.
But, they haven't publicly announced the changes to the traffic management - therefore people will not be aware that they have a 'get-out clause'.

Some coincidence that they refuse to publicise this significant change? I think not.


Myself, I already have my MAC, and am in the process of choosing my new ISP. Think I shall go for Be, as I can get a friend to refer me (we both get a month free), and if I sign up via Quidco I get 55 cashback!! Which will pay off the 50 VM want to charge me for leaving before 12mths are up.

Gamers - it's time to jump-ship.

Bazza
aka:
PSN: bazza
Live: OAPbazza
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kitz

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Re: Virgin Media (ADSL) break gaming - will fix in the New Year
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2007, 02:15:55 PM »

Thanks for that Bazza.

Im not sure about the statement "Any games release 2 years and older will work"  because surely its the location/server/port you connect to and TCP/IP packets dont have anything to do with the age of the game.  (I may have missed something here because Im not a gamer).
Its like saying any websites more than 2 years old will work?

Their failure to provide a service for a valid protocol particularly one that they advertise in their blurb. :/

http://allyours.virginmedia.com/whychooseus/global/dictionary_broadband.shtml

Quote
How much speed do you need?If you use the web for occasional browsing and sending the odd email, our 2Mb connection will mean you can do everything you need quickly and comfortably. If you like to stream video, download a lot of music or enjoy online gaming, then a faster package will make a real difference to you
.

But then again right now they seem to be unable to provide fast speeds during peak periods anyhow :(

IMHO more likely they are waiting on an order to get more Centrals installed.  We all know it takes several months to do so.


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mcbazza

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Re: Virgin Media (ADSL) break gaming - will fix in the New Year
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2007, 06:37:41 PM »

IMHO more likely they are waiting on an order to get more Centrals installed.  We all know it takes several months to do so.
Ah. I sort of know the answer to that.

Virgin Media did a deal this year (Easter?) for C&W to carry their data, and to convert VM (ADSL) users over to LLU (as C&W now own the infrastructure built by Bulldog - though they sold the customers to Pipex, C&W retain the infrastructure).

Now, knowing all of the above (that your customers are *soon* to be migrated to LLU), who in their right mind would approach BT and request more 'BT Centrals' capacity?!?

nb: *soon* - being a business term that translates as 'sometime between now and the end of time'.


Instead, you 'manage the situation' (another business term) - which translates as 'do nothing'.

Now, I happen to know that VM have done nothing, as my best friend works in network support at C&W. I've asked him about the VM data (which they should be handling), and I've been told that they are still waiting to migrate VM over. As it currently stands, VM data is carried on the old Energis network. C&W are still waiting to migrated VM customers onto their NGN (Next Generation Network).

And there's the rub.

Converting the Virgin Media ADSL customers over to LLU (on C&W) is not an overnight job. Each exchange will require an engineer visit. Presumably done in some kind of roll-out, rather than customer-by-customer.

Virgin Media have lied to us for as long as I've been a customer (7mths), and if you listen to them now, a "fix is coming in the New Year".

Of course, "New Year" could mean "Nov 2008". You might be at the start of the roll-out, or at the end. There's no way of telling (yet). All you can hope is that if you are left until the end, that as customers leave the BT Centrals there is suddenly enough bandwidth for you - until you are migrated.


I'm leaving ASAP. I shall be requesting they forfeit my 'leaving fee', and I shall seriously consider a claim in the small claims court by way of minor compensation for the hassles I have had, and the work I have had to put into managing my connection for them (eg. writing the BAMfinder).

I recommend all Virgin Media (ADSL) customers do the same - and I will gladly help any that choose to do so. Just ask.

Baz
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kitz

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Re: Virgin Media (ADSL) break gaming - will fix in the New Year
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2007, 01:56:44 AM »

hmmmm  the Bulldog LLU makes sense now you mention it
I wondered if they were ever going to do anything with the Bulldog side of things.

It would however be a relatively quick and easy fix I would have thought for them to put any Virgin adsl IPStream users on an exchange that is already Bulldog enabled... in a similar way which o2 + be have done and also f2s/sky.

Installing new dslams in other exchanges isn't cheap and rollout would take longer irrespective if theres some C+W backbone nearby.  Doing so would obviously like you say reduce strain on the centrals... but as you guessed.. it would be done on and exchange basis.

However all this is going to be giving them some pretty bad publicy and if virgin had any nounce they would install some new centrals anyhow.
OK they would have to pay for them in the meantime..  but as soon as LLU starts to take some of the strain they could easily disable some of the older pipes that will now be out of their 2 year contract.

>> I'm leaving ASAP.

I dont blame you Baz - you stuck it out and did your bit and nothing seems to have come back from Virgin either in acknowledgement of how you have tried to help users with the BAM finder.

One of our regs (TD) has had probs with VM and is currently waiting to see how things go, but luckily for him hes not tied into a contract.
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mcbazza

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Re: Virgin Media (ADSL) break gaming - will fix in the New Year
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2007, 03:54:21 PM »

Done. I'm out.

Being activated by 'Be' on the 11th.

Let's see how my latency/loss stats look after the 11th.
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kitz

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Re: Virgin Media (ADSL) break gaming - will fix in the New Year
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2007, 04:07:23 PM »

Good luck Baz

This for sure isnt a pretty picture  :cry2:

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kitz

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Re: Virgin Media (ADSL) break gaming - will fix in the New Year
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2007, 04:27:47 PM »

>> "Any games release 2 years and older will work"  because surely its the location/server/port you connect to and TCP/IP packets dont have anything to do with the age of the game.  (I may have missed something here because Im not a gamer).

btw I just noticed that theres been a rare posting by Carl N .. about xbox gaming & VM
I'm not understating when I say he's actually considered one of (if not "The") top Ellacoya experts in the UK and he knows his stuff about traffic prioritisation and traffic shaping.

from TBB

Quote
Xbox live has always worked the way it does today to the way it worked when first released. There are two types of users - a player and a host, a host configures the game to allow a number of players to join and a player is simply a user that decides to join a game being hosted by another user. The Xbox live network consists of a central server which is used for authentication and indexing, listing users who declare themselves as hosts for different games for the rest of the users to join online games. When a user selects a game to join, the connection to the game is directed to the hosting Xbox and not through the server i.e. it's a peer-to-peer system, but always has been.

I think the last sentence explains it - and VM havent yet found a way to differentiate the gaming traffic from the p2p download stuff.

Meaning that perhaps as I said in another thread the other week - that I didnt believe that VM had the technology to perform proper traffic shaping and are probably just using the very basic prioritisations available on the edge routers.

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mcbazza

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Re: Virgin Media (ADSL) break gaming - will fix in the New Year
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2007, 06:30:25 PM »

If VM were using decent/expensive traffic management hardware, then they'd be able to do 'deep packet analysis' - then they'd be able to differentiate between gaming and P2P traffic.
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mcbazza

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Re: Virgin Media (ADSL) break gaming - will fix in the New Year
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2007, 06:52:07 PM »

Good luck Baz

This for sure isnt a pretty picture  :cry2:




You think that's bad. Here's a more up-to-date chart:


You are seeing 7pm on Friday, through to 7pm Sunday.
Don't fixate on the blue - although, that is the obvious problem.

But, look at the green (maximal ping) during the times when the 'blue' was good - it's still peaking at 180ms when the network is good!!
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oldfogy

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Re: Virgin Media (ADSL) break gaming - will fix in the New Year
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2007, 03:09:45 AM »

Virgin Media are a law unto themselves:

Their adverts tell you one thing (Download as much as you like)
Their T&Cs tell you the same, (Download as much as you like)
Then they state their is a FUP in force, without actually explaining what it is.

Then they implement their "Traffic Management System" which cuts your download speed to the next package below what you are already on if you download more than a given amount before 4pm, the lower rate is then in force, supposedly any time up until midnight, although this does seem to depend on someone throwing the switch to revert you back to normal at midnight which does not always happen.

So, not knowing what the original problem was, (because with typing this I have now forgotten) maybe if you have fallen foul of their "Traffic Management System" then your reduced speed may not have been enough to run the game.

And no, I am still not a fan of Virgin Media and can't wait for another provider such as "Be" to enter into my area, because  I will be off like a shot.
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mcbazza

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Re: Virgin Media (ADSL) break gaming - will fix in the New Year
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2007, 08:13:07 AM »

So, not knowing what the original problem was, (because with typing this I have now forgotten) maybe if you have fallen foul of their "Traffic Management System" then your reduced speed may not have been enough to run the game.

There are many problems with Virgin Media (specifically their ADSL provision). But, the biggest two are:-

1. Lack of sufficient 'BT Centrals' to handle capacity at a given POP (Point Of Presence) - this has been this way since I joined VM, 7-8mths ago. That's what is causing the massive latency on my charts.

2. The 'new' changes to Traffic Management (although, we think they may have turned it off this weekend) mean that VoIP/streaming/video/game traffic is being treated as P2P, and therefore is low priority/slow. Gaming data is very time-sensitive, which is why online gaming ended up broken.


Their FUP is fair enough. You need to define limits, even on an 'unlimited' service. But, the limit is not clearly defined. All they say is "if you are in the top 5%, you will be capped".

What constitutes "top 5%"? You'll never know, as it is a sliding scale.
If 95% of people download 10MB in one evening, then if you download 11MB, you are in the top 5% - you will be capped.

How can you, as a user, monitor your usage?
They say to use DUmeter (or similar) - but, what if you have multiple PC's, and a couple of consoles? How can you monitor your usage then? You can't.

Also, speaking as an ADSL customer, the threat to cap me to 512Kbps means nothing. The service is so bad (for ADSL) that many of us dream of being able to get 512Kbps during peak!!
This was done last night, and no, I wasn't already capped - I rarely download massive files.

nb: my modem sync's at: 3104/448
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oldfogy

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Re: Virgin Media (ADSL) break gaming - will fix in the New Year
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2007, 01:51:08 PM »

Quote
How can you, as a user, monitor your usage?

Personally I use Net-Limiter, although I'm only monitoring the PC it's installed on which in my case is all I'm interested in, but at least it does give me a good all round rough idea as well.
Although it does also give you an individual breakdown of the various programs that are installed and using a internet connection.

There was a thread with various other suggested programs fairly recently, but as I already had Net-Limiter installed I stayed with that one.

Quote
Their FUP is fair enough. You need to define limits, even on an 'unlimited'
Then they should change their adverts and STOP saying "Download as much as you like"

What is now beginning to annoy me is the fact that I may not download anything for days-on-end, but as soon as I reach 750 MB of download I still get capped for anything up-to 8 hours and not just for the times they state people will be capped for.
I should of mentioned earlier, my connection is Cable not ADSL.

Anyway, at least you seem to of overcome your initial problem by switching ISP, Lets hope that sorts everything for you.

Good luck.
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jabns

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Re: Virgin Media (ADSL) break gaming - will fix in the New Year
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2007, 02:52:31 PM »

I new that VM was a disaster waiting to happen when i started to hear the advert everywhere.

I was just thinking "well there goes the capacity"! They clearly did not expect the marketing to work so well.

It is also a shame because they have one of the nicest infrastructures(cable not ADSL) and its annoying to see it go to waste  :( !

TOP 5% hey. You need to get everyone on VM to leave torrents going over night so you raise where the 5% bar is  :lol: .

I have heard that it is effecting both cable and IPstream is it?

PS: I host alot(as in 24/7) of xbox live games and its so funny to be able to actually BAN(not just kick) people by adding there IP to the drop section of IP tables(Linux Firewall). Its a weird way of doing a gaming service(P2P) but hey it allows for the personal touch LOL.

I was looking in to banning all VM IPs because they re lagging so much(sorry  :-[ ).

James
« Last Edit: December 05, 2007, 03:41:19 PM by jabns »
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Re: Virgin Media (ADSL) break gaming - will fix in the New Year
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2007, 06:20:05 PM »

Takes me back to Barrysworld servers and running a kickbot. I think we had it set at 150ms - go over that 10 times in a minute (IIRC) and you get booted. It took care of the dodgy connections and the machines running USB modems that couldn't deal with the settings which the owner had (optimistically) set.

Nothing really changes  :lol:
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jabns

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Re: Virgin Media (ADSL) break gaming - will fix in the New Year
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2007, 09:13:34 PM »

 :lol:
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