More NBN woes
Our initial impression of our “Fibre to the Node” (aka VDSL, but selling it hard) was underwhelming, but that’s later turned to complete shite. Our ISP, Aussie Broadband, have been utterly fantastic - this steaming turd lies right at the feet of Malcolm Turnbull.
As stated prior, we’re literally next door to the node, what should be as good as “FTTC”, but because Telstra, we’re not connected to that node. Okay, so we don’t get advertised rates, at least it’s pretty good, right? Aussie reckon NBNco’s tools say my modem is kaput, so I ordered another one (and a different brand, because the Netgear DM200 is not that great) Wednesday night.
Starting at some point early in the week, we were getting brief bouts of sync loss, approximately one every 20 minutes or so (on average, but at random). It was annoying me, so I started to look for something to track it, and set up
dpinger feeding to
rrdtool, which produces nice graphs I can periodically check. Doing so started to become a horror story around Thursday, where in the wee hours of the morning things started getting a lot worse (see first picture).
The new modem arrived Friday morning, but at this point it had mostly cleared up. We still have the issue of the speed gliding down after each resync, and that continues with the new modem. But the graph is looking decidedly better:
That second graph needs some explaining. The big bout of packet loss around 14:00 was because I unhooked the old DSL modem, and took a few minutes to configure the new one correctly. I then had to restart
dpinger despite the fact the IP I’m pinging (the very next hop on the other side of our DSL) was the same. Just before 17:00, I shut down the NAS (the machine running
dpinger) as I figured I would need the optical drive for Duncan’s desktop (that turned out to not be the case) and I forgot to restart it, which explains the blank spot until about 21:00. Finally, the massive spike in ping times around 07:00 is because the NAS is only on a 100mbit switch, and I was copying games off it, so it’s not Aussie/NBN’s fault at all.
If they could just get it to sync at a decent speed, I’d be pretty happy if it stayed as is. I’d still be quite content if it stayed as it is right now - a rock solid 30⁄10 connection with occasional bursts to 50⁄16, but the packet loss was driving me up the wall.
Regrettably, as the new modem is not a Netgear, I have to adjust my logging script for DSL stats. The good news, however, is that it has a lot more information than the DM200 does.
Sunday: AussieBB followed up, nbn require the line to be on a “stability profile” before they’ll even investigate, so I arranged to do that and they very quickly did so - while I was out mowing the lawn. The sync came back at about 40⁄10, which is certainly livable and far better than I was expecting. Better still, it’s still on a fast data path with no interleaving, which is good news for our latency numbers. If it’ll stay at those rates I’d be pretty happy, but apparently this is just the first step in having nbn investigate the loop.
If I owned the place I’d be considering pricing out the fibre upgrade - but from what I’ve told people who’ve told nbn “give me a quote” have been waiting for years.
Friday 3rd November: Emailed back and forth with Aussie, and it seems they might have misunderstood what I was talking about. There’s certainly a problem, the speed should not be gliding down like that, and if it does lower, it shouldn’t resync back high again when the modem is reset. They also show a few dropouts today, when I only noticed one (it would seem that the packet loss is not entirely a non-issue). There might be enough faults in the line to prompt nbnco to do something, we’ll have to wait and see - they’ve put a ticket in for me anyway.
Sunday 5th November: Holy crap this connection is getting worse - I hope it’s not our modem dying (it’s brand new), but we’re definitely noticing loss of sync on a fairly regular basis. Probably somewhere around the every two hours mark, on average, except overnight when it seems to calm down. Try to see if you can guess where things went to hell.
Sunday 12th November: Aussie sent me a text that an NBN tech is scheduled to come out on Monday the 13th, some time in the morning. Just as well, because this morning the connection devolved into a mostly-symmetrical SDSL2 connection and has been acting up all week. If I’m not mistaken, the sync speeds are now below NBN’s threshold for doing something also, will be interesting see what the tech says (if they even show up). I’ve since stopped tracking the latency/packet loss… it’s too much of a pain in the arse to stand dpinger back up. I’ll track it when it’s fixed - still tracking the sync rates and SNR margin, however there was about a day where I missed because the NAS was unplugged.