Sponsored

Worst ISP I've ever used (for ADSL)

mcbazza

Casual Member
Hi there. Despite the username, please call me Baz/Bazza, or Barry.

I normally frequent the VM ADSL forum over at ThinkBroadband - not sure if I'm allowed to post a direct link, so I'll save that for now. I'm not affiliated with them in any way. I'm just an irate VM customer that cannot believe the way we are all being fobbed off with excuses, smoke & mirrors.

My background is in I.T. with around 20yrs of professional experience. Everything from programming/designing to server admin and overseeing networks. I don't want to shout about where I currently work, but, suffice to say, if you think of the largest UK retailer for Mother+Baby, that's them - where I do all sorts. EPoS, coding, SQL, email. Basically, I'm an all-round I.T. trouble-shooter!!

I run my own 24/7 monitoring (speed/latency/loss/etc) from my home server, and have done for quite some time. Have a look for yourselves:
http://bazza.dyndns.org/rrdstats/baz14all.cgi?p=1w
That view gives you stats over the previous 24hr period.
Feel free to click on the other date ranges.

Try clicking on 'year', and see if you can tell when I moved to VM's ADSL service!! No prizes for getting it right. It's just for fun!

The '2yr' one actually covers 4 seperate broadband connections: Bulldog (8Mbit ADSL), Bulldog (16/24Mbit ADSL2+), NTL/VM (10Mbit cable) and VM (8Mbit ADSL).

As we all know, the issues with speed/latency/etc are all actually caused by VM's refusal to invest heavily in their network infrastructure - more specifically, the BT Centrals - which is what you call the 'pipe' that connects BT to VM's gateway.

If you type this from a command prompt, you'll be able to see what gateway ('BAM') you are connected to:
tracert -h 3 www.bbc.co.uk

Mine comes up as:
Code:
Tracing route to www.bbc.net.uk [212.58.251.202]
over a maximum of 3 hops:

  1     4 ms     3 ms     3 ms  192.168.100.254
  2   246 ms   239 ms   241 ms  leed-bam-1.inet.ntl.com [194.145.148.68]
  3   244 ms   250 ms   245 ms  leed-t3core-1b-ge-112-0.inet.ntl.com [80.0.241.197]

Trace complete.

As you can see from this, at present my gateway/BAM (Leeds) is heavily overloaded, which is why I'm getting latency of 240-250ms to it. Which, if you don't know your networking, let me tell you, is pi**-poor.

The well-known workaround (for poor speeds/etc) is to disconnect/reconnect your ADSL modem/router, try the 'tracert' again, and keep going until you find a 'good' one.

USB - drop the connection, and reconnect. Don't just pull the lead.
Ethernet modem/router - go into the admin pages of your modem/router, 'disconnect', then 'reconnect'.

I have a script that will do this for you. Currently, it supports USB modems, and Netgear DG834GT's (will probably work on other Netgear).

If you use a non-Netgear modem/router, then this won't work for you. Sorry about that. I can only write code for what I have.

If you are interested in the script, then get in touch with me, and I'll sort you out.

That's it, I have no more left to say - sort of reiterating the topic of my post - Virgin Media are, without doubt, the worst ADSL provider I have ever used.

I never recommend them to anyone, actually, the opposite. I recommend people look elsewhere. But, when you are tied into a contract, what can you do?

Thankfully, I'm out of my contract period now, so I can think about jumping ship soon. Not that I want to. But, I'm wasting my time/money with Virgin Media.

All the best.

Baz
msn: barry_mccauley@hotmail.com
NB: If you do MSN me, don't just add me. Explain who you are, and where you found me. Or, I'll just ignore it.

ps: It's a shame this site doesn't support RSS, then I'd add it into my feeds and keep an eye on it. As it is, I don't think I have the time for another web-based forum to browse. Also, when the web is this slow, these pages take forver to load!!
 

twds

Pro Member
Scripts

Hi,

You havent got a script by chance for the DG834GT UK version to force change the S/N ratio on a connection with BT, have you. If so, would love it.

Many thanks.
 
Last edited:

timeless

ULTIMATE Member
Staff member
Volunteer Mod
mel might be the one to ask for something like that, he seems to have a whole page dedicated to net gear tweaks and hidden pages...
 

zag5

ULTIMATE Member
[QUOTEWorst ISP I've ever used (for ADSL)[/QUOTE]

I take it that you've not tried Fast4 yet




:laugh::laugh::laugh:
 

timeless

ULTIMATE Member
Staff member
Volunteer Mod
wondered how long it would take before Fast4 was mentioned :D..

on another note l suffered a disconnection earlier for like 10minsl was really annoying happened as soon as l just signed off of msn catching up with a mate of mine from back where l used to live was damn annoying after the day lve had.. but lm back on for the moment if not slower in places than usual.

one thing l have noticed for weeks lve been connected to what l believe was a hostname which was Birmingham related however my hostname has now reverted back to what it was originally which seem to be the name of a village close by... its been weird for a while with these changes but l suppose it could of been something in perspective of their network maintenance.
 

mcbazza

Casual Member
one thing l have noticed for weeks lve been connected to what l believe was a hostname which was Birmingham related however my hostname has now reverted back to what it was originally which seem to be the name of a village close by... its been weird for a while with these changes but l suppose it could of been something in perspective of their network maintenance.
Are you talking about hop 2 or 3, if you do a tracert?
In my example, it was: leed-bam-1.inet.ntl.com

These are gateways, or BAM's (which I believe means - Broadband Access Module).

These connect BT's ATM 'cloud' to the ISP, via what people in the industry refer to as 'BT Centrals'.

There are many (BAMs/gateways) on the ADSL network throughout the UK, each with it's own 'BT Centrals'. Allocation is, almost but not quite, determined on a round-robin basis. It has nothing to do with location, or how overloaded they are. Hence our problems.

The bandwidth to the BAM via the BT Central is determined by how 'fat' a pipe the ISP is renting from BT. Obviously, the smaller it is, the less it costs. Which is the crux of where our problem lies.

VM clearly do not want to give BT any money to ensure they have enough capacity to handle not only their current customer load, but, their project load.

If I were to hesitate a guess, I'd say that VM are reluctant to increase the size of these BT Centrals, as they've done a deal with C&W for network infrastructure, and are also looking towards converting exchanges/users to LLU (thus, totally dropping the reliance on BT for any part of the ADSL connection).

I'm guessing they are hoping to 'contain the situation' until such a time as this project is underway. However, they've failed miserably. We're all suffering. Wanting to leave. And wondering why we pay them for this level of *service*?!?

Bearing in mind that they (VM) have recently announced their financial stats for the last quarter, during which they were over joyed to admit that they've added just over 7,000 new customers to their ADSL network.

So, wondering why things got so much worse during the Summer? Yep, because more customers came on-board to a network that was already overloaded. That doesn't even take into account those that joined since the Summer.


The good news about the BAMs, and the round-robin allocation is that you can disconnect from one, and reconnect to another. However, it's tedious.

Here's what you do:

1. Run a ping to something like www.bbc.co.uk - perhaps use PingPlotter.
2. If latency is over 100ms, then continue. Otherwise, stop.
3. Drop your ADSL connection. Do this in a 'clean' manner. Don't just reboot the modem, or pull the plug. If you use an ethernet modem/router you'll need to do this via the web administration pages. Read up on how.
4. Reconnect your ADSL.
5. Check the 'ping'.
6. Goto 2.

See how you get on with that.
If it's not clear enough, then say so, and either I, or someone else, will do their best to post something a little more descriptive.

Baz

ps: Let's try and stay on-topic about which ISP we are complaining about. ;)
 

timeless

ULTIMATE Member
Staff member
Volunteer Mod
my original one was client[IPhere].bmly.adsl.virgin.net which changed to client[IPhere].bmhm.adsl.virgin.net or something to that effect and now its back to the begining one.

what l noticed is the cable side of things links to a general area for example l have a friend in beford his hostname has luton in it or an abbreviated version of it. lve noticed that in quite allot of NTL linked ISPs.
 

mcbazza

Casual Member
Cable is location specific. They refer to them as POPs (Point of Prescence). I live in Watford, so my POP on cable would be Watford. And, there is no way for me to change that. Think of the POP as your gateway onto the internet. In the same way that your broadband modem is the gateway for your home network to get onto the internet.

ADSL, due to it's nature, how it uses BT's ATM 'cloud' to virtualise the comms link between customer and ISP, is not location specific. You can quite literally exit the ATM cloud anywhere in the UK.

The ATM cloud is transparent to you. You will not see it has a hop on your tracert.
 

Mel

ULTIMATE Member
Hi,

You havent got a script by chance for the DG834GT UK version to force change the S/N ratio on a connection with BT, have you. If so, would love it.

Many thanks.

You can overide it by entering a comand via telnet or by using the "dmt tool"

DMT tool here:- http://www.kitz.co.uk/tute/voyager2100_DMT.htm

This script also currently works, replace the 110 after the "snr+" with the required percentage of the target noise margin set by BT ("110" would set the target margin 10% higher than set by BT, lowering the sync rate, and "90" would reduce it by 10%, increasing the sync rate)

Code:
http://192.168.0.1/setup.cgi?todo=ping_test&next_file=diagping.htm&c4_IPAddr=1;/usr/sbin/adslctl+configure+--snr+110%3e%261+2%3e%261

None of the above survive a reboot of the router.


There are third party firmwares available that add the tweak to the router's UI and retain the setting after a reboot.

http://dragonslight.altervista.org/ubergt/index.html

http://www.emulesecurity.net/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1240

Not tried either so use at your own risk.

Remember not to reduce the SNR by too much, or several times in any one hour period as the losses of sync will make BT's monitoring software think your line is unstable.
 
Top
Promotion
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Vodafone £19.00 (*22.00)
    Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • NOW £20.00 (*32.00)
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £20.00 (*25.00)
    Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Plusnet £21.95 (*38.20)
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £70 Reward Card
  • EE £22.00 (*30.00)
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
Cheapest Ultrafast ISPs
  • Gigaclear £17.00 (*47.00)
    Speed: 200Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £23.00 (*26.00)
    Speed: 100Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Community Fibre £25.00 (*49.00)
    Speed: 920Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £25.00 (*35.00)
    Speed: 150Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Virgin Media £26.00 (*44.00)
    Speed: 108Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Promotion
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. FTTP (3766)
  2. BT (3075)
  3. Politics (2006)
  4. Building Digital UK (1961)
  5. FTTC (1903)
  6. Openreach (1888)
  7. Business (1737)
  8. Mobile Broadband (1525)
  9. Statistics (1446)
  10. FTTH (1367)
  11. 4G (1315)
  12. Virgin Media (1221)
  13. Wireless Internet (1192)
  14. Fibre Optic (1191)
  15. Ofcom Regulation (1182)
  16. Vodafone (881)
  17. EE (866)
  18. 5G (814)
  19. TalkTalk (795)
  20. Sky Broadband (766)
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms  ,  Privacy and Cookie Policy  ,  Links  ,  Website Rules