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diggler
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:13 am    Post subject: Would my ISP's QOS ruin Vonage? Reply with quote Back to top

I just found out that my problems could be related to this tidbit of information:

My ISP recently released its own Voip offering. In doing so, it gave QOS to its offering over all other data. That could very well be why my Vonage has started to be unusable.

Of course, instead of the $24.99 that I'm paying for Vonage, they want $35 a month.

This ticks me off because if they are explicitly giving QOS to their proprietary phone, even if I would dump Voip altogether, I'd be getting ripped off when trying to stream online media.

I don't know if I should do the realistic thing and pay the extra "blackmail" money and go to their QOS service, or just leave Voip altogether.
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reebok
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

you don't even name your isp, much less provide any useful information from the topmost post that says "what to post when having problems".

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diggler
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Location: Chicora, PA
ISP: Armstrong ZoomInternet cable
Expected download speed: 5mbps
Expected upload speed: 512 kbps
Actual download: 1.2 mbps - 4.7mbps
Actual upload: 100kbps - 400kbps
RT31P2
Setup: Cable Modem - LinkSys Vonage router - wireless router (I have removed wireless router and still experience problems)

Me to Boston:
Media Quality MOS 2.4 / 5.0
(Best with G.711 is 4.4)

Degradation Sources
Codec 0.57 22.4%
Latency 0.39 15.1%
Packet Discards 0.73 28.5% Packet Loss 0.87 33.8%

Codec G.711 (PCM at 64kbps,
20ms RTP payload,
80kbps IP BW)
Round-Trip
Latency 374 ms
Packet Discards 3.6%
Packet Loss 4.3%
Loss Periods Min: 20 ms
Avg: 140 ms
Max: 540 ms
Burst Loss

Jitter Min: 0 ms
Avg: 25 ms
Max: 261 ms

Signaling Quality Post-Dial Delay 201 ms
Call Setup Time 241 ms
Media Delay 401 ms


Boston to me:

Media Quality MOS 4.2 / 5.0
(Best with G.711 is 4.4)



Degradation Sources
Codec 0.57 68.1%
Latency 0.24 28.7%
Packet Discards 0.03 3.1%
Packet Loss 0.00 0.0%

Codec G.711 (PCM at 64kbps,
20ms RTP payload,
80kbps IP BW)
Round-Trip
Latency 374 ms
Packet Discards 0.1%
Packet Loss 0.0%
Loss Periods Min: 20 ms
Avg: 20 ms
Max: 20 ms
Random Loss

Jitter Min: 0 ms
Avg: 2 ms
Max: 20 ms

Signaling Quality Post-Pickup Delay 175 ms
Call Setup Time 139 ms
Media Delay 208 ms



I was mostly asking, in general, if the practice of ISP's giving QOS priority to their own Voip traffic will end up forcing me into using their product or if anyone has been able to successfully use Vonage side-by-side with proprietary QOS offerings by your local cable company.
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NateHoy
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

First, run a testyourvoip.com test and see what the results are. Post them here and maybe we can help isolate what is causing the problem. Perform this test with your computer hooked directly to your cable modem, and nothing else happening on your computer that would connect to the Internet at the time.

Assuming the results are poor... Your first call should be to your ISP, to just do a generic diagnosis of poor latency. Tell them you are using Voip performance has dropped recently. This could still be a bad cable, a failing modem, or something they can adjust without a major scene.

If they mention that they are adjusting things to make their Voip work better and recommend that you buy their Voip, remind them that previous FCC cases have ended up in fines and sanctions for that sort of anti-competitive behavior.

Your local cable company is (in almost all cases) a regulated local monopoly, since it is likely the only cable company YOU can subscribe to. That means they have to allow you to use your connection to connect to services that they compete with, such as web pages that offer services they also offer, Voip, and other services, and this is a clearly established precedent in FCC regulations.

If your local cable company is NOT a monopoly in your Internet access, then consider going with whatever the alternative is.

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Comcast Cable (3m down / 256k up) -> Linksys BEFCMU10 v2 (DOCSIS 1.0) -> WRT54G v4 ("Tomato" firmware) -> the rest of my network including a WRTP54G (Firmware: 5.01.04)
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NateHoy
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

OK, those upload numbers are.. scary bad.

OK, next test. Hook your computer directly to the cable modem and try again. Do the numbers get a lot better, or stay the same?

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diggler
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Those are actually the numbers I ran last night from the Modem > PC connection. I am at work now so I can't run any more tests.

I greatly simplified my setup, even wired my phone directly to the router so I didn't have to go through the house wiring.

There is a guy from the cable company at my house now analyzing all the cables and such but he has said that Vonage users are having trouble now, and they just happened to release their offering a few months ago. And they do promote the fact that they offer QOS for THEIR Voip.

Their QOS policy shouldn't result in lost packets though, should it?
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diggler
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

My broadbandreports.com results:

http://www.dslreports.com/quality/nil/2014362
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scerruti
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

What type of ISP do you have (cable, dsl, wireless)?

In general at this point simply offering QoS isn't going to hurt your connection if your connection is good right now. Only if the ISP intentionally degrades the connection or sells enough capacity would QoS features begin to make a difference.

Some Cable ISPs are offering digital phone service and are able to claim a higher quality of service because the Internet connection for their phone service runs over a separate data channel isolated from gamers and file traders. Since it is separate, simply offering this service will not negatively impact your existing service.

A brief explanation of QoS, dropped packets and traffic shaping;

Internet traffic is inherently bursty. There are several traffic spikes each day because people tend to do the same thing at the same time.

In one model the ISP has enough capacity to handle all of the traffic at peak times. Think of the sewer system. You may have heard the urban legend about sewer systems being overwhelmed at half-time when everybody flushes simultaneously. That is false, the sewer system is designed to handle all of the traffic even during the superbowl. This is how Vonage wants ISPs to operate.

In another model the ISP saves money by having enough capacity to handle the traffic 95 percent of the time. During the other 5% some of the traffic is dropped. An ISP can actually save a significant amount of money in this mode because of the nature of Internet use. This is actually the model most people use at home. Few people buy the fastest product their ISP has to offer because they wouldn't use that much capacity most of the time.

There are several ways then to offer QoS. You could sell QoS for the connection, but as soon as everyone buys QoS then all packets are equal and someone's packets are being dropped again.

You can offer QoS on certain types of traffic (typically Voip and streaming media). This guarantees that your real-time protocols have the lowest dropped packet rate. If the period that the line is saturated is long enough this can actually cause more problems than it solves. In this method the packets that are being dropped will typically be re-requested and re-transmitted. The actual load on the network will increase in response to the lost packets.

The last way (well there are actually a lot more permutations but I am trying to keep it simple) to offer QoS is to allow a limited number of packets from real-time streams to be lost. It isn't typically obvious if you lose a packet here or there during a call. Simultaneously you slow down the request/response protocols (email, web, file trading). This lowers the network usage and prevents initial dropped packets and subsequent re-requests and re-transmissions. This is actually how the third party broadband accelerators you can add to your home network operate.

Back to your question... just because your ISP prioritized their own digital phone traffic doesn't mean that your service is necessarily worse. However, if a lot of people in your area bought phone service from your ISP you might run into a problem. Even then, one method of providing QoS is to keep the digital phone network isolated from the standard Internet traffic and in that case their phone product should have no effect on your quality.

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diggler
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks for your very informative post.

My ISP is cable; 5mbps download 512kbps upload.

Your post is somewhat disheartening, because it sounds like I wouldn't really gain anything by going to their offering.

The tech did say that they realize that there is an issue and they are splitting their upload streams (or something like that).
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scerruti
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Quote:
Michael Giobbi, vice president, engineering and technology, ARMSTRONG Cable. "Ciena's CN 4350 is a key part of an initiative to create a converged network that is ultra-reliable, fast to deploy, can scale capacity to meet our growing demand, and, in the same platform, has the QoS intelligence required to ensure service delivery for subscribers."


Quote:
In contrast to general purpose data-switching architectures, the CN 4350 delivers absolute QoS and assigns each service its own "virtual wire" with guaranteed end-to-end bandwidth and performance, which is critical for concurrently switching and transporting best effort and QoS-sensitive services at 100 percent utilization to ensure optimal performance and service level requirements.


I believe by service in the quote above that they mean Video, Telephony and Data.

Source: http://www.ciena.com/news/news_4114.htm

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