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nikwax
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Joined: Feb 21, 2006
Posts: 26
Location: Portland, Oregon

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:38 am    Post subject: Comcast and Vonage Reply with quote Back to top

I've been a Vonage customer for about 4 years, pretty happy up until the past few months when outgoing voice quality got very bad. Did a bit of poking around last weekend while engaged with Vonage tech support, the issue is down to massive packet loss (65%) at the Vonage POP in New York. I'm not seeing packet loss when pinging any other internet site.


A colleague passed along this:


Comcast caught giving its own Voip service network priority, downgrading others

<http://www.obsessable.com/news/2009/01/20/comcast-caught-giving-its-own-voip-service-network-priority-downgrading-others/>



which may explain the problem.



Any suggestions, experiences, opinions? Is the problem with Comcast or Vonage?

_________________
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westdc
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Joined: Feb 24, 2009
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

you of course are aware of the fact that comcast and other cable and fiber providers, sell there own version of VIOP. Therefore past practice in the tel comm. industry has always been to disrupt the competition and make the end user angry so they will switch to their (insert) carrier name service which is trouble free.

As more people switch to void or cut the cord (cell phones) only the $$$ shrink so the vendors become sharks in a feeding frenzy for the reaming funds.
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VonTechMgr
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Joined: Jan 02, 2008
Posts: 656
Location: NJ

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

You will always see packet loss at the Vonage border routers since Vonage treats ICMP with the lowest possible priority in order to provide highest possible priority for the UDP packets. Some IP's are also not going to accept ICMP at all.
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nikwax
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Joined: Feb 21, 2006
Posts: 26
Location: Portland, Oregon

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

VonTechMgr wrote:
You will always see packet loss at the Vonage border routers since Vonage treats ICMP with the lowest possible priority in order to provide highest possible priority for the UDP packets. Some IP's are also not going to accept ICMP at all.


But Vonage asked me to do the ping and used the results as a rationale for the voice quality issues.


Right now I'm caught between Vonage and Comcast, Vonage say it's a Comcast problem and Comcast say it's a Vonage problem.


I'll ask friends on non-Comcast networks to see what their results are. Clearly I either have to abandon either Comcast or Vonage. BTW, Comcast quoted me $85/month for two voice lines plus $150 install with a two year commitment. Hardly a bargain.

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houuser
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Off the subject a tad, but was there not a US government ruling that the internet providers could not downgrade any Voip service in which was not their own.

Thanks
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outerfire
Vonage Forum Master
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Joined: Jan 22, 2006
Posts: 293

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

houuser wrote:
Off the subject a tad, but was there not a US government ruling that the internet providers could not downgrade any Voip service in which was not their own.

Thanks


Probably, but as VonTechMgr has posted elsewhere on this site, Cable Voip providers are getting around that because their offerings run on a different portion of the network and as such can be given priority. Basically, it isn't that they are treating Vonage packets badly, they are just treating them as regular internet traffic.

Ah better yet. Read his reply in this thread
http://www.vonage-forum.com/ftopic23729.html
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VonTechMgr
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Joined: Jan 02, 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Please keep in mind that the Vonage technicians at 1st and 2nd level support are at the bottom rung of the support chain and do not know that ICMP is set at a low priority on the Vonage network. They don't even know what that means or what a border router is or that it even exists. It is not until the higher levels of support and into the engineering groups that do not interface with customers that this knowledge is found. Tech Support is only there to assist you with plugging things in and getting you started.

Once there are network issues, regardless if it happened to be on the Vonage side or somewhere in between Vonage and your location, they would not be able to diagnose this. Your just going to get the run around until you get your issue escalated to higher levels. But even then, in most audio related cases, Vonage cannot do anything since the issue resides outside of Vonage's control.

The problem that Comcast users are facing seems to be with their outbound audio streams only. The audio they hear is usually fine. If this issue fits you, then your issue is definitely with Comcast. If your having issues with both the inbound and outbound audio streams, then the issue may be somewhere else.

Keep in mind that Vonage has over 2.5 million subscribers and a network issue on the Vonage network will affect near everyone using the service. I can say that my quality is about perfect 99.9 % of the time both at home and in the office. And many other users on this forum will say the same.
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outerfire
Vonage Forum Master
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Joined: Jan 22, 2006
Posts: 293

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Ok so that wasn't quite the thread I was thinking off but he touches on it a bit

Maybe it was somewhere else I read what I'm thinking of. I'll look some more
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nikwax
Vonage Forum Junior
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Joined: Feb 21, 2006
Posts: 26
Location: Portland, Oregon

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I'll have a go at the Comcast support group. Outbound audio is poor, inbound is OK.

FWIW (and that may not be much), my ping to Vonage shows 65% packet loss. A friend's Verizon ping shows 0% packet loss, and another friend's DSL shows 5% packet loss. Again, the finger is pointing at Comcast.

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Slyster
Vonage Forum Senior
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Joined: Sep 26, 2008
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Most network administrators strongly believe they should have ICMP echo capabilities for network debugging purposes, while security administrators tend to limit even this seemingly benign traffic to what is strictly necessary, as even this can be abused by network tunneling applications.
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