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Xtra Go Large - Question and Answer.

 
 
canon paora
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      11-21-2006

Question:
I'm with Orcon at present and feeling tempted by your Go Large plan
but I've heard quite a few horror stories mainly about the speeds not
being everything you advertise. So whats the story - what's the
slowest speed I might get with your Go Large plan?

Answer:
Thank you for your email.

We are not able to advise you of what speeds you may achieve on a
plan until it has been connected and speed tests can then be
completed. The Xtra Broadband Go Large plan offers speeds as fast as
your phone line allows.

While some customers on the Go Large plan have recently had problems
with the speed of their broadband connection, we have made
adjustments to our network to fix it. We'll continue to monitor the
performance of the Go Large plan very closely.

Using the Go Large plan - Traffic management may apply to the Go
Large plan during times of network congestion or peak times.
Generally, peak times are likely to occur between 4pm and midnight
each day. For more information on how Go Large works please visit
xtra.co.nz/golarge

For most customers, the launch of maximum speed broadband plans means
the fastest speed they can get on their line should increase. But,
for a small number of customers, the change may actually slow their
connection speeds down.

Unfortunately, we can't avoid this. It's a result of the way DSL
technology works. Faster speeds cause more interference on phone
lines and this, in turn, can result in slower speeds or degraded
performance, particularly for people who live a long way from their
phone exchange.

There are several factors that can affect the maximum speed you can
receive:

Where you live or work - The distance you are from your local
phone
exchange will affect your maximum connection speed. For example, if
your home or office is within 1km of the phone exchange it's more
likely you'll get a faster maximum speed than someone who is, say,
4km away.
The wiring in your house or office - Both the length and quality
of
any wiring in your house or office can affect maximum connection
speeds.
Your computer - Your computer and modem or router will also
affect
the maximum speed of your broadband connection
Your modem connection - How you connect your modem to your
computer
will affect your connection speed. For example, an Ethernet or
Wireless connection is generally faster than a USB connection.

As is the case with most broadband connections worldwide, yours will
not always reach its maximum speed and the speed will also vary over
time.

More generally, the day-to-day speed of your broadband connection can
also be affected by the following:

The time of day - If you log on during busy periods when lots of
people are using the Internet at the same time (usually between 4pm
to midnight) speeds are likely to be slower.
The websites you visit - Some websites limit the speed at which
they send out information and sites that are further away (i.e.
international) can be slower to download than sites hosted in New
Zealand.
Sharing your connection - More than one person using the same
connection in your home or office can slow speeds.
The application(s) you are using - Some applications may use all
of the spare bandwidth or memory on your computer. You can check if
this is the case by turning off each application that you might be
using and then checking your speed again. Make sure you turn off any
anti-virus software before you do this.
Viruses and spyware on your computer - Your computer may have
been
infected by viruses or other unwelcome programs like Spyware. If you
have anti-virus or anti-spyware software, make sure the software is
up-to-date and that you run regular scans of your computer.
Alternatively, you can run a free scan of your computer at
xtra.co.nz/security
Your Upload Speed - If you are trying to upload files while
downloading or surfing the web, this may use all your upload capacity
and cause slower download speeds which can also effect Web browsing.
Downloading always utilises a certain amount of upload speed at the
same time.
For more information on the Go Large plan including details of the
"Fair Use" and "Traffic Management" policies please visit
www.xtra.co.nz/golarge or for details on Xtra Broadband speed issues
in general www.xtra.co.nz/speed

I hope this helps clarify what you can expect from Xtra Broadband.

Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance and we will
be happy to help.

 
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whome
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-21-2006

"canon paora" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) ups.com...

Question:
I'm with Orcon at present and feeling tempted by your Go Large plan
but I've heard quite a few horror stories mainly about the speeds not
being everything you advertise. So whats the story - what's the
slowest speed I might get with your Go Large plan?

Answer:
Thank you for your email.

We are not able to advise you of what speeds you may achieve on a
plan until it has been connected and speed tests can then be
completed. The Xtra Broadband Go Large plan offers speeds as fast as
your phone line allows.
.............
I hope this helps clarify what you can expect from Xtra Broadband.

Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance and we will
be happy to help.



what a load of *******s. Typical scripted response. It is rubbish - even on
my adventure plan it has slowed down.


 
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Craig Whitmore
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-21-2006
> Where you live or work - The distance you are from your local phone
> exchange will affect your maximum connection speed. For example, if your
> home or office is within 1km of the phone exchange it's more likely you'll
> get a faster maximum speed than someone who is, say, 4km away.


True for the Physical Speed of the DSL connection

The wiring in your house or office - Both the length and quality of any
wiring in your house or office can affect maximum connection speeds.

Also true

> Your computer - Your computer and modem or router will also affect the
> maximum speed of your broadband connection


Yes. maybe. but not much

> Your modem connection - How you connect your modem to your computer will
>affect your connection speed. For example, an Ethernet or Wireless
>connection is generally faster than a USB connection.


I've never come across this..

> More generally, the day-to-day speed of your broadband connection can also
> be affected by the following:


> The time of day - If you log on during busy periods when lots of people
> are using the Internet at the same time (usually between 4pm to midnight)
> speeds are likely to be slower.


Yes.. as the connections to the DSLAMS are getting overloaded as telecom on
some exchanges doesn't seem to provision enough bandwidth to give reasonable
speeds out of it. From what I've heard from people on Go-Large it can be
slow all the time, but thats only what some people have said

> The websites you visit - Some websites limit the speed at which they send
> out information and sites that are further away (i.e. international) can
> be slower to download than sites hosted in New Zealand.


I've not heard of this before. The overseas sites download speed compared to
local speeds can be caused by the latency of the connetion between NZ and
overseas and this is more to do with the way TCP works. rather than the
website on purpose slowing you down.

> Sharing your connection - More than one person using the same connection
> in your home or office can slow speeds.


True.. 1 person can use all the BW up .

> The application(s) you are using - Some applications may use all of the
> spare bandwidth or memory on your computer. You can check if this is the
> case by turning off each application that you might be using and then
> checking your speed again. Make sure you turn off any anti-virus software
> before you do this.


Turn off Anti-Virus Software?? Why?

> Viruses and spyware on your computer - Your computer may have been
> infected by viruses or other unwelcome programs like Spyware. If you have
> anti-virus or anti-spyware software, make sure the software is up-to-date
> and that you run regular scans of your computer. Alternatively, you can
> run a free scan of your computer at xtra.co.nz/security.


Yes.. true.. but just above you said to turn off the Virus Checker

> Your Upload Speed - If you are trying to upload files while downloading
> or surfing the web, this may use all your upload capacity and cause slower
> download speeds which can also effect Web browsing. Downloading always
> utilises a certain amount of upload speed at the same time.


Yes. true.. Download Speed is affected via your Upload Speed and Latency.
Use all your Up Bandwidth up (ie sharing files on bittorrent) will make your
download speed SLOW.

Thanks
Craig
Talking for Myself


 
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Brendon Thompson
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-21-2006
On 20 Nov 2006 21:32:40 -0800, "canon paora" <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

>
>Question:
>I'm with Orcon at present and feeling tempted by your Go Large plan
>but I've heard quite a few horror stories mainly about the speeds not
>being everything you advertise. So whats the story - what's the
>slowest speed I might get with your Go Large plan?


I was on Orcon's 256/128 Advanced plan with a 40GB cap, and was
tempted by tales of unlimited download speed and all you can eat for
less cash on Go Large.

I use the internet mainly for Newsgroups and Bit Torrents.
My current plan was a lot slower than the "slow" speeds people in this
group were complaining about, so I thought anything would have to be
an improvement.

Xtra make much of "Reasonable use" for Go Large, and require you to
limit your downloads to no more than 700MB on any one day during the
peak hours of 4pm to midnight. They also say they "may" manage P2P
traffic during the busy periods.

I thought download speeds must be terrific if you have to hold
yourself back to only 700MB in 8 hours, and traffic management is sad
but I can put up with it if it's only during those peak periods, SO I
SIGNED UP for Go Large.

Now I have no complaints about the size of the pipe between me and the
exchange. My router showed a downstream data rate of 4400kbps instead
of the usual 320, and web pages loaded in a trice or sometimes even
faster (a bice?).

HOWEVER a well-seeded torrent I had been running minutes earlier
before the cutover had suddenly shrunk to a dribble. Where it was
streaming in at 30-31kB/sec (about max for my earlier connection) it
suddenly shrank to about 7 kB/sec, and where it was flat-topping on my
graph it had suddenly become broken and crinkle-cut. This state of
things persisted throughout my time on Go Large. 700 MB in 8 hours?
You'd be extremely lucky to get that much down in a whole day.

NEWSGROUPS were equally suppressed. I had signed up to
free.teranews.com because Xtra claimed there was no interest in
newsgroups and had dropped them several months back.
Headers and binaries from teranews had been coming in at about
30kB/sec while I was on Orcon, but after the cutover they dropped to
less than 5kB/sec and were broken. They arrived in tiny dribbles, and
more often than not the download of a message or binary would time
out!

I was a bit upset, given my expectations from Xtra's advertising, so I
rang them the next morning. The guy I got checked some things and then
confirmed what I knew - there was nothing wrong with my connection.
He said they wouldn't be managing traffic, not at 9am. I insisted they
were, so he broke off to go speak to his boss.

He came back on a couple of minutes later, sounding crushed. His boss
said I had to re-read the Terms and Conditions of Go Large . Torrents
and NNTP were on the list of traffic "managed" by Xtra, and
"mamagement" would be done ANY TIME MY PART OF THE NETWORK WAS BUSY.
This did not apply only during peak hours 4pm to midnight, but 24/7 !!

I asked him, "Does this mean I can't look forward to a better download
rate?" and he told me
"The boss says if anyone else is downloading on your part of the
network then that is a busy period for you, and your usage will be
managed."

I could see that I was shagged, so within 24 hours of going to Go
Large I had arranged to rejoin Orcon. Xtra may charge me for the
whole month despite me only being with them for a week, but I guess
that's better than staying with them. Xtra's traffic management
consists of placing a jackboot on the throat and applying weight until
the noise stops.

FOOTNOTE: (sorry this has been so darned long)
Xtra's speeds stayed like that all week, except for a period from 12
to 1pm on Sunday where torrents and Newsgroups were unconstrained for
a whole hour. That hour was excellent, but I'm told it only happened
because of maintenance.
I'm now back on Orcon at about 320kbps down and 160 up, but my
downloads are full bore. Torrents 4x faster than Xtra Go Large, and
newsgroups 6x faster. I no complain!!

Regards,
Brendon
 
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Aquilegia Alyssum
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-21-2006
On Mon, 20 Nov 2006 21:32:40 -0800, canon paora wrote:

> For most customers, the launch of maximum speed broadband plans means
> the fastest speed they can get on their line should increase. But,
> for a small number of customers, the change may actually slow their
> connection speeds down.
>
> Unfortunately, we can't avoid this. It's a result of the way DSL
> technology works.


What pure and utter stinking bullshit!

DSL has a design capacity of approx 8mbit/s. It is designed to work
consistantly at that speed across normal copper wire phone lines.

Telecom is covering up the fact that it simply has not got the backbone
capacity to handle the number of full-speed DSL connections that it has
subscribed. This is why the contention ratios are so excessively high.


Aquilegia Alyssum

--
"The only way Vista client and Longhorn server would make sense
would be if [the] company was doing a 'forklift upgrade' on its
entire client-server infrastructure."

 
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gavin
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-21-2006
On Tue, 21 Nov 2006 19:18:34 +1300, "Craig Whitmore"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>> Your modem connection - How you connect your modem to your computer will
>>affect your connection speed. For example, an Ethernet or Wireless
>>connection is generally faster than a USB connection.

>
>I've never come across this..


For what it is worth .....
Before I got my broadband router I was going to get a usb broadband
"modem" from DSE They were out of stock but offered me one that had
been returned as no good by a previous customer. The guy assured me
they had tested it and it was fine. Being anxious to get on line I was
tempted until another assistant happened to mention that infact they
had 5 or 6 that had been returned and they were all ok, it was just
the ignorant peole who had bought them obviously did not know how to
install them.
Yeah right ...
Down the road to my friendly computer shop where I learned that in
fact there probably was nothing wrong with the modems at DSE but that
if you had another USB device running, e.g a webcam, they were bound
to give trouble.
 
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David Empson
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      11-21-2006
Aquilegia Alyssum <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> On Mon, 20 Nov 2006 21:32:40 -0800, canon paora wrote:
>
> > For most customers, the launch of maximum speed broadband plans means
> > the fastest speed they can get on their line should increase. But,
> > for a small number of customers, the change may actually slow their
> > connection speeds down.
> >
> > Unfortunately, we can't avoid this. It's a result of the way DSL
> > technology works.

>
> What pure and utter stinking bullshit!


Not exactly. The claim that it is a result of the way DSL technology
works is misleading, but it is an actual observed effect.

A friend of mine was on a 3.5M/512 plan before the "unleashed" speeds
were introduced, and his actual line speed (as reported by his modem)
decreased a noticeable amount after Telecom introduced the "Max" speeds
in October (and he was upgraded to Max/Max).

The next bit of the original article, which you snipped, is a reasonable
description of this particular problem:

> > Faster speeds cause more interference on phone lines and this, in
> > turn, can result in slower speeds or degraded performance,
> > particularly for people who live a long way from their phone
> > exchange.


This is a problem related to digital crosstalk between telephone lines
that are tied together in the same "bundle". The faster the digital
signal is transmitted, the more noise is induced in adjacent lines. This
has the net result that if the maximum ADSL rate is increased then some
people will get higher performance (generally those closer to the
exchange) and others will get lower performance (generally those further
away from the exchange). Limiting the maximum speed for everyone in the
same bundle (e.g. the previous 3.5 Mbps limit) results in better
performance for the distant clients.

There is a white paper on Telecom's web site from Alcatel which explains
the issue in much more detail. (digging up my reference...)

<http://www.telecom-media.co.nz/resou...-report-250706
..pdf>

> DSL has a design capacity of approx 8mbit/s. It is designed to work
> consistantly at that speed across normal copper wire phone lines.


Yes, but it only works that well if the lines are physically separated
to a sufficient degree to avoid crosstalk.

> Telecom is covering up the fact that it simply has not got the backbone
> capacity to handle the number of full-speed DSL connections that it has
> subscribed. This is why the contention ratios are so excessively high.


The backbone and international capacity are a separate issue, and are
much more significant than the limitations of the local loop.

--
David Empson
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)
 
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Aquilegia Alyssum
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-21-2006
On Wed, 22 Nov 2006 01:08:17 +1300, David Empson wrote:

> This is a problem related to digital crosstalk between telephone lines
> that are tied together in the same "bundle". The faster the digital
> signal is transmitted, the more noise is induced in adjacent lines.


But weren't we being told that the connection from the phone to the DSLAM
was always at full speed in any case?


Aquilegia Alyssum

--
"The only way Vista client and Longhorn server would make sense
would be if [the] company was doing a 'forklift upgrade' on its
entire client-server infrastructure."

 
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Aquilegia Alyssum
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-21-2006
On Wed, 22 Nov 2006 01:08:17 +1300, David Empson wrote:

>> DSL has a design capacity of approx 8mbit/s. It is designed to work
>> consistantly at that speed across normal copper wire phone lines.

>
> Yes, but it only works that well if the lines are physically separated
> to a sufficient degree to avoid crosstalk.


So... Telecom should separate them!


Aquilegia Alyssum

--
"The only way Vista client and Longhorn server would make sense
would be if [the] company was doing a 'forklift upgrade' on its
entire client-server infrastructure."

 
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Stu Fleming
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-21-2006
Aquilegia Alyssum wrote:
> On Wed, 22 Nov 2006 01:08:17 +1300, David Empson wrote:
>
>>> DSL has a design capacity of approx 8mbit/s. It is designed to work
>>> consistantly at that speed across normal copper wire phone lines.

>> Yes, but it only works that well if the lines are physically separated
>> to a sufficient degree to avoid crosstalk.

>
> So... Telecom should separate them!


According to some independent studies, the physical line design in Otago
was done with ISDN in mind, so it does have adequate design and
structure to avoid or minimize this problem. Not sure if real-world
experience reflects that or not.
 
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