Xtra/Telecom and skype

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Bruce Sinclair, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. In article <>, "Reuben Schwarz" <> wrote:
    >Hi there,
    >
    >I'm a journalist with NZ InfoTech at the Dominion, looking into Xtra
    >and skype. I've heard rumours that sometimes the two don't play well
    >together. Anyone out there had any problems? Is this common?


    Idle thought ... there probably aren't that many linux users using xtra as
    an ISP ?
    Might make a better story :)



    Bruce


    -------------------------------------
    The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.
    - George Bernard Shaw
    Cynic, n: a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.
    - Ambrose Bierce

    Caution ===== followups may have been changed to relevant groups
    (if there were any)
    Bruce Sinclair, Jun 7, 2005
    #1
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  2. Hi there,

    I'm a journalist with NZ InfoTech at the Dominion, looking into Xtra
    and skype. I've heard rumours that sometimes the two don't play well
    together. Anyone out there had any problems? Is this common?

    Cheers,
    Reuben Schwarz
    Reuben Schwarz, Jun 7, 2005
    #2
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  3. Reuben Schwarz wrote:
    > I'm a journalist with NZ InfoTech at the Dominion, looking into Xtra
    > and skype. I've heard rumours that sometimes the two don't play well
    > together. Anyone out there had any problems? Is this common?


    just a question, have you guys just discovered usenet?
    two posts in one day from journos... can't be just a coinkidink
    Dave - Dave.net.nz, Jun 7, 2005
    #3
  4. Long time reader, first time poster. Just a coincidence it happened to
    be two at a time.
    Reuben Schwarz, Jun 7, 2005
    #4
  5. Bruce Sinclair

    XPD Guest

    "Reuben Schwarz" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hi there,
    >
    > I'm a journalist with NZ InfoTech at the Dominion, looking into Xtra
    > and skype. I've heard rumours that sometimes the two don't play well
    > together. Anyone out there had any problems? Is this common?
    >
    > Cheers,
    > Reuben Schwarz
    >


    I personally dont use Xtra, but have heard that since UBS has been rolled
    out, that Telecom only guarantee the speed you get on the lower end plans,
    not the latency, and its the latency that can affect VoIP applications
    etc.....
    Ask around at www.nzadsl.co.nz - Im sure theres a few users there who maybe
    able to provide a "real world" answer :)
    XPD, Jun 7, 2005
    #5
  6. On Tue, 07 Jun 2005 03:51:10 GMT, Bruce Sinclair
    <> wrote in
    <news:1J9pe.5682$>:

    > In article <>, "Reuben Schwarz" <> wrote:
    >>Hi there,
    >>
    >>I'm a journalist with NZ InfoTech at the Dominion, looking into Xtra
    >>and skype. I've heard rumours that sometimes the two don't play well
    >>together. Anyone out there had any problems? Is this common?

    >
    > Idle thought ... there probably aren't that many linux users using xtra as
    > an ISP ?
    > Might make a better story :)
    >
    > Bruce
    >
    > -------------------------------------
    > The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.
    > - George Bernard Shaw
    > Cynic, n: a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.
    > - Ambrose Bierce
    >
    > Caution ===== followups may have been changed to relevant groups
    > (if there were any)


    JOOI, Bruce, why do you single out Linux users in this context?

    --
    Regards,
    Nicolaas.





    .... No man can scrute the inscrutable nor eff the ineffable.
    Nicolaas Hawkins, Jun 7, 2005
    #6
  7. Bruce Sinclair

    Mike_P Guest

    "Reuben Schwarz" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hi there,
    >
    > I'm a journalist with NZ InfoTech at the Dominion, looking into Xtra
    > and skype. I've heard rumours that sometimes the two don't play well
    > together. Anyone out there had any problems? Is this common?
    >
    > Cheers,
    > Reuben Schwarz
    >


    Don't know about xtra but UBS (you know, the Telecom wholesale offering
    introduced to forestall the unbundling of the local loop) has deliberately
    introduced latency or 'Jitter'. The sole reason for this is to make VOIP
    (e.g.: Skype) unusable; after all, Telecom is first and foremost a phone
    company.

    Mike_P
    Mike_P, Jun 7, 2005
    #7
  8. Bruce Sinclair

    Shane Guest

    On Mon, 06 Jun 2005 21:44:51 -0700, Reuben Schwarz wrote:

    > Long time reader, first time poster. Just a coincidence it happened to
    > be two at a time.


    I'm just posting in this thread cos its like putting your face in the
    camera when a journo is doing a live spot on the 6o'clock :)
    make sure you spell me name right :-D
    (ok I couldnt resist.. I shall go sit back in my corner now :-(

    --
    Hardware, n.: The parts of a computer system that can be kicked

    The best way to get the right answer on usenet is to post the wrong one.
    Shane, Jun 7, 2005
    #8
  9. Bruce Sinclair

    geoffm Guest

    On 6 Jun 2005 21:14:26 -0700, "Reuben Schwarz"
    <> wrote:

    >Hi there,
    >
    >I'm a journalist with NZ InfoTech at the Dominion, looking into Xtra
    >and skype. I've heard rumours that sometimes the two don't play well
    >together. Anyone out there had any problems? Is this common?
    >
    >Cheers,
    >Reuben Schwarz


    Lots of lag with Xtra (and all the other DSL plans, since they come
    from the sme source) makes Skype pretty dodgy. It works well if you
    get a good connection, but it is not consistant, or reliable.
    Dropouts, lag and slowdowns (esp after school) make it unusable in
    many cases - say 90% of the time
    This is with xtra in Christchurch.
    Geoff
    geoffm, Jun 7, 2005
    #9
  10. Bruce Sinclair

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Reuben Schwarz wrote:
    > Hi there,
    >
    > I'm a journalist with NZ InfoTech at the Dominion, looking into Xtra
    > and skype. I've heard rumours that sometimes the two don't play well
    > together. Anyone out there had any problems? Is this common?


    Look for an article by a guy called Cringely that mentions it. (Google) He's
    a US web-journo and he thought it was worth reporting internationally.

    I did it for you:

    http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/pulpit20050317.html

    Toward the bottom of the page.
    --
    ~misfit~
    ~misfit~, Jun 7, 2005
    #10
  11. Bruce Sinclair

    Mr Teatime Guest

    "Reuben Schwarz" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hi there,
    >
    > I'm a journalist with NZ InfoTech at the Dominion, looking into Xtra
    > and skype. I've heard rumours that sometimes the two don't play well
    > together. Anyone out there had any problems? Is this common?
    >
    > Cheers,
    > Reuben Schwarz
    >


    Xtra + Skype OK for messaging, but not for voice.
    But I have a slow rural connection.
    Mr Teatime, Jun 7, 2005
    #11
  12. Mike_P wrote, On 7/06/2005 7:21 p.m.:

    > Don't know about xtra but UBS (you know, the Telecom wholesale offering
    > introduced to forestall the unbundling of the local loop) has deliberately
    > introduced latency or 'Jitter'. The sole reason for this is to make VOIP
    > (e.g.: Skype) unusable; after all, Telecom is first and foremost a phone
    > company.
    >
    > Mike_P


    Not quite.

    What Telecom did was turn on "Interleaving", which has adverse affects on
    things such as VoIP applications such as Skype and also online gaming. It
    introduced about a 20-30ms increase in latency.

    It makes some sense for Telecom to do this, interleaving also increases the
    ADSL range and allows it to run better over longer, poorer or error prone
    copper pairs, as interleaving has far better error corrective properties. If
    they have less reach with their equipment then they have less market to sell
    to and also are less likely to reach that magic 250,000 online subscribers
    that the Government is trying to get them to achieve. Obviously they would
    expect to have fewer support calls caused by unstable connections also.

    It just so happens that it also degrades the quality of voice, but, it's not
    so bad that you can't use it. Just don't expect the same quality you get over
    a normal line. I suspect the damage caused to latency sensitive applications
    like voice was just another reason to turn on interleaving, without being the
    primary purpose of doing so ;)

    Personally I'd rather have it off. But I can understand why Telecom have it
    is turned on.

    There's a good paragraph explaining interleaving here:

    http://www.dennisjudd.com/dsl/dslfaq.html#2

    and an even better one here:

    http://www.wlug.org.nz/Interleaving


    reuben
    Reuben Farrelly, Jun 7, 2005
    #12
  13. Reuben Farrelly wrote:
    >> Don't know about xtra but UBS (you know, the Telecom wholesale
    >> offering introduced to forestall the unbundling of the local loop) has
    >> deliberately introduced latency or 'Jitter'. The sole reason for this
    >> is to make VOIP (e.g.: Skype) unusable; after all, Telecom is first
    >> and foremost a phone company.


    > Not quite.
    > What Telecom did was turn on "Interleaving", which has adverse affects
    > on things such as VoIP applications such as Skype and also online
    > gaming. It introduced about a 20-30ms increase in latency.
    >
    > It makes some sense for Telecom to do this, interleaving also increases
    > the ADSL range and allows it to run better over longer, poorer or error
    > prone copper pairs, as interleaving has far better error corrective
    > properties. If they have less reach with their equipment then they have
    > less market to sell to and also are less likely to reach that magic
    > 250,000 online subscribers that the Government is trying to get them to
    > achieve. Obviously they would expect to have fewer support calls caused
    > by unstable connections also.


    Interleaving has always been on for all* DSL connections, it wasn't just
    turned on for UBS.


    *barring a few guys that I know of who convinced/bribed someone to turn
    it off on their port, although I never actually saw this so can't
    confirm it.
    Dave - Dave.net.nz, Jun 7, 2005
    #13
  14. Bruce Sinclair

    Richard Guest

    Dave - Dave.net.nz wrote:

    > Interleaving has always been on for all* DSL connections, it wasn't just
    > turned on for UBS.
    >
    >
    > *barring a few guys that I know of who convinced/bribed someone to turn
    > it off on their port, although I never actually saw this so can't
    > confirm it.


    It happened, and it made pings drop from 35ish down to 15ish on full rate
    jetstream - slightly higher on starter - compare that to the 80-100 crap we get
    now on UBS and you can see why most gamers are pissed.
    Richard, Jun 8, 2005
    #14
  15. Bruce Sinclair

    Adam Guest

    On Wed, 08 Jun 2005 08:00:49 +1200, Dave - Dave.net.nz wrote:

    >Interleaving has always been on for all* DSL connections, it wasn't just
    >turned on for UBS.


    Dave, are you sure? I was forced to dump my Jetstart and go to UBS
    (both with Maxnet). My fastest pings jumped from around 32ms to 75ms.
    I had all sorts of messages from Maxnet to the effect that delays
    would be introduced by the change-over.

    Hadn't had Skype installed prior to UBS, so can't compare. I've made a
    couple of calls to the UK ans found the quality surprisingly good -
    though I may just have been lucky (it was a weekend anyway).

    Adam.
    Adam, Jun 8, 2005
    #15
  16. Richard wrote:
    >> Interleaving has always been on for all* DSL connections, it wasn't
    >> just turned on for UBS.


    >> *barring a few guys that I know of who convinced/bribed someone to
    >> turn it off on their port, although I never actually saw this so can't
    >> confirm it.


    > It happened, and it made pings drop from 35ish down to 15ish on full
    > rate jetstream - slightly higher on starter - compare that to the 80-100
    > crap we get now on UBS and you can see why most gamers are pissed.


    The increase was casued by something else, can't remember exactly what
    it was, the nznog list was discussing it at one point.

    Interleaving has always been on, without it, you get ~10ms from Dunedin
    to Auckland over DSL.


    Brain kicked into gear...
    It was the change in how they do speed limiting that caused the rise in
    latency, and the prioritising of TCP over UDP that screwed gaming.
    Dave - Dave.net.nz, Jun 8, 2005
    #16
  17. Adam wrote:
    >>Interleaving has always been on for all* DSL connections, it wasn't just
    >>turned on for UBS.


    > Dave, are you sure? I was forced to dump my Jetstart and go to UBS
    > (both with Maxnet). My fastest pings jumped from around 32ms to 75ms.
    > I had all sorts of messages from Maxnet to the effect that delays
    > would be introduced by the change-over.


    > Hadn't had Skype installed prior to UBS, so can't compare. I've made a
    > couple of calls to the UK ans found the quality surprisingly good -
    > though I may just have been lucky (it was a weekend anyway).


    absolutly certain... it was a change in how they did the rate limiting,
    and the prioritisation they use.

    see my other post.
    Dave - Dave.net.nz, Jun 8, 2005
    #17
  18. Bruce Sinclair

    Ron McNulty Guest

    Hi Reuben

    I use Xtra 10GB plan and Skype-to-Skype calls to Australia almost daily.
    Quality varies wildly.

    - Frequency response & noise are much better than the average toll call.
    This might reflect the good headsets in use at each end.
    - Conference calls are dead easy to set up.
    - Delay varies from almost none to totally unusable (like over two seconds).
    It takes some practice to tune in to the consistent 200ms (a guess) or so
    delay. It is very easy to accidentally talk over someone else.
    - Some calls turn bad, with dropouts, strange clicks and thumps and "whang"
    sounds. A re-connect usually helps, but if the Internet is clogged up, steam
    telephone is advised.
    - You MUST use headsets at both ends, otherwise every time you talk, you get
    an annoying delayed echo. I can't stand that!
    - It chews your usage - 20MB per minute was one estimate on this NG. At this
    rate calls are not exactly free.

    It works well for most calls (we use it for a distributed development team),
    but I would think twice before using it on a call of any sensitivity

    Regards

    Ron
    ..
    "Reuben Schwarz" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hi there,
    >
    > I'm a journalist with NZ InfoTech at the Dominion, looking into Xtra
    > and skype. I've heard rumours that sometimes the two don't play well
    > together. Anyone out there had any problems? Is this common?
    >
    > Cheers,
    > Reuben Schwarz
    >
    Ron McNulty, Jun 8, 2005
    #18
  19. Bruce Sinclair

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Richard wrote:
    > Dave - Dave.net.nz wrote:
    >
    >> Interleaving has always been on for all* DSL connections, it wasn't
    >> just turned on for UBS.
    >>
    >>
    >> *barring a few guys that I know of who convinced/bribed someone to
    >> turn it off on their port, although I never actually saw this so
    >> can't confirm it.

    >
    > It happened, and it made pings drop from 35ish down to 15ish on full
    > rate jetstream - slightly higher on starter - compare that to the
    > 80-100 crap we get now on UBS and you can see why most gamers are
    > pissed.


    LOL, 80-100!!! I only wish they were that low. Mind you I play on a server
    on the West Coast of the US but I used to get pings around 100-150 on
    dial-up. On UBS they're 250(Excellent) - 4,950. Averaging 400-800.

    Might have to upgrade to dial-up. (Again)
    --
    ~misfit~
    ~misfit~, Jun 8, 2005
    #19
  20. Bruce Sinclair

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Adam wrote:
    > On Wed, 08 Jun 2005 08:00:49 +1200, Dave - Dave.net.nz wrote:
    >
    >> Interleaving has always been on for all* DSL connections, it wasn't
    >> just turned on for UBS.

    >
    > Dave, are you sure? I was forced to dump my Jetstart and go to UBS
    > (both with Maxnet). My fastest pings jumped from around 32ms to 75ms.
    > I had all sorts of messages from Maxnet to the effect that delays
    > would be introduced by the change-over.


    I experienced a similar doubling of ping-times when I went from Jetstart to
    UBS.
    --
    ~misfit~
    ~misfit~, Jun 8, 2005
    #20
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