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Kothos

How caan you tell if an Internet provider has enough backhaul?

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So I've never had to worry about this before because Internet access has always been shit.

 

But, now I'm moving to a new house with FTTP and I don't wanna screw around with potentially problematic Internet. Does this mean I have to go with Telstra?

 

According to this article, jut having FTTP with awesome speeds may not be enough:

 

http://www.pcauthority.com.au/Feature/431481,investigator-the-nbn-nightmare.aspx

 

While Telstra charge more than others and have had variable customer service, and outages, at least you get the bandwidth.

 

I've recently had Telstra cable; advertised speed 30/1, actual speed 34/1.4. Currently on Telstra FTTB; advertised speed 25/5, actual speed 24/4. So good enough in both cases.

 

I'm thinking of going with Exetel for the FTTP as their deals are much better, but should I just stick with Telstra, especially since they are willing to port me over for no extra cost?

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I'm a telstra shareholder but I refuse to use telstra services unless necessary.

Highly depends how ancient the cabling in your area is when it comes to the speeds you get.

Edited by Jeruselem

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I'm a telstra shareholder but I refuse to use telstra services unless necessary.

Highly depends how ancient the cabling in your area is when it comes to the speeds you get.

 

My uncle is a Telstra Shareholder, but has been an Optus customer ever since they started here...

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The answer is: you can't. You sort of just have to suck it and see. If you connect and the peak-hour speeds are shit, you can usually argue your way out of your contract. You can try searching Whirlpool for other people in your area.

 

I'm on iiNet NBN FTTP, and so far have had no issues, but others have had peak-time problems in the past, so YMMV.

Edited by SquallStrife

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The answer is: you can't. You sort of just have to suck it and see. If you connect and the peak-hour speeds are shit, you can usually argue your way out of your contract.

 

I'm on iiNet NBN FTTP, and so far have had no issues, but others have had peak-time problems in the past, so YMMV.

 

Same here, but the first day I connected it was like 1mbit/s LOL

On good days near 23mbit (only on 25 mbit)

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Now keep in mind, its been about 9 years since I was in a telco based wholesale job; but what I learned there:

Even though Telstra owns the copper, a SURPRISINGLY large part of the network is controlled by AAPT.

 

One of the main wholesalers with a direct 'backbone' link is TPG, if you bother to ask them NOT to be on their crazy proxy\cache servers, they're fine.

 

Agile (iiNet\Internode) are one of the few companies leveraging the PIPE dark fiber. Meaning you often get better ping... MUCH better ping, since (thanks to PIPE) your data can direct route to its location, not go via a sydney\melbourne data centre 3 or 4 times (traceroutes are amazing sometimes).

 

In the world of NBN? Who knows....

If I was going with someone, it'd be either Internode\iiNet or TPG.

I HATE tpg, but they're the only companies I'd trust to not over saturate their services.

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It also depends what kind of backhaul. Do you literally mean from your house to your local POP? Your local POP to a backbone? In-network congestion traversing the country? International links?

 

<.>

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When were you getting 34 and 24mbps? During peak?

 

Pretty much all the time.

I'm a telstra shareholder but I refuse to use telstra services unless necessary.

Highly depends how ancient the cabling in your area is when it comes to the speeds you get.

 

It's basically a brand new development. The underground telco links are about 18 months old. I'm also a Telstra shareholder and I've never used their services before this.

It also depends what kind of backhaul. Do you literally mean from your house to your local POP? Your local POP to a backbone? In-network congestion traversing the country? International links?

 

<.<

 

Well, wherever is the most likely to cause noticeable speed drops. I imagine my main usage apart from social media will be gaming (xbox) or video conferencing/VPing to work (in the USA).

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Isn't the NBN Backhaul supposed to be contestable?

 

The link from each splitter back to the PoI is 2.5Gbps (as in 2.5GPON), and supports a maximum of 32 premises, so at worst, each premises has ~78Mbps of uncontested bandwidth. That limit would only come in to play if every single house flogged their connections simultaneously, and only if every single premises has a 100/40 plan. Which they won't.

 

Where the bottlenecks appear is that ISPs have to pump bandwidth into each PoI, and some are more generous with this than others.

 

These grades are based on what I've seen historically on Whingepool, which is anecdotal at best, so take it with a grain of salt.

 

Good:

- Telstra

- Internode (Owned by iiNet, but definitely not just a different label)

- Skymesh (if you're lucky enough to have them at your PoI)

 

OK

- TPG (their backhaul to the PoI is generally well provisioned, but they have shortcomings elsewhere in the network)

- Exetel

- iiNet (have been known to severely under-provision at new areas, but do tend to remedy things within a few months when it happens)

Bad

- Optus (and their eleventy-billion resellers)

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Isn't the NBN Backhaul supposed to be contestable?

 

The link from each splitter back to the PoI is 2.5Gbps (as in 2.5GPON), and supports a maximum of 32 premises, so at worst, each premises has ~78Mbps of uncontested bandwidth. That limit would only come in to play if every single house flogged their connections simultaneously, and only if every single premises has a 100/40 plan. Which they won't.

 

Where the bottlenecks appear is that ISPs have to pump bandwidth into each PoI, and some are more generous with this than others.

 

These grades are based on what I've seen historically on Whingepool, which is anecdotal at best, so take it with a grain of salt.

 

Good:

- Telstra

- Internode (Owned by iiNet, but definitely not just a different label)

- Skymesh (if you're lucky enough to have them at your PoI)

 

OK

- TPG (their backhaul to the PoI is generally well provisioned, but they have shortcomings elsewhere in the network)

- Exetel

- iiNet (have been known to severely under-provision at new areas, but do tend to remedy things within a few months when it happens)

Bad

- Optus (and their eleventy-billion resellers)

 

 

So also falling into "Good" would be "Beyond".

They're a Telstra owned, public facing 'friendly' face.

 

In the same way that Virgin Mobile is an Optus owned 'Friendly' mobile alternative :)

 

Beyond are cheap!

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TIL Optus bought out VM in '06 o.0

 

Yup! they were fairly quiet about it.

Its one reason I'm so dirty on them not offering a little more data though.....

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So also falling into "Good" would be "Beyond".

They're a Telstra owned, public facing 'friendly' face.

 

In the same way that Virgin Mobile is an Optus owned 'Friendly' mobile alternative :)

 

Beyond are cheap!

 

 

Potentially. It would depend on exactly how Telstra have woven Belong Beyond into their network.

 

It could be that Telstra uses QoS to prioritise Bigpond customers' traffic over Beyond customers' traffic. Do you know if Belong Beyond customers have a .bigpond.com PTR record?

 

So it really goes back to my initial advice, you pretty much just have to suck it and see.

 

Edit: Fixed my retardation.

Edited by SquallStrife
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It's not just the company as a whole, but also what their provisioning and demand profile is like in your area. So an ISP that might be considered poor on average, might have great backhaul in some areas where their customer base is small, or they have recently upgraded - in the expectation of more growth that may not have eventuated. But generally, a 'good' company will average better, and should be proactive, or at least respond quickly in upgrading backhaul for demand growths.

 

 

I'm with internode for FTTP (in the 5MOD FSA), and very happy with the performance as far as I can tell.

 

I have zero complaint with their backhaul to their data centres in Adelaide. I get speed tests of around 95/35 and 2ms ping to a local server during the evenings on weeknights - a time you would expect to be high residential usage - even during the release of Netflix AU, when everyone smashed the internet, performance was unchanged.

Gaming to the US is usually 30ms pings, and downloads are good.

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It's not just the company as a whole, but also what their provisioning and demand profile is like in your area. So an ISP that might be considered poor on average, might have great backhaul in some areas where their customer base is small, or they have recently upgraded - in the expectation of more growth that may not have eventuated. But generally, a 'good' company will average better, and should be proactive, or at least respond quickly in upgrading backhaul for demand growths.

 

Hence "anecdotal at best, so take it with a grain of salt." :)

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I assume this is NBN FTTP and not another FTTP network like Opticomm or Places Victoria?

 

Ok an indication of backhaul congestion is time of day. Most likely times for this to appear is late afternoon after the school kids get home right through to about 10 or 11PM, sometimes with a letup in congestion about dinner time.

With the worst providers it can also be mornings around breakfast time as everyone does their email and social media checks before school/work.

Mostly avoid the real budget RSPs like Dodo, Belong and Exetel. They are cheap for a reason. Yes I know belong is owned by Telstra but it is the budget arm so backhaul bandwidth for Belong seems to be more constrained from some anecdotal evidence on Whirlpool.

 

 

However even budget RSPs can be ok depending on which POI you are connected too and the demographic of the RSPs users on that POI.

 

Try to avoid long term contracts is the best advice I can give as this allows you to jump from RSP to RSP easily. FTTP makes this so easy as you have four UNI-D ports so you can provision a new service on an unused port whilst maintaining the old service on another port. Once the new service is up and running you cancel the old service so no internet down time.

 

A few RSPs worth checking out that you may not have heard of are Skymesh, AusBBS and Nuskope.

https://www.skymesh.net.au/

https://ausbbs.com.au/

https://www.nuskope.com.au/nbn

All three are starting to gain in popularity on Whirlpool because of good service and decent backhaul.

However you will have to check if they service your POI as Skymesh at least is not fully national as yet.

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i have nbn fixed wifi with skymesh they seem good

there was some speed problems during the 50\20 free trial speed period but its been great for a while now

sined parents up to aussiebroadband they have been great to deal with and there au support staff can actually understand what I say unlike Telstra although maybe there just playing dumb to fob me off

 

it seems Telstra has the best connection to other countries and I have noticed international dl speeds drop a bit a times but within au the above are very good

 

I hate Telstra whenever dealing with them they always make things as hard as possible

one person sais they will fix something then you get cancelation threats as they didn't fix it...

something dies under warranty and they pass you off to independent paid tech support

to deal with Telstra you need to ring the ombudsmen first so that you get put into telstras helpful department that they have especially for those that call the ombudsmen

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Try to avoid long term contracts is the best advice I can give as this allows you to jump from RSP to RSP easily. FTTP makes this so easy as you have four UNI-D ports so you can provision a new service on an unused port whilst maintaining the old service on another port. Once the new service is up and running you cancel the old service so no internet down time.

 

Hah! Thanks for the advice! I had just this idea today as well - with the 4 ports on the FTTP connection, I'll just keep two connections paid for for a few months, and trial the new one to see how good it is.

 

Telstra has helped me by putting me on a month-to-month plan and waived any and all fees in order to encourage me to stay once I move over. This solves everything!

 

Thanks aliali and everyone else for the advice on relative ISP quality.

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Thing to remember is ISP quality is not set in stone. Previously good ISPs can go bad and vice versa. Although off hand I can't think of a single ISP that has gone from shite to really really good.

 

So be prepared to swap ISPs if things go bad.

 

To this end definitely avoid using ISP supplied email for everything except ISP communications (accounts, faults etc).

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Oh yeah, I wouldn't used temp accounts for anything. You just reminded me I have a Bigpond account now but I've never even logged in. Telstra asked for an account when i signed up and I gave them a Hotmail account.

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Oh yeah, I wouldn't used temp accounts for anything. You just reminded me I have a Bigpond account now but I've never even logged in. Telstra asked for an account when i signed up and I gave them a Hotmail account.

When I first signed up for Bigpond, I went in to the email straight away and forwarded it to my private email address. That works well.

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