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FTTP/FTTH Gigafast but high ping?

Discussion in 'Networks & Internet Connectivity' started by OfficialUmey, 26 Jun 2020.

  1. OfficialUmey


    Joined: 31 May 2020

    Posts: 5

    Hey all,

    We just have had our new full fibre (FTTP/FTTH – I will call it FTTP) connection installed on 22nd June 2020. The ISP is Vodafone Gigafast and we went for 900Mbps package.

    We live in Milton Keynes.

    We are a BT customer for over a decade and never had an issue with them. We are still with BT and the package is Infinity 2 (FTTC) so we still have not cancelled with BT just yet as we are still within 14 days cooling period with Vodafone. So, if we are not happy with Vodafone then we will cancel with them and stay with BT for a little longer until their BT FTTP becomes available in my area, or even Hyperoptic.

    The main reason why we wanted to switch to FTTP from FTTC are because of faster upload speed and lower latency ping. I am already aware that there will not be a huge difference in ping latency when switching from FTTC to FTTP.

    With our BT Infinity 2, we always get around 74Mbps download and around 15Mbps upload speed with consistent 9ms ping latency via speedtest.net by Ookla with the closest server selected (Clouvider Limited – Enfield) over wired and wireless connection (2.4GHz and 5GHz). Also, we have been using third-party router (currently ASUS RT-AC86U) connected to BT Openreach modem (Huawei HG612). On Rocket League, average ping is 16ms and on Rainbow Six Siege is around 9ms. Ping to bbc.co.uk is always 9ms.

    With our Vodafone Gigafast 900Mbps, we get around 750Mbps download and 920Mbps upload speeds with the lowest ping of 15ms over wired connection to my high-end PC via speedtest.net with closest server selected (Vodafone UK - Manchester). This is not what I was expecting (ping latency) as I was expecting around 3-5ms ping latency. We have also tested on Vodafone’s supplied router and ASUS router, both shows same result. Rocket League average ping is 24ms and around 20ms on Rainbow Six Siege. Ping to bbc.co.uk is 14ms on average.

    The weird thing is that the external IP address City/Region with Vodafone is showing Manchester whereas BT is showing Milton Keynes. I live in Milton Keynes and Manchester is 130 miles away from me. Whenever I go onto speedtest.net Ookla, it shows that the closest server is Vodafone UK - Manchester – 2 miles, but I’m in Milton Keynes? Whereas on BT, it shows that the closest server is Clouvider Limited – Enfield – 40 miles which is normal.

    My friend who is also with Vodafone Gigafast for about a year and also lives in Milton Keynes (10 minutes drive from my house), he gets around 5ms ping and his external IP address City/Region shows Milton Keynes via speedtest.net Ookla with the closest server selected as Vodafone UK – Watford – 32 miles, which is normal.

    I think Vodafone’s routing system is messed up and that they incorrectly assigned my IP address really far away from where I live which causes high pings. Is Vodafone able to change my IP address to Milton Keynes area? What can I do?

    The CityFibre cabinet is only 80 metres away from my house so that is not the problem.

    I have reset ONT as well as Vodafone Router and ASUS router – no change.

    I have contacted Vodafone about this, and they told me that their dedicated tech team will be monitoring my line for the next 72 hours. I have requested to change my IP address to Milton Keynes as well, but still need to wait 3 days.

    Any ideas?
  2. Caged


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 23,823

    If somebody edited all the software on your PC to just lie that a 25ms ping was in fact 8ms you wouldn't be able to tell that actually the round trip time was taking 17ms more - you're wasting energy even thinking about this. It's possible that some of the Milton Keynes Gigafast network is backhauled via Manchester (though it would be really strange) but it's very unlikely that you're going to get anything out of Vodafone other than "we can't see any problems".

    3ms is I think unrealistic from Milton Keynes into London and then back to whatever server is hosting the target.

    Have you done any pings to actual IP addresses rather than using DNS names? Perhaps the geo-location is just messed up.
  3. pigeonguyuk

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 11 Dec 2012

    Posts: 1,304

    Location: Bangor - Northern Ireland

    I work for BT - all I can say is your wasting your time. Yes, Ping might be important to you as a gamer, but no ISP cares. The sales speed is on "Average/minimum guaranteed speeds" 99.9% of people have no real understanding of the more technical aspects, including the Tech support at the other end of the phone as its not something you have been sold on. Also FTTP has to be tested physically, unlike FTTC/Copper that has remote testing. 99% of the time if there's an issue with an FTTP connection its either working or not.

    In regards to IP addresses they won't show location accuracy, its a dynamic IP that can change every 24 hours or after every modem restart. Business providers will even charge for a fixed IP address.

    Other limitations can be some ISP's when trying to compete with the big boys (Virgin/Openreach) they use inferior quality network components and that can have impacts on
  4. OfficialUmey


    Joined: 31 May 2020

    Posts: 5

    tracert bbc.co.uk


  5. flea.rider


    Joined: 7 Aug 2017

    Posts: 997

    why is your upload faster than your download ?
  6. Caged


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 23,823

    Your traffic is going to Manchester and then to London (ltw = London Telehouse West) but that might just be the way that Vodafone are managing the network in your area and the capacity on the links leaving Milton Keynes.

    I'd suggest that you're going to struggle to get an ISP to care too much about pings while they are still sub-30ms. What you might find is that one day the routing changes and doesn't go via Manchester, but I wouldn't consider what you have to be unacceptable.

    Going back the other way from a BT connection goes into Vodafone's network in London and then up to Manchester:

    Tracing route to over a maximum of 30 hops
      1    <1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms
      2     4 ms     4 ms     4 ms
      3     *        *        *     Request timed out.
      4     6 ms     6 ms     6 ms
      5     6 ms     6 ms     6 ms  core1-hu0-12-0-5.colindale.ukcore.bt.net []
      6     6 ms     6 ms     6 ms  peer7-et-3-0-1.telehouse.ukcore.bt.net []
      7     6 ms     6 ms     6 ms  166-49-128-32.gia.bt.net []
      8    17 ms     6 ms     6 ms  166-49-211-254.gia.bt.net []
      9     7 ms     7 ms     6 ms  ae1-xcr1.ltw.cw.net []
     10    12 ms    11 ms    11 ms  ae8-xcr1.man.cw.net []
     11     *        *        *     Request timed out.
     12     *        *        *     Request timed out.
     13     *        *        *     Request timed out.
     14     *        *     ^C
  7. bledd


    Joined: 21 Oct 2002

    Posts: 46,688

    Location: Parts Unknown

    I can understand your frustration, I'm on BT (Plusnet) FTTC and get 12ms.

    My mate who lived just up the road could get BT FTTP, he had 10ms.

    I would be gutted if I moved and then had a worse ping.
  8. WoodyUK


    Joined: 29 Dec 2009

    Posts: 6,475

    The pursuit for a few milliseconds difference is a waste of time for all involved.

    For future reference: the IP Location you are finding is purely a reference and not reflective in any way of the routing or network devices that it passes through and no user is guaranteed nor should expect a Geo Location that matches the city in which they live considering.

    Pinging "bbc.co.uk" is not a reliable test for consistency because you could be pinging servers in different physical locations. Ping one and then ping the same IP address constantly instead of the domain name.

    Vodafone do have congestion issues which I'm sure you'll find if you stick with them.
    They do work to resolve them quicker than most but actually don't host any of their core network within the major internet exchange point datacentres (Telehouse Docklands being one of them) where the majority of other ISPs have presence; they use cabling back to their own datacentre in Watford.
    The downside of this is that it's not a simple job for them to just add more capacity to other networks as they have limited capacity between Watford and their other datacentres.

    BT + TalkTalk are your best bets for the lowest latency as they have the most capacity to other ISPs/networks.
    VirginMedia often have congestion issues to various networks and are the absolute worst for establishing extra capacity to relieve saturation.
  9. OfficialUmey


    Joined: 31 May 2020

    Posts: 5

    I think this is due to congestion on Vodafone's network as more people download stuff like Netflix or YouTube than upload. Honestly, I'm not too bothered about download as I care about lower latency and faster upload speed.

    I've already mentioned about upload speed being faster than download speed with Vodafone and will be contacted within 24 hours.
  10. OfficialUmey


    Joined: 31 May 2020

    Posts: 5

    How do you find out where the traffic is going? What website do you use to check domain/IP? I'm quite new to this trace routing stuff :)
  11. WoodyUK


    Joined: 29 Dec 2009

    Posts: 6,475

    Just from the abbreviations in the resolved names you see there, mostly become second nature for those that work in the industry, but not too difficult to work out.

    The majority of the UKs internet passes through London to get you from one place to another. Sometimes it will be faster (latency) and higher up/download speeds to get you from Manchester to Yorkshire for example by going down to London first but all depends on the networks you're connecting to and their places of presence.

    Internet routing changes all the time and the difference in a few ms latency could occur at any time and remain in place for months to come so it really isn't something that any ISP is going to guarantee or help you decrease when you're at the levels you're at.

    i.e. a traceroute to somewhere random:

    MLK = Milton Keynes
    THW = Telehouse West (London)
    LON: London
    NYC: New York City
    ASH: Ashburn, VA
  12. OfficialUmey


    Joined: 31 May 2020

    Posts: 5

    I want to say thank you all for the posts.

    It appears that my line is being routed to Manchester instead of London/Slough. My BT line is routed to London.

    I have managed to get the results of tracert from my friend (lets call him Brad) who is also with Vodafone Gigafast and lives in Milton Keynes (10 minutes drive from my house).
    I've also did the tracert using the exact same IP addresses he used. It's clear that his line is being routed to Slough, which is only about 20 miles away from London. Explains why he gets really low pings on every online video game where mine is almost the double.

    Brad's tracert (bbc.co.uk)

    My tracert (bbc.co.uk)

    Brad's tracert (dns.google)

    My tracert (dns.google)

    Brad's tracert (CoD Warzone)

    My tracert (CoD Warzone)

    Vodafone has given me a reference number to call directly to their 3rd line support team as they're only open Monday to Friday.
  13. Caged


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 23,823

    If Vodafone don't have capacity on the MK (or wherever CityFibre hand things over) to Slough link then they might be going via Manchester. Were your friends connection and your built as different phases do you know? I would have assumed Vodafone would send MK traffic south but it might be waiting on capacity upgrades, and going via Manchester was seen as acceptable.
  14. 0007


    Joined: 7 Jun 2020

    Posts: 11

    You should expect 2-3ms from MK > Telehouse, that is if you have a good connection and routing, at least with CityFibre Wholesale (enta) that is.