Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Slightly better day at work today

This week did not start off well!
Some staffing issues, and a few run-ins with other departments left me feeling a bit "meh".

Was interested to see Telecom/Xtra's new Broadband offerings:


The two main problems I can see once these are translated to UBS are:

- The need for increased capacity between TCNZ and the ISP.
- The weird contention ratio(s) they impose on the data through their network

This will once again create headaches for ISPs as customers complain they are not receiving the plan speeds.
Testing that I have seen indicates that the true maximum throughput (even using HTTP from a server right on the edge of the ISPs network) on a 2Mbs plan, is around 1.5-1.7Mbps under ideal conditions.
As the plan speeds increase this will undoubtedly lead to more customer complaints.

The way in which the users traffic is currently delivered (ATM NNI's) sucks!
It costs the ISP so much more to be delivered this way, than say Ethernet, and forces them to use some pretty expensive equipment to terminate the connections.

Once you reach a critical mass of say 3-4 STM-1's, then you can look at an STM-4 which will improve things somewhat.
If you have individual STM-1's TCNZ allocates each user to an individual ATM connection based on some pretty f*cked up logic.
This leads to you have spare capacity on one ATM while your others are maxed out.
Load balancing them is reliant on TCNZ.
With an STM-4 at least you can load balance connections yourself across your routers, and get some measure of sanity.

However that still leaves one single link between you and TCNZ with no redundancy.

Still users will shout "Hooray" until they realise that 3.5Mbps really means 2.5Mpbs under ideal conditions in a lab somewhere - then the "Fair Go" threats will roll in!



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