ned Productions Consulting

Technology musings by Niall Douglas
ned Productions Consulting
(an expert advice and services company based in Ireland)

Monday 27th January 2014 4.23pm

Eircom man arrived to connect up our phone line and left, so now we have actual fibre broadband exactly two weeks after ordering it! The speed is pretty good with the modem reporting the following VDSL stats:

2.4 Line Rate (Down / Up) 71678 Kbps / 20479 Kbps
2.5 Noise Margin (Down / Up) 10.5 dB / 10.5 dB
2.6 Attenuation (Down / Up) 10.5 dB / 3.1 dB
2.7 Power (Down / Up) 14.5 dBm / -8.4 dBm

A 70Mbit line sync rate should of course translate into a fairly swift internet connection, and as you will note I hit not far off the theoretical max to Dublin with ~67Mb/sec down and ~17Mb/sec up which is better than what we had in Canada's tech hub Waterloo, Ontario by quite some margin. The ping time of ~28ms is especially good and also much better than in Waterloo. Google is quite fast to load and browse now, though you'll note that our connection to New York at ~15Mb/sec and ~105ms is not a patch on what we could get in Waterloo (fair enough, there is a few thousand km difference). Still, connectivity to New York is a very good proxy for how fast the internet "feels".

I see though that bulk downloads are traffic shaped to 1Mbit which is a bit sucky. This is part of my provider's "true unlimited downloads" policy where you only get full speed for everything at off-peak hours, otherwise during peak hours you get the first 4Gb per day for HTTP/HTTPS at full speed and everything else but a few select sites goes to 1 Mbit for anything longer than a Mb or so. That does suck when you want a Linux install DVD ISO right now, but my cloud does most of our bulk downloads for me so I don't have to, and it can be easily told to only use off-peak hours. For the rest, just remember to always go via SSL over a HTTP-ish port.

Besides, it's not like I actually have a choice in provider. Just one, Magnet, provides anything less than a 12 month contract in Ireland. And Magnet only provides one of their services in Dromahane which is the most expensive one at €47 per month which is pricey. Still, it's phenomenal to get proper internet back again, using my mobile phone via a wifi tether was very tedious, email kept losing connection and all my deleted email would reappear ready to be deleted a second or third time!