Telstra VDL Ethernet connection speed increase
Another client we have is currently running “business grade Ethernet” from Exetel, who I think resell an AAPT Internet connection. Despite paying for a 14/14 Mbps connection, with 20+ users running 1-2 devices + a VOIP phone they were constantly exceeding bandwidth and experiencing slowdowns, loss of internet, dropping phone calls etc.
A lot of this was also due to the fact that the ISP was really only providing a 10/10 connection, not a 14/14 as per contract. When disputed with the provider, the line was; we provide UP TO 14/14 connection.
So after negotiations with Telstra representatives, they client chose to upgrade to a fibre to the premises 50/50 Ethernet VDL internet upgrade.
First Telstra sent someone to do a site survey, including could they run fibre cabling from the ground floor up to the second floor including through 2 x concrete slabs. There was no conduit left to run cabling through, so holes had to be cut through the slab. This cost was passed onto the client as part of the installation costs.
Once the site survey was complete, the client met with the Telstra account manager, and they agreed on a contract and costings. For a 50/50 MB connection, the cost would be $850 per month excluding GST.
Once the contract was signed, Telstra sent cable technicians who ran the fibre cable to the clients network cabinet. Another engineer then installed a Cisco basement switch in the rack. A connection date was then provided by the account manager, and I was booked in by the client to be on site that date.
We then sent a technician to the site to configure the WAN connection. Unfortunately, the WAN connection was DOWN when configured, so the MTC engineer contacted Telstra to report the fault. Telstra reported that the connection hadn't been provisioned (activated) yet.
So, the connection was provisioned about a week later, so we went back to site to configure the WAN connection on the router. The router they were using was a Netgear FVS 336 v3. This is a dual-WAN Gigabit router. We left WAN connection 1 as the existing Exetel ISP connection, and configured WAN 2 as the new connection. We first left WAN type as auto-sense, and shaped the WAN up/down speeds as 50 MB / 50 MB. We then added the IP address (external), subnet mask, and Telstra DNS settings.
Once done, and the WAN state was showing as up, I made the WAN 2 connection active. We then commenced speed tests, and the results were disappointing. We were getting 35 MB Down, and about 25 MB up. I contacted Telstra Business Internet support, and we tweaked the WAN settings; in particular changed the traffic shaping from 50/50 to 100/100. I also changed the WAN connection type from auto sense to 1000 Base T-Full duplex. With this we got the speeds up to 40/30. This is a speed test from a laptop over a wireless connection, obviously inside the LAN. All of the router configuration was currently being done remotely with external access to the router. We were then contacting the clients office if we needed to warn of any router restarts or dropouts.
Now Telstra Level 2 technicians requested we go to site to perform isolation tests. We went back to site, switched the router active WAN back to WAN 1 the original ISP which was still active. This was a slower speed, but at least the users could still work while I configured the WAN 2 connection. For this, i removed the Ethernet cable from WAN 2 on the router back to the Ethernet port on my laptop. I then set the IP address, gateway, subnet mask, and DNS on the Ethernet adaptor on the PC connected directly to the Telstra basement switch. I then performed an group of 5 speed tests so I could get an average.
The average speed I got after performing the isolation test was 48 MB down / 36 MB up. Telstra said this was an acceptable speed, which we then disputed with the account manager, who had promised a minimum speed of 48/48 MB. On top of this, the contract came through from Telstra which said the speed we requested was 100 MB/100 MB, at a cost of $1100 ex gst per month, a $350 per month ex GST increase!
So we are currently disputing this with Telstra obviously. The L2 engineer recommended to me to upgrade the router, which I refused. This would be a significant cost to the client, approximately $800 - $1000, and no guarantee it would resolve the issue. If they were not shaping the last Mbps of the upload, then we would get closer to 45-50 Mbps upload speed, which would be acceptable.