• @echo off
  • :start1
  • date /t >>c:/users/ray/%1
  • goto:start2
  • :start2
  • time /t >>c:/users/ray/%1
  • goto:start3
  • :start3
  • cd c:\Program Files\Python37\Scripts\
  • SPEEDTEST-CLI >>c:/users/ray/%1
  • goto:start4
  • :start4
  • timeout 60 >nul
  • goto:start1

Ping Testing (latency)

I used Windows Ping command to ping my.tesltra.com.au each minute with a 32kilobyte file (about the same size as a one-page Word document) to reflect real-world use as Ping otherwise uses 32bytes (four single characters). This measures latency (time to send and receive data) and importantly records data sent/received that is lost (lost packets).

That is important because as a remote worker I use the cloud and other tools like WordPress and if packets are lost the work needs to be redone.

The BAT file is here – run it from the command line

  • @echo off
  • :start1
  • date /t >>c:/users/ray/%1
  • goto:start2
  • :start2
  • time /t >>c:/users/ray/%1
  • goto:start3
  • :start3
  • ping my.telstra.com.au -l 32000 >>c:/users/ray/%1
  • goto:start4
  • :start4
  • timeout 60 >nul
  • goto:start1

Visual indicators

I bought a Fingbox to monitor, and it presents a visual indicator – an orange flashing light – when the internet is down.

Other visual indicators are Google Hub Screens (they go blank) and Netflix or streaming service ‘circles’.

Modem and screen Logs

I exported the Telstra Gen 1 and 2 gateway logs for Telstra’s analysis. Also, I had Windows screen error messages showing the number of fails during each test.

Evidence

7.30 report asked me to run these tests for a day before their arrival. The test ran from Wednesday 17 April 5:09 PM to 18 April at 10.12 AM.

During this period the NBN was

  • Offline for 35 minutes ranging for outages from 1 minute to 20 minutes (5%)
  • Upload speeds 0-10Mbps (on 4G LTE fall-over, unusable – cannot work) 127 minutes (18%)
  • Upload speeds 11-20Mbps (out of NBN SLA) 23 minutes (3.19%)
  • Upload speeds 21-30 (out of NBN SLA) 204 minutes (28.33%)
  • Upload speeds 31-40Mbps (in NBN SLA) 209 minutes (29.03%)

Download speeds are not vital to remote work. Faster speeds mean better streaming.

  • Download speeds 1<70Mbps (out of NBN SLA) for 25 minutes (3.35%)
  • Download speeds 71-90Mbps (out of NBN SLA) 254 minutes (34.05%)
  • Download speeds 90+Mbps (in NBN SLA) 437 minutes (59%)

Ping Speeds to my.telstra.com (lag).

Ping speeds below 30ms are not a major issue. At 30-50ms online gamers start to notice the lag. Above 50ms lag interrupts remote work and induces more jitter into voice calls. Note 100ms is about 1/10th of a second in real time.

  • <20ms          21.03%
  • 20-29            24.1%
  • 30-39            34.52%
  • 40-49            3.52%
  • 50-51            2.45%
  • 60-69            2.74%    (SIP voice breaks up)
  • 70-79            2.94%
  • 80-89            2.06%
  • 90-99            .55%
  • 100+              6.18%    (keystrokes can take a few seconds to appear and equates to time offline)

Packet Loss

  • 0%                90%       (means 10% of work sent/received requires action)
  • 25%               2.5%      (means % of text/photo sent/received is lost requiring resend/receive)
  • 50%               2%          (ditto)
  • 75%               .5%        (ditto)
  • 100                5%          (equates to offline)

OK, where does that leave you if NBN is bad?

I found Telstra’s faceless Philippines call centre absolutely bloody useless – months of calls, 40-hours wasted and no solution in sight. I have no experience with other providers.

Report any outages to your CSP call centre and obtain an incident number. Also, record the time you spent including waiting for an operator to hanging up.

If a pattern emerges (regular outages or regular slow speeds) and your calls exceed say five times immediately go to the Telecommunications Ombudsman and make a complaint online. All you need is the latest incident number and provide some contact information – it is simple, and you should do it sooner rather than when your blood pressure is out of bounds.

NBN

Now armed with a TIO complaint number wait until the issue happens again and immediately quote the number to your CSP call centre and request that the matter be escalated to a dedicated, first line complaints officer. That person will be your contact from there on in.

At that time, you need data – cold hard facts like I had – but frankly, I am not sure how many complaints officers really understand it. Their role is to close the complaint quickly, or they look bad to the TIO and shareholders.

All you need to do is keep saying, “I pay for XX/XXMbps and a reliable service. Fix it.”

Don’t tolerate threats of charging to send out technicians “if it’s your fault” because its usually not, demand replacement modems, demand discounts until its fixed, and if you are unhappy go back to the TIO and update your existing complaint online.

If this seems to be too much get an advocate to help. This ‘geek’ needs to understand IP and testing and a good place to start is your local computer store or a geek-to-you service. If you are right, you can demand the CSP pay for the geek as well.