Highlighted
Level 2: Rookie

Poor download speeds from the USA on Telstra Cable (Ultimate)

Let me start off with a few general observations:

- Testing download/upload speed using speedtest.net shows that speeds of 100+ Mbps down and 2Mbps+ up are routinely available to me (Telstra Cable Ultimate - Burwood, VIC area).

- Ping times are around 7ms to speedtest.net test servers in Melbourne, especially "Telstra, Melbourne".

- I know that speedtest.net isn't the greatest indication of true download throughput, but let's just agree to use it to compare apples-to-apples.

- Here's an example, tested against Optus this time:

Melbourne Speedtest

 

The issue:

I've noticed that downloads from the USA are *terribly slow*.  I mean less that 1Mbps down.  Netflix (USA) drops to 228/384p when streaming, downloads of obscure Microsoft tools take ages (at 30Kbps).  I did a bit of testing and found that speeds reported from speedtest.net's LA, San Francisco and New York locations were all abismal.  The ping time of ~200-220ms was about what is to be expected, but throughput was less that 1Mbps down, although oddly still 2Mbps up.

 

Here's a test against LA taken just minutes after the example above:

LA Speedtest

 

The issue seems to only affect my Telstra cable connection, as testing from my iPad on Telstra 4G showed that 20+ Mbps down were easily achievable from these servers.  Testing from a friend's Dodo ADSL2+ connection also showed similar speeds (20+ Mbps) - he lives very close to the Burwood, VIC exchange.

 

I even tried using my VPN (Private Internet Access) to connect into various locations around the USA, but it didn't improve things from my Telstra Cable connection. 

 

There are a few threads of Whirlpool that were last active in January 2016, suggesting that Telstra had either a network routing issue due to broken undersea cables off the coast of WA and were routing a lot of traffic under the Pacific Ocean and through the USA to compensate, or that Telstra were actively targetting Netflix geododgers that are trying to pull Netflix content from the USA.  Network routing issues wouldn't explain why a connection from a 4G device is fine (presumably travelling over the same links to the USA), but Cable is beyond woeful. 

 

The questions:

Is anyone else experiencing these issues (coupled with otherwise excellent performance to sites within Australia, or Asia/Europe)?  I don't want this to become a Telstra bashing or "My cable connection is always slow, switched to ISP XYZ" thread - I just want to know what's going on Telstra.  Being outshone by Dodo isn't a good look.

 

I pay you good money for a premium and otherwise exellent internet connection, that I routinely defend to NBN-complainers, so I'd really like to get to the bottom of this.  If Telstra are really throttling these flows to block access to Netflix then it's time to call in the ACCC.  If there is a genuine network fault then how about being honest about it and put in on the Service Status page along with an ETA for a fix.

Was this helpful?

  • Yes it was, thank you
  • No, I still need help
3 REPLIES 3
Highlighted
Level 1: Cadet

Re: Poor download speeds from the USA on Telstra Cable (Ultimate)

I am having exactly the same problem.  On standard cable in Perth.

 

3 months ago I could watch two full HD streams from Netflix in the USA simultaneously no problem.  Now I struggle to watch one in SD.  It's not a netflix issue though, speedtest results and downloads from other sites show it's a USA bandwith issue.  Local traffic usually not a problem although on Sat night just gone it was slow as well (but not as slow as to the USA.)

 

Haven't tested from my phone to see if this is a Telstra problem or just something up with cable.

 

Recent hardware update has made no difference.  I can still usually max out at 35-36Mbps down and 1.1 up to local speedtest servers.

Highlighted
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Poor download speeds from the USA on Telstra Cable (Ultimate)

I'm having the same issues - 2567 NSW.

 

Started last weekend. It's rather hard to give specifics - I'm not really a tech-head..  but I do a lot of online gaming with servers located in the US, Europe & SEA. For one game, ping is usually around the 250's it's now hitting 600+ for US servers. For another ping of 235 is now anything from 800+ with massive packet loss. I don't really play weekdays so I don't know if its just a weekend thing.

 

What's annoying is the total lack of communication. If there's a problem, they can e-mail/sms as it is I'll be asking for my plan to be refunded for the portion that it not fit for use

Highlighted
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Poor download speeds from the USA on Telstra Cable (Ultimate)

I booked a service call with Bigpond Cable Support from tomorrow, so of course everything is now working perfectly.

Anyone else see an improvement from today?

 

Time to cancel that service call booking.

Set it & forget it

With direct debit there’s no need to give paying your bill another thought.

Avoid queuing up and never worry about late fees again.

Setup direct debit