Domain hosting & ISP recommendations

Bruce M Simpson bms at
Mon Mar 10 15:48:23 GMT 2008

Jamie White wrote:
> I would check you package, because my upstream is now a very nice 
> 328kbps up, and I a lot of use of it as well.
> Also, Virgin Media packages advertised all offer the same upstream. 
> Sounds like you've been unlucky.

The upstream bandwidth compares very reasonably to other low end 
consumer DSL packages, but that's about it, as Jonathan quite rightly 
points out, you can get much better upstream capacity if your DSL 
provider is set up for that.

To be sure the latency profile of G.dmt-lite/G.dmt vs DOCSIS is 
different, I've seen wildly varying claims made for one versus the 
other. I personally use DOCSIS because the modem devices allow bridging 
directly to the upstream with a public IP, enabling you to run VPN 
tunnels OK. ADSL modems generally don't, unless you buy very specific 
models, or install an ADSL modem card in a box YOU control.

Do remember that the use of ATM AAL5 is written into the spec for G.dmt. 
Its on-link transmission behaviour is deterministic, at least up until 
you get to the ATM switch.
DOCSIS uses a CSMA/CD MAC protocol, ie it's non-deterministic unless you 
are the only subscriber on the uBR at the head end.

Virgin did recently begin upgrading the NTL and Telewest networks which 
they acquired, and consumer units, to DOCSIS 2.0, which may help, but 
not in the immediate future. They continue to advertise large downstream 
capacity in unsubstantiated-claim-land (aka advertising), but of course 
that's their prerogative.

There are bigger concerns about the operation of that network, in terms 
of privacy, ie the possible introduction of the Phorm. This in 
particular has me thinking of ISP shopping. If they did adopt Phorm, 
this would surely trigger a change in terms and conditions allowing folk 
to wriggle free without financial suffering.

On the business front, I have had trouble with simple things such as 
refunding of payments debited in error by them, so I'm not 100% 
confident in that organisation.

At the end of the day, caveat emptor -- the success of consumer 
DSL/cable sales largely depends on folk not knowing what they are being 
sold :-)


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