Morden "Lightning" Speeds

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  • Updated 11 months ago
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Josh

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  • Extremely Frustrated

Posted 2 years ago

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Rhonda Zacharias

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My phone is crap to
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Josh

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I intended to include the below in the original post, but my connection timed out. Surprise.

Is there any timeline update on resolving the "known network congestion issue in Morden?"

I have the "Lightning" plan with speeds "up to" 5 down, 0.5 up. I manage to reach those speeds at 6am. By 8pm, it slows to a crawl at 1 down, 0.1 up. This has been running like clockwork every single day for the past 4 months.

I know the standard excuse of "rural" area (ie. the entire province outside of Winnipeg) bandwidth costing more, but I can almost hear my DSL modem wanting to make those old fashioned beep-beep-static dial up sounds.

I don't know if it was short sightedness on MTS's part when DSL came around, or if they just choose to do nothing now to avoid capital infrastructure investment and roll out the canned "someday it will get better but we don't know when" because internet is a necessity with seemingly complicated alternatives for 90% of their rural customers. Whatever the reason, it is extremely frustrating. 

Tech support told me there is a known issue in the area, they have plans to fix it, but no timeline on when those plans will actually be implemented. MTS billing service's solution was to allow me to temporarily (read: indefinitely) cut off my connection until the congestion is resolved.

If the timeline is not updated by August 2016, I will be switching to another ISP that guarantees their speeds. I am willing to pay them double with data caps to have internet service I can actually use. I should not have to give up using every other device in my house in the evening because someone wants to watch Netflix.

If I switch ISP and lose my bundling, I might as well take my two off contract mobiles and TV to another provider with better service as well. My neighbours are having similar issues and I fully intend to convince them to switch with me.
(Edited)
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CoryB, Champion

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The challenge is the network was likely designed with polling in mind. This means essentially you can talk one out of every ten seconds for instance. When you are loading web pages in 2006 that design was fine. Also back then say about 5 of every ten houses had high speed. Now with services like Netflix customers essentially need to talk all ten of the available seconds and nine of every ten houses have high speed.

The resolution for a congestion issue like you describe is essentially run an extension cord from Winnipeg to Morden. That wire isn't cheap though and even if it allowed every customer in Modern to full at a full 5 mbps any time of day the issue is still there. For perspective a Winnipeg based competitor rolled out 150 mbps down service recently which is more in line what customers except today and in the near future. The answer to rule service needs to look at that and figure out the cos recovery side too, maybe double the price is the answer but maybe its triple or maybe no change is needed.

the other side of this is if there is one line crew that can do a high speed upgrade who gets it first Virden, Thompson or Morden, Worse with the pressure now on in Winnipeg that one crew might have to upgrade Winnipeg service first as that is needed to fund rural upgrades.

Network planning has lots of trade offs that need tomb considered. For example, if MTS said they could make Morden speed reliable for everyone by banning all streaming video like Netflix would that be an acceptable answer, likely not.
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Evan B, Official Rep

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Hello Josh, I'm sorry to hear about your struggles with the internet service in Morden and we thank you for your feedback and patience. We are aware of the congestion issues in the area and have already begun the execution phase of the upgrades. Currently, we are estimating for this to be resolved in the 4th quarter of this year. Keep in mind that this time frame is approximate and can be subject to change due to unanticipated delays.
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Josh

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It's now December 20th at 5:50pm and I'm sitting here with my 0.88 down and 0.38 up, just like every evening. I'm assuming they'll be finishing this upgrade over Christmas?
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Jeff Calder

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Not likely.  But CoryB will have some excuse as to why MTS is not at fault here...

I cancelled my MTS DSL in Letellier in early November due to these exact problems.  Using Netset which was good until the holidays hit.  Right now I can barely pull 1.5 mbps down on them as well.  There is no winning if you live in Rural MB and the ISPs just don't care.
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CoryB, Champion

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Thanks to ISED we have some public numbers to estimate cost of rural service. Two weeks ago they announced a plan to spend $500 million over 5 years to bring service improvements to 300 rural communities. This works out to about $1.67 million per community with a target population of about 1000 people, or more. Amortizing the back hual only over 20 years for a 1000 person community puts the service cost around $83/month before any of the local gear to hook up to consumers or the hardware rentals included in MTS services. It would not be unreasonable to say the true cost of 5/1 service to rural residents is over $100 on a 20 year amortization and nearing $200/month on a more realistic 10 year amortization. That said I don't think rural customers are prepared to drop $200/month for 5/1 service. if they think the CRTC ruling on broadband as a basic service is going to make things better, Bell is charging $110/month in urban markets in Ontario. Rural service is likely to be more expensive.
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Jeff Calder

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MTS has a pretty large subscriber base.  Pretty sure they could use some of the money they pull in from big places like Winnipeg, Brandon and Portage to provide service to the smaller areas.

I'm sure the copper telephone wires they stuck in 60 years ago were expensive too.

(Edited)
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Wally

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Those costs are not accurate! Many smaller ISP's will provide service to an area for just a few customers. Add in the money that has already been paid for services that have been paid for but never received and the true cost is even lower. To those that are waiting for upgrades to happen, I wouldn't be expecting much to change when/ if that ever happens. It is far more profitable to suck ever penny out of an oversold, under powered network than it is to provide proper upgrades. 
(Edited)
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Andy, Employee

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Josh, thank you for your post and MTS genuinely apologizes for the slow speeds you are experiencing.

A new DSL platform has been installed into Morden and we are planning on migrating 25% of Morden subscribers over to this platform in the coming weeks.  This new platform retains the same last mile access technology as the legacy platform, but takes advantage of the latest uplink transport technologies.  We are successfully migrating Morris subscribers at the moment and Morden is the next community we are targeting.

Unlike some other communities, transport hasn't been our only problem in Morden.  It was also an insufficient uplink on the DSL platform.  The reason we have had problems upgrading the uplink in Morden is that the existing platform is extremely full.  In order for us to add more uplink capacity, we need to actually remove subscriber cards.  Until we have a new platform to deload some of the subscribers off of, we were stuck making do with what we had.  Newer platforms like the one we have just installed no longer have these kinds of limitations.  

With 25% of the subscribers deloaded, it is my hope that congestion will be alleviated in the community.  To ensure this doesn't happen again, we will also be using the slots that have been freed up to add additional uplink capacity to ensure there is sufficient of uplink capacity for future increases in consumption.  Lastly, our Assignments group will no longer be putting new subscribers on the legacy platform.  This will ensure that subscribers on both platforms scale properly.  Both platforms utilize identical last mile access technology called ADSL.  This new platform won't provide the high speed plans (like Lightning-25 or Lightning-50) that available in communities like Winnipeg or Brandon.  However, our hope is a much improved service experience


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Clifford Lewis, Champion

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I'm going to guess Andy, that this is going to be the same type of solution you mentioned in the Gimli congestion topic?
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Andy, Employee

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Clifford, there are definitely some similarities.  Gimli doesn't share the same uplink limitations as Morden does.  As mentioned in that post, we are focusing on Pembina Valley communities first, hence Morden is being completed next.  Gimli is sixth on the list.  
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CoryB, Champion

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Would it be fair to say upgrades are focused on rural areas where residents are close together like a town/city?
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Andy, Employee

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CoryB, the initiatives that I have been involved with are all related to communities in which we already have HSI service.  So to answer your question, yes, it would have to be within the reach of existing DSL technology.
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Andy, Employee

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Both phases of upgrades to Morden DSL access have been completed.  We completed installing a new platform into Morden about 3 months ago which provided us with the room to upgrade the existing platform that the majority of subscribers are on.  Phase 2 effectively doubled the uplink available on the existing platform thereby alleviating any further congestion on the platform.  I hope subscribers in the area are now able to achieve a better internet experience and we thank you for your continued support.  If you are still experiencing congestion, please feel free to contact our customer support team at Mts.ca/contactus.  
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mcmanone, Champion

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Andy has Roblin been upgrade too this new platform as well?
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Andy, Employee

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Hi Mcmanone, thank you for your post.  Yes, all subscribers in Roblin have been migrated to the new platform.  The uplink on this new platform is many times greater than its predecessor.  All congestion should be alleviated.  If you are still experiencing congestion, please feel free to contact our customer support team at Mts.ca/contactus.  Also in the interest of keeping the thread on topic, please post a new thread for any new inquiries not related to Morden.