Broadband News

The melting Vodafone home broadband network - UPDATED

We missed this in our daily work sifting through speed test results as it was a Bank Holiday Weekend but we have also learnt to not shout about a problem until the data supports that and after a couple of days where the average performance from Vodafone Home broadband customers is down it looks like it is time to shout. Mark of ISPreview has spotted the increased volume of complaints on social media from Vodafone customers.

The chart is pretty clear starting on the 23rd August 2019 there was a big dip in both the median and mean average download speeds we saw from speed test results. The dip on the 23rd is only marginally below the normal range but now with four consecutive days of low averages it is clear something is going on at Vodafone.

The chart is showing the averages for the full 24 hours of each day and the effect is even more pronounced if we look at just speed tests down each between 7pm and 10pm.

7pm to 10pmMedian downloadMean Download
Monday 26th August 6.2 Mbps 13 Mbps
Sunday 25th August 9.3 Mbps  16.8 Mbps
Saturday 24th August 14.3 Mbps 20.7 Mbps
Friday 23rd August 9.4 Mbps  16.8 Mbps
Thursday 22nd August 31.1 Mbps  32.8 Mbps
Wednesday 21st August 28.5 Mbps 37.5 Mbps
Monday 20th August 25.1 Mbps 32.3 Mbps

We have looked at BT, EE, Plusnet, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media results on a daily basis and there are all staying within their normal pattern, so this does not look to be an effect of people hiding indoors from the hot weather over the weekend, an external factor like that would be expected to show up on all the providers. Of course it may be data usage climbing as people do more online, i.e. combined effect of kids and parents off school and Vodafone has been the only major provider that has run out of capacity on its network. If this is the case then once the results for Tuesday 27th become available we would expect things to improve since most people are back at work today.

We do run automated checking on the speed test results for the major providers with internal alerts to tell us something unusual is happening but these were not triggered since Vodafone Home Broadband is the smallest of the major providers and the volume of tests was below the threshold for sending out the automated alert. Additionally I also am running a Vodafone FTTC connection as my home service and it has been streaming films and gaming without any undue effects, though web browsing was a bit messy on Friday but switching to the second connection with another provider resolved that (the odd slower than perfect web browsing period on Vodafone was not that unusual so did not ring alarm bells).

Update Wednesday 28th August: The performance levels seen across the full 24 hour period and peak time window have returned to normal at Vodafone for the VDSL2 and FTTP customers. The peak time download median was 30.1 Mbps and mean 32.7 Mbps, with the 24 hour averages of median 32.6 Mbps and mean 

No information on what the problem was, the simplest explanation seems to be that the weekend was busier than usual and there was not sufficient spare capacity in the core network to cope. Whatever the cause that the Vodafone Gigafast customers were affected does exist to remind everyone that full fibre connectivity to the home solves some problems but does not guarantee a perfect broadband experience.

Comments

Having only just returned from a holiday, I've yet to experience this for myself fully, this time around, but last year when we saw something similar it was accompanied by some truly bizarre routing! The worst personal example saw a connection from Teeside to bbc.co.uk being routed via Ireland, the USA, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Spain, and a few in-between that I fail to remember, before hitting the BBC back in London! A common feature of the routing seemed to be that it remained inside the Vodafone/C&W network throughout its global circumnavigation.

  • Crimliar
  • 25 days ago

I thought the drop in speed was due to a critical Windows patch being released and everyone in the building getting updates of their PC.

  • rowie
  • 23 days ago

I've been with Vodafone now for 18 months and on the whole it has been OK. I wasn't checking download speeds lately, however there were no obvious signs of a big slowdown and we often have three of us streaming different HD or 4K services at the same time. The tendency has usually been for fast daytime speeds around 70mbps over wifi during the day, then dipping to just under 60mbps during peak hours at night.

A couple days ago there was some unexpected downtime lasting about an hour and they confirmed there was work being done in the area. Perhaps it was to deal with capacity issues.

  • spartax
  • 21 days ago

Issue is back again tonight!

  • Adam86
  • 19 days ago

Agree with Adam, Seems back tonight on my Voda FTTC line, but my Voda Cityfibre FTTH line seems fine. http://f8luresig.mouselike.org/sig.png?/60383.png
http://f8luresig.mouselike.org/sig.png?/60500.png

  • brusuth
  • 19 days ago

Buy cheap etc etc

  • Alucidnation
  • 19 days ago

Seems they do have an issue tonight.
https://twitter.com/VodafoneUK/status/1168281012599775233?s=20

  • brusuth
  • 19 days ago

My service has sucked for a long time. Tried to get it fixed twice and a waste of time messing around with connections to the home router just agitated me.

  • Harrymartinson
  • 18 days ago

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