Peak/Off-peak Shaping exceeding 2GB & mixed messages

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numptyNiels
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:37 pm
Location: Melbourne

Peak/Off-peak Shaping exceeding 2GB & mixed messages

Post by numptyNiels » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:34 am

Hi folks,

Overall I get what the process is trying to do but I just wanted to feedback what I found to be a somewhat confusing process;

Account details:
Naked-DSL NonphoneA Plan - 18GB Peak / 54GB Off-Peak
Throttle settings: Peak - go nuts & pay more. Off-peak: Throttle
Peak definition: 2am - 2pm

In the last 24 hours I have seemingly exceeded my off-peak allowance which is cool and as I would've expected I would have the off-peak period throttled.

Thing is I was unaware of this (worked fine last night) and came home to my modem/router not being able to maintain a connection (ADSL presence would flash, resolve, PPP would engage then all would cycle - VOIP was completely out). Eventually through a fair bit of stuffing about I got my browser by chance to a blockout Exetel page which informed me I had exceeded 2GB beyond my throttle and to continue I had to agree to pay $6/GB until being reset at the end of the month. Click the agree button, wait 5 mins and all hunky dory.

Cool, except for the following comments;

1. To this moment my off-peak via online account states I'm 55,026MB in i.e. 1.026GB over my 54GB limit, not >2GB. How do I know which is correct?

2. The blockout page kept on referring to exceeding the 12am-12pm limit yet I opted for a 2am-2pm window, which applies in this case?

2. Though I can understand that the throttle process isn't exact at kicking in, I'm surprised that it allowed >2GB of traffic in a 24hr window (aka 1 day of off-peak slot) to get through i.e. unless I was on the ball before the curtain came down I had no chance of preventing it from exceeding the 2GB 'grace' of the throttle option.

3. This is more generic - but in my view its a shame that if this curtain comes down to force accepting the $6/GB charge, or for any other reason really, that the VOIP connnectivity should be lost. I presume this also means that during the shaped period I'll lose on my VOIP call quality? (VOIP is with exetel, btw).

4. On re-checking the download options page (https://www.exetel.com.au/members/chang ... period.php) the page is misleading as it states the initial warning up the top "if you have selected the 'shaped' option it is valid for a further 2 gigabytes of downloads for the remainder of the calendar month." but then under the option to check the box the disclaimer "once that allowance is reached and if I then exceed 60 gbytes in this period I will be charged at a rate of $6.00 per gb or part thereof" - presumably this is erroneous for people like myself with a different off-peak cap to 60GB?

As mentioned all in all I'm not that preturbed; if I've exceeded my cap then I'm happy to be throttled. If I've gone beyond my throttled 'grace' then I'm happy to pay for additional traffic. What I wasn't chuffed with though was that those 2 events managed to kick in within effectively 12 hours (1 off-peak cycle), with no e-mail or other notification to me and further at the cost of my voip service dropping out and then furthermore various pages on the site leading to mixed messages of what has actually happened.

Be nice to get a little clarity from an otherwise v.happy Exetel customer.

Cheers,

- Niels.

CoreyPlover
Volunteer Site Admin
Posts: 5922
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 2:24 pm
Location: Melbourne, VIC

Re: Peak/Off-peak Shaping exceeding 2GB & mixed messages

Post by CoreyPlover » Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:07 am

numptyNiels wrote:Thing is I was unaware of this (worked fine last night) and came home to my modem/router not being able to maintain a connection (ADSL presence would flash, resolve, PPP would engage then all would cycle - VOIP was completely out).
As you found out, this is due to the automatic block page. Exetel temporarily put shaped connections into separate IP address ranges which redirect them to a portal to ensure they are aware of the shaping charges, etc.
numptyNiels wrote:1. To this moment my off-peak via online account states I'm 55,026MB in i.e. 1.026GB over my 54GB limit, not >2GB. How do I know which is correct?
The usage meter is more correct, though you should check its timestamp to see when it last tallied your downloads
numptyNiels wrote:2. The blockout page kept on referring to exceeding the 12am-12pm limit yet I opted for a 2am-2pm window, which applies in this case?
2am-2pm. The 12am-12pm wil simply be hardcoded text leftover from before the user choices were implemented.
numptyNiels wrote:2. Though I can understand that the throttle process isn't exact at kicking in, I'm surprised that it allowed >2GB of traffic in a 24hr window (aka 1 day of off-peak slot) to get through i.e. unless I was on the ball before the curtain came down I had no chance of preventing it from exceeding the 2GB 'grace' of the throttle option.
The throttling only applied to external Exetel traffic. Internal traffic (including transfers to other Exetel users, transfers from the P2P cache and possibly Akamai cache will be unthrottled. This is due to the Exetel network topography
numptyNiels wrote:3. This is more generic - but in my view its a shame that if this curtain comes down to force accepting the $6/GB charge, or for any other reason really, that the VOIP connnectivity should be lost. I presume this also means that during the shaped period I'll lose on my VOIP call quality? (VOIP is with exetel, btw).
I don't think you should lose VOIP connectivity. If it happens again, then it would probably be worthy of an email to residentialsupport@exetel.com.au. Also, there may be an option on the usage block page to acknowledge the charges and not remind you again. This may also help prevent the lose of connectivity.
numptyNiels wrote:4. On re-checking the download options page (https://www.exetel.com.au/members/chang ... period.php) the page is misleading as it states the initial warning up the top "if you have selected the 'shaped' option it is valid for a further 2 gigabytes of downloads for the remainder of the calendar month." but then under the option to check the box the disclaimer "once that allowance is reached and if I then exceed 60 gbytes in this period I will be charged at a rate of $6.00 per gb or part thereof" - presumably this is erroneous for people like myself with a different off-peak cap to 60GB?
Yes, again this is likely to be a remnant typo. Given all the user options and grandfathered plans it is difficult to get wording correct

numptyNiels
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:37 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Peak/Off-peak Shaping exceeding 2GB & mixed messages

Post by numptyNiels » Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:45 am

Thanks for the quick reply, just a few more then while I have you :-)
CoreyPlover wrote:
numptyNiels wrote:1. To this moment my off-peak via online account states I'm 55,026MB in i.e. 1.026GB over my 54GB limit, not >2GB. How do I know which is correct?
The usage meter is more correct, though you should check its timestamp to see when it last tallied your downloads
Sooo.... I go check that right now and it states (I have a screen grab if you'd like);

Current Month's ADSL Usage (view detailed)
Display Settings

Your Usage From: 01-August-2009 (Updated at 2009-08-19 00:34:12)
Peak | Period Option: 2:00 pm to 2:00 am
8.09 GB / 18 GB (44.94%)
Off-Peak | Period Option: 2:00 am to 2:00 pm
55.03 GB / 54 GB (101.91%)
Monthly Progress
19 / 31 (61%)

Usage Meter Server Time is 2009-08-19 01:33:29 AM.
Downloads are currently being metered as peak usage.


I still don't see this as exceeding the 2GB rule. Am I in this paying $6/GB bucket yet or was the block screen a warning of what will happen if I do happen to exceed?

CoreyPlover wrote:
numptyNiels wrote:2. Though I can understand that the throttle process isn't exact at kicking in, I'm surprised that it allowed >2GB of traffic in a 24hr window (aka 1 day of off-peak slot) to get through i.e. unless I was on the ball before the curtain came down I had no chance of preventing it from exceeding the 2GB 'grace' of the throttle option.
The throttling only applied to external Exetel traffic. Internal traffic (including transfers to other Exetel users, transfers from the P2P cache and possibly Akamai cache will be unthrottled. This is due to the Exetel network topography
That makes a bit more sense, but to clarify - though the throttle won't detect it and come down to slow excess usage the actual traffic will still count towards my usage?
CoreyPlover wrote:
numptyNiels wrote:3. This is more generic - but in my view its a shame that if this curtain comes down to force accepting the $6/GB charge, or for any other reason really, that the VOIP connnectivity should be lost. I presume this also means that during the shaped period I'll lose on my VOIP call quality? (VOIP is with exetel, btw).
I don't think you should lose VOIP connectivity. If it happens again, then it would probably be worthy of an email to residentialsupport@exetel.com.au. Also, there may be an option on the usage block page to acknowledge the charges and not remind you again. This may also help prevent the lose of connectivity.
Yeah I (hesitantly) ticked that box thinking it'd help with the VOIP but leave me exposed to unrequited off-peak excess downloads. The VOIP wasn't working (I presume) because the router/voip ATA couldn't maintain a PPP presence. But I'll play this by ear and e-mail support if it happens again.

CoreyPlover
Volunteer Site Admin
Posts: 5922
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 2:24 pm
Location: Melbourne, VIC

Re: Peak/Off-peak Shaping exceeding 2GB & mixed messages

Post by CoreyPlover » Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:30 am

numptyNiels wrote:I still don't see this as exceeding the 2GB rule. Am I in this paying $6/GB bucket yet or was the block screen a warning of what will happen if I do happen to exceed?
The later. You are still within the 2GB shaped buffer and the block screen is a warning that excess fees will apply once once you exceed this 2GB additional buffer.
numptyNiels wrote:That makes a bit more sense, but to clarify - though the throttle won't detect it and come down to slow excess usage the actual traffic will still count towards my usage?
Correct. All usage, shaped or internally unshaped, contributes to your usage

numptyNiels
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:37 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Peak/Off-peak Shaping exceeding 2GB & mixed messages

Post by numptyNiels » Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:03 pm

Cool, thanks for the clarification.

Ultimately it would be better in my mind for the throttle to kick in faster i.e. be mindful of all traffic that contributes to usage irrespective or internal or otherwise but i'm sure, as you eluded, this is not possible / desirable due to how the network's been designed so I suppose we just need to be mindful of that and try to slow down usage before getting close to that trigger.

Cheers again for the speedy replies.

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