Smart hub speed issues

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JC99
Just Moved In

I have a smart hub installed with an outside antenna 1 mile away from a tower. My problem is that the download speed starts off well above the 25 Mb. limit but slowly drops down to less than 1Mb. Doing a short term speed test shows good speed but does not last long enough to show the drop off. A longer video test on Speedtest.net will almost always fail. 
If I switch over to my cell data on the Rogers network during a long download the speed is great. Switching back to TELUS gives me a quick burst then a steady decline to dial up speeds at times. This happens both on a wired  and wireless network with the same results on different computers and at all times of the day. Anyone have an idea of what the problem might be?

KnightShadey
Neighbour

Sounds like you're using a Smart Hub for rural internet, and a lot of other people are doing the same in that sector and the available spectrum or tower backhaul is saturated. Rogers likely has fewer people on their tower even if it might be further away, and since they don't offer as many rural internet products in the incumbent's backyard, they likely don't have as many of the same issues.

 

Rural Hubs in congested areas will always be focused on providing balanced & sliced data transmission options which are better suited for browsing and quick short clip viewing,mthat can be achieved in short bursts , not so much sustained video feeds.

 

This will likely improve over time as often is the case, and possibly be one of the few improvements with some added 5G capacity in the area considering your close proximity to the tower, but if you're in a congested tower sector with a bunch of people fairly close to the tower, then it may never provide sustained speeds vs less congested providers.

 

Starlink near term might be better for sustained throughput, but with more latency and more susceptibility to weather conditions. Also, likely within a few years Starlink will provide slower speeds than future Hubs in the leap-frogging of speeds.

 

Could be other things, but sounds like rural tower congestion. 🤔 🤷🏻‍

JC99
Just Moved In

The tower I am working off is situated in a small village in southern Alberta so I would not think it is very congested. When I first set up the hub I was getting speeds in excess of 100 Mb. and could easily download large files. Unfortunately the bandwidth filters kicked in and my service went down the tubes. That shows me that the potential is there and that it is something that TELUS is doing that restricts my service.

KnightShadey
Neighbour

Single rural towers are still prone to congestion when a bunch of folks on hubs are using the network, especially as they flee cities like Calgary to work from their cottage as workplaces and schools are closed. Still a limited spectrum and backhaul resource in these rural areas, and a lot harder to increase capacity, unlike the city where a cheap fibre drop and a couple of micro/femtocells can provide load balancing for little time & cost.

 

5G can help a bit there, especially with your close proximity to a tower, but if the backhaul is the current chokepoint, even 5G can't help.

 

However, if you're being throttled for usage, that's a different issue, and not one anyone else can address, nor something another provider would likely help with as everyone has similar policies, and if their network gets congested, you're the first to feel it. You have a better chance on a less popular network provider if they have excess capacity, but even then they usually don't have as many towers, or as good deals as local providers, because they focus more on profitable cities.

 

Again, Starlink is an option, they currently don't have data caps, but that will likely change once more people are on, but due to their agreements with the govts here and in the US I suspect 1TB will be the lowest they go, considering the push for true realistic rural access, and not the pipe-dreams of 50/10 old tech wireline & cell anytime soon.

 

If you use a lot, and you're not latency or up-time constrained, but mostly bandwidth & total throughput limited, the Starlink might better suit your needs vs a Hub.