Latency - Gamers
Congestion and packetloss can occur in carious places between your Computer and the Game server (or any server on the internet):
- Your local network, e.g. poor wifi signal
- Your router, e.g. filling the available bandwidth with other traffic such as a Dropbox upload of your photos whilst playing a game
- Your connection to the exchange, e.g. too many people on the fibres from your FTTC cabinet to the exchange
- Your local exchange, e.g. the wholesale carrier has too many customers sharing the same back-hail links from the exchange into their network.
- The back-haul provider to ISP fibres, e.g. the links from BT to the ISP
- The ISP routers, e.g. too much load on individual core routers at the ISP
- The links from the ISP to the wider internet
- The links from the wider internet to the Game server
- The game server itself
As we are the ISP in between your computer and the game server there are various things we do to monitor some of these points:
Monitoring your connection to the exchange
We monitor and graph your broadband connection and produce 'CQM' (Constant Quality Monitoring) graphs that show loss and latency along with usage. These are available to customers and Technical support staff use this everyday to help diagnose faults.
Monitoring Exchanges and Back haul nodes
We have daily reports taken from all our individual DSL connections which will say if we are seeing a common problem that is affecting an individual exchange or a back-haul network node (e.g. a BRAS). This is published at: https://control.aa.net.uk/congestion.cgi
Monitoring back-haul provider to ISP fibres
Our aim is to never be the bottleneck, and so once your traffic hits our network it will be passing through routers and fibres that are monitored and upgraded before they reach capacity. For example, in November 2016 we upgraded our fibres in to TalkTalk and January 2017 saw an upgrade to our fibres in to BT.
As with our back-haul fibres staff monitor and increase capacity on our links to the Internet. We have multiple peering and transit points, and we work to reduce the number of hops to the far end whenever possible.