Severe Packet Loss/Latency That Disappears when Downloading?

Hi all,

Similar to a lot of folks on here, I have had crazy high latency and packet loss for around 6 months now. 4 tech visits and one FCC complaint later Cox finally concluded we are on a very oversaturated node and a node split is in the works (I keep getting arbitrary dates, nothing set in stone so no idea when this will happen). I've been using pingplotter for a few months now to track my latency and have noticed it gets a tiny bit better (still unacceptable though) late in the evening or early morning which tracks with a congestion issue. My connection is interfering with my ability to work from home as I can barely communicate during meetings due to how choppy my audio is. Any sort of gaming that requires low latency is also impossible.

I have noticed something interesting however. My ping generally looks something like the following:

However when I download a file for example on Steam, my latency and packet loss suddenly fixes itself.

You can see above right where I start downloading something. I might add that this effect only happens when I download at my max speeds, if I throttle my connection to anything lower than the maximum it stays inconsistent.

Here is another picture showing both before and after I download for a bit, you can clearly see the start and stop.

I've been using this as a way to get some sort of stability in my connection when I need to, and as a result had to upgrade to unlimited data to avoid overages... So now I'm paying $50 more a month to be able to use my internet. 

Here are my modem levels if that is needed. I have a CM1000 and a Nighthawk X4S. This is a new modem (replaced it a couple months ago because I thought it was the issue), and yes I have already tried bypassing the router. Multiple Cox techs have confirmed the issue is outside of my house 

I have not gotten an answer out of Cox on why this is happening. Anyone else ever seen this or have any ideas why using more bandwidth seems to "fix" the problem?

  • @Pademo

    We've seen an increase in internet traffic as people have shifted their work and school activities home in response to Coronavirus. You may be experiencing impacts in your neighborhood at certain times of day, and that can be frustrating. Our engineers are working to provide the best possible experience with no ETR. In the meantime, here are a few things you can do. www.cox.com/.../our-network -and-your-home-internet-experience-helpful-tips.pdf

    Jonathan J
    Cox Moderator

  • Wow, this is actually nuts. I've had the same problem for over a year now and have reached out to cox probably 50 times and done everything they've said and it's still horrible. I'm going to monitor my connection while I'm downloading something and see if I get the same results as you. At this point I am convinced it is a problem on Cox's end and they are just refusing to acknowledge it's their issue.

    What's funny is that at one point, we upgraded to something that costs $10 more a month, it wasn't gigablast but it had something to do with giving us priority in their network or something. I don't know what it was called and it sounded like BS but literally as soon as we bought it the problem was gone for like a month. Then it came back. So now we're paying extra for the same *** internet. But it proved that they have the ability with the touch of a button to fix the issue. Literally went from so laggy it made every game I have unplayable, to perfect internet with zero issues after one phone call and shelling out some extra cash.

    I also submitted a complaint to the FCC about a month ago because I felt like I was absolutely not getting what I was paying for (at a ridiculously high price besides) and Cox clearly couldn't permanently fix the problem for us.  Cox was forced to reach out to resolve the issue, and huh WHAT DO YOU KNOW? MY INTERNET MAGICALLY FIXED ITSELF. ...For about 3 weeks... Aaaaaand now it's back to the same *** internet as before.

    I've literally done everything they said to do. Had technicians come out, upgraded modem, use hardwired connections only, upgraded our account, the list goes on. We literally had a technician out YESTERDAY who said he fixed the problem by replacing some kind of wiring link outside our home, and literally 10 minutes after he left it was back to the same packet loss, lag, etc. So, today I called back to let them know whatever they did was unsuccessful, and they hung up on me, twice. I finally spoke with someone who DIDN'T hang up on me, and they said someone would call tomorrow to schedule another home visit.

    This has become a literal nightmare, and I am exhausted and angry that I've spent all this time, money, and energy on an issue that shouldn't be this hard to fix. Cox made TWENTY-NINE BILLION DOLLARS in 2019 alone! And they can't even provide a decent service to their loyal customers! This is why net neutrality is so important. We can't let ISPs become dictators of information or services that should be free to access for everyone! This is only going to get worse unless we do something about it!