Please release a working version of fq_codel for Bufferbloat for the COVID-19 situation

Coronavirus COVID-19 is playing havoc with the internet speeds for many homeowners as people stay home from work. There are more people at home, more of the time and they are often having to access critical workplace applications as well as frequently use videoconferencing (Zoom, Teams, etc.) placing higher than normal demands on bandwidth.

Fq_codel Active/Smart Queue Management addresses these issues, reducing Bufferbloat delays and balancing competing bandwidth demands in home situations where customers are up against either their bandwidth limits or experiencing last mile cable/DSL contention from other homes.

I am requesting that Peplink please consider quickly completing the remainder of the work for fq_codel and releasing it in new firmware to address the Quarantine situation, just like what you are doing with Peplink’s commendable free SpeedFusion for 90 days.

Fq_codel was released over a year ago as the “Mitigate Bufferbloat” option in Beta 8 firmware. My understanding is that the uplink portion was completed, but the downlink portion was and still remains uncompleted. The fq_codel code is part of the Linux kernel which Peplink uses, so this is a matter of taking advantage of existing Linux capabilities.

Please see the lengthy “Need Active Queue Management for Bufferbloat (fq_codel)” product discussion for many more details and history.

Thank you for your consideration.

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FYI, I’m involved this week helping a number of frustrated families who have 20Mb DSL links with ISP routers which need to support online schooling and parents working at home as they social distance for COVID-19. It would certainly be great if the Surf Soho had working fq_codel for Bufferbloat. I am having to turn elsewhere than Peplink currently.

I am happy to share that I have been successful in making a 20Mbps DSL link improve from a “D” Bufferbloat grade to an “A” grade on Speed test - how fast is your internet? | DSLReports, ISP Information on my Balance One Core running 8.0.2 build 4407:

  1. Enable “DSL/Cable Optimization”. By itself, this didn’t affect the “D” grade. On a Balance, it is under “Network->QoS->Application->DSL/Cable Optimization”. On a Surf Soho, it is under “Advanced->QoS->Application->DSL/Cable Optimization”.

  2. Configure the Upload Bandwidth to 500 kbps and the Download Bandwidth to 15Mbps. A good starting point is 10-15% below your ISP’s provisioned speeds. I ended up being more aggressive than 10% since my 20Mb DSL link is slowing down a great deal more these days.

  3. Enable “Mitigate bufferbloat” on the Support page. This is the option which turns on fq_codel for Upload, but not currently for Download. On my Balance, this was “”. On the home page, I just change “index.cgi” to “support.cgi” in the url to reach this special option.

Caveat: Given that Peplink’s fq_codel is only working for Uploads, not Downloads, your mileage may vary.

For the record, here is my starting DSL test, followed by enabling DSL/Cable Optimization, and finally after Mitigate bufferbloat. Yes, my DSL download speeds are all over the map these days. And yes, the final run at 20.9Mbps exceeded the WAN Download Bandwidth configuration of 15Mbps (currently fq_codel is not currently working for download).

(My Balance One Core replaced my Surf Soho dual WAN setup when Comcast/Xfinity doubled my speed.)


If you want to determine whether or not Peplink’s current Mitigate Bufferbloat option will take care of your poor Speed test - how fast is your internet? | DSLReports, ISP Information bufferbloat results, save your results so you can view details. Then examine the Grades area to see the chart showing Bufferbloat lag. Mitigate Bufferbloat can currently take care of Upload lag. So if Download lag is good, then Mitigate Bufferbloat will allow you to achieve a good bufferbloat rating. The chart is split into different color bands to help you determine if you are ok or not. Red/pink is not good. Yellow is satisfactory. White is what you are striving for.

Please note that you only need to enable Mitigate Bufferbloat. You don’t need to enable “DSL/Cable Optimization”. I.e., ignore my step #1 above.

Someday when Peplink gets around to implementing fq_codel for downloads, your tcp/ip connections will get fair queuing (“fq”) to help make sure some tcp/ip connections do not crowd out others. I hope to see Peplink included on Jim Gettys list of “Home products that fix/mitigate bufferbloat…” in the future. Jim Gettys is a co-founder of the bufferbloat group. Dave Taht has been working extensively on bufferbloat too.