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The United States sad State of Broadband :(

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  • intelman

    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/03/the-cost-to-offer-the-worlds-fastest-broadband-20-per-home/

    I found that article amazing, amazing that companies over seas are so quick to upgrade and provide true value for the money. I'm stuck in an area (when I"m not at campus, there I have Internet2) where Time Warner's Roadrunner is the only provider right now.

    The cable companies, like Comcast and Cablevision, that are moving quickly to install the fast broadband technology.... Meanwhile other companies, like Time Warner Cable, are moving much more slowly to upgrade.

    I wish this could change, even the "best" cable providers in the US are pathetically slow in comparison. Uploading videos to youtube or vimeo are impossible. Even photos to photos.live.com, skydrive, or flickr are painfully slow. I can not even begin to think about hosting my own game server, which I have been working on for a few days only to find out that ping spikes will happen because of my poor upload.

    The scary part about all this is I do not think it will change anytime soon. How can I even take advantage of all these neat services with this kind of connection? I simply can not.

    Are you guys just as unlucky? Where do I have to go to get some decent internet access?

  • Cream​Filling512

    Internet2 isn't an ISP, its a completely separate network from the Internet that connects educational institutions on big pipes.  It was a lot of fun when I was in college before i2hub got shut down.

    Most of the country is stuck with Comcast, for better or worse.  They currently offer DOCSIS 3.0 modems and can do up to 50 mbps down/5 up in some areas, this should grow to 150 mbps over the next few years.  I think Verizon FiOS is the best Internet service you can get right now but their availability is really spotty right now, especially in apartments.  The biggest problem I have with Comcast (I'm on a 30 mbit tier), is they really don't have the network capacity to handle the advertised speeds.  My transfer rates go up and down with the time of day, moon phase, ambient temperature, sunspots, and what I had for lunch.

  • intelman

    CreamFilling512 said:
    Internet2 isn't an ISP, its a completely separate network from the Internet that connects educational institutions on big pipes.  It was a lot of fun when I was in college before i2hub got shut down.

    Most of the country is stuck with Comcast, for better or worse.  They currently offer DOCSIS 3.0 modems and can do up to 50 mbps down/5 up in some areas, this should grow to 150 mbps over the next few years.  I think Verizon FiOS is the best Internet service you can get right now but their availability is really spotty right now, especially in apartments.  The biggest problem I have with Comcast (I'm on a 30 mbit tier), is they really don't have the network capacity to handle the advertised speeds.  My transfer rates go up and down with the time of day, moon phase, ambient temperature, sunspots, and what I had for lunch.
    I realize that Internet 2 isn't an ISP, it is wonderful non the less.  The technology behind it is pretty neat. Using multiple colors through fiber.....

    I'm stuck with 7mbps/0.5mbps

  • figuerres

    Well there are several issues that make things the way they are.

    for example the geography, many places in the us are spread out and for the plant owner to upgrade the "backbone" can be very costly.
    also inn the US so far most cable operators carry data in "holes" between video content and on the low end of the rf they have an area that they can't use due to RF noise.

    I worked on a project where the boss wanted to offer more data / internet and we learned that in other countries they did not do the analog coverage the way the us does. that by droping that and doing digital video only you get a lot more bandwith for data.
    *BUT*  to do that the operator has to provide a set top box to every subscriber or lose the folks who do not have them / pay for them.
    so for example low income or seniors become disadvantaged etc....

    also in many places outside the us the size is small with many subscribers per mile of cable, and often even phone cable is fairly new in the more remote areas.

    and what role does the Goverment play in each area ?

    for example in the US telephone companys have special accounting rules they follow that were mandated by the goverment to make sure they would get a profit, this has to do with the very early days when most folks did not have phone service and the goverment saw the benefit of getting every town connected. 

    if the goverment pays then it's easy to rip out and repllace old wires.

    I dealt with folks at moto and it was amazing the gap between what is possible and what they can sell ....
    most cable operators are only really looking for revenue, they only upgrade when that cash stream looks in touble.

    talk to city and county goverments about why they only have one franchise....
    they cna allow or deny the entry of a second network.

    talk to apartment complexes about why they generaly only alow one network....

    cable companies call large apt. complexes an "MDU" they traditionaly would make a deal with the complex to grant them exlusive access.
    that gives the consumer no way to chose an alternate provider if there was one in the area.

    in another thread I metnion the "telco" style of things Vs. the Intenret style
    the one cable op in a town or in an MDU are classic examples of why that is a bad thing.
    but most folks never complain to the city county or state goverment and point this out to the powers that be.

  • figuerres

    CreamFilling512 said:
    Internet2 isn't an ISP, its a completely separate network from the Internet that connects educational institutions on big pipes.  It was a lot of fun when I was in college before i2hub got shut down.

    Most of the country is stuck with Comcast, for better or worse.  They currently offer DOCSIS 3.0 modems and can do up to 50 mbps down/5 up in some areas, this should grow to 150 mbps over the next few years.  I think Verizon FiOS is the best Internet service you can get right now but their availability is really spotty right now, especially in apartments.  The biggest problem I have with Comcast (I'm on a 30 mbit tier), is they really don't have the network capacity to handle the advertised speeds.  My transfer rates go up and down with the time of day, moon phase, ambient temperature, sunspots, and what I had for lunch.
    hey see what i said about digital / analog and RF.

    if for example you drooped the video then that modem could do like 100 down and 50 up Smiley

    half the problem is where to put the bandwith on cable network ... ppv for example eats a big chunk and so does low freq analog.

    think of all the channels that are carried 2 or 3 times  std def, hd and second language.... now if you only streamed one hd digital video and 2-3 audio ... then do that times like 100 channels ... lots more room to use.

  • Ion Todirel

    from what I've heard Comcast is the worst ISP ever Smiley

  • figuerres

    Ion Todirel said:
    from what I've heard Comcast is the worst ISP ever Smiley
    hear that before...

    Verizon is not very good ither....  for example you can't get anyone in billing or *any* office after 6pm or on saturdays.

    you can call support but that's it.

    and due to the fcc regs + the way they organise if you have a cross-line probem ... yeak!

    when I went for Fios i took the bundel that included cell phone service, they messed up the phone part and it took like 3 days of making calls before it was solved...  fios runs the order but landline dept. creates the wirelss order but wireless does not have the customer in the wireless data set, but the phone says call wireless with any problems - then they can't find the account but fios is closed and....
    3 days later wirelss creates a new account to make the phone work.

  • Cupiditas

    intelman said:
    CreamFilling512 said:
    *snip*
    I realize that Internet 2 isn't an ISP, it is wonderful non the less.  The technology behind it is pretty neat. Using multiple colors through fiber.....

    I'm stuck with 7mbps/0.5mbps

    That must be so hard.

    The fastest available where I live is 1.5mbps. And you never get that kind of speed out of it. If I was a few kilometres further out I'd still be on dial up or expensive Satellite internet. The maximum limit you can get for under $100 a month is 25gb (it's called unlimited, but it's not) up and down.

    The state of internet in Australia is awful.

  • tfraser

    Cupiditas said:
    intelman said:
    *snip*

    That must be so hard.

    The fastest available where I live is 1.5mbps. And you never get that kind of speed out of it. If I was a few kilometres further out I'd still be on dial up or expensive Satellite internet. The maximum limit you can get for under $100 a month is 25gb (it's called unlimited, but it's not) up and down.

    The state of internet in Australia is awful.

    Is this in a rural or semi-rural area? Most urban areas have residential access to 8 Mbps and a lot are now at 20 to 24 Mbps (what I get) since ISPs started building their own DSLAMs into the network. When (or if) the FTTN network is done there should be 98 percent coverage at speeds of 12 Mbps.

    Data allowance rates and prices are bad though, probably because the network needs to be so big and most of the data has to come all the way from the northern hemisphere.

  • Sven Groot

    I have 160Mbps. Tongue Out Theoretically, anyway. I rarely actually get that kind of speed for real. Still, it's pretty damn fast. Smiley

  • phreaks

    Yeah, it's sad really.

    I only have 1 choice for an ISP if I want high-speed.

    My rated speed is pretty decent, but it's rare that I ever acheive them.

    Line is rate at 50/10 Mbps, but typically I'm downloading at 2Mbps and uploading at 1.5.

    So I'm not sure how they actually do the ratings, but I'm pretty sure it's a big lie anyway.

  • figuerres

    phreaks said:
    Yeah, it's sad really.

    I only have 1 choice for an ISP if I want high-speed.

    My rated speed is pretty decent, but it's rare that I ever acheive them.

    Line is rate at 50/10 Mbps, but typically I'm downloading at 2Mbps and uploading at 1.5.

    So I'm not sure how they actually do the ratings, but I'm pretty sure it's a big lie anyway.
    the worst part generaly goes like this:

    from the customer to the isp's DC the capability  might be for example 50 down and 10 up

    but the isp's connection to the internet might be based on say 1 in 10 users at any time hitting the internet.

    so they can say you have a  50/10 connection but they never say that the internet speed will be 50/10

    and given that any web site may be slow and that most of the time most users will not notice they get by with not havng to pay for more bandwith at the backbone.

    when everyone had modems isp's had formulas on when to add modem cards based in part on the # of accounts and how often they got busy singals.

    same idea on buying more bandwith, you try to keep the cost down w/o losing accounts.

  • Cupiditas

    tfraser said:
    Cupiditas said:
    *snip*
    Is this in a rural or semi-rural area? Most urban areas have residential access to 8 Mbps and a lot are now at 20 to 24 Mbps (what I get) since ISPs started building their own DSLAMs into the network. When (or if) the FTTN network is done there should be 98 percent coverage at speeds of 12 Mbps.

    Data allowance rates and prices are bad though, probably because the network needs to be so big and most of the data has to come all the way from the northern hemisphere.

    Semi-rural. Sad

    Although I'm at uni (Melbourne suburbs) now; the net here is about the same speed but with pretty much the whole place pulling off it.

  • tfraser

    Cupiditas said:
    tfraser said:
    *snip*

    Semi-rural. Sad

    Although I'm at uni (Melbourne suburbs) now; the net here is about the same speed but with pretty much the whole place pulling off it.

    The Government has announced their plans now. It all looks a lot better than I was expecting; about 90 percent coverage at 100 Mbps with 12 Mbps wireless for those that the cables won't reach. This is much faster than what was planned before. It also mentions that towns with 1000 or more residents are eligible for the fibre optic goodness, so that will give some indication as to whether you fall in that category.

    I also saw the 7.30 Report feature covering the news, in which someone they interviewed said, "potentially, consumers could receive speeds of up to a gigabit a second on this network architecture". Unlikely, I would think ... but still an awesome thought nonetheless.

  • Duncanma

    When I visit my mom, I normally end up on a regular phone line / modem connection ... not sure what the effective speed is, but probably < 40 Kbps ... which used to seem pretty normal, but is hard to handle now. Recently a group of communities got together and put up some dishes in the middle of their various valleys, then you put a dish on your house and aim it at the nearest central one (every couple of kilometer area needs a new main dish due to all the mountains in her area). You end up with 'high speed' ... but I think we are still talking maybe a few hundred kbps after all the transmission hops. More fun is when a snow storm hits, like it did on my last trip there, and the dishes get knocked out of alignment Smiley

    We had to wait for a guy to drive his little 4x4 ATV out to the central dish and realign it.

  • intelman

    Hosting your own game servers is so hard. Getting host on Xbox is so hard.

    I want to host a Call of Duty World at War server for PC, but it is so difficult with these limitations. Web 2.0 is impossible.

    Software + services is dangerous. I want a rich win32 email client, I want locally hosted things.

  • Cupiditas

    tfraser said:
    Cupiditas said:
    *snip*
    The Government has announced their plans now. It all looks a lot better than I was expecting; about 90 percent coverage at 100 Mbps with 12 Mbps wireless for those that the cables won't reach. This is much faster than what was planned before. It also mentions that towns with 1000 or more residents are eligible for the fibre optic goodness, so that will give some indication as to whether you fall in that category.

    I also saw the 7.30 Report feature covering the news, in which someone they interviewed said, "potentially, consumers could receive speeds of up to a gigabit a second on this network architecture". Unlikely, I would think ... but still an awesome thought nonetheless.
    I can't wait. Smiley

  • kettch

    Cupiditas said:
    tfraser said:
    *snip*
    I can't wait. Smiley

    figurres is right about geography in the US. I live in Oregon, which has a land area of 98,466 square miles. That is the 9th largest in the States, and bigger than two-thirds of the sovereign nations in the world. In general the population is pretty spread out, with a lot of rural communities.

    Even taking into account greed, corruption, government interference, etc... running broadband to everybody is hideously expensive.

    I live in a rural area. The local telco has been promising DSL, but i hasn't panned out yet. For the last couple of years, I've been using Clearwire. It's a solid 2Mb/256k for $50/month, but it's the only option for rural areas. The service may not be impressive, but I'm very pleased with the customer service. The reps are very easy to talk to, and things get really easy if they detect you are technically competent. For now I wait patiently for the day I can get something faster. Then the only problem will be to convince the telco to give me naked DSL.

    Right now, the biggest and most consistent broadband network that I have used is my AT&T 3G service. Wherever I am I can use my phone (yes, it's a Windows Mobile device, and I like it, so nyah Tongue Out) to do quite a bit, and tether it for everything else.

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