Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet Networking United States

High-Speed Broadband Making Headway In the US 193

Posted by timothy
from the every-little-bit-helps dept.
darthcamaro writes "No, the US isn't the fastest nation on Earth, and it's not the most connected. But according to a new report, it sure is getting a whole lot better lately. 'I think the US growth rate is something we expected,' David Belson, Akamai's director of market intelligence and author of the report, told InternetNews.com. 'If you look at the money being spent to build out the fiber to the home infrastructure, and if you look at the competitive deals that are going on, vendors are trying hard to make it affordable and "outspeed" each other.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

High-Speed Broadband Making Headway In the US

Comments Filter:
  • Stupid benchmark. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustNiz (692889) on Tuesday September 09, 2008 @04:38PM (#24937291)

    >>> "vendors are trying hard to make it affordable and "outspeed" each other"

    Yeah...by introducing limits on customers usage of bandwidth and the most popular protocols. This is NOT a net win (pun intended) for end-users. I'd rather have slower link with unrestricted access than have a theoretically faster link that I can't use to do what I want.

    • by antifoidulus (807088) on Tuesday September 09, 2008 @04:50PM (#24937495) Homepage Journal
      Yeah, and I would rather actually have access that actually goes at a decent speed and not have to worry that my neighboors are sucking up all the bandwidth. I live in Germany right now, and unless I get online early in the morning or late at night, I pretty much have 0 bandwidth. I have to fucking cache youtube videos because some asshat upstream wants to hog all the bandwidth. I say bring on the caps!
      • by MightyYar (622222) on Tuesday September 09, 2008 @04:59PM (#24937595)

        Silence! All other country's have superior internet connection's to the one's in the US.

        • by Khyber (864651)

          Connection is? One is?

          Man, I thought my Texas education was horrible.

          • by MightyYar (622222)

            The really funny thing is that I had "<grammar troll>" at the end of the post, but then slashcode removed it thinking it was an html tag... I use preview but didn't bother fixing it, thinking that there was no way anyone would think it was unintentional.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Wildclaw (15718)

        If someone can "hog all the bandwidth", that is a sign of a badly managed network. Ensuring that each user gets their fair share without artifically limiting the whole network is one of the main responsibilities of an ISP.

        Ten years ago I could have understood it, but with todays technology it should no problem ensuring that each user gets their fair share. Of course, lots of ISPs still deal in ancient idiotic ideas like capping per tcp session. Sure, it is the simplest way to cap, but it is just as easy to

        • Stupid economics (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Ostracus (1354233)

          "If someone can "hog all the bandwidth", that is a sign of a badly managed network."

          Or a sign of users who don't understand what "shared resource" means.

          "Ensuring that each user gets their fair share without artifically limiting the whole network is one of the main responsibilities of an ISP."

          "Fair share" is right up there with "unlimited" as the most abused words in a discussion about broadband.

          If life was fair, then people wouldn't be leaving their P2P connections running full-tilt 24/7 and giving everyon

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Wildclaw (15718)

            "Fair share" is right up there with "unlimited" as the most abused words in a discussion about broadband.

            If life was fair, then people wouldn't be leaving their P2P connections running full-tilt 24/7 and giving everyone else affected the middle-finger.

            I love how everyone likes to blame 24/7 p2p:ers when in reality what they do is a minor issue in a well managed network. (Note: Well managed, which doesn't seem to be case with many networks)

            12-18 hours of the day the network really isn't fully used, and as such the bandwidth used by p2p:ers isn't scarce. It doesn't hurt anyone that someone uses it at off hours. Supply is greater than demand. In fact, it is good that some people p2p during that time since it makes use of a resource that would otherwise be w

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by eepok (545733)

      This PR release (which it really seems to be) sounds a great deal like Bobbitt's "Market State" where the battle cry is "Maximize Opportunity!"-- or in other words: "It's really, really fast... so long as you don't use the 'really really fast-ness' too much."

      There's no use on having a formula 1 race car if you're only allowed to do 10 laps a month. On a track filled with mandatory diversions.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by c_forq (924234)

        There's no use on having a formula 1 race car if you're only allowed to do 10 laps a month. On a track filled with mandatory diversions.

        Sure there is. I only need to go to stop on the other side of the store once or twice a week, but when I have to go there I want it to take the minimal amount of time possible (because obviously my time is very valuable - I drive a formula 1 race car for god's sake).

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ohtani (154270)

      I've been on road runner for some time and it seems to have a decent speed and not have a bandwidth limit based on protocol.

      I'm aware some companies are doing this, but some companies != all companies.

    • One problem about discussing the network here is that most slashdotters are unlikely to be typical customers.

      Most customers moving off dial up are happy with doing a bit of email, browsing, youtubing and getting a few podcasts. In that case most of them really just want to have their phone line back. You can easily satisfy those customers with low GB caps.

      Of course many of these people will slowly get into more bandwidth heavy usage and their wants will change. That might take a few years though.

    • I'd rather have slower link with unrestricted access than have a theoretically faster link that I can't use to do what I want.

      I'll get modded down, redundant, but I really don't care because that goes straight to the heart of the matter.

      I went from a Comcast cable Internet connect to Qwest DSL. Ironically, I was getting much wider, consistent throughput, while hopping on to an open wireless Comcast connection, in the same neighborhood (not leaving my place at all) as my Comcast connection was. I just couldn

  • BwaHAHA: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Tuesday September 09, 2008 @04:39PM (#24937319) Homepage Journal
    From TFS:

    "...and if you look at the competitive deals that are going on, vendors are trying hard to make it affordable and "outspeed" each other."

    As opposed to, uh, slapping each other on the back while they fix prices and swallow up any hope of independent providers and actual competition while they stretch their already-inadequate infrastructure to a taffy-like consistency as they arbitrarily mess with their own traffic, routing it through mysterious big boxes that read, "NSA SEKRIT BOX -- DON'T TOUCH" after they force their customers to sign EULA's which read like some Kafka-esque road to nothing(except certain death).


    And their commercials suck, too.

    • by eepok (545733)

      And their commercials suck, too.

      Curious, isn't it? They have the money... why can't they afford good commercials. Always wondered why myself.

  • I live in Utah.

    I can choose Comcast (6Mbs) or Qwest (who the fuck knows, slower then comcast). If my town signed up for Utopia I could get good speed but Farmington has decided to not join in. It's been this way since I got high speed back in like 1999. All this lovely stuff for like 55 bucks a month. No new vendors, no break in price, nothing but high prices and poor customer service.
    • by InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) on Tuesday September 09, 2008 @04:47PM (#24937431)
      Do you think you're alone? I'm sure most of the customers are unhappy as well. High prices. Bad service. No choice. So if there is such a high demand for better service, why doesn't your current service provide it? There's no incentive. You all keep paying for it. If you all chose to go on strike, they'd listen up. But if you go on strike, you lose the service, which is not the best solution. So what's the other possibility for incentive? Competition. If there was another company providing similar service, your existing company would want to keep your service, and persuade people from the other company to switch to their services. The only way they can persuade customers is through trade to mutual benefit. You get your money's worth, and they get your money. Right now, that is not happening.

      So what is preventing competition from existing? What is stopping someone from springing up to start a local alternative to their crappy service? Or, what is stopping an existing large company that provides a similar service from expanding to provide this service that you and so many others demand? See my subject for the answer.
      • by Tweenk (1274968)

        If you look at the situation with plumbing companies in early 20th century, you'll see that in fact broadband access is a natural monopoly, because duplicating last mile infrastructure is very wasteful. What is needed is not less government involvement but careful regulation that enables competition, much like any other utilities market. I won't come up with a detailed solution - that's what MBAs are for.

        • Last mile (Score:5, Informative)

          by chihowa (366380) on Tuesday September 09, 2008 @06:44PM (#24938977)
          The last mile may be a natural monopoly, but it doesn't have to be maintained by a single corporation. The last mile could easily be "owned" by the municipality and internet access could be handled by any number of ISPs who simply tap into the muni network. This would allow fair competition between huge national and small mom-and-pop ISPs. Charge a per-customer charge to the ISP for maintenance of the network (so that people don't whine that they're paying for the network but not using it, though the initial roll-out will be paid for by everybody). If your local government isn't corrupt and wasteful (this is actually possible, by the way), then the last mile net will be upgraded occasionally, unlike the one we have now.

          The town I live in does something similar with electricity: they run and maintain the powerlines and buy the cheapest power at the moment from a number of different sources (with x% being from renewable sources). If power is expensive from everywhere, they fire up their own powerplant (coal, ugh) and generate the electricity themselves. The rates are good, the grid is well maintained, it all works pretty well.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Dragoon412 (648209)

        So what is preventing competition from existing? What is stopping someone from springing up to start a local alternative to their crappy service? Or, what is stopping an existing large company that provides a similar service from expanding to provide this service that you and so many others demand? See my subject for the answer.

        It's not just the government's fault. Certainly, they've been an enabler. But can you imagine trying to pitch a system of government-owned infrastructure in the US?

        Part of the problem is the way ownership of the infrastructure works in the United States. Specifically, it's that infrastructure clashing with property rights that provides the problem. If, say, Comcast owns their own lines, in order to provide service, they need to go into a neighborhood (likely with permission from the local government), and t

        • given the state of US politics, can you even imagine the outcry if our government tried to implement such a system?

          The US already has a place like that. Broadband Utopia [ieee.org] in northeastern Utah is a broadband infrastructure owned by the communities, cities and villages, in the region. Though government owns it they let anyone to connect and offer services the infrastructure is able to deliver, including cable tv, net access, and phone service. They are planning on offering speeds of 100Mbps.

          Falcon

      • by blindd0t (855876)

        We can only hope that if the land-based providers remain stagnant, that we will see some wireless competition [arstechnica.com] in the near future. While I know it's no small feat to implement large wireless networks, I sincerely hope we end up with more than 2 good contenders in areas.

    • by qoncept (599709)
      HAH! I pay $90 (plus $15 for a phone line I wouldn't otherwise have) a month for 768k SDSL. Next best option is dialup (which I consider better than satellite after a bit of research). But somehow I doubt people that live in places as populus as ours don't have too many more options, no matter what country they're in.
      • by KGIII (973947) *

        I get 1.5 Mb @ ~50 USD via Fair Point Communications or I get 28.8 kb/s with any dialup service. Population ~500 and the weather makes a satellite connection unrealistic here.

    • It looks like you can get Digis too (wireless broadband, adequate during the day, awful latency during storms). In my HOA, it's the only high speed solution because the builder signed an agreement with dish network that barred the other providers from building into it. Someday, people will realize that exclusivity deals only hurt the consumer. But that day is not today.
  • cities are ok (Score:2, Redundant)

    by jacquesm (154384)

    it's the rural areas where the real problems are, telcos are simply not motivated to do anything at all about it.

    In the cities you can usually choose between several broadband providers, in the sticks you're lucky if you have one.

    If not then it's good old dial up or isdn for you.

    • Re:cities are ok (Score:5, Interesting)

      by davester666 (731373) on Tuesday September 09, 2008 @04:49PM (#24937473) Journal

      but the most bizarre thing [at least for me, even though I'm not in the US], is that small towns, after asking the telco/cableco's to provide the town with higher-speed internet access and being told no [generally because of the relatively small population], when the town then plans to setup their own high-speed service, the very companies that told them "No, we can't be bothered", turn around 180 degree's and sue the town to stop the implementation [not that they would then provide the service if the lawsuit succeeds, but just to delay and/or prevent the town from providing the service].

    • "it's the rural areas where the real problems are, telcos are simply not motivated to do anything at all about it."

      I agree, but can you blame them? I look at my Mother's situation. She lives twenty miles from any incorporated city. They would have to run a line twenty miles with only one customer every mile or two. There is just no incentive for that.

      As recently as 1984 she still had a party line, and even now she is a member of a rural cooperative for both water and power.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by falconwolf (725481)

        "it's the rural areas where the real problems are, telcos are simply not motivated to do anything at all about it."
        I agree, but can you blame them?

        The telcos couldn't be blamed if they hadn't been given billions of dollars [newnetworks.com] in subsidies to build out broadband, but they did get paid and didn't build out. So yes, they are to blame. They are also to blame when because they refuse to build out, even though they were paid to, they sue local governments for doing it themselves.

        Falcon

  • ...but not here. We can choose Clearwire, Verizon or Time-Warner. Time-Warner keeps inching up peak rates, currently 8Mbps downstream, but average throughput is a lot lower. Clearwire and Verizon aren't even in the running speed-wise.

    FIOS isn't even on the drawing board yet.

    Don't get me wrong, 8MBps peak is better than the 3Mbps peak we had when we signed up, which is better than the 768Mbps we got from Verizon DSL, which is better than the 56K we got from a local dialup. But when I look at what we brin

    • 768 Mbps! Holy schnikes! What more do you want, man?!?! ;-)
      • by treeves (963993)
        The awesome power never to make a typo again?
  • by MassEnergySpaceTime (957330) on Tuesday September 09, 2008 @04:42PM (#24937349)

    I wonder if these reports will start taking into account usage caps employed by some ISPs. After all, what would be the point of upgrading from a 5 Mbps line to a hypothetical 500 Mbps line if your ISP caps your usage to the same number of GB in both cases? It would LOOK like ISPs are offering faster speeds, but you wouldn't be able to use that faster line to do more than you could with the slower line.

    • Welcome to Australia (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Chris Pimlott (16212) on Tuesday September 09, 2008 @05:01PM (#24937613)

      That's not fair off from the situation in Australia, where bandwidth caps are the norm. It's possible to get an ADSL2+ plan [whirlpool.net.au] where you could exceed the monthly download cap in less than 5 minutes! [google.com]

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anachragnome (1008495)

        Yeah, and my Verizon plan allows me to speak to my brother on Pluto, but only for .003ms per month.

        And when I complained about it and threatened to cancel my account, I was informed of the "in perpetuity" clause of my contract that was renewed because I called to ask how much a new battery for my phone cost.

      • by chihowa (366380)
        The last mile may be a natural monopoly, but it doesn't have to be maintained by a single corporation. The last mile could easily be "owned" by the municipality and internet access could be handled by any number of ISPs who simply tap into the muni network. This would allow fair competition between huge national and small mom-and-pop ISPs. Charge a per-customer charge to the ISP for maintenance of the network (so that people don't whine that they're paying for the network but not using it, though the ini
      • by Firehed (942385)

        A hundred and fucking fifty dollars per excess gig?!

        Damn.

      • Welcome to Ontario, where a 25$ a mo plan, 512kbps, with Rogers went from a 60GB cap to 2GB.

        All in the name of fucking with the caps for everyone, and making their 50$+ a mo plans more attractive.

        At least in Australia we know your corps are all run by criminals. ;P

        • by Locklin (1074657)

          Dude, go with a Bell reseller. Techsavvy, Acanac, etc. 2G? wtf?

          • I'm grandfathered so I still have 60GB, but no time nor money to make the switch.

            The switch means I'll be paying with a different company, so likely more because I get a 15% discount because we have rogers cable. And I have to buy the modem, there seems to be install fees, and it'd take years to even out the costs, not likely to happen in this house...

    • by smoker2 (750216)
      Time - that would be the point. You would spend less time clogging the pipe for other people, so more would get done. Instead of waiting for a file to download, you would get it quicker and be using it sooner, thereby saving time. More would be getting done. So the ISPs *would* be giving you faster speeds.
      Oblig. car analogy : Why would we waste money building 6 lane highways, when you are only going to use it to get to work the same every day. Answer - because *everybody* gets there quicker. It's a sign of
  • Wrong Direction (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 1gkn1ght (742286)

    They need to stop working on getting people with high speed internet faster internet, and work on getting people that only get dialup high speed internet.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rie Beam (632299)

      Actually, what they're currently doing makes perfect sense from a business stand-point.

      People who don't have or use the Internet are few and far between, being generally uninterested in the concept (read: "I don't even own a computer!"), or they live in an extremely rural environment, which means the profitability of serving them in lessened, having to roll out new cable to serve just a few people.

      People who have dial-up, on the other hand, are already online. They know what's out there. They might say, "We

      • Having high-speed is basically becoming an issue of having a bigger e-penis. You don't really need it, and can get by just fine without it, but sometimes that $50 a month doesn't look too bad when cozied up with instant page loads and more accessibility to video content. It's a modern convenience and, much like driving a big car, owning a big house, etc, it can sometimes be a symbol of having enough money to afford such a technology, even when it's outrageously over-priced in comparison.

        Gentlemen, Rie Beam has just discovered the cancer killing the web:

        1. Web sites bloat because PHBs want pretty stuff
        2. Servers bloat to server that crap
        3. Internet needs to grow to pass that crap
        4. Users' computers bloat to run that crap.
        5. ???

        And in the end, who profits?

  • From my experience (Score:3, Insightful)

    by esocid (946821) on Tuesday September 09, 2008 @04:44PM (#24937385) Journal
    I haven't seen much in the way of vendors are trying to outspeed each other. Verizon did recently just lay down some fiber where my parents live (in virginia) but speed has been stagnating since I remember first getting cable internet sometime in 1999, maybe verizon may spearhead the switch to fiber and increased speeds.
    Vendors may be increasing areas of coverage slowly but I'd say gaining customers is their priority, not upgrading networks. Lack of competition may be the source of this stagnation since only 4 names come to mind when I think broadband: Time-Warner, Comcast, Cox, and Verizon FIoS. Who else is rolling out fiber?
  • by Rie Beam (632299) on Tuesday September 09, 2008 @04:55PM (#24937541) Journal

    It's funny, I was discussing this earlier on the drive to work. We both live in a rural area and commute into an urban environment, and experience the pains and joys that both bring.

    We both basically reached the same conclusion -- The United States, she is a big place. It's always going to be easier to wire up a thousand people living within a few blocks of each other than that same thousand living within a few miles.

    If we really intend to catch up, we need to take a cue from cellular networks and increase the emphasis, availability, efficiency, and cost of satellite internet.

    It's basically a matter of a high tech, potentially high-cost solution, or a low-tech, lower-cost band-aid that only treats the screaming wound -- the large urban environments. We have 300+ million people living in this country, and even our biggest city, New York, has only around 8-10 million of that encapsulated. We are a big suburban / rural society still, albeit a lot of times by choice now, and having a large, open-air data network is going to be more key to us than trying to cover each and every house in the U.S. with optical fiber.

    • by FauxPasIII (75900)

      Satellite-based broadband internet service is available now:

      http://www.wildblue.com/ [wildblue.com]

      Disclaimer: my dad is a reseller.

      But, anything based on satellites will always have a latency that's a few hundred milliseconds on the side of uncomfortable if you want to do anything interactive, like gaming or video chat. Bandwidth is happy though.

  • Well, sort of (Score:3, Insightful)

    by overshoot (39700) on Tuesday September 09, 2008 @04:56PM (#24937553)

    'If you look at the money being spent to build out the fiber to the home infrastructure, and if you look at the competitive deals that are going on, vendors are trying hard to make it affordable and "outspeed" each other.'

    As long as you don't read the fine print, anyway.

    I've looked at the offers available here, and the funny thing is that they pretty much permanently lock in the duopoly.

    • No access to other service providers
    • no way to go back to competitive services
    • TOSes that have amazing little clauses (no servers on their network or any network connected to theirs, etc.)
    • The pricing looks good until you notice that it's only for the first few months and then goes through the roof
    • the deals are all quoted as parts of bundles (internet, voice, television) and the bundles aren't cheap at all,
    • ....
  • by zerofoo (262795) on Tuesday September 09, 2008 @04:57PM (#24937561)

    This is like the "most improved player" trophy that little leagues award to kids that used to stink, but now don't create too much trouble for their teams.

    Many areas of the US can not get broadband. (ISDN and T1 are not broadband - it's not 1993 anymore). I live in a fairly middle-class neighborhood in the North East, and I have a choice of ONE broadband provider. That's right, my local cable co.

    DSL - too far away. FIOS - it's always 6 months away. Satellite ok, I can get that, but $50 a month for 512k down and 128k up sucks. I don't consider that broadband.

    Broadband in MOST of the US is still pathetic - slow and expensive.

    -ted

    • FIOS - it's always 6 months away.

      Yeah? If that's true, you sure are lucky. FIOS has been "6 months away" for a few years now where I live.

      • by pappy97 (784268)

        FIOS - it's always 6 months away.

        Yeah? If that's true, you sure are lucky. FIOS has been "6 months away" for a few years now where I live.

        Seriously. Here in tech-savvy wealthy Silicon Valley, FIOS won't come here in my LIFETIME, and I'm under 30 years of age. There is a small outfit called Paxio that does FTTP (and even offer gigabit up and down), but they only seem to be in new Pulte Home Developments, that's it.

    • by hAckz0r (989977)
      Same story here, only one street in my neighbourhood had such a bad cable signal they could not even get a broadband connection going. I was just getting ready to extend a helping hand with a wifi booster and directional antenna, but then the cable company finally dragged a cable through a wetlands preserve and across a neighbours back yard just to get a decent signal to the last 1/4 mile on that street. The signal and transfer speeds still suck, but at least they are connected! It only took the 'whole comm
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by PitaBred (632671)

      At least yours is planned. Colorado isn't even under consideration [fiostracker.com]. Gotta be east or west coast, apparently. We hicks in the middle of the country apparently ain't good enough for it [dslreports.com].

  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Tuesday September 09, 2008 @04:58PM (#24937583) Homepage Journal

    I'd like some Slashdotters' feedback on the following problem:

    I live in an area of Northern New England where most people don't have broadband. It's somewhat rural, but certainly not 'very rural'. There are maybe 12-15 homes per linear mile in most areas. The ILEC was, until recently, Verizon.

    The main issue was that Verizon is a big public company with a huge market. Yet, it necessarily has limited resources. It's not that running DSL up a residential road would be unprofitable, it's that for the n dollars it would cost, they could spend that same n dollars in Jersey City and get a better return on investment. You can't blame them for seeking that return. For this reason they continue to upgrade and invest in their dense plant and do nothing in their sparse plant. When they still owned the area, an engineer told me their plan went to 2014 and our county wasn't on the plan.

    Now, since then Fairpoint has taken ownership of the plant. They want to sell voice and data, sure, but they also want to sell video service over DSL, which is where the real money is (for now anyway). So, they're sending trucks around, surveying lines and poles, figuring out the fastest way to get DSL in. Their logistics make Northern New England look like a huge market, where Verizon saw it as a distraction. They're even finding CO's where Verizon installed DSLAM's 3 years ago but never offered service, simply because they couldn't be bothered. Some people are getting lit up the next business day after calling. This is very positive, we're lucky the plant was sold.

    However, for any sized market, there's still a long-tail where people aren't going to be profitable enough to serve. We had Rural Electrification in 1936 which is largely parallel because both served/would-serve to improve total overall economic efficiency. There are also PUC's which can force changes (in theory), and towns can bond for their own fiber plants. However, Government is always the easy 'big stick', but it would be nicer, more sustainable, and more peaceful, if there was a creative third-way. Besides that, the US Federal Government already charged us all for FTTH and it never materialized [newnetworks.com]. So it's not just violent, it's dysfunctional. And the municipal fiber projects are very slow to meet market need, and seemingly often have management and funding problems.

    So, I'm asking folks here for great 'third-way' ideas. I've come up empty, but there are lots of clever thinkers in these parts.

    • by PingSpike (947548)

      I am also in one of the markets in New England Fairpoint recently bought. While they have had their transitional pains, they've done more in the last 6 months with regards to broadband roll out then Verizon did in the last 3 years. Not that its saying much, since anything is more then nothing! I couldn't understand the opposition to the sale, it was fairly clear Verizon wanted nothing to do with us. They couldn't even be bothered to expand into the most populated part of the entire state.

      I still don't have

      • I couldn't understand the opposition to the sale

        To the best of my knowledge this was led by the line workers' union with a pension as the primary concern and some existing CLEC's who wanted the devil they knew.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Sometimes, the comedy just writes itself.

    Going down ....

  • Oh, joy! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mpaque (655244) on Tuesday September 09, 2008 @05:01PM (#24937611)

    Does this mean that someday soon, I may see speeds in excess of 768K/384K [1] to my very own home? You know, what AT&T calls "High Speed Internet?" Oh, frabjous joy!

    1. Actual speeds based on DSL synch rate, may vary, and are not guaranteed. Many factors affect speed. Service and speed not available in all areas.

  • The best way to increase the available bandwidth is to run more trunk lines and increase the number of connections between individual switching stations. The goal should be that every U.S. city with a population of 100,000 or more should eventually have a direct trunk to every other such U.S. city. Such a direct connection will reduce the number of hops, but more importantly, there will be that many additional "lanes" of traffic to get the data where it needs to go.
    • by PitaBred (632671)

      There are plenty of trunk lines. The main issue is the "last mile" of connection, to the home. The companies aren't using all that money we taxpayers gave them specifically for that. They're just ignoring that it ever existed, and complaining about regulation stifling them.

  • Is that per capita? Square miles covered as a percentage of the country's total size? I have more subjective issues with bandwidth and access reliability when traveling in the London/Cambridge, Paris, Taiwan and Ireland than I do at my Grandmother's cabin out in BFE, Alabama, or just about any other hotel I've stayed at recently in the US. Not being combative, just curious where this study is that I can reference when I see this "most connected" phrase thrown out.
  • Sure I use to have my house fully connected with cable. I loved it. Six years ago I decided to move to the country. Having the belief system that America was great when it came to internet connectivity I just assumed that where ever I moved I could plug into high speed internet. Not the case, in rural Florida. In fact, I am paying $130+ a month for business internet services via Hughes.net. While waiting for a page to load I was able to load my cloths in the wash, collect the mail, feed my horse and brush m
  • The major providers around here seem to have wizened up that small business owners can have a premium residential connection for a lower price than a commercial one.

    So they have restricted their really nice broadband in the city and will only offer higher connection speeds with a business plan.

  • The way I see it, broadband in America is a very dynamic game of chess.

    Urban centers almost always get the best Internet connections first but are generally tied down to one or two ISPs available in the area. Those two usually compete for customers by increasing services but in some markets they both stagnate. Since local governments emulate each other in the US they are slowly starting to experiment and switch to what works but only the Federal or state level can really do what must be done to get rural cu

    • The problem is the cost of wiring up a single home. In the city it's easy because you have to invest much less money on equipment per person living in a certain area. But in Urban areas the cost of wiring up a home could be upwards of thousands of dollars and the broadband companies are not very likely to go into those markets. The State or Federal government should subsidize this cost by taxing Internet connections across the board.

      Just the federal government, not counting states, counties, or cities, has

  • I don't think the adverage American user will notice the difference with a 10MB down line or a 2MB down line. Truth of the matter is, theya re at the mercy of latency, and how quickly data can be sent back and forth.

    I had a 5MB down connection that I just changed to a 1.5MB. Why? Because unless I'm torrenting or downloading, I won't notice the difference surfing a web page or playing a video game.

    Most people don't even torrent or download much. Your everyday American typically cares about a few web pages li

    • by xaxa (988988)

      My parents, who are pretty average, phoned me from my grandma's house last month and asked why her Internet was so slow (in fact, he asked why she still used dial-up). She has 1Mbit/s access, but my parents are used to their 8Mbit/s access.

      They didn't mention what they were looking at to make it feel slow, but it could have been something like YouTube, or Google Maps, or BBC iPlayer (VoD), or maybe just a site full of flash (car company site, for instance). Or, looking at photos people had emailed her (most

  • My ISP must be in with those creating Duke Nuke Em, there's no FIOS near my neighborhood.
  • Comcast installed their sandvine traffic shaping shit so they can cook the books.

    When you visit a site that comcast knows is monitoring, they open up with their powerboost shit. On speedtest.net I rarely get below 70Mbps. A lot of the time, I get above 100Mbit.

    When I'm using the internet for real, I just don't see anything even remotely that fast.

  • Japan is still light years ahead of us. Why? No incentive for US Telecoms to upgrade the infrastructure. Instead of quality/speed improvements, we get locked into contracts. You want broadband and you face the veritable monopolies like Comcast, Cox, or Verizon. I'll be willing to bet that in Japan, unlimited broadband is really unlimited and that they do not port block. Heck, the only reason for port blocking is so that US Telecoms can make more money by requiring a business tier connection. The stat
  • How, with all the throttling, bandwidth limitations, and over selling can you consider it making headway?

  • Broadband will only increase in speed, capacity and availability as also does the corresponding abilities for "them" to surveil, record and data-mine the traffic also makes enough headway to stay ahead of the broadband deployment to the masses.

  • If this fiber-to-the-home growth is based on the FiOS way, then it's really nothing more than an increment above cable TV.

    DSL over twisted-pair is a private bandwidth all the way to the central office. There, it is possible to terminate at different providers (even if that termination has to be all or nothing with the same provider).

    The cable TV model, however, is shared bandwidth. Although it uses coax with more bandwidth than twisted-pair can deliver, and you can get some significant speeds, you only ge

Be sociable. Speak to the person next to you in the unemployment line tomorrow.

Working...