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68% of US Broadband Connections Aren't Broadband 611

Posted by samzenpus
from the time-to-measure-up dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The FCC has published a new 87-page report titled 'Internet Access Services: Status as of December 31, 2009 (PDF).' The report explains that 68 percent of connections in the US advertised as 'broadband' can't really be considered as such because they fall below the agency's most recent minimum requirement: 4Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream. In other words, more than two-thirds of broadband Internet connections in the US aren't really broadband; over 90 million people in the US are using a substandard broadband service. To make matters worse, 58 percent of connections don't even reach downstream speeds above 3Mbps. The definition of broadband is constantly changing, and it's becoming clear that the US is having a hard time keeping up."
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68% of US Broadband Connections Aren't Broadband

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  • Meanwhile, in Japan (Score:5, Informative)

    by Pikoro (844299) <init.init@sh> on Monday December 13, 2010 @09:05AM (#34533276) Homepage Journal

    We have 1Gb fiber to the home. :)

    • by pecosdave (536896) * on Monday December 13, 2010 @09:10AM (#34533290) Homepage Journal

      Bet the streaming tenticle porn is great!

      • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Monday December 13, 2010 @11:09AM (#34534206) Journal

        HAAA!

        First-off 99% of Japanese don't have fiber but have a variant of DSL with their overall national average being just ~20 Mbit/s. Second the reason 68% of Americans don't have broadband is because the FCC REDEFINED it. It used to be 256k was called "broadband" and now they redefined it as 4000k so tons of people (including me) suddenly are considered non-broadband even though we purchased Broadband lines (like DSL or cable).

        It's basically 1984. Redefine the words and change the meaning. (shrug) :-)

        • by Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) on Monday December 13, 2010 @11:11AM (#34534230)
          One could argue that labelling 256k "broadband" was a joke to begin with, and thus you never had broadband in the first place.
        • by Chowderbags (847952) on Monday December 13, 2010 @11:27AM (#34534374)
          So the real question is why American broadband was redefined to a low number like 4 Mbit/s? Shouldn't we be reaching higher? Oh wait, we'd see that maybe 1% of our population actually reaches 20 Mbit/s and might actually want to do something about it (like make the telecom companies actually build instead of sitting on fat local monopolies).
          • My guess is that has to do with internet TV, though netflix recommends 5 mb/s for hd. It only really has to be indistinguishable from a 15-20 MPEG2 stream for the FCC to start making plans to reclaim spectrum from the television broadcasters.

            Still, the FCC lowballed their last reccomendation-- at the time 256 kbs was below the requirements for "decent" internet video.

        • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Monday December 13, 2010 @11:42AM (#34534558)

          Second the reason 68% of Americans don't have broadband is because the FCC REDEFINED it. It used to be 256k was called "broadband" and now they redefined it as 4000k so tons of people (including me) suddenly are considered non-broadband even though we purchased Broadband lines (like DSL or cable).

          It's basically 1984. Redefine the words and change the meaning. (shrug) :-)

          I know! My dell circa 1995 was "cutting edge!" Now just a of a decade-and-a-half later, it's been downgraded to "Wait, is that YOUR computer or your grandmother's?" status? It's just not right them changing the standards! Darn government interference!

        • by saleenS281 (859657) on Monday December 13, 2010 @11:50AM (#34534658) Homepage

          The FCC redefined it because the way our connections get used has changed. In 1990, there was no youtube, and 256k was a pretty damn decent connection. In 2010, when people want to stream Netflix in HD over the internet, 256k is about as useful as a dial-up modem. Queue it up on Monday so you can watch it on Friday!

          It's why I get sick of people trying to say a certain amount of bandwidth "is enough". It's "enough" for the technology we have today. It is NOT "enough" for the technology of tomorrow. If you build it, people will find a way to take advantage of it.

    • It's not a fiber. It's a series of tubes.....
      • It's not a fiber. It's a series of tubes.....

        In Japan, it might as well be a MAN. You have densely-packed cities, a small land area, and a fairly homogeneous, tech-savvy society that takes the mandates for the latest and greatest technologies regardless of whether they are practical there or feasible elsewhere. Practical or feasible in the US? Not really, 1mbps is plenty BROADBAND for me. I have something like 15mbps, but that's 15 times excessive for what I need.

        Not to justify the Bells for stealing fiber infrastructure upgrade subsidies ten or so y

        • by IICV (652597) on Monday December 13, 2010 @11:57AM (#34534754)

          You have densely-packed cities, a small land area, and a fairly homogeneous, tech-savvy society that takes the mandates for the latest and greatest technologies regardless of whether they are practical there or feasible elsewhere.

          Which explains why major US cities and technology centers like New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Seattle and other such places have average Internet connection speeds equivalent to Japan's, right?

        • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Monday December 13, 2010 @12:38PM (#34535304)

          So... if the only reason that Japan has higher average speeds that the US is because they're densely populated, we should be able to look at similarly densely populated portions of the US and see a similar average. Except, you know, we don't. What's the average broadband speed in the greater New York City area? I'd put lots of money on it being barely better than the national average.

  • To me "Internet access" is an I.P. connection on the Internet, not a filtered and plugged natted off I.P. What good is "broad band" if you're not "really" on the Internet? This article didn't address that.

    Also, beyond just having crappy maintinance and ethics a majority of the land mass in the U.S. is difficult to give proper broadband to since there such low population density over such a large area. Of course that doesn't excuse Verizon for only giving me 3 Mbps when I paid for 20 and got 20 for the fi

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 13, 2010 @09:20AM (#34533338)

      a majority of the land mass in the U.S. is difficult to give proper broadband to since there such low population density over such a large area

      I agree that it is difficult to supply broadband to the few people living in the middle of nowhere, but they don't have much of an effect on the statistics precisely because there aren't very many of them. The USA is actually slightly more urbanized than South Korea. Stop with the excuses already.

      • by cbope (130292) on Monday December 13, 2010 @10:02AM (#34533630)

        Exactly, stop making excuses. I am in Finland where the population density barely crosses the 1% mark, and we have great broadband and phone coverage over 98% of the country.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Totenglocke (1291680)
          Your country is also around 1 square mile. It's not just population density, but also sheer size. I just looked up the size of Finland and the US - Finland is 3.44% the size of the US and your population is 1.73% of the size of the US. It would be an embarrassment if you COULDN'T fully cover a country that tiny. No, I'm not insulting your country, merely pointing out that you have no understanding of how big and spread out the US is, where you can drive for hundreds of miles at a time and see nothing -
          • by Wowsers (1151731)

            Don't use the size of a country's land mass as an excuse. It it were that bad, there would be no roads / freeways across the USA, and there would be no railroads either..... but the USA has both. Sounds more like an excuse by the phone companies to not invest in the networks and keep those profits for the bosses.

          • by cbope (130292) on Monday December 13, 2010 @04:12PM (#34538174)

            1 square mile, are you fucking kidding me or what? More like 130,596 square miles and the 8th largest country by land mass in the EU with the sparsest population density. It is roughly half the size of the sate of Texas.

            What word in "population density" do you not understand? It makes no difference the total size of the land, the metric is population DENSITY. As in, the number of people per sq. mile, kilometer, inch, meter, etc.

            And don't tell me I don't know the size of the US, I'm American-born and raised, living abroad, and I've been to at least 40 US states and hundreds of cities and towns, not to mention over 20 countries around the world.

            I hate to say it, but if I compare both the broadband and mobile phone markets of the US to Finland (or Sweden, or Japan or South Korea, or...), you guys are still in the dark ages. Why you still accept it is beyond me.

            I've got karma to burn...

        • by OverlordQ (264228)

          Finland's population has always been concentrated in the southern parts of the country.

          It depends not only on density but distance between these population clusters. Even if everybody is clustered together you still need the infrastructure joining these clusters together. So yes, while Finland may have a lower density, your centers of population are also close together.

          Finland: 338,424 km^2
          Texas: 696,241 km^2

        • by Biotech9 (704202)

          I went on a hike to Trolltunga [blogspot.com] in Spring and had better phone coverage over the whole trip than I did in NYC. It does seem weird to me that I can sit on a mountaintop in the middle of a huge national park and get great 3G coverage, but in America's most populous city I can't have a five minute phone conversation without getting the call dropped. The usual retort is that Norway has tons of oil and so can afford great infrastructure, but Sweden and Finland manage pretty well on relatively meagre GDPs.

          The one

      • by khallow (566160)

        The USA is actually slightly more urbanized than South Korea. Stop with the excuses already.

        Half of South Korea's population lives in a single metropolitan area [wikipedia.org].

      • Best argument I heard to why the United States has trouble delivering bandwidth to the same degree as other developed countries is from a friend who works for Akamai.

        He states that it is not a matter of money, rather it is when the internet first came to be, we really designed a stupid infrastructure. Other countries implementing the internet after the U.S. were able to learn from our mistakes when their "tubes were being placed". (Hindsight is 20-20 after all) The U.S. problem, however, is that we still

        • by swrider (854292) on Monday December 13, 2010 @10:34AM (#34533890) Homepage
          In the 1990's, after the small ISP's had invested their money into purchasing infrastructure and invested their time into fighting with the incumbent carriers to get that infrastructure working the way it was needed for internet access, Congress gave billions (with a 'b') dollars in credits to the cable and large telco providers to upgrade their networks for internet access. Where did that money go? Most likely to fund the consolidation in the telco and cable industries. But one place it didn't go, was to fund upgraded infrastructure.
    • by Ephemeriis (315124) on Monday December 13, 2010 @09:39AM (#34533452) Homepage

      To me "Internet access" is an I.P. connection on the Internet, not a filtered and plugged natted off I.P. What good is "broad band" if you're not "really" on the Internet? This article didn't address that.

      This really annoys me.

      Back when we got our first broadband connection (a blazing-fast 768k DSL connection) it was a genuine connection to the Internet. I wasn't doing anything amazing with it... But I would periodically use RDP or VNC or whatever to connect into my home machine for something. I had occasion to fire up an FTP server at home once or twice as well. I even tinkered around with a web server at home briefly. All those ports were readily available for my use. I had to play some games with NAT since I had a couple computers sharing that one public address... And it wasn't a static address, so I had to constantly look up my IP or use a free dynamic DNS service... But I could at least use those ports.

      These days I cannot use those ports. I know for a fact that 3389 and 80 are blocked. And any time I run RDP on a different port it'll wind up blocked again after two or three connections.

      One of the things that initially made the Internet so awesome was that everyone was basically a peer. Anybody could host information... Share resources... Communicate... It was all kinds of decentralized and whatnot.

      These days there's a very clearly defined producer/consumer relationship. It isn't just a matter of bandwidth or anything... I simply cannot host a website on my home connection. I am barred from doing that.

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        Everything you want to do I do at home on my "not real" internet connection.

        You just have to take your Meds for your ADD and use ports that are not blocked, and use a dyndns service.

        I do VPN back to home, I run a SFTP, I run a webserver on Port 81 and Port 82.

        • Everything you want to do I do at home on my "not real" internet connection.

          You just have to take your Meds for your ADD and use ports that are not blocked, and use a dyndns service.

          I do VPN back to home, I run a SFTP, I run a webserver on Port 81 and Port 82.

          I'm really not sure what ADD and medication have to do with anything...

          Like I indicated in my post: And any time I run RDP on a different port it'll wind up blocked again after two or three connections.

          It isn't just that 3389 is blocked... If I run RDP on 3390 or 3391 or 3392 those ports will be blocked after one or two incoming connections. I've run a web server on alternative ports as well - 8080, and 8088 for example (so that I could remotely manage my router) and they got blocked after a couple conne

  • Broadband != Speed (Score:5, Informative)

    by grahamm (8844) <gmurray@webwayone.co.uk> on Monday December 13, 2010 @09:10AM (#34533292) Homepage

    Not forgetting that Broadband indicates the technology used to deliver the data not the speed. So the opposite of Broadband is Baseband, not narrowband. So any ADSL is broadband but 1000BaseT is not.

    • by martas (1439879) on Monday December 13, 2010 @09:38AM (#34533442)
      Aha, words mean what people want them to mean. That may have been the origin of the term, but for the majority of people, that is not the primary meaning.
      • by jps25 (1286898) on Monday December 13, 2010 @09:49AM (#34533534)

        Aha, words mean what people want them to mean.

        No, they don't. Words mean what they mean. Ignorance doesn't change that.

        • by martas (1439879)
          According to who? God? The word fairy? Oxford-English dictionary? Words existed long before any such pseudo-authority was created. You use words so others can understand you, period.
        • by martas (1439879)
          Oh, and the same applies to grammar -- I can say "what did you step on" all I want, and the entire English-speaking population of the world will know what I mean. No grammar Nazi will make me change the way I speak/write if it serves my purposes just fine.
        • This frere bosteth that he knoweth helle, And God it woot, that it is litel wonder; Freres and feendes been but lyte asonder. For, pardee, ye han ofte tyme herd telle How that a frere ravyshed was to helle In spirit ones by a visioun; And as an angel ladde hym up and doun, To shewen hym the peynes that the were, In al the place saugh he nat a frere; Of oother folk he saugh ynowe in wo. Unto this angel spak the frere tho: Now, sire, quod he, han freres swich a grace That noon of hem shal come to
        • by sjames (1099)

          You might be really amused then to know how words have changed over the years. At one time, a plumber was just the guy who made things plumb. It just happened that the most common reason to do so was for indoor water.

          An incredibly ugly cabinet with splinters was still "nice" if the angles were exact. Swearing, cursing, and spouting vulgarities were distinctly different.

          Is it still television if you're watching an animated movie or a DVD?

          People rarely mean remove 1/10th of when they say decimate. Even in aud

  • Words have meanings (Score:5, Informative)

    by DarkOx (621550) on Monday December 13, 2010 @09:11AM (#34533300) Journal

    What they should call this is High Bandwidth, or High Speed Internet something along those lines. Broadband has nothing to do with speed or performance it implies symbols are used to send bits as opposed to baseband which would just be sending highs and lows to send the bits. Neither is a speed thing, I don't know why have to confuse and conflate technical terms in government and on tech sites were people should really know better.

    • Actually, I've always presumed it meant a modulated signal - baseband would still be using symbols, not just shifting DC on the wire, in fact variations on FSK I think. Broadband uses a carrier signal and is much more like transimitting a radio signal using the phone line as a wire. I guess I don't understand the technology all that well, but using 'broadband' as a term for data rate is definitely wrong. Even worse is 'narrowband' which just makes me want to cringe.
      • by gmack (197796)

        Think of phone line as roughly the same as speaker wire. Narrowband and is narrow because it is restricted to the narrow part of the frequency range that the phone company cares about for encoding voice data. Broadband transmits a range of frequencies that are outside the narrow range that the phone company uses for voice data that extends from just inside our hearing range to well outside of it.

        To make the whole thing more fun there is an ADSL 2+ mode designed for dedicated date lines that uses the enti

    • I'm torn. On the one hand, I remember when 512 kb/s down and 256 kb/s up was considered to be 'broadband', and seemed pretty damn fast. The idea that a connection can be broadband one day, and not broadband the next, because a bureaucrat somewhere changed a definition seems absurd to me.

      On the other hand, coming up with a new name for each bump in speed also seems absurd to me. (I can't wait until super-duper-even-broader-band internet comes to my area!)

  • by erroneus (253617) on Monday December 13, 2010 @09:13AM (#34533310) Homepage

    To say the US is having a hard time keeping up would imply that it is difficult to do that for US companies. It's not. It simply goes against their desire to get money for nothing. They want to put nothing into their infrastructure and so nothing improves. This is in sharp contrast with other businesses in other parts of the world. The difference isn't the technology or the scale of deployment. It is the mindset of the people making decisions.

    For the love of GOD won't they please declare that internet service is a "utility" and regulate it as such?

    • For the love of GOD won't they please declare that internet service is a "utility" and regulate it as such?

      Oh yea, you really want politicians to decide how internet access is provided and who subsidizes whom. The plus side would be we'd get huge investments in infrastructure so the utility gets it's 10% or so return.

      • by crunchygranola (1954152) on Monday December 13, 2010 @09:56AM (#34533582)

        For the love of GOD won't they please declare that internet service is a "utility" and regulate it as such?

        Oh yea, you really want politicians to decide how internet access is provided and who subsidizes whom....

        It is certainly preferable to having the corporations make those decisions.

        The only reason rural America can send and receive mail at a reasonable cost (the same cost as everyone else, and the cheapest rates in the world) is that the USPS is a government regulated "utility". The only reason rural America got electrical power and a phone system was also due to government regulation and "interference" via the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) which was abolished in 1994 after completing its job of bringing those service to all Americans.

        A corporation is only interested in its bottom line (they are compelled to do this by law in fact) not the national interest. So raking in large fees for service that is far below international standards is perfectly fine for them. If you believe that the Internet is important and that new industries and productive activities can grow out of state-of-the-art high speed data access then the U.S. is at a competitive disadvantage. You cable company doesn't care about this but national politicians should.

      • by Jawnn (445279)

        For the love of GOD won't they please declare that internet service is a "utility" and regulate it as such?

        Oh yea, you really want politicians to decide how internet access is provided and who subsidizes whom. The plus side would be we'd get huge investments in infrastructure so the utility gets it's 10% or so return.

        Uh..., hell yes? Because in all those places where it''s better than the crap we're served here in the U.S., internet access is, ZOMG!, regulated. The free-market fairy is a myth. Time to grow up and face the reality about how things work in any market where there exists a "natural monopoly".

    • by AntEater (16627) on Monday December 13, 2010 @09:26AM (#34533368) Homepage

      To say the US is having a hard time keeping up would imply that it is difficult to do that for US companies. It's not. It simply goes against their desire to get money for nothing. They want to put nothing into their infrastructure and so nothing improves.

      Don't worry, the invisible hand of the marketplace will exert it's influence opening up more options for us. As soon as a competitor sees the opportunity to.... Oh, wait... Nevermind.

      • by KiloByte (825081)

        Free market is a wondeful cure for most problems, it just has one weakness: it breaks down once a single company (a colluding cartel counts as one) corners a majority of the market. Thus, you need the government to stay away except for a vital duty of breaking monopolies -- instead of nurturing "too big to fail" crap.

        Oh, and in the case at hand, instead of fighting the monopolies, the govt is actually creating them.

        • by Kjella (173770)

          No, competition is a wonderful cure for most problems. The free market is a necessary but not sufficient condition. Also, competition is not a protection against fraudulent marketing nor abusive companies. Many companies operate under the policy that are happy to take your money once, then disappear and reappear under another name when complaints and bad reputation crop up. Or they know they're an effective oligarchy, each may have their dissatisfied customers but they only rotate a little. It's also import

      • by MadKeithV (102058) on Monday December 13, 2010 @10:27AM (#34533814)
        The main problem with the invisible hand of the free market is that no-one can see it's giving us the finger.
        • by Ash Vince (602485) *

          The main problem with the invisible hand of the free market is that no-one can see it's giving us the finger.

          This is probably the best comment I have ever seen on slashdot.

    • by mlts (1038732)

      You hit the nail on the head. Other than 1-2 cities, there is zero increase in bandwidth in the US, but fees are going up. Essentially most people are paying more for their cable or DSL for the same amount of bits flying across per time period as they did when the services were introduced more than a decade ago.

      Take mobile bandwidth for instance. In '06, my mobile phone (although EDGE only) was more than happy to tether. Push a button, and the phone now became a modem. Now, if you want tethering, you p

    • The US does seem to be having a hard time enforcing laws against false advertising.

      4G is not really 4G, broadband is not really broadband, and if I remember correctly a 56kb modem only went 53kb max.
    • by Lumpy (12016)

      You nailed it.

      Comcast, AT&T, all of them do NOT want to upgrade infrastructure to deliver real broadband, because they make far higher profits by letting it simply sit.
      Plus without Govt regulation or real competition, they can tel the customer, "Stuff it in your pie hole" if you call to complain.

      Honestly, they are doing what us as consumers ask them to do. IF you happily pay your bill month after month and do not complain to the FTC and FCC on a regular basis, then you ENJOY your service and LOVE your

  • by John Hasler (414242) on Monday December 13, 2010 @09:21AM (#34533346) Homepage

    I don't need it. 1.5Mb is fast enough. I know others for whom even lower speeds suffice. Not everyone watches television over the Net.

    • by glwtta (532858) on Monday December 13, 2010 @09:38AM (#34533444) Homepage
      So, who says that everyone must have broadband? The article only points out that a good majority of the people who pay for broadband don't receive a service that can be justifiably called that.
    • by Triv (181010)
      Glad you're happy with the service you have, but that isn't the issue. The issue is that ISPs are advertising their services as "broadband" where the FCC has a definition of "broadband" that the providers are failing to meet - if I'm paying for 4mbps downstream and I'm getting 1, that's false advertising.
      • by khallow (566160)

        Glad you're happy with the service you have, but that isn't the issue. The issue is that ISPs are advertising their services as "broadband" where the FCC has a definition of "broadband" that the providers are failing to meet - if I'm paying for 4mbps downstream and I'm getting 1, that's false advertising.

        Why should ISPs use the FCC definition? Wikipedia has this to say [wikipedia.org]:

        Different criteria for "broad" have been applied in different contexts and at different times. Its origin is in radio systems engineering, but became popularized after MediaOne adopted it as part of a marketing campaign in 1996 to sell their high speed data access. The slogan was "This is Broadband. This is the Way". The term has never been formally defined, even though it is used widely and has been the subject of many policy debates, and the FCC "National Broadband Plan [wikipedia.org]".

      • by ArsonSmith (13997)

        Of course they are, that's the way the FCC works. Make a definition that everyone can follow then change it and put out a report that says 2/3rds of the vendors are wrong. Standard government regulation encroachment tactic.

      • by bsDaemon (87307)

        Good thing they advertise speeds "up to ${SPEED}", which is just weasel-y enough to skirt the laws with regards to false advertising then, isn't it?

    • by houghi (78078)

      I have friends whose speed is 10 times what I have. They all laugh about my speed when we compare and then I tell them that I have this all the time 24/7 and no need to buy extra bandwith because I exceeded some random number in down/up load.
      Also I have no ports blocked, fixed IP and no P2P throttling. Things they don't have. Price is about the same.

      Yet even though they complain all the time about the data limit, none wants to change. They happily buy extra, even though the company advertises that there is

  • by kurt555gs (309278) <{kurt555gs} {at} {ovi.com}> on Monday December 13, 2010 @09:22AM (#34533356) Homepage

    They have a monopoly and they just don't care. The FCC and FTC were so weakened by the Bush administration that our government can do nothing to help protect the citizens that elected them.

    Corporatism at work!

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday December 13, 2010 @09:36AM (#34533424) Homepage

    That's the real question. Because if 'broadband' is a term with a real official meaning, it would be possible to go after any ISP selling 'broadband' that isn't 'broadband' for false advertising. Alternately, if their contracts and the like say that they're selling 5 Mbps and they're actually selling 1 Mbps, that could also be actionable.

    Either way, without some sort of legal liability, this is going to become standard practice.

  • by CastrTroy (595695) on Monday December 13, 2010 @09:36AM (#34533428) Homepage
    I personally only have 3 Mbit internet (256 k up). So I don't have broadband either. But I could get up to 50 Mbit, I just don't want to pay for it. 3 Mbit is fast enough to stream videos, netflix included (if SD is good enough for you). It fulfills all my needs. Sure it would be nice to have 50 mbit, and download a Linux distro in 10 minutes, but it's really hard to justify the cost for the number of times you have to do that in a year. Sure people don't want to be running on dial up speeds, but not everyone needs 10 mbit internet.
  • While I agree that oversubscribed consumer DSL and cable should be judged by different standards, by this definition T1 (1.54Mbps up and down) is not "broadband".

  • By that definition, this entire area isn't "broadband." We can get decent downstroke (6 Mbits is common), but it's very difficult to get anything more than a 768 Kbit upstroke.

    We had to move our mail server to a co-location at the ISPs office just to get 1.5/1.5.

  • It may come as a shock to a lot of Slashdot readers, but a lot of Americans don't have any need for more than that. If the price is right, it's a good bargain. My dad helped an elderly friend switch over to $15/month DSL because she's at that season of life where most of the things that need much more than DSL are just outside the scope of what she wants to learn and do. She really isn't losing anything. In fact, she's gaining Internet access that's pretty good at a price that she can actually afford withou

  • This is what I think is going on.

    The internet providers have been slow to give us the 'broadband' speeds that a lot of world is enjoying. On top of that, they are trying to get tiered service, putting caps on how much you can download, etc.

    What they are going to do, is bargin with the fcc/gov.

    They'll up the speeds/lay the last "mile" of fiber, but to do that, they will need the tiered/limited allowed.

    Then they'll rake in the money on all the people who go over their limits because they can actually downloa

  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Monday December 13, 2010 @09:55AM (#34533568)
    ...while waiting for a home page to load, and we LIKED IT!
  • by adosch (1397357) on Monday December 13, 2010 @09:58AM (#34533600)
    I'm happy with my 1.5Mbps cable broadband speed, but let's face it, it's a total price gouging tactic to squeeze more money out of the end-user consumer. If I wanted to even upgrade my cable service from 1.5Mbps to 2.5Mbps, it's an easy US $30/month dent for a measly 1Mbps extra bandwidth and for what? So I can download that , depending on size, handfuls of minutes faster than I could before? Even more so, I'll go on the high mark to say it also has a lot to do with what they know you're going to do with that bandwidth and they make you pay for it (a la against net-neutrality). Almost all wired broadband companies in my area are coupled with television access, so you can buy your internet package separately or as part of a bundled set. Why would they want to give you cheap bandwidth so you can drop their cable television service and use NetFlix/Hulu/Vudu/BD-Live, ect.?
  • by vlm (69642) on Monday December 13, 2010 @10:02AM (#34533632)

    The definition of broadband is constantly changing

    The definition is meaningless in two ways:

    1) Its a monopolized and mostly unregulated unfree market which means that the definition doesn't matter. You can argue the definition of a good hamburger if there are a hundred different local and franchise restaurants, general and specialty food stores, farmers markets, and online shopping to select your burger and/or its ingredients. However, in a prison cell you eat whatever the warden decides to serve or you starve, so arguing the definition of bread as in bread and water is kind of pointless, you gonna eat it or not?

    2) The only thing that matters is the end user experience and usage patterns and technology have not changed in AT LEAST half a decade, although the fad website of the month obviously changes each month. Who cares how often they change a definition that has no impact whatsoever on user experience?

Life's the same, except for the shoes. - The Cars

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