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Old 03-12-2009, 12:50 PM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default Why is North America Lagging in Internet Speed?

From our front-page news:
When it comes to broadband in North America, it's easy to become envious of other parts of the world, where 10Mbit/s connections are laughed at. ISPs in Japan, for example, offer a 150Mbit/s service for only $60. In the US, it would cost you between $90 - $150 for a 50Mbit/s service. Or in another example, you can score an 8Mbit/s service in London for $9 a month, while in New York, a 1Mbit/s service would cost you $20. These are not small differences, so what's going on?

A blog at the New York Times tries to tackle the issue, but I'm not quite sure the answer is clear-cut. One fact pointed out is that DSL is still ultra-popular overseas, and recent iterations of the technology now allow up to 100Mbit/s speeds, which is mind-blowing. When I first got DSL in 1999, the limit was 3Mbit/s, and I thought that was the theoretical limit. I guess I was wrong.

With DSL, the closer you are to the phone company, the faster your speeds. Since many stations are placed in large but dense neighborhoods, many more are experiencing great speeds... speeds that we could only dream about. That and other facts don't really answer the question of why North American's get gipped though. We are so technologically advanced, but when it comes to broadband, it's sure hard to believe that.


Even without any change in government policies, Internet speeds in the United States are getting faster. Verizon is wiring half its territory with its FiOS service, which strings fiber optic cable to people’s homes. FiOS now offers 50 Mbps service and has the capacity to offer much faster speeds. As of the end of 2008, 4.1 million homes in the United States had fiber service, which puts the United States right behind Japan, which has brought fiber directly to 8.2 million homes
.

Source: New York Times Bits Blog
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:52 AM   #2
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Proximity to a station is key.

In the US we most often build large suburbs spread out over great areas that are seeming popping up over night.

Now think of other nations like japan, who build the same about of homes in less than 1/3 of the space sometimes...

Higher speed internet in places like NY,NY should be happening... youve literally got little to no excuse... But running the cables to my house and all teh houses in the area is simply not very cost effective at the moment.

Some of the other coutries with higher speeds also have this problem in rural areas.
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:32 AM   #3
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Cable modems don't have that problem.
Comcast is moving over to DOCSIS 3.0 this year for faster speeds up to 100 mbps

Where I am now, DOCSIS 3.0 will be in my area next month.
I wonder what the limit is of www.speedtest.net to show the new speeds?
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Old 03-13-2009, 02:23 PM   #4
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I live on a 30 acre farm ten minutes from TWEO major subur cities and 30 minutes away from downtown Indianapolis yet I get nothing. My mom lives far further out and has fiber run down her street.

It comes down to the telecoms and how much they are willing to invent to cover their area. It's bullshit that certain providers are only allowed in certain areas and I hate them for my long bout without the net.
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Old 03-13-2009, 04:37 PM   #5
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the only affordable DSL here is 512Kb for $15 per month or 1Mb for $25 a month.. i was using 64K during the start of 2007 but by the start of 2008 it slowly got upto 128K then 256K and now 512K, man i was soo happy!! now the 512K connections will be upgraded to 1Mb and the 1Mb to 2Mb and so on. wohoo!!

1Mb for $20 in New York!! damn!!
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Old 03-14-2009, 04:09 PM   #6
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Must be nice. I pay 55/mo for phone and 1.5mbit... Aliant/Bell doesn't much give a shit about how fast you're getting as long as you've got access. 5mbit at the bottom of my street for 60/mo.

Won't be up my way for a few years.
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Old 03-15-2009, 03:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
We are so technologically advanced, but when it comes to broadband, it's sure hard to believe that.
It's not any excuse, but on the flipside many European countries don't get nearly anything as good, and their bandwidth caps are utterly absurd. I think it was 5GB caps in Belgium for ~60 euro lines? JMke at Madshrimps posted the info but I don't recall specific numbers now.

The bad news is bandwidth caps are taking off in the US, Comcast has them (although they are rather generous so far) and Time Warner is now expanding their bandwidth caps. $55 a month gets you a 40GB monthly cap on a 15MBps line... that takes what, 45 minutes to reach at full speed?
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Old 03-16-2009, 06:46 PM   #8
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Here in Montreal, 24mbps ADSL2 has been available only in a very small area of the downtown core for the last three years. In all this time Bell Canada has made no attempt to widen the coverage area. The rest of the coverage area gets standard DSL with a maximum 7mbps download speed.

Meanwhile Videotron Cable is now offering 50mbps internet service albeit with a puny 75GB monthly download limit.
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Old 03-17-2009, 03:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slugbug View Post
Meanwhile Videotron Cable is now offering 50mbps internet service albeit with a puny 75GB monthly download limit.
i hate limits. it should always be unlimited..
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naish View Post
Won't be up my way for a few years.
You don't get Rogers there either? 1.5Mbit/s is hard to stomach... when I first had Aliant DSL in 1999, I had 3Mbit/s speeds... so how on earth are certain plans even lower? The kicker? Back then, we paid $40 a month... and that's when it was new! Nowadays you pay a lot more, when we should really be getting a lot more and paying a lot less.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kougar View Post
It's not any excuse, but on the flipside many European countries don't get nearly anything as good, and their bandwidth caps are utterly absurd. I think it was 5GB caps in Belgium for ~60 euro lines? JMke at Madshrimps posted the info but I don't recall specific numbers now.
That's true. Even my bandwidth limit, at 95GB, is highly limiting, and I hate it. Have a good friend in AUS though, and he gets 10GB per month on peak times, and 24GB off-peak, although I'm not sure of the cost. It's even worse in some other countries, like Belgium... truly nuts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slugbug View Post
Here in Montreal, 24mbps ADSL2 has been available only in a very small area of the downtown core for the last three years. In all this time Bell Canada has made no attempt to widen the coverage area. The rest of the coverage area gets standard DSL with a maximum 7mbps download speed.
I've never even heard of ADSL2. I wonder why the limits were so limited years ago, but suddenly they've broke through some barrier? It's still going through the phone lines... phone lines which I was originally told had a top-limit of 3Mbit/s. Of course it was probably the guy who installed the line that told me that.
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Old 05-01-2009, 10:08 PM   #11
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Well, got an email stating Time Warner was increasing their line rates. They weren't kidding... this used to be a 10/1 Mbps line.




This makes TWC's proposed 60GB line cap on this line seem all the more ridiculous... it would take me less than 6 hours to burn through a 60GB monthly cap.

The irony here? TWC is only using DOCSIS 1.1 / 2.0 hardware, none of this is DOCSIS 3.0 yet. Technically DOCSIS 1.1 is all that is needed for this speed.
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