Now I've moved from New Zealand, with its amazing internet infrastructure, to Australia, where I'm lucky to get 10 Mbps, and it keeps dropping out. I couldn't even download a folder from Dropbox last night because my connection was too slow and flaky.
It should be the priority for governments on all levels, from town halls up to parliament/congress/whoever is at the top, to improve internet infrastructure to at least 100 Mbps. This is especially important for less populated areas if they don't want to wither and die out in the information economy.
What the USA needs is a grassroots movement to improve internet infrastructure. 120 years ago, telecommunications pioneers used barbed wire fences to build their own telephone infrastructure , this needs to happen again for the internet, but telecom companies apparently block this from happening.
I wish more technologists who have become tolerant of stagnation in technology would remember that. A great deal of modern computing feels "good enough" when given only superficial thought. But replaced by something truly improved, the old rightfully feels outdated and decidedly inadequate.
The same was true with low-density displays. Many years back, I would plea in vain with vendors to give me high-density displays and it seemed everyone who overheard would say, "I don't get it; ~72 dpi is good enough!" Fast forward a decade and those people today would not surrender their high-DPI displays.
Netflix in 4k HDR was not even something you imagined back then though. If we had connections orders of magnitude faster with matching latency, we could, I dunno, ditch local drives altogether! Make my machine a dumb terminal again, even if it's a gaming rig! My imagination is rather limited, but I'm sure people will figure something out.
What I want is an always-on high-speed virtual private network (in the traditional sense) of all of my devices. The devices should see one another directly via the always-connected virtual network (ala ZeroTier). I want that network to contain an application/compute/data server of my own.
I want all of my devices to be simple and concurrent views on applications running on that host, connected via the virtual private network.
Other than that, the part of the computer you touch is heading towards a hybrid dumb terminal, where the terminal has plenty of local compute to keep the UI snappy, offloads the tricky compute and any long term storage.
It would actually be way better, than HDD, because you could do smaller requests. Hard drives take about 10ms to respond to a random access. Your friends could have the thing on SSD or even cached in memory. So you'll get a significant speed up.
With the exception of FTTP installations that were completed before the NBN became a political football, the majority of consumer internet connections in Australia have a copper last-mile serving ADSL2+. Flakiness with this copper is caused by general network neglect (due to unsustainable maintenance costs) resulting in things like contractors wrapping tangled messes of cables in plastic shopping bags to keep them "dry".
Anecdotally, several ADSL2+ connections I had over multiple years and residences in Australia would noticeably degrade for a week or two after heavy rains. I know others who experienced similar behaviour.
Half the point of laying fiber was _because_ of all the old copper and how unusable it has become. Exceptionally short-sighted.
Easier to dig trenches across and entire island and get everyone on fiber early.
What we need are less lawyers and lobbyists -- and captured markets spending our inflated fees to turn around and defeat us.
Now think about how slow that is. I have to wait for Youtube to buffer up and Netflix/Hulu were so unusable I canceled my service. Watching anything live only works at the lowest possible resolution. VOIP is completely unreliable and gaming is spotty at best. The last time I had internet options this slow was the end of the 90s. Using census data there are 10,000+s of people out here dealing with this garbage level service.
The U.S. government defines broadband as 25Mbps down and 3Mbps upload at a minimum. I currently do not have broadband internet.
Netflix states you need 3.5 mbps for SD, 5.0 mbps for HD. With a family of four, does this means everyone could be watching HD Netflix, and do various other browsing simultaneously, and still be under 25mbps? If so, wouldn't 25mbps be far above what a family of four would need "without being bandwidth crunched all the time"? (Assuming that HD video would be the most data-intensive thing) Especially since, likely more often than not, everyone in the house will not be streaming HD video simultaneously.
The reason why I state this is because, while I get more speed is always better, we seem to often state X mbps is the bare minimum that should be achieved, but never say why. It makes it seem we are letting the perfect, or great, be the enemy of the good in some scenarios. For instance, if 10, 15, or 20 mbps is perfectly fine for most households, then shouldn't we use those numbers instead?
I think this is the wrong assumption to make. I have a 30mbps-ish plan right now, and I can slow my apartment's connection down to a crawl by initiating a large download.
25mbps might be enough for a family of four whose connections are consistent, but I'd wager that the average home's traffic is more on the bursty side.
Obviously a download from a good server will saturate a 100mbps line, but so what? Other than video games and massive file backups, 25mbit is fairly fast. I pay for faster, but it's only a marginal improvement.
Edit: I meant to add this:
We have the ability to provide (or at least develop) 100mbps connections to the vast majority of Americans, and we recognize that Internet transfers aren't getting any smaller. It's good to look at ways to improve the status quo (e.g., QoS), but we should also be looking to change the status quo itself.
I come at this with the thinking that, it's not "us" that's building out the infrastructure, but the telco companies. So, really what we are doing is analyzing the build-outs telcos are doing, and judging whether it is good enough or not. Is it really fair to say that, if there aren't 3+ telcos providing 100mbps, but there are 3+ providing 15mbps, that's not good enough?
In light of the obscene amount of money that taxpayers have sunk into ISPs, there's no need for that. They may be the ones building the infrastructure, but they're taking advantage of us along the way.
I bet a 4 person household will have less than 3 streams almost always. So that's 10mpbs. You'd need some room for surfing, updates, downloads, etc. I bet 15mpbs is fairly usable for a family of 4.
Not to be an old man, but back in my day, we had one PC that everyone shared. And it had a 33.6kbit modem that was UPGRADEABLE to 56k. But the upgrade was a lie. And you had to disconnect when your mom wanted to call her friend. And we liked it.
And yes, I remember when there was only one or two TVs in the house. Then there was 56k, where only one person could be online, and it took up the phone line. That's not to say we shouldn't strive to greatness, but it's amazing how far we've come.
Which leads to another line of thinking: If a family does only have a 5mbps connection, and is thus forced to share their streaming, maybe by forcing them to all watch the same thing in a room together like we once watched TV, is this so much of a bad thing? Are there other ways to mitigate a low mbps so that you can still experience a 2018 Internet?
This makes me sound like a telco shill, but the 1gbps/100mbps/Xmbps-or-bust arguments, I think, are sometimes utopian in nature and often discount how much people can do without such high-powered Internet. Yes, of course more speed is good, but are those with only 15 or 10mbps really in the stone age?
However, I say this while living in Seattle, where we both have amazing choices and speed, so I am definitely one of the fortunate ones.
Looking back at history, I'd say we've lived in alternating periods of bandwidth < content (1990s dialup), and content < bandwidth (2010+?).
But the definer has always been content. Jpegs to gifs to digital photographs to music to video to high-def streaming video.
If there's no content, there's no need for more bandwidth. If the content exists, people will want the bandwidth.
I changed from 50Mb/s to 1000Mb/s service a few months ago; latency is much the same, which means that when the pipe is not crowded, I really can't tell the difference.
(But it's wonderful headroom for large file transfers.)
If you use a transmission client (e.g.), you can change the upload speed of your client. Do one test at a low upload speed (5K/second), and one test just above your ISP's advertised upload speed.
In the first case you should see your speed peak out around 850mb/s. In the second, if you have a bufferbloat situation, the download speed will drop significantly as the uploads push the download acks into a queue, forcing TCP to throttle heavily downwards.
But only when I’m downloading new games off Xbox one. Finishes in minutes rather than 10s of minutes.
The anti-buffer bloat stuff from the recent DOCSIS (I forget if it was 3.0 or the one after) are supposed to help a LOT with latency issues. Not as good as fiber but close enough that global distance issues become dominant again.
There's a lot of reason to believe this is true.
I noticed that in some ping tests when I had a cable modem, RTT went to over 3 seconds for a ping to google when the uplink was saturated.
By the way, I don't think it's all about monopolies. It's just expenses, companies should invest huge amounts of cash just to reach last mile. Who will take such risks after some company already built infrastructure which you can just double and hope for underbidding your opponents?
Unfortunately for us consumers, Comcast has lobbied pretty well and made it against the law for municipalities to start their own ISP.
Either way, I'm happy with my high speed fiber service. And I likely have competition to thank.
Are you sure they don't offer that? I live in Charlotte, and that's what I have.
What's the overhead of ACKs? It feels to me that you probably couldn't saturate the connection without getting buffer bloated by ACK traffic, at which point can it really be called 'gigabit' if it's not theoretically attainable?
I know and talk to enough people who knew, in advance of making a choice to move, that they were moving somewhere with absolutely no home terrestrial broadband, and did so anyway. Often mobile (or even satellite, which is generally quite limited in terms of upstream bandwidth and latency) internet is enough for them, or the pros of living there outweigh that con; many could arrange to bridge to a neighbour fairly cheaply through directional radio but neglect to because, again, it doesn't bother them all that much.
Home terrestrial broadband is a commodity, not a right, nor even a necessity (though some may like to frame it as such). It is more important to be employed, out of prison, fed, and housed, than it is to binge watch the last remaining bottom-of-the-barrel content on Netflix. As improvements to codecs roll out, even more people on the same slower connections will have access to high quality video (and the ability to share it), which is the major strain on those connections in the first place, and it won't take people forcing others to give a damn about broadband.
And by the standards of your last paragraph, anything beyond a nutrient slurry would be considered a luxury. Not a compelling argument.
A) Cable company. In my case Mediacom.
B) Fiber, which is also offered by Mediacom as well as some rural providers to select locations.
DSL is barely 20Mbps around here, and you can't even get 10Mbps service in some spots two miles off US 20. As someone who'd like to buy a home in the country, I find this lack of coverage a much bigger issue. Forget competition, there's practically no service at all.
Where I grew up (on well water and a septic tank), people couldn't believe that city folk pay for their water, and what's more, that they pay to have it go down the drain!
A septic tank costs ~$5k and will last for 40 years. Over the lifetime of a septic tank, my city water bill will have cost me $24,000.
It's several hundred to get it pumped every couple of years, I think I'm remembering in the range of $600 and just shy of 3 years between pumpings.
Then the well needs power, and someone needs to do the generator in a power outage, or you get to chip in for a spiffy one with an autostart, and the only time the well head ever acts up is on national holidays when if you can get someone out, it's 3x overtime.
You know, I kind of like city water now.
I'm not arguing that septic tanks are better, and I apologize that many people reading my comment seem to think I am. What I'm arguing is that septic tanks are not uncommon. On the contrary, basically everyone outside of city limits is using one.
I can rent a mini excavator for a weekend for <$200.
> That's assuming that you don't need a new line, which would take a perc test and a new permit.
> It's several hundred to get it pumped every couple of years, I think I'm remembering in the range of $600 and just shy of 3 years between pumpings.
I had my tank pumped last month, it was $160.
> Then the well needs power, and someone needs to do the generator in a power outage, or you get to chip in for a spiffy one with an autostart, and the only time the well head ever acts up is on national holidays when if you can get someone out, it's 3x overtime.
When I was on well water, our pump could (and did) run off a car battery and an inverter when necessary.
> You know, I kind of like city water now.
I just bought a home that's on city water, but has a septic tank. I'm prevented by ordinance from replacing the tank, but I'll do everything in my power to keep it as long as possible. It's far easier and cheaper than paying for city sewer even without including the costs of hooking up to it.
Permits are from the county health department. Apparently poor septic systems wind up polluting ground water with fecal coliform.
And then you have the upkeep. Folks have already mentioned power issues (generator or stored water), pumping, and other things that can go wrong (including backflow into your house and testing water occasionally to make sure it hasn't been contaminated). Most folks where I lived (indiana) also needed a water softener just to keep their water from stinking of eggs. Clothes didn't last as long, and few white clothes stayed white for long without special caustic cleaners. Blonde hair turned orange and it took a beauty treatment to get it back and/or special shampoo. Some homes have a section of yard that stays pretty soggy, and folks need to know where the system is so they don't accidentally dig there or plant trees to closely. If you don't know this stuff, you gotta pay someone to come out and tell you.
Not to mention that at least with city water, the expenses are constant instead of sudden: city water is more like regular oil changes whereas a septic is more like a sudden flat tire or two that happens to stink up your car somehow.
Where I grew up, people with the choice invariably chose "city water" when it was available, and the network of its availability is continuing to expand outward, as quickly as substantial pressure and money from the suburbs and exurbs can make that happen.
I don't know whether the same is true of sewer service.
It's not quite that stark. I live in a population ~7K ex-urban town. I have town water. I do have a septic tank although I believe a portion of the town near the center has sewer hookups.
Verizon rips out the copper network interface from your home and replaces it with Fios gear all the way through, which always felt like overkill though I know they do it partly to suck you in to their TV offerings too. I wonder how much the extra expense of this last 100 feet of the deployment (from telephone pole to house) holds back more broadband penetration.
None of these are especially useful for rural areas.
That still seems to leave truly rural areas out of luck, though.
It's a national embarrassment that we don't have this kind of access in more places.
They claim 50$/mo (60 after first year) for speeds up to 1 GB/sec. But, its not available yet, but will be sometime in 2018, they say.
Here's another one, I'm looking into: https://common.net/
unfortunately, alot of these aren't ready yet in my area
We have it at my home in San Francisco and it's been rock solid so far. It was slated for December 2017 but we got it even earlier, in October.
It's $10 per 50 gb beyond that, or $50 for supposedly unlimited that I used to get in the base price.
Wireless devices cap out at around 400Mbps on Speedtest.net because they hit wireless throughput maximums. My iMac which is attached to my AirPort Time Capsule via CAT6 pushes around 700Mbps up and down. I'm fairly certain I am not being capped, just that Speedtest.net POP's probably can't push that much bandwidth to max out my 1Gbps connection.
All testing was to an iperf node at my ISP.
My only option is Spectrum cable. They are offering 100Mbps fiber for $770/month if sign up for 5 years contract.