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FCC report finds almost no broadband competition at 100Mbps speeds (arstechnica.com)
161 points by cmurf 7 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 102 comments

I used to ask why anyone would ever need 100 Mbps, until I got 100 Mbps. Then I said the same about gigabit, until I got gigabit.

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 [1], this needs to happen again for the internet, but telecom companies apparently block this from happening.

[1] https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/barbed-wire-telephone-...

> I used to ask why anyone would ever need 100 Mbps, until I got 100 Mbps. Then I said the same about gigabit, until I got gigabit.

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 But replaced by something truly improved, the old rightfully feels outdated and decidedly inadequate.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.

People forget that when you get a tool (like an internet connection) that is orders of magnitude more powerful (10mb vs 100 or 100 vs 1000), you don't get to do the same things you used to 10 times better/faster. You get to do completely different things. 56k connections used to be fine when web pages were static text. 1mb connections were fine when the pinnacle of multimedia was MP3s.

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.

More: http://tiamat.tsotech.com/pao

Speed of light makes gaming hard to do remotely without building datacenters every 100 miles.

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.

You can cope with more than 1ms to the data center, latencyphile.

What can you do with 1gb that you couldn‘t do with 100mb? I got 50mb and for the first time can‘t think of a reason to upgrade.

At those speeds, its nice to start thinking about decentralization. At a GB speed, your network is about as fast as a typical HDD. So whatever you store on an HDD can now be twice as fast to load if your friend has the same thing.

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.

1gb is a luxury. It feels like the entire Internet is running in your localhost. 4k streaming is clear and smooth. None of these is essential but it's nice if it's available to you for a little extra.

The slow part of Australia's Internet I get, that's a very common issue people talk about. What is the nature of the flakiness? If you don't mind elaborating. How frequently is it like that?

The flakiness is a byproduct of constantly degrading last-mile infrastructure that is prohibitively expensive to maintain.

With the exception of FTTP installations that were completed before the NBN[0] 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"[1].

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.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Broadband_Network

[1] https://www.google.com/search?q=telstra+australia+plastic+ba...

> the majority of consumer internet connections in Australia have a copper last-mile serving ADSL2+.

Half the point of laying fiber was _because_ of all the old copper and how unusable it has become. Exceptionally short-sighted.

I think this is one of the more interesting advantages that smaller countries have over bigger countries in the digital era.

Easier to dig trenches across and entire island and get everyone on fiber early.

There are plenty of places that want to.

What we need are less lawyers and lobbyists -- and captured markets spending our inflated fees to turn around and defeat us.

I am currently out in the sticks in the U.S. near a major interstate highway. I have one option for wired internet which is DSL. The max speed is 5Mbps down and 0.5Mbps up. I have a choice between 2 wireless companies that will gladly lock me into a 2 year contract at ~$100 a month with a bandwidth cap of 200-300 GB a month. I have asked around and it has been this way for ~10 years and the local ISP has no intention of an infrastructure upgrade. I check the broadbandnow website every month and there are no new options. This is the free market most of the people living in rural America deal with. I previously lived in a major city and had 100Mbps down and 30Mbps up with no data caps.

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.

What speed is your LTE?

According to a chart of the local LTE mobile internet options the max speed is 10Mbps. The fast test on my phone just reported the max speed as 1.9Mbps.

Plus you can rarely use LTE as general purpose internet. Data cap, limited speed, sky high bill, or something...

43% with less than two choices for 25mbit is more concerning. 25mbit is around what you'd need for a family of four without being bandwidth crunched all the time.

I'm curious why you think 25 mbps is what you'd need for a family of four? Is there some sort of data out there for this?

Netflix states you need 3.5 mbps for SD, 5.0 mbps for HD.[0] 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?

[0]: https://help.netflix.com/en/node/306

> Assuming that HD video would be the most data-intensive thing

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.

I would assume he meant cumulatively. It's a safe assumption that most households watch video way more than they download 4GB files.

That could be solved with better QoS on the router right?

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.

Better QoS on consumer routers would definitely help, but it's not a panacea -- ballooning website sizes also lead to bursty network conditions, and I wouldn't be surprised if my router's QoS is configured to prioritize HTTP(S) connections. Same goes for automatic updates.

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.

Your edit is essentially the point of my original post. Yes, if we can get 100mbps for the vast majority of Americans, that would be awesome. But, if the vast majority of Americans would be fine right now with 10-15-20mbps, wouldn't it be better to analyze our national broadband capabilities based on that benchmark? From what I understand, 100mbps is overkill, so why use that as a benchmark?

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?

Well, I disagree that the vast majority of Americans are fine with 10/15/20mbps. They might get by with it, but I'm sure they notice their streams buffer or drop in quality when they do (or their system does) something bursty.

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 ball parked it conservatively. I thought netflix streams took more like 7.5mbps. So I bet they could probably get away with less.

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.

Yea, certainly wasn't trying to call you out or anything :)

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.

I think streaming VR and peer-to-peer HD video are probably the big bandwidth hogs on the horizon.

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.

A bit more than that, but not much more.

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.)

I can't tell the difference between 75mbit and 900mbit. Most servers don't get anywhere near 900mbit. And my hardware is almost always a limiting facture (wifi, hdd speed, etc).

One way to do a test is to bittorrent something legal, say an Ubuntu DVD.

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.

Oh I can tell the difference between 75mbit and my current 800mbit.

But only when I’m downloading new games off Xbox one. Finishes in minutes rather than 10s of minutes.

Well, latency is never going to change, no matter what plan you use. You can't really sell a faster speed of light....

It might actually, mostly due to buffer bloat on some modem stacks.

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.

The "buffer bloat" guy has been useful. I've been arguing against big FIFO queues for decades, but he's more into PR and visibility than I am. Any place you have a major choke point, especially home router uplink connections, you need QoS, or fair queuing, or something, or queue delays will go through the roof. At least send the ACKs first.

edited: DOCSIS 3.1 adds the Active Queue Management.

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.

Latency can definitely improve from where we are at. The speed of light is different through different materials, that's why some people are using hollow fiber optic cables to have lower latency connections. Laying a more direct line would also improve latency, my connections to Seattle backtrack about a hundred miles east before heading out west again according to traces. Faster routing hardware would shave off a few milliseconds. Economic factors hold back latency improvements for the majority of internet users, not hard physical limits.

Speed of light isn't the only factor in latency. Quality of the equipment, routing protocols, etc are far more important since those are the things we can actually change.

And sometimes more important than either of those, the choice between directional radio and cable of any kind (fiber or copper).

I strongly suspect that for an average consumer, latency is driven by the TCP stack on every piece of hardware close to the edge (local machine, router, modem, ISP point of presence) to a much higher degree than the transmission medium or backhaul. Consumer internet has a long way to go before it becomes HFT backhaul-grade.

Well, for a considerable number of consumer deployments, it appears that internal reflection is the main source of latency.


if your kids play Roblox, 25mbit is the bare minimum... this game appear to be very inefficient

This reminds me of the former Romanian dictator's comment that his people simply just did not need color tv. I didn't think I'd ever see that kind of stupidity from the US Congress and regulators. Busting up monopolies is clearly no longer in fashion.

Сhaushesku considered that people doesn't need a TV at all, so blackouts became usual thing.

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?

Well for starters, municipalities could compete.

Unfortunately for us consumers, Comcast has lobbied pretty well and made it against the law for municipalities to start their own ISP.

Surprisingly, in Myrtle Beach, SC we have multiple high speed providers choices: HTC (as in htcinc.net, a local telco cooperative offering gigabit fiber), or Spectrum, who just minutes ago I heard for the first time that their new default tier in our area is 100mbps. Not sure if they go much hiher though, because a few years ago TWC was going to offer 300mbps cable service, and then the Spectrum merger cancelled that expansion.

Either way, I'm happy with my high speed fiber service. And I likely have competition to thank.

>a few years ago TWC was going to offer 300mbps cable service, and then the Spectrum merger cancelled that expansion.

Are you sure they don't offer that? I live in Charlotte, and that's what I have.

300 down should be the new Ultra tier everywhere Spectrum has upgraded the base speed to 100.

They are also bringing gigabit by end of 2018: https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2018/02/chart...

Not sure I’d call 940/35Mbps gigabit (better providers use that to refer to 1/1Gbps — Charter’s marketing wank doesn’t sit too well :/)

Comcast is at 1gbps/35mbps.

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?

ACKs are TCP, not IP. They only claim 1gbps for IP traffic, not TCP.

Just double-checked, apparently 120mbps down (no mention of up speed) is the fastest available.

But you have to realize you’re in the minority in this country.

While it's healthy to understand these stats, consider that some people knowingly move to places which are not thoroughly served by broadband providers, and some of them don't really care.

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.

But did they move because of the lack of broadband, or in spite of it?

And by the standards of your last paragraph, anything beyond a nutrient slurry would be considered a luxury. Not a compelling argument.

In my area (Midwest USA), you can only get 100Mbps or more from either

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.

Much of my county doesn’t even have water and sewer pipes. People just spend the thousands to tens of thousands of dollars needed to build septic systems and wells and accept that is the trade off for living in the country.

You say that like it's a bad thing. Wells and septic systems are so common that I would struggle to believe they're a "trade off".

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.

Yes, and occasionally, you might have to get a guy with a backhoe to come out and do some work. That's $1000. That's assuming that you don't need a new line, which would take a perc test and a new permit. All the while the guy with the backhoe is looking at your system and wondering how it ever worked or got signed off in the first place.

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.

You say that like city water never needs maintenance. My neighbor had roots growing into his pipes from a tree on city property, but since the pipes were on private property he had to have them replaced on his own dime, and also fix the flooding in the house from the backed-up sewer line.

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.

Most cities I lived in serviced the lines up to the point they entered the house, though. Not as much to worry about.

All the cities I have lived in would only serice lines up to and including the meter. Everything downstream of the meter was the property owner's responsibility.

> Yes, and occasionally, you might have to get a guy with a backhoe to come out and do some work. That's $1000.

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.

What 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.

Everything I said happened in the 9 years I was on well/septic. We didn't have to get the new line, it if the backhoe repair didn't do it, we would have had to do it.

Permits are from the county health department. Apparently poor septic systems wind up polluting ground water with fecal coliform.

Actually, some years ago a septic system could cost anywhere from $5k to $15k in the area I was in. Most companies won't take payments, and if you've had some financial difficulty, many places won't help you fix it. You can, however, get different programs to help with your sewage and water bill.

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 (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!

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.

A septic tank also costs acreage that city homes do not typically have available for less than $24,000.

Which is why cities have city water systems, yeah, but anywhere outside of the city, septic and wells just makes more sense.

There is an environmental downside to septics too. Where I grew up there was a sandy aquifer that caused nitrogen loading from septic run off in ponds and marshes. This attributed to algea growth, oxygen depletion and marine species die-off. There is now an extensive effort to sewer the region.

>anywhere outside of the city

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.

And some of us spend tens of thousands building themselves a network. Experience has shown me however that I'm in the minority. Almost nobody values their Internet sufficiently to want to spend that much on a connection.

In my country there are no houses with septic tanks or wells. I guess it really depends on your location and government on how infrastructure is handled.

What is your country, where they have no wells?

throw in many would be surprised at how many areas cell coverage drops out. traveling a lot has shown me that cell is not guaranteed and having a satellite dish at least gets us tv/music. then again traveling also reveals that free internet is just a McD away.

I didn't realize DSL speeds were even possible above 7.1 Mbps, have things changed? ADSL is (or was) very much dependent on total wire distance and overall copper line quality from the nearest telco switching station. Top speeds were simply not possible above the 2-mile mark and that was pushing it. Rural areas, forget about it.

In my experience modern DSL (like AT&T Uverse) is fiber-to-the-curb and DSL from there. Meaning the amount of DSL line you have is incredibly short and then it hits a fiber line.

That's an interesting approach, and really seems like it would cut down on the amount of work required in the home to provide such a significant speed upgrade over traditional ADSL. Thanks for enlightening me!

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.

That’d be ADSL1. ADSL2+ showed up here (in Ireland) in 2006 or so, and it wasn’t new then. It went up to 24Mbit/sec. Same range as ADSL1, more or less. VDSL showed up here in 2010 or so (again, not sure when it was actually introduced), and does up to 100Mbit/sec. It’s much lower range, and is usually used from roadside cabinets. G.fast is extremely low range but can go up to 1Gbit or so. In some markets it’s used for multi-hundred-Mbit links for premises within 500m or so of a cabinet.

None of these are especially useful for rural areas.

vDSL is what changed to make the speeds higher, but although it got a little better, it seems like the distances are still pretty limited. I suspect that the DSLAMs have become smaller and cheaper, so that you can push those out of the central office and into smaller cabinets inside neighborhoods, which had the effect of making the distance problem appear to go away.

That still seems to leave truly rural areas out of luck, though.


I'm a short term renter who tends to move somewhere new about once a year inside of the USA for work. I have been choosing where to live primarily around the speed of the ISP available in the building. I have had 1Gbit for the last two years and would never want to downgrade.

It's a national embarrassment that we don't have this kind of access in more places.

For those in the east bay, Bay area, looking for another provider, keep an eye on this one: https://www.lmi.net/services/internet/phiber/

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

sonic.net is also doing gigabit in the bay area, including expanding to the east bay.

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.

IIRC LMI resells Sonic (at least for DSL, not sure about fiber).

It's not broadband for me, it's monthly data caps. I can stream 4 different netflix shows, on 50Mbps, and blow through 1TB monthly cap in 3 weeks. No point of getting even faster connection.

Where in the world do you live that you still have data caps?

IIRC, most US broadband providers have published data caps (and had secret unpublished ones before the FCC’s transparency rules, the one bit of the earliest Net Neutrality regulation that wasn't struck down, forced them to be disclosed.)

Cox added 1TB caps in the Phoenix area in 2017. Only other competition is CenturyLink, which is DSL and in most places only provides 20-40 down/1 up. I think they're starting to up it to 60/80/100 down and up to 40 up in some places, though.

Cox Communications added a 1TB cap on all service tiers, including gigabit, four months ago here in Arizona.

It's $10 per 50 gb beyond that, or $50 for supposedly unlimited that I used to get in the base price.

Atlanta, GA. Comcast cable. I’m in the neighborhood for Google Fiber but I highly doubt they will finish the roll out. In the meantime, ATT has deployed lots of fiber in the area but they are slow to activate each street.

Comcast recently upped my speed from 75/5 to 150/5. My downloads still top out around 40 on non speed testing sites. I’m looking for something else that has better upload speed; I started with 20/5 on Comcast and over the last 5 years the speed has been going up on paper. I have a 32/8 channel modem attached to a ubiquiti gateway on gigabit Ethernet, so the bottleneck is on the Comcast side. Advertised speeds only match reality for a select few sites that are used for speed testing from my experience.

I recently moved to Nashville and signed up for the AT&T gigabit offering which is 1Gbps up and down with unlimited data for $80 a month (what a deal).

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.

I have a similar service (1gbps up/down) and I was able to get 944mbps by cabling my laptop directly to the ONT. According to my research, that's the practical maximum since there is some protocol overhead taking up part of the pipe. Once I reintroduced the router, I also dropped to ~750mbps.

All testing was to an iperf node at my ISP.

Your contract with AT&T probably only guarantees you 70% of the advertised speed. I've never had an issue with speedtest.net POPs being able to handle gigabit tests. I have lots of experience with underperforming AT&T connections of all kinds. I would try another speed test site if you think that is the bottleneck.

@bigjimmyk3 brought up a great point. Most consumer routers can't push 1Gbps fully. Also, I am actually routing through two routers. The first being the AT&T supplied router/modem combo, then that flows into an Apple AirPort Time Capsule in bridge mode. All CAT6 cabling.

I pay $75 for 7/0.768Mbps and $220 for 50/10Mbps for 2 business lines.

My only option is Spectrum cable. They are offering 100Mbps fiber for $770/month if sign up for 5 years contract.

$770/mo for 5 years contract? I assume that's on your business lines and has a service level agreement with it?

Not the parent, but yes (we used to have fiber service from Charter). It's also symmetrical so 100Mbits up, which is an order of magnitude faster than their residential copper service. The 5 year commit is to cover their cost stringing fiber from the closest splice point to your facility (could be several blocks). If you can peer with them in a building that is already fiber-fed on their network, the cost should be lower.

Last year, I was talking to friends in Africa with Internet faster than mine and cheaper to boot! WTF!

I live in NYC and only have a single option over 15Mbps.

Free market. ;-{

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