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Interesting counterpoint to the "broadband is so much better in Europe" trope. Unless of course we are under strain here in the US as well....



The US response has so far been fairly muted, with a few notable local exceptions. There are a lot more people stuck at home in Europe.

In practice, though, at least in Ireland there's been little obvious problem, though you can definitely see an increase: https://www.inex.ie/ixp/statistics/ixp


Pretty much all of California is stuck at home, and California has 40 million people... that would be the 8th largest country in Europe.


Shelter in Place is basically just the Bay Area, right? And a lot of people still seem to be leaving the home for work there; notoriously, people are still making Teslas!

Also, California is mostly fairly urbanised and well-off. If Germany was the only place in Europe where people were being discouraged from leaving the home, this would be less of a concern. This is really targeting places, especially rural places, with poor infrastructure.


I am in Los Angeles, and we have been told to stay home except for absolutely necessary trips to grocery stores or doctors.

Also, there are very large parts of California that are rural.


> Census 2000 found California’s rural population totaled 1,876,753 persons

That's about 5%, which is pretty low.


It'd probably be the 6th largest in the eu. Smaller than Italy, France and Spain which all have lockdowns.


FCC is handing out extra radio spectrum as fast as it can. Took a bunch of white space channels gave them to TMobile. Letting some stay on 3.5ghz little longer before selling it off.


Does anyone know if something like this graph exists for the US? I tried googling for one but I’m not sure of the right search terms to use.


It's a neutral exchange. Note that it doesn't give the whole story; really big players like Netflix may have hardware directly in some of the ISPs and bypass the exchange completely.

The US doesn't have many significant neutral exchanges, but here's one: https://www.seattleix.net/statistics/


Possibly, but Netflix do peer in INEX, https://www.inex.ie/ixp/customer/detail/103


They do, but they likely also have equipment in many of the ISPs.


I feel like when people are arguing that point, they are arguing about broadband competition. In most US markets your choices are not great and/or are expensive, and if you are in a market with limited competition there is often not a reason to invest in the network.


This move is just a solution in search of a problem. We still have better internet than you in ALL places, including mobile connectivity, literally everywhere. I can say fiber to the home 250/250 & coax 500/500 dominate the market. There is pumped up ADSL everywhere country-side. This move is coming unilateraly from a person who doesn't understand internet and woke up and had to be busy with something. Many IX report a slight increase in capacity, from 10% to 20%.


Fibre to the home definitely doesn't dominate the market in the UK!

Maybe we're far behind the rest of Europe but as we are part of Europe, then it isn't that great 'literally everywhere'.


You can't generalise all of the European Union like that.


Europe is not a single county, and Internet connections are widely different for a variety of reasons. On one end of the spectrum you have the Nordic countries where the average connection has > 20 Mb/s, and at the other end of the spectrum you have Italy, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus where it is below 10.


I pay $30 for 250/100 and i live 20 minutes outside a town if 120k in a small community of 25 houses, about 7 km from the nearest store of any kind.

Is that competitive? I have no idea. I could however chose from around 10 ISPs that all have to compete in the network, which I understand is quite rare on the other side of the pond.


Where are you? There are many different deals across Europe; many aren't as good as what you have.


Sweden. Has I lived in an apartment in town it would probably have been 5-10 dollars less depending on where I lived. The city operates its own net with very low costs for large parts of the city


It's not a counterpoint. Netflix's actions, from a network perspective are not neccessary, at least not Europe-wide. My ISP is more than able to cope with it. I've been checking at peak times and I can consistently saturate my gigabit connection piping traffic to/from Amsterdam, about 800km away.

Maybe Netflix feels the need for its own business reasons (e.g. it pays for some of its bandwidth and now users are using enough that they're unprofitable) but it's not needed to ensure the integrity of Europe's networks.

Were it necessary, the ISPs can simply shape Netflix and let adaptive bitrate take care of the user experience, the same way mobile ISPs do in the US.


Isn't the trope "broadband is better somewhere else" for most places? Anecdotally, most people I know complain about the connection where they live.


Moving from Sweden to the US (Florida) I can't say I've noticed much of a difference in connectivity. 100, 200, 300 & 1000MBps is readily available in both places but usually around at 3x the price in the US.

Rural America seems to be an entirely different story.


15M down / 768k up checking in from rural america. I have to stop my camera on video conferences if i want to talk.


My parents have been trying to get high speed internet for years. They're in a semi-rural, but suburbanizing area. They are surrounded by houses that have cable, but their house is older so it doesn't have it.

They had microwave for a while, but it didn't work in bad weather, and then the trees got too tall. They've finally resorted to paying the cable company thousands of dollars to bring cable to their house. It's such a ridiculous opaque process though that my mom basically has to stalk cable vans in her area and give the tech an earful to get status updates. The good techs know how shitty the process is, and one even gave her his personal phone number. However, it's not his department, so his ability to make things happen is limited.

She made the payment back in November, they got permits in January, and she hasn't heard from them since. I asked about how to get this done on DSLReports a while back, and the answer was to just keep calling them over and over and over, because every now and then you'd find someone with a clue.


I'm probably going to end up dropping $8-10k into a tower and point to point microwave links to two different cities. The ISP i'm on now wants $30K to put fiber in my house, but their network is so bad at the edge that i'd still need to get a loop to something else to get reasonable performance.

I'd still do the tower and resell b/w to recoup some of the costs.


Ouch :(

Just checked, and at the address I left in Sweden I could have gotten a 1.2GBps for ~$60/mo, almost what I pay for 100MBps here...


And my part of Rural America was supposed to have a local government broadband taskforce meeting next Tuesday. The county commissioner concerned won't reply saying whether the meeting is canceled or not though the emergency declaration said county offices are closed to the public. I sent the commissioner a message imploring him to find a way to keep the matter going as there will be an end to this crisis and our decaying, limited, legacy infrastructure that the local broadband incumbent is not investing in is holding us back.

I'm not holding my breath.


Silicon Valley here. My options are 20/1 DSL or cell. I chose cell.


There should be a mandate that all new buildings should have Fibre Optic cables laid out just like electronics wires and Water pipes.

Or even just a separate pipe for either Ethernet or Fibre Cables.


I have never heard any body complain about broadband speed from Japan, South Korea or Hong Kong. For parts of Europe, Such as Finland, Norway or Sweden are also mostly problem free.

I then decide look up their average Internet speed [1], and turns out they are all in the Top 10.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Internet_...


I live in Hong Kong and I always complain about my broadband speed. I get 1GBPs but actually it's not true, the link to US is limited and is rather small given how many people use it so connections speed outside of HK is around 80mbps much much slower than I had in Europe or Japan.

And the contract is for 24 months minimum, so if you leave the country before the end, you end up having to pay for the rest of your contract.

But, in general, US ISPs are particularly bad in my experience (and worse even than HK)


Europeans seem pretty proud of their Internet, at least relative to the US, for example: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22631036


As a European, I'm quite happy with my Internet connections.


it's mostly the cost/quality ratio, it's not asia levels of modernity (they seemed to be the first on most things) but it's accessible and stable

on the other hand the web is filled with horror stories emanating from C....st customers.


I had the exact same thought. I was under the impression that Europe had much more robust broadband infrastructure and a surplus of capacity, compared to the US.


Finland at least has uncapped mobile connections up the wazoo. Also the highest amount of mobile data per head in 2016 at least: https://cdn.statcdn.com/Infographic/images/normal/11448.jpeg

Edit: same for 2018 as well: https://www.statista.com/statistics/956188/monthly-mobile-da...


On average, yes, probably. But both the US and Europe have areas (especially rural areas) with very poor coverage, and in much of Europe most people are staying at home at the moment, to a much greater extent than in the US.


'Better' can mean multiple things.

I'm pretty sure you'd agree that paying 1/3rd of what you pay now for the same bandwidth is 'better'.

Is there sufficient idle capacity to handle an nearly-overnight transition to whatever the load is now? I don't know, but suspect most ISPs are going to keep similar capacity buffers - nobody sells end consumers non-oversubscribed pipes.


There are many aspects of good broadband (Competition, fiber access in rural areas etc). Europe is also a group of very different countries. There are many countries where most rural areas still rely on DSL connections, for example.


I've just run four different speed tests and all say that I'm getting ~100/10 which is what my ISP advertises (Virgin Media in the UK)

One of them shows a ping of 27 ms (I think it's normally ~ 10 ms)


> "broadband is so much better in Europe" trope

Interesting how ISP's outside of the EU are uncapping their data limits all of a sudden..

So when people (me included) say it's better in Europe, its because the vast majority of us are not capped.. In normal times.

Sources : https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/12/21177538/att-broadband-in...

https://www.itnews.com.au/news/telstra-follows-optus-with-ex...


Such a blanket reduction is stupid, yes.


You will




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