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1Gbps fiber for $70—in America? Yup. (arstechnica.com)
219 points by kylelibra on June 11, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 101 comments

Sonic is the only ISP I've ever had that hasn't sucked. They're terrific. Their techs actually know what they're talking about and, as I'm sure others on HN can relate to from dealing with other ISPs, they don't treat you like an idiot when you call up. It was a great decision by google to have sonic act as the ISP for the Stanford deployment. I hope they're able to roll fiber out quickly.

they don't treat you like an idiot when you call up

The main reason this happens on most ISPs that that there are so many stupid-about-technology people out there that call up ISPs. There are loads of people who think they know all about technology and computers, and it turns out that they don't really know more than a few buzzwords. Hence the tech support flowchart has to assume (no matter what the customer says) that the customer doesn't know anything and that they should (e.g.) restart their PC.

They could at least have a procedure to make a note in your account that you're not an idiot after you've proved it to them, so you don't have to run through the same checklist every time you call.

Right now, the "non-bozo bit" is basically a thread-local session variable--it's stored in the head of the operator handling your call, so if they ask you to call back and you get them again, you can skip the procedure, but if you get someone else, you have to go through it all again.

Obligatory: http://xkcd.com/806/

Part of this is probably due to Sonic's small size. The people answering the phone are actually engineers. With a big company like Comcast, the people answering the phone are trained to follow a specific (and often frustrating to the customer) algorithm to solve your problem.

I was the first person in my township to get FIOS. At that time, their customer service was excellent and in-line with what you both are saying. But over the past 5 years it has steadily degraded. The service itself is great, but you no longer quickly get the technical help you need.

Get FIOS Business service; not the residential. The technical help is more capable; but you pay for it.

I have Business service.

It's like Techsavvy in Canada, except I effectively get 3Mbps, not 1Gbps, from them :(.

Former sonic.net customer here, then speakeasy, current teksavvy customer. Speakeasy just isn't in the ballpark, teksavvy is great service, but sonic.net was hands-down the best ISP I've ever had.

This article makes me happy to read.

Novus in Vancouver is pretty awesome, 40/10 for $65/mo

Well, then they clearly have better support than service. The one apartment I've lived in that wasn't Comcast wired I suffered through a year of miserable latency, packet loss, and unimpressive speeds via Sonic DSL. Personally, I'll trade shit support for a decent connection any day.

I saw a news bit about how breakout ISPs in the UK are selling 100mbps(I believe I might be wrong on the speed) for as low as 6.99 quid. American utility bubble? I think so. At this point I am positive the Verizons and the Comcasts could offer free service to everyone of there existing customers and still make positive returns from just new contracts. Can somebody please tell me exactly what you are paying for with 100Mbps for 199.99? Are they using solid gold equipment? There can't possibly be that much overheard, someone please set me straight.

I completely agree, when I moved to the US from Germany about 7 years ago, a large majority of the people I got to know were still running dialup. In Germany the years prior to my move, I cannot remember a single person not having at least DSL. Then the next major shock I got was when looking at ISP and Cellphone carrier prices! at the moment I am paying 60$/mo for 12down 2up (in boston). My Brother in a small town in southern Germany gets 2 unlimited phone lines, cable TV and 50down 12up for 40euros/mo so about 60$/mo. Im not sure how this difference in price can be explained, Especially because in boston my internet goes down every few days since all the lines are run overground.

Since you seem to have more up-to-date experience I'll ask this: what are the other fees Germans pay for telecom? Are there other taxes or fees that are payed separately?

I moved away from Germany almost 20 years ago but at the time my parents were still paying "Anmeldungsgebuehr" for their TVs/radios, the basic phone service was really cheap but local calls were metered in 8min increments.

I believe one of the big problems for the majority of Americans (myself certainly included) is the limbo created by poorly regulated local monopolies - I can choose between Qwest DSL and Comcast, neither are particularly good and both are expensive. There's not enough regulation to create a good minimum service level but there's enough regulation to prevent local players from really growing.

One thing I have to say, though, the pictures of the Sonic guys installing fiber look really scary. I could never get away with a crappy wiring job like this at work yet around town you see the worst kind of spaghetti jobs, crooked masts chewed up by woodpeckers, home-made looking junction boxes, etc.

Telekom wasnt even a private company 20 years ago and they had a monopoly. Today you can choose between lots of ISPs/Telco companies. I get 64/5 Mbit with 2 unlimited phone lines and cable TV for about 50 EUR in a small german city. No one i know still has metered calls in germany. Prices fell and speeds have risen dramatically in the last 5-6 years.

I don't think making these types of cross-country comparisons is all tha helpful. Do people know, for example, that in Germany it is illegal for most stores to be open on Sunday? Things work differently in different countries. We get it.

It used to be illegal here in the States too, within my lifetime. We had Blue Laws. And I think such comparisons are valid because it highlights a huge hole in the vision of American leadership -- both political and corporate.

Had? That's cute. Come to Indiana. Liquor stores aren't open on Sundays here as it's illegal for then to sell alcohol on the sabbath. Why the fuck did I move back.

Liquor stores often fight laws allowing sales on sundays. When the stores are closed on sundays everyone just purchases what they need during the rest of the week. So they don't lose sales & have reduced costs - no staff on sunday.

In MA they did their best to stop it, but luckily people voted for freedom :P

The Sabbath is on Saturday; ask any Jew or Seventh-day Adventist. Most Christians observe a day of rest on Sunday.

I know the provenance is Jewish, but it's used for Sunday here as well.

For 199.99, it has to be the best there is. Why else would it be the most expensive?

Maybe they run dedicated coax from the head-end to your home's groundblock?

Business Fios sustained 35Mbps up/35Mbps down w/ fixed IP is only $130/month.

I can't tell if you are serious enough.. there's no way Comcast is going to run a dedicated line for you for $200/mo. The only reason I can see for the increased price is it means they can fit less people per node, so they end up needing more.

I was joking.

There is no rational explanation. Some people perceive the highest price as being the best.

Relevant discussion here:


Here's the sad part (unless you bought into their shares early): You're paying for their dividends (i.e. payouts to shareholders). It's their fiduciary duty.

However, companies like them need to realize that there are more stakeholders (like the community) than just shareholders.

It's not a bubble if you have laws passed in your favor that prevent competition.

I've got 100Mbps fiber for less than $20. There is better plan: 300Mbps for $32. On the other hand my country is the leader in fiber-to-the-home. Benefits of being small.

I saw a news bit about how breakout ISPs in the UK are selling 100mbps(I believe I might be wrong on the speed) for as low as 6.99 quid.

If only.

I'm going to be moving back to Chicago soon, and I wonder if any fellow HNers have some advice as to who's the best ISP for quality, high-speed internet in the Chicagoland region for someone that lives their life online?

Comcast Business Class. Not the consumer stuff, the good stuff. 20 mbps sustained download and 14ms ping to google.com. There's a different (and much better) tech support tree for businesses too. Pricey but easily the best internet I've ever had. Beats the pants of my old AT&T DSL.

AT&T DSL here, pretty good for latency (low jitter, sub 60 ms, in WoW, SC2, TF2, and others while on wifi as well), not so good for throughput (only goes up to 6 mbps in my area, we have 3 mbps I think).

Speakeasy is probably the best ISP available. Unfortunately they are also expensive. AT&T U-verse is cheap, I have not had any problems so far (installed a couple months ago) and I have not heard any complaints from friends and coworkers who have it. Avoid Clear.

Honestly, I'm tired of the way companies try to market Internet to the masses. Too many people/articles focus on "1Gbps, blazing download speeds". Yeah, for a day, maybe. With bandwidth caps, you can't actually use your connection at full potential all of the time, so I question the way they market it as "1Gbps". Call me when it's confirmed that the 1Gbps package comes with no bandwidth cap, that would be something to write home about.

"No bandwidth cap" doesn't actually work, though.

The average user (and even the average programmer) wants to use the internet for 1) entertainment, and 2) information. Those tasks don't require sustained, maximum bandwidth usage.

The only people who actually need that kind of bandwidth are either bittorrent... um.... addicts, for lack of a better word, or infected computers, and consist of about 1-2% of the customers.

Their usage patterns degrade the service for everyone else.

Netflix is mainstream.

I wonder why they don't put the wires and fibers underground. It is much safer and less prone to strong winds and other natural hazards. Is the cost of having underground wires that high?

Compared to putting them on poles, the cost of running new fiber underground (in an area without conduits already in place) is astronomical. The time delay is also orders of magnitude larger in getting the fiber down, as you need many, many permits to dig up streets, etc.

The problem seems to be that no one thought ahead when they built the streets in the US. Back in Sweden, it's all underground. You won't find anything less than main HV transmission lines above ground. I don't know how they did it, but based on the lack of ever digging up the streets in the neighborhoods I lived in, they must have put in conduits when they build the streets. Why they don't do the same in the US baffles me. It makes absolutely no sense.

When they build new development here (outside of inner cities), they generally do put it underground.

> It makes absolutely no sense.

The US was first. Everyone else had the experience in the US to learn from.

New areas in the US do use underground conduits, but most cities in the US are pretty old.

most cities in the US are pretty old.

That's a joke, right? Every place I've lived in the U.S. (which granted is not that many) was built much later than most European cities, yet there are still overhead wires strung all over the place.

Not the city, the installation of electrical service.

Same here in Germany. Everything is underground, even in smaller villages. And there are even plans to put new HV lines underground.


Imagine the cost of getting autorization for and digging a long hole through mile upon mile of in-city streets, and then repairing said hole - all while taking care of all the disruptions you cause to traffic and more. Unless you can find and use existing pipes in the right places with spare capacity (you're not going to, don't worry).

Really? I had heard that because streets are regularly dug up (well, every 5-15 years or so), and because the cost of doing so is almost always _way_ more than the cost of what goes in there, that for this reason there's already tons of capacity going unused (so-called "dark fiber" -- the Wikipedia article on the topic shows an interesting history of revisions ... ).

In a lot of cases you can directional bore underneath the streets. It can really reduce the amount of above ground disruptions.

Uh. Not really.

Directional boring is one of the most expensive ways to lay cable. Just going underneath at standard two lane road in a residential neighborhood is something like $50-$100K.

Undergrounding utilities (esp in a metro area) runs something like $250K to $1M/mile. There are many, many variables that affect cost.

Underground cables are also much more susceptible to failure when compared with aerial cables. When they do fail, it's sometimes more costly to repair them if they are buried as opposed to attached to a pole.

What could cause a cable underground to be more susceptible to failure than an aerial cable. I don't buy it.

You don't have to take my word for it. The Telcos did their own reliability surveys.

Underground utilities have do deal with more intrusions from water, ice, salt, digging, backhoes, insects, rodents and other stuff you find at "ground level." Ask any outside plant engineer and they will tell you that cost goes up and reliability suffers when you place utilities underground.

Aerial utilities primarily only have to deal with trees and ice. Oh, and gunshots. In the backwoods, the local yokels will sometimes shoot at transmission towers, taking out the fiber links with them.

Hm interesting. Where I come from, the aerial power cables go down pretty regularly due to wind/trees from storms. I haven't heard of similar issues with the underground lines, but I don't know anyone at the utilities. I would have thought that glass fiber would be impervious to all but backhoes, though.

Among other things, backhoe fade.

We've had our 60 mile fiber link go down twice. Once when a plane hit one of the towers it is on, the other from a fire in an underground tunnel.

Random speculation: conduit fills with water or mud, sheathing rots.

Yes. In my town there was an undergrounding project for a certain, high-end neighborhood. The residents voted to pay for the cost themselves. About half way into it, the project hit a snag--unexpected rock, which was difficult to drill through and increased costs quite a lot. The contract with the residents was poorly written and the city, it turns out, was on the hook for the overage. The city canceled the project, because they couldn't afford it and the residents wouldn't pay the extra amount. Lawsuits were flying and it took a couple of years to settle it. The city ended up losing 1/3 of the general fund to this mess.

So, yeah, undergrounding is a mess.

Ive wondered the same thing many of times, especially in times when water/sewer pipes get replaced and the street is already ripped open. We have often joked we should make a website with pictures of the wiremess here vs pictures of the wiremess in some of indias slums

For 700 homes.

That's pretty good, the fastest I can get is 170Mbps/30Mbps for almost $300 plus taxes but capped at 250GB/month, $1 per GB going over 250GB, and torrents throttled.

Just curious, why would anyone need 1Gbps internet right now? And what %of the population is that which needs it?

So you can stop thinking about outdated things like the "local network" vs "the internet".

If you can store all your stuff remotely, and get it as quickly and easily as if it were on a local NAS suddenly things get a lot easier.

Ironically, it's the non-geeks who need this the most, because they can't setup a NAS. How many people do you see emailing images to themselves so they can get it on their other computer? Every person who does that needs 1Gbps internet so they can do that for their entire photo and film collection.

(And yes, I know Dropbox helps with this scenario, but even Dropbox is better with 1Gbps intenet...)

That's mostly true, but there's still the latency benefits of physical proximity. For example, just for an electric signal to travel 6000km across the country, it will take t=6000km/v where v=c/n (c = speed of light, 3e8 m/s and n = refractive index of fiber, 1.62). So it'll take 32.4 ms just to send a packet across the states, and another 32.4 ms to receive one back. This doesn't even take into effect the latency from the routers in the way, and other things like that your message doesn't go in a completely straight path.

So latency is really important if you're doing something like playing a real time game. 32ms is basically a single frame if you're playing at 30 fps. Some people will notice if they're constantly a frame behind.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_fiber

Latency exists with any medium. Latency isn't really comparable to bandwidth, though a lack of bandwidth can impair latency. Most people aren't connecting to a server that is 3000 miles away from them, they are connecting to a CDN that is strategically located within a few states from them. Even in latency sensitive applications like gaming or VoIP, usually 100ms or less is enough for satisfactory results. Then there are a whole host of things where latency really doesn't matter all that much like file backup or video streaming...

I'm well aware of latency. I chose the example I did specfically because high bandwidth trumps locality when emailing a picture across the room..

I wasn't saying that high speed internet is not good, just wanted to be careful in declaring that it'll make everything feel as fast as LAN.

Not to mention the fact that the other endpoint needs to be as fast if you want fast communication.

100 megabit service is available at consumer-oriented pricing in Japan and other places. One obvious use of very fast service is to substitute OTT TV for cable TV, or to provide server-based 3D gaming, or, for non-entertainment purposes, to provide high-definition video conferencing. I'm sure others can enumerate a long list of applications.

But, the real point is there has never been a shortage of uses for more bandwidth. Instead, it has always opened new possibilities and created new value.

The great risk in not having inexpensive, fast Internet service is that the next great value-creations on the Internet will happen more often outside the US, and therefore not help to restore economic growth in the US.

The important question isn't whether you think you need it now or not, but rather, what can you do with it once you have it?

The PC is dying, I would rather see more advancements in wireless speeds rather than rolling out all this FTTH.

A couple of the comments talk about speeds enabling cloud lifestyle, I would point out also that mainly hinges again on wireless.

edit: why all the downvotes? have i said anything thats wrong? how does 1gbps help you watch stuff outside one room in your home without unplugging and re-plugging all your devices? is 100mbps sufficient for viewing HD video or do you need 1gbps?

And for the record wireless is not just about mobile phones- as I said the PC is dying, it's about laptops, netbooks, ipads, tablets, internet-enabled TVs, gaming consoles, and the future IP devices (cars) etc all of which are now, today, usually connected wirelessly. And we are the better for it.

New technological advances allow an internet connection to be split between multiple devices and indeed multiple rooms within your home.

Sure, it doesn't help you download faster on your phone when not within wifi range... but if you use that argument against needing fast speeds at home, why not go back to dialup?

That's why all the downvotes.

I think wireless is still being developed but home wireless is easily replaced (just buy a new router) and of course LTE is being rolled out to get even higher speeds on mobile phones.

The important part though is to have a connection that can actually utilize the full wireless speeds. Wireless has been 100mbps for a while now, but nobody can utilize that much on their lines (at least in the US)

A possible wireless solution could be based on having tons of fiber laid out so that you can put antennas and base stations basically anywhere.

4G and LTE are okay but nothing close to 1 gbps. We need a new wireless standard to saturate that connection.

Why do we need to have all the RAM, Gigahertz, TBs of storage in our PCs currently? The hardware specs of modern computers would have been viewed as frivolous just a few short years ago. Now people enjoy desktop eye candy (perhaps not entirely necessary in some cases, but it can make things easier for non-techies), getting rid of CDs and DVDs and so on.

Similarly, by raising the limits on internet speed, new web apps that are inconceivable now will come on stream. For example, an infamous 'dot bomb', boo.com, would make more sense in the broadband era than the 56k modem era[1]. Similarly, there will be new ideas that aren't viable currently that will become viable with 1Gbps.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boo.com#Problems_with_the_user_...

I have a family of 12. We live together in one house. Each family member requires their own 720p HD stream.

I also have 16 HD surveillance cameras, all of which are remotely monitored in realtime.

We also run our own live streaming video servers using Wowza.

Just kidding, I have no idea why a home user would need 1gbps, unless they are a huge family with many hulu/netflix watchers (maybe a frat/sorority) house or a home-based business with the server hardware onsite.

I am assuming it is 1gbps up and down.

Nobody needs it right now, but once most people have the option of it, new ways of needing it will appear.

This would be great for cloud computing with family videos or games that you rent online which stream all the content directly from the servers.

With the rise of IPv6, it could also lead to the development of a more distributed web content model where people host a lot of their own content for others to access and browse using personal web servers instead of P2P clients, since pretty much everyone will have the extra processing power and bandwidth.

There's a lot of uses, and many of them could easily become the new "needs" of the future.

Also, this really sets the stage for having your own home 'cloud' device.

Instead of all these offsite services that stream 'licensed' versions of media, why not have it all stored at home on your 'cloud' appliance, and it can stream your music, videos, and photos to any of your devices wherever you are (country agnostic).

So, if you have a decent size family, they can watch their shows at home, in the car, at a friend's house, or wherever there is a suitable connection.

That is my own desire too. I don't want Apple's iCloud. But I'll gladly get a Mac Home Server so I can have my own personal iCloud.

It allows cloud solutions to be indistinguishable from local solutions. Quite powerful.

It's great for a large family or office where everybody is doing bandwidth intensive tasks. The percentage of households that need it is probably quite low but having it opens up new doors.

Why would anyone need a car that goes over 65 miles per hour?

Mine doesn't, and I don't miss it.

Not everyone needs a car that goes over 65... I'd actually argue that in non-US cities, the vast majority don't need it 99% of the time (the 1% being when you're planning on doing a road trip).

See also: Tata Nano or Maruti 800 (my car).

OTOH, I'd really appreciate 1gbps internet :) . In a college in Germany they had 1gbps for all the students, and they enjoyed streaming HD movies and all that.

HD videos are not smooth now with DSL. Tele-presence is not possible due to bandwidth limitation. There will be services to use up the bandwidth once it's possible.

Everyone needs to make sure each candidate answers two questions during the upcoming election cycle:

  1. Do you believe higher speed internet service will lead to a better jobs

  2. What policies will you pursue to so that more Americans have internet access 
  comparable to our global counterparts? E.g. Germany where speeds are 10x's as 
  fast at 2/3 the price?

On what rational basis are these two questions pertinent to managing the executive branch of the United States government?

To answer your question; because any federal law passed by congress in an effort to improve consumer choice in the ISP market would require the signature of the president without a supermajority. However, my call for answers to these questions applies equally to candidates for congressional, state and local offices too.

Unless you feel the current regulatory structure has no responsibility for getting us in this situation, how are they not pertinent?

You use phrases like "improve consumer choice" and "regulatory structure" as if it was possible for your interests to be aligned with those of the regulators and politicians. Nevermind those being regulated are donating many, many times more to politicians than your interest group is, to either not be regulated or regulate their competitors out of the market.

It's called democracy. I'm sure there's an excellent civics course online somewhere.

Pshaw, those questions wouldn't even make any halfway viable candidate blink. "Your concerns are very important to me. Those concerns are the concerns of all right-thinking Americans and vital to the continued success of America. My top priority in office will be to address your concerns by making sure to throw lots of money at your concerns in ways that no amount of further questions will get me to concretely pin down, because I've had decades of practice at dodging this sort of question. Who is the next person who needs some concern addressed with vague promises of papering over the problem with taxpayer money?" Since any politician will say the same thing, there's no information in the answer to those questions.

>Since any politician will say the same thing, there's no information in the answer to those questions.

Perhaps, but how would you (and others with vested interests in better internet) react to a politician that gave a thoughtful and coherent response?

The point of these questions is to give the politicians an opportunity to win over a very influential and growing segment of the population. I suspect that a single strong response from a politician would have a domino effect and force the others to answer in-kind.

Based on how most of us view politics in the U.S., it's easy to be cynical about these sorts of things, so I can understand why you wouldn't want to put in the effort. However, the iron is hot and it seems foolish to waste an opportunity to hold our elected officials feet to the fire.

"Perhaps, but how would you (and others with vested interests in better internet) react to a politician that gave a thoughtful and coherent response?"

Please understand that I am not trying to "score points" here with a joke, but my honest reaction when I encounter this is "(S)He's never going to make it past the nomination process."

Which so far has a 100% success rate.

Politicians do that because otherwise they don't get elected. One of the core competencies of a modern politician is to have their feet held to the fire, and dance away from it unscathed. I'm not kidding; if you can't do that, you will not reach the national stage... or at least you won't stay for long. The reason is that whatever substantial answer you give to a question like that pisses off more people than you excite. On the other hand, a vague answer excites those whom you want to excite as they will read into it what they want to see, but doesn't piss anybody off because it's really just a generality.

If you really want to accomplish something, step one is understanding the landscape. You can do things, but trying to get straight answers out of politicians is not step one of any plan that will work.

I respectfully disagree that politicians can't take a strong position on an issue and still win an election. It's our responsibility to be persistent/loud enough so that they feel the need to answer, but if you've got a better suggestion, I'm all ears.

> is a trial and will reach about 700 homes when complete

Don't get your hopes up just yet.

5 square miles down, 3,500,000 to go. Sounds like a plan to me.

God I love sweden, 100/100 dedicated for 16$/month (~100 SEK)

Nice to see an effort being made.

Bring on the FTTH providers!

It's an uphill battle. Local governments in the US sign franchise agreements with cable companies and telecom providers. Many of those agreements give the cable company exclusive geographical rights to the area in return for hooking up the entire town.

So when another ISP shows up and wants to string cable all over the poles...guess what? They're turned away. Verizon FiOS found this out when trying to get into markets where AT&T had the telephone franchise.

Call it a monopoly, call it anti-competition. But America is huge. There's no other way to get a company to invest in so much infrastructure to cover all of the land.

Franchise agreements aren't exclusionary. They just lay out what a company will pay to the city for the right to use the public right of way. They also cover things like in-kind contributions for schools and libraries and minimum service levels (which set out that they can't cherry pick neighborhoods and must offer service to everyone in a geographic area). A second provider would have to agree to conditions at least equal to the first one.

I worked for a city-owned electric utility that would regularly negotiate with outside entities to do pole-attachments. We did fiber loops around the city and started to offer Internet service. When it looked like we might actually make some meaningful progress, Bellsouth and Cox went to the state government and got a law passed that forbade ANY governmental organization or political subdivision from getting into the telecomm business.

If we had the national political will to insist on a competitive telecommunications infrastructure, we'd have one. I'm happy to see that some ISPs are giving it a go. Unfortunately, the capital costs are so high that it's hard for an upstart to really gain traction.

Our best bet for a truly competitive marketplace is for the CableCos to finally get into the business of doing SMB (small/medium biz) customer service that gives the ATT/Verizons a run for their money.

That is not necessarily true.

In Florida, prior to the deployment of Fios, as a competitor to cable television, Verizon lobbied the Florida legislature to rescind the minimum service level requirements to offer television to all citizens.

As a result, there are random neighborhoods with Fios access and others without. Verizon cherry picked the neighborhoods it wanted to service.

As you pointed out, the real problem seems to be the politicians.

Like I said, franchise agreements are hardly uniform and the large telcos can often muscle the politicians to doing things their way. Add in tax revenue promises and other inducements to side with the telcos and it's easy to see where the loyalties of our elected officials lie.

I wish it was different but telecom market domination is close to network neutrality in being out on the minds of the citizenry. Unless you can connect it to jobs or taxes, it's unlikely to interest any outside of a select few.

And even more sadly, it's not the "entire area." I've seen too many folks get stuck on the edge of a county line and end up serviced by neither of two providers due to their weird geographical location.

That's what they said with the railroads. They should have said: fine, don't.

But politicians are short-sighted.

I didn't see any mention of bandwidth caps. I hope they don't cap it. I'm not sure people see the flip side of having an extremely fast connection with the current model of pricing for most telecommunication providers. The speeds keep going up but the caps don't. I live in a building that has fiber provided by Telus, capped at 50MBps. I'm hitting 1TB down per month on average, I'd be screwed if they started capping my bandwidth. It's interesting how as soon as companies implement bandwidth caps we start seeing speeds go up.. just another money grab.

What's the upstream speed? Hope it's symmetric. High speed clusters are possible. Imagine a cluster of Beowulf...

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