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Old 01-30-2012, 03:06 PM   #1
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F American ISP's

US ranks 28th in Internet connection speed: report

So here I was thinking that my Comcast High Speed internet was the ......hit. However upon further review I'm learning just how far behind we are in internet speed, price, and access. Apparently no one gets less for their money in the developed world then us (The US).

I'm learning that over in Europe you can speeds like a 120mbps upload and download in the range of $70 to $100 a month. Comcast High Speed for 25mbps is around $70 a month. In Japan the average amount of time to download a high def movie is 12.5 minutes. In America it's 2.5 hours.

And to top it off theres no data caps in a lot of if not all of the countries that are kicking our ass when it comes to internet access. No arbitrary cutting off internet access for going over said data cap (which Comcast has done to many people without warning).

Also they have competition. Yeah we complain about European socialism yet they're the ones that are saying no to Oligopolies and limited competition. Choosing an ISP in Japan and Europe is like choosing a landline in the US. You get tons of choices and as long as you have wires running to your house you can get access.

They're investing in infrastructure much more then American ISP's to make their network faster. The only company seemingly willing to try and make the internet better is Google.
Google bestows 1Gbps fiber network on Kansas City, Kansas

So yeah F these companies for providing crappy internet compared to the rest of the world and supporting bills like SOPA.
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Old 01-30-2012, 03:38 PM   #2
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Re: F American ISP's

There are many factors at play here, but essentially, newer infrastructure means faster internet. Verizon is making this type of service a reality to some, but until it has competitors who are willing to compete with at those speeds, they won't be making available those types of speeds either.

Another thing to consider is that those speeds are fairly localized. Communicate with a non-local server, and those speeds diminish. The bottlenecks still exist no matter how fast your ISP is.
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Old 01-30-2012, 05:09 PM   #3
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Re: F American ISP's

Oh come on now, slow speeds are one of the few things we can troll the MPAA with. We can't download all that HD video all the time.
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Old 01-30-2012, 05:46 PM   #4
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Re: F American ISP's

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Originally Posted by cpayne5 View Post
There are many factors at play here, but essentially, newer infrastructure means faster internet. Verizon is making this type of service a reality to some, but until it has competitors who are willing to compete with at those speeds, they won't be making available those types of speeds either.

Another thing to consider is that those speeds are fairly localized. Communicate with a non-local server, and those speeds diminish. The bottlenecks still exist no matter how fast your ISP is.
And there lies the problem. The current system allows for local monopolies and oligopolies. There is little to no competition. What incentive do these companies have to invest in infrastructure when they can hoard supply and limit use. I understand business is buy for a dollar sell for two but a lot of these companies compared to the rest of the world are buying for a dollar and selling for ten.

Like again consider that if you go over 250 GB on Comcast for multiple months you get banned for a year. Not fined, not a surcharge but banned. Sometimes with little or no warning. And it's not people who file share that suffer but rather people who use legitimate services like Netflix and Hulu as well as cloud computing for both work and personal use.

Why Broadband Service in the U.S. Is So Awful: Scientific American

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The same is not true in Japan, Britain and the rest of the rich world. In such countries, the company that owns the physical infrastructure must sell access to independent providers on a wholesale market. Want high-speed Internet? You can choose from multiple companies, each of which has to compete on price and service. The only exceptions to this policy in the whole of the 32-nation Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development are the U.S., Mexico and the Slovak Republic, although the Slovaks have recently begun to open up their lines.
The last real advantage we have over the rest of the world is technology and we are seemingly doing everything we can to **** that advantage up.

I've heard though that Google, Amazon, and Apple have all looked into becoming ISP's and seeing as how they're internet first companies they'll probably do a world of good should they ever choose to go that route.

Internet Service Providers: Who will become an ISP first: Google, Amazon, or Apple? - Quora
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There seems to be a problem on the internet. Three massive and massively profitable tech companies, Google, Amazon, and Apple, and releasing services that depend on a userbase with rapid, reliable, and data-heavy access to the cloud. At the same time, all major ISPs and mobile providers, such as Verizon, AT&T and Comcast, are progressively throttling, limiting, and capping data, or creating pricing policies which incentivize user against data-heavy use.
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:23 PM   #5
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Re: F American ISP's

I'm a bit confused though. Is the current ISP system in America the result of regulation or deregulation? Because what I'm reading deregulation allowed the big ISP's to hoard bandwidth and resources and keep away competition.
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:08 PM   #6
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Re: F American ISP's

If the market supported competition, it would exist. People in America have lives outside of the internet (some do). It is not much more than a time waster at work and Wikipedia portal at home, for most people. Throw in some Netflix, Hulu, and Youtube here and there and most households probably use less than 20GB of bandwidth a month.

I'm a software engineer. My job is 100% driven by the internet (I'm no web developer, though). I bleed packets. Even so, my monthly usage is around 60GB on average. I'm sure others get close to that 250GB Comcast cap, but the *vast* majority never do. If you think otherwise, you're kidding yourself.

The whole share-the-infrastructure idea has been done. It failed.

If I'm a company and I'm told that after I spend a ton of money laying fiber that I then have to turn around and wholesale it to my competitors, I'm going to think long and hard if I want to make that initial investment. Sharing infrastructure is only one piece of the puzzle. You then have to have peering agreements, or straight up purchase bandwidth to resell.

I find it funny that you're lauding the efforts of Apple and Amazon. They are building their business around exactly what you despise; purchased content.
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:18 PM   #7
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Re: F American ISP's

Ah, logistics(curse UPS for making people hate the word).

Google Fiber work in KCK is delayed by dispute over how its wires are hung - KansasCity.com

And a couple of the comments are enlightening.
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:43 PM   #8
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Re: F American ISP's

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I find it funny that you're lauding the efforts of Apple and Amazon. They are building their business around exactly what you despise; purchased content.
I don't despise purchased content at all. On the contrary I love it. I currently have subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, CrunchyRoll, Rhapsody, and starting in the next day or two NHL Gamecenter. In part because they provide a reasonably priced, yet valuable service that meets my needs.

Alright Gamecenter might be overpriced but at no more then $10 a month for all the other subscriptions. And when Amazon Prime creates a PS3 app I'll probably get a subscription to their service.

What I despise is the old model that the studios and record companies don't want to let go of. $10 movie ticket, $20 DVD (with tons of unstoppable previews), $15 CD supplemented by suing senior citizens and teens for file sharing.

Still I don't understand why we have monopolistic competition and Europe has pure competition. After all they're the socialist.
Op-Ed Columnist - The Comeback Continent - NYTimes.com
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Meanwhile, Europe’s Internet lag is a thing of the past. The dial-up Internet of the 1990s was dominated by the United States. But as dial-up has given way to broadband, Europe has more than kept up. The number of broadband connections per 100 people in the 15 countries that were members of the European Union before it was enlarged in 2004, is slightly higher than in the U.S. — and Europe’s connections are both substantially faster and substantially cheaper than ours.

I don’t want to exaggerate the good news. Europe continues to have many economic problems. But who doesn’t? The fact is that Europe’s economy looks a lot better now — both in absolute terms and compared with our economy — than it did a decade ago.

What’s behind Europe’s comeback? It’s a complicated story, probably involving a combination of deregulation (which has expanded job opportunities) and smart regulation. One of the keys to Europe’s broadband success is that unlike U.S. regulators, many European governments have promoted competition, preventing phone and cable companies from monopolizing broadband access.
That last sentence is exactly the opposite of whats happened state side and now these same ISP's want to end net neutrality which according to silicon valley is a terrible idea and one that apparently Republicans are all to eager to put into play. (Enron anyone?)
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:54 PM   #9
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Re: F American ISP's

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Originally Posted by cpayne5 View Post
If the market supported competition, it would exist. People in America have lives outside of the internet (some do). It is not much more than a time waster at work and Wikipedia portal at home, for most people. Throw in some Netflix, Hulu, and Youtube here and there and most households probably use less than 20GB of bandwidth a month.

I'm a software engineer. My job is 100% driven by the internet (I'm no web developer, though). I bleed packets. Even so, my monthly usage is around 60GB on average. I'm sure others get close to that 250GB Comcast cap, but the *vast* majority never do. If you think otherwise, you're kidding yourself.

The whole share-the-infrastructure idea has been done. It failed.

If I'm a company and I'm told that after I spend a ton of money laying fiber that I then have to turn around and wholesale it to my competitors, I'm going to think long and hard if I want to make that initial investment. Sharing infrastructure is only one piece of the puzzle. You then have to have peering agreements, or straight up purchase bandwidth to resell.

I find it funny that you're lauding the efforts of Apple and Amazon. They are building their business around exactly what you despise; purchased content.
So then why cut the bandwidth in half when people get close to that threshold?
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:04 PM   #10
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Re: F American ISP's

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So then why cut the bandwidth in half when people get close to that threshold?
I don't know who throttles and at what point. I do know though that Comcast will cut off residential customers for a year if they go over the 250 GB cap two or three times (sometimes once is enough to do it). UVerse charges $10 per 50GB and thats after you go over 3 times. Which isn't preferable but not entirely unreasonable either.

From what I've seen Verizon Fios is the best major ISP product available for home use. Fast speeds, competitive pricing (at least here), and no caps. To bad they're not in Atlanta yet.

I have to say though I'm scared as hell that Net Neutrality will fall if a Republican President gets elected. Comcast is exactly the type of company that will abuse the lack of rules as seen in two incidents. First where they blocked access to the Pirate Bay and second when they backdoored Netflix's broadband provider into paying a toll to use "their bandwidth."

The funniest part about caps though is the claim by both AT&T and Comcast saying that it would only affect 2% of their users. If only 2% of their users are going over the cap then why do you need it to begin with?
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:57 PM   #11
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Re: F American ISP's

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I don't know who throttles and at what point. I do know though that Comcast will cut off residential customers for a year if they go over the 250 GB cap two or three times (sometimes once is enough to do it). UVerse charges $10 per 50GB and thats after you go over 3 times. Which isn't preferable but not entirely unreasonable either.

From what I've seen Verizon Fios is the best major ISP product available for home use. Fast speeds, competitive pricing (at least here), and no caps. To bad they're not in Atlanta yet.

I have to say though I'm scared as hell that Net Neutrality will fall if a Republican President gets elected. Comcast is exactly the type of company that will abuse the lack of rules as seen in two incidents. First where they blocked access to the Pirate Bay and second when they backdoored Netflix's broadband provider into paying a toll to use "their bandwidth."

The funniest part about caps though is the claim by both AT&T and Comcast saying that it would only affect 2% of their users. If only 2% of their users are going over the cap then why do you need it to begin with?
Exactly! And why punish everybody else if only 2% of your customers are being abusive with the bandwidth?

The thing with the net neutrality is a sticky situation. On one hand, you have a chance at allowing your ISPs to block your access to certain websites, just because those websites might garner some type of competition of sorts. For example, Comcast blocking your access to Hulu or Netflix, because people would rather watch what is on those sites than what's on TV.

On the other hand, if you make it so that it is illegal for the companies to block access to certain information, then these ISPs will counter by forcing you into tiered data plans, much like what they're doing with the cell phone data plans now. The reasoning is that these ISPs can't support the bandwidth to stream Netflix, youtube, and Hulu, so they want to charge you twice as much to have that bandwidth.

So, which do we want? To have our internet access limited to only what Comcast or Time Warner is willing to grant you, and you may not have to worry about bandwidth limitations, or do you want to have full access to everything the information super highway has to give you, but you'll pay for it dearly if you access high bandwidth sites like Netflix?

But, on top of that. Even if free speech supporters forces congress to side with them, they're still going to push for ACTA or something like SOPA - which will still limit your access to websites AND the ISPs will still charge you dearly for their service. Either way it looks to me like a lose/lose situation for the consumers.
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:14 PM   #12
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Re: F American ISP's

In certain areas both Verizon and Comcast have ridiculous 100 megabit speeds (I believe Verizon offers 200 Mbps in NOVA). I honestly don't get why anyone needs that kind of speed or willing to pay $100+ a month for an internet connection. 15 Mbps gets you all the content that can be had and at $30 a month with the threat of terminating service every six months keep it at that price that's all I need.

As for the 2% being affected, well when that 2% accounts for 25+ percent of all the traffic it's probably a good idea to give those mofos the boot or make them pay more. Asking users not to go over 50 GIG in a month sounds very reasonable.
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:18 PM   #13
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Re: F American ISP's

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In certain areas both Verizon and Comcast have ridiculous 100 megabit speeds (I believe Verizon offers 200 Mbps in NOVA). I honestly don't get why anyone needs that kind of speed or willing to pay $100+ a month for an internet connection. 15 Mbps gets you all the content that can be had and at $30 a month with the threat of terminating service every six months keep it at that price that's all I need.

As for the 2% being affected, well when that 2% accounts for 25+ percent of all the traffic it's probably a good idea to give those mofos the boot or make them pay more. Asking users not to go over 50 GIG in a month sounds very reasonable.
If you use Netflix, Hulu, PSN, YouTube, and/or NHL Gamecenter (like I will be using soon) it's very easy to go over 50 gig a month. I think I'm up to 200 Gigs a month last time I checked.

We can't win with the big media companies. First they say don't download stuff on torrents. Okay fine, we'll go use these legitimate services which give us the same stuff without taking up space on our hard drives. "Oh no that uses to much bandwidth. We're going to have to put up a cap." Until of course you stream stuff like Pay-Per Views and other pay services on Comcast and AT&Ts network, then all of a sudden bandwidth is unlimited.

The bottom line is with more and more people watching less cable (and some unplugging altogether) their business model is being threatened. And somehow prices are going up but quality is going down. Ah the joys of monopolistic "competition."
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:43 PM   #14
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Re: F American ISP's

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Originally Posted by saden1 View Post
In certain areas both Verizon and Comcast have ridiculous 100 megabit speeds (I believe Verizon offers 200 Mbps in NOVA). I honestly don't get why anyone needs that kind of speed or willing to pay $100+ a month for an internet connection. 15 Mbps gets you all the content that can be had and at $30 a month with the threat of terminating service every six months keep it at that price that's all I need.

As for the 2% being affected, well when that 2% accounts for 25+ percent of all the traffic it's probably a good idea to give those mofos the boot or make them pay more. Asking users not to go over 50 GIG in a month sounds very reasonable.
Unless you're making six figures or have a successful, profitable rental property, or something that helps you bear the cost of fiber, fiber is not an optimal decision. Oh, and by switching to fiber, you can't go back to cheaper copper services.

Caps are a different issue though. Cable internet is a "common good" at times of peak usage. It is rivalrous but non-excludable. That means that while everyone can use it, if there are too many users, the users prevent each other from enjoying the ""full" benefit of the service. The way cable internet works, the "pipeline" is shared between multiple users, and if it becomes "full" during "rush hour", service suffers.
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:54 PM   #15
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Re: F American ISP's

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Unless you're making six figures or have a successful, profitable rental property, or something that helps you bear the cost of fiber, fiber is not an optimal decision. Oh, and by switching to fiber, you can't go back to cheaper copper services.

Caps are a different issue though. Cable internet is a "common good" at times of peak usage. It is rivalrous but non-excludable. That means that while everyone can use it, if there are too many users, the users prevent each other from enjoying the ""full" benefit of the service. The way cable internet works, the "pipeline" is shared between multiple users, and if it becomes "full" during "rush hour", service suffers.
Cable is still plenty fast for me (usually 18mbps to 22mbps on a wireless connection out of 25mbps) but it's not without limitations. For example when I play NHL 12 online I have to turn the internet off on my laptop to prevent lag. I rarely get problems with Netflix and Hulu but sometimes it's hard to get above their "Medium SD" quality.
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