Print 59 comment(s) - last by callmeroy.. on Aug 23 at 8:21 AM

  (Source: Comcast)

Broadband providers like Comcast advertise high connection speeds, but their actual speeds far fall short -- typically coming in at about half the advertised speed.  (Source: Comcast)
Apparently there's little truth in advertising when it comes to broadband

As more and more Americans use the internet daily, a wildly varying set of usage patterns arises.  Thus the Federal Communications Commission's latest broadband report [PDF], released this week, may be infuriating to some citizens while others may shrug and go on with their days.

According to the report, U.S. broadband customers in 2009 received approximately half the speed they paid for.  The report says that broadband service providers on average advertised median download speed of 8Mb/sec, with the median advertised download speed falling at 7Mb/sec.  They actually 
delivered an average speed of 3Mb/sec and a median speed of 4Mb/sec.

Legally there's unlikely to be any repercussions to cable internet providers, as the FCC notes that most providers advertise speeds of "up to xxx Mb/sec".  That squirrely phrase certain seems to have the intent to mislead, but it likely would not qualify as false advertising, thus customers may not have legal recourse if their speed come up short.

The FCC says a variety of factors including account congestion, network efficiency issues, website performance, and other external bottlenecks can bog down internet speeds.  Thus the slower-than-suggested speed may not be 
entirely the service provider's fault.

To some users who download video games via services like Valve or buy digital copies of/stream movies these slower speeds may be frustrating (not to mention for customers who conduct slightly less legal downloading activities).  However, many users who just use the web for email and news may find the existing speeds sufficient.

The FCC found that the 1 percent of users who used the most data, used 25 percent of the total bandwidth.  And the top 10 percent uses 70 percent of the bandwidth.  These numbers are reflected in the disparity between the average usage -- 9 GB/month -- and the median usage -- 2 GB/month.

The FCC is working with service providers, consumer groups, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to provide a roadmap to improve the internet.  Part of that roadmap will include a push from the FCC for service providers to advertise their 
average speeds, not their maximum speeds.

Other recent reports by the FCC indicate that not only is advertised speed an issue, but availability as well.  The FCC is also looking to roll out a national offering of 100 Mb/sec broadband to 100 million U.S. homes, with the infrastructure installation funded by sales of wireless spectrum.  Those plans are slowly advancing, though construction on the substantial necessary new infrastructure has not yet started.  

The FCC is also working with industry leaders to draft net neutrality legislation.

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By omnicronx on 8/18/2010 3:47:46 PM , Rating: 2
as the FCC notes that most providers advertise speeds of "up to xxx Mb/sec".
This is the important thing to note, and really this is not really any news. More often then not, they are advertising the maximum theoretical speed, not the average you will actually receive. Its been that way ever since I've had cable way back 12 years ago, its like that with the cell phone industry and it will likely remain as such in any other industry involving this kind of technology.

What I would like to see is something that mandates that these companies must disclose if the area you are in will likely have issues. (such as if you have DSL and you are at the very edge of a zone). (especially after signing a contract)

RE: ..
By fic2 on 8/18/2010 3:55:27 PM , Rating: 3
Wouldn't it be better to have that info before signing the contract?

RE: ..
By FITCamaro on 8/18/10, Rating: 0
RE: ..
By Chillin1248 on 8/18/2010 4:04:50 PM , Rating: 2

I personally use a 12Mbit down and 1Mbit up cable, and my service provider (Netvision) has been very good at keeping the advertised speeds available.

As mentioned, much of the performance hit is by external sources; which are not the fault of the provider.


RE: ..
By Souka on 8/18/2010 4:24:20 PM , Rating: 1
I just now checekd my comcast service level and what I"m supposed to "get up to..."

They say:
"Get download speeds up to 15 Mbps and uploads up to 3 Mbps with PowerBoost®"

I get:
20-30+ Mbps consistently when downloadng torrents, and eve got 4 Mbps up (also used against Seattle server, I live 10miles away).

I ain't complaining.... :)

RE: ..
By GaryJohnson on 8/18/2010 4:40:34 PM , Rating: 2
"powerboost" is really a system designed to obfuscate your true speed as any speedtests would be "boosted"

RE: ..
By Souka on 8/18/2010 6:33:33 PM , Rating: 2
but powerboost has no effect on torrents...hence I'm getting much more than my rated max... :)

And for what it's worth, speakeasy speedtest was within a few % of my sustained-max torrent up/down speeds I could apparently speedboost didin't effect my results.

RE: ..
By tastyratz on 8/18/2010 11:46:07 PM , Rating: 2
"powerboost" is actually part of docsis spec. Its called frame burst and allows you to get higher speeds for the first x bytes of a transfer. Its nothing special from Comcast and its been around long before they capitalized it to cram inferior service. Your speed limit is set in the modem config file, hard set never to be exceeded.

Download a 100mb file from and watch the speed to learn your true limitation (provided your node isnt bogged).

RE: ..
By Cypherdude1 on 8/19/2010 6:03:23 AM , Rating: 3
DailyTech, your FCC PDF link is wrong. It should read:

and not

Clicking on the incorrect link will yield a 404 error. I guessed the correct link and was able to download the FCC report.

RE: ..
By MScrip on 8/19/2010 1:25:12 AM , Rating: 3
Can someone explain to me why I can get over 30Mbps down... but only 0.36Mbps up?

I know down is always faster than up... but come on. My upload speed is pathetic!

Take a look at this and see what I mean.

RE: ..
By FITCamaro on 8/20/2010 8:13:14 AM , Rating: 2
Because thats what your terms of service are. You probably have 500 Kbps up. Pretty common in cable internet service.

RE: ..
By Gzus666 on 8/21/2010 6:35:57 PM , Rating: 2
Explanation ye shall get. Media like cable and DSL use a frequency spectrum to send data over. This spectrum is limited obviously because they usually have to send other services across the same line. This limited spectrum is broken out into up and down, the latter getting the larger portion of the spectrum for obvious reasons. So, rather than get let's say 15 down and 15 up, they give you 30 down and almost nothing up because the average person has very little use for up speed.

RE: ..
By Cypherdude1 on 8/19/2010 6:16:30 AM , Rating: 2
[Comcast service says]:
"Get download speeds up to 15 Mbps and uploads up to 3 Mbps with PowerBoost®"
I get: 20-30+ Mbps consistently when downloading torrents, and even got 4 Mbps up
You're probably benefiting from compression and that's why you're getting 1.3 to 2 times more than your rated speed. All hardware modems, all Microsoft Windows, and even the data communications protocols themselves have built in compression. Try downloading a very large 100-500 MB ZIP, ACE, or RAR file and then see what speed you obtain. I guarantee you won't get more than 15 Mbps and probably less. I would be interesting in hearing what you get. Report here what your results are.

RE: ..
By Gzus666 on 8/21/2010 6:48:48 PM , Rating: 2
I can't speak for Windows, but I can tell you almost no network connections are compressed anymore except in cases of very minimal links such as leased line frame relay with voice going over it. It is generally inefficient to try to compress every piece of data over a large link, the time it takes to compress and decompress adds latency where it isn't needed since bandwidth is considerably more bountiful than it once was.

On top of that, the provider's edge equipment or somewhere else in the network would have to do all the decompression before it left the carrier. Considering most carriers have no more than a few layer 3 hops, that would be a massive waste of time and effort.

RE: ..
By MozeeToby on 8/18/2010 4:30:26 PM , Rating: 2
His point is that there is no way for you to know what your speed will actually be when you sign up. There's little stopping the cable company from overselling the available bandwidth to the point where you actual speed is a fraction of the speed that they advertise to you.

And in fact, because there's little to no competition in so many places, this is exactly what happens and the average is (apparently) about 1/2 the advertised speed. Keep in mind that that's just the average, there are undoubtedly people getting 1/3 or even 1/4 of the speed that is claimed in the advertisements.

IMO, ISPs should have to state their customers' average speed along with the theoretical maximum. At least then the customer base would be informed of the information that they actually care about, rather than some theoretical ideal that will never be hit on a regular basis.

RE: ..
By rcc on 8/18/2010 5:50:38 PM , Rating: 1
It's not limited to cable. DSL providers have the same issues, if for different reasons.

My experience in various parts of CA has been that the cable providers are generally closer to the mark than the DSL providers, but your mileage may vary.

RE: ..
By Reclaimer77 on 8/18/2010 8:22:22 PM , Rating: 2
His point is that there is no way for you to know what your speed will actually be when you sign up. There's little stopping the cable company from overselling the available bandwidth to the point where you actual speed is a fraction of the speed that they advertise to you.

Your ISP does NOT control the entire Internet. How can they guarantee speed when some router 2,000 miles away could be down? Or a node in someone elses network is saturated?

RE: ..
By theapparition on 8/19/2010 11:57:34 AM , Rating: 2
I think that's understood.

What the issue is are they selling that same bandwidth where there is no theoretical way thier system can keep up?

Kinda like an airline booking 300 people when the plane can only hold 250, just hoping that the extra doesn't show up.

I agree it is unreasonable that any ISP can guarantee speed from your home to anywhere else; but if you can't even get that performance from your home to the ISP's routers, than something is amis.

RE: ..
By callmeroy on 8/23/2010 8:18:57 AM , Rating: 2
First I wish I could get FiOS here...but its not offered at my condo complex...

I'm at Comcast's doorstep -- right outside Philly, my Internet is pretty reliable in 7 years I can count on only 1 hand how many times its gone "down".

But I average 10-12 Mbits / down but only about 2 Mbits up.

It works for me though...and it does ramp up some on big downloads...I've it shoot to 16-18 Mbits. But that's not sustained.

RE: ..
By smackababy on 8/18/2010 4:00:51 PM , Rating: 2
Where do cell phone companies do this? If you're trying to imply that they say "you get up to 450 minutes a month" is the same; it is no where near. I have the ability to use all my cell phone minutes, but I don't have the ability to increase my internet speed.

Companies shouldn't be allowed to advertise with such wording. If my area averages around a certain speed, that is what they should be allowed to tell me. Not that some area in BFE with 1 person on the grid can get the max speed.

RE: ..
By Smartless on 8/18/2010 4:32:39 PM , Rating: 1
I believe he's referring to internet for cell phones like 3G, 3G+, 4G, Wimax etc. And calculating an average speed for that will be near impossible to regulate since at any given time of day coverage and congestion will change for a user.

Hey its advertising, stretching the truth is their job. We regulate commercials more than news agencies and that's a travesty. Remember when revised EPA mileage ratings came out or drug companies were forced to disclose side effects... Like that really changed anything. As for a area average, hell what if a condo goes up near you or a bunch of internet cafes... All I'm saying is you can bitch and moan but if you hate the service, change or try something else. The FCC should be regulating contracts costs and other ways companies lock you down not this crap.

RE: ..
By Spivonious on 8/18/10, Rating: -1
RE: ..
By MrTeal on 8/18/2010 4:25:53 PM , Rating: 5
FCC = Federal Communications Commission

RE: ..
By marvdmartian on 8/18/2010 4:28:13 PM , Rating: 2
You do realize that your ISP is outside your residence right now, installing a filter on your line, to limit your speed, right? Never, EVER brag about getting more than you're supposed to!! ;)

What might be nice is if the FCC forced these companies to guarantee a minimum speed that the customer could expect, and fine them when they don't live up to it. When I had TW Cable Roadrunner (up until the end of March), I often times got 6 megabit per second speed......but occasionally, would get speeds so slow that they were literally only twice as fast as dial up networking used to give me (according to the speed tests I would run).

That's simply unsatisfactory, and shouldn't be allowed. Of course, when you'd call their customer support/tech support folks, the first thing they'd have you do is cycle your modem off and on again, and ask you if you were running a router. I finally got in the habit of telling them I had already done all that stuff BEFORE calling them....which, of course, would just confuse them greatly!! **SIGH**

RE: ..
By Kurz on 8/18/2010 6:51:54 PM , Rating: 5
You wouldn't need this Big Government to come in if Local governments stopped the monopoly that is our local cable providers.

RE: ..
By ImJustSaying on 8/18/2010 7:27:43 PM , Rating: 2

RE: ..
By callmeroy on 8/23/2010 8:21:49 AM , Rating: 2
That would be the smart thing to do for the Industry...hence why our Federal government doesn't do it! :)

RE: ..
By StevoLincolnite on 8/19/2010 1:30:01 AM , Rating: 2
Never, EVER brag about getting more than you're supposed to!! ;)

They won't do that in every case... There is a website called "Whirlpool" which is just a large forum for Aussie internet users, and allot of ISP's have representatives on there to talk to customers and announce new products etc'.

When I was living next to the Exchange that had my providers DSLAM I posted my stats and download speeds which were above the theoretical maximum for ADSL 2+ Annex M.
The CEO of the company (Internode. - Simon Hackett) actually gave me advice on how to improve my speed.

Not all providers are the devil.

Generally though, the smaller providers actually do care about the customer, the larger ones... Not so much.

What might be nice is if the FCC forced these companies to guarantee a minimum speed that the customer could expect, and fine them when they don't live up to it.

That would be good in theory, here our "minimum" speed is 1.5mbps, any lower than that and you are basically given the flick where the only option is to use 3G or other high latency alternatives, they don't get fined... And you don't get decent low-latency broadband regardless of speed.

I often times got 6 megabit per second speed......but occasionally, would get speeds so slow that they were literally only twice as fast as dial up networking used to give me (according to the speed tests I would run).

That sounds like a backhaul issue to me, could be wrong, Cable is rarity in this country, even then DSL is providing on average 10mbps to most customers. (DSL gets slower the farther you are away from a DSLAM/Telephone Exchange/RIM/CMUX). - Right now I'm sitting on only 19mbps down, 2.5mbps up.

Should hopefully have 100mbps - 1gbps speeds via Fiber within the next 8 or so years thanks to the Governments national broadband network rollout.

RE: ..
By Spivonious on 8/19/2010 10:14:25 AM , Rating: 2
The ISP never advertises a minimum speed. Do you really want the government to force private companies to offer a minimum level of service?

RE: ..
By FITCamaro on 8/20/2010 8:10:51 AM , Rating: 2
So you admit that the majority of the time you get what is advertised but think that in the instance that cable operators aren't able to meet their claims they should be fined?

Pretty much a stupid argument if I've ever heard one. There will always be times when they can't meet what they advertise. What if a switch goes down? A line gets cut? Should they be fined for that too?

I have DirecTV and while it mostly works, I don't call and ask for a refund every time it doesn't. Honestly I tried to cancel it but was outside the time for cancellation so they wanted to charge me the full cancellation fee. I was pissed because I asked them heavily about that before I signed up and was assured it would work in all but the worst storms. So I'm probably going to use the service until the contract is up and then cancel it. But I'm not running to the FCC claiming unfairness. I signed an agreement and have to live with it.

RE: ..
By XZerg on 8/18/2010 4:22:46 PM , Rating: 1
The other thing to note here is that the reason why ISPs state up to xxx mb/s is more due to the fact that many do not understand that even if the ISP provides xxx mb/s you may not see that speed given the dependence on the site speed. For example you are more likely to hit that xxx mb/s going to Microsoft site but not going to site. Even on M$ site, you are bound to hit that speed for downloading files not browsing pages...

RE: ..
By Hiawa23 on 8/19/2010 4:22:43 PM , Rating: 2
I have Roadrunner through Brighthouse cable here in Central Florida. Normal speeds is about 4-6MB, but I pay the extra $10/month for Turbo, & when I do the online speed test my connection registers anywhere from 20 & as high as 30mbs/sec.

RE: ..
By FITCamaro on 8/20/2010 8:16:40 AM , Rating: 1
That's because the first 20-30MB down are at a higher rate than for everything after it.

When I moved out of Orlando, my parents on Brighthouse were getting about 10Mbps down with regular Roadrunner. Not sure where you're at but if you've had a modem for several years, have them come replace it and you should see a good speed increase. Their internet was slow as shit so I made Brighthouse come replace the modem with a newer one and it got their speeds up to the stated ones.

This was 4 years ago as well.

RE: ..
By Hiawa23 on 8/19/2010 4:34:31 PM , Rating: 2
Are you guys saying I should stop paying the extra $10 for roadrunner Turbo per month which registers between 20-30MBs/sec. Standard is like 6-8mbs/sec..

Lots of factors...
By EricMartello on 8/18/2010 4:54:29 PM , Rating: 2
Most people who read this site know that the average TCP connection has protocol overhead to the order of about 10%, as well as other issues like latency and hops that can affect the actual download speed...but to the typical consumer, this kind of information is not abundantly known. Hell, a lot of people don't even know how fast 5 Mbps should be...they may think it is 5 MB/s because we rate network connections in bits per second rather than bytes per second.

That being said, I think a lot of it has to do with your local configuration, both on your computer and your router. I have always been able to meet or exceed my download speeds but uploads are another story. Downstream seems to be prioritized over upstream even if you pay for a connection with equal up/down speeds.

For most XP/Vista/Win7 users, the TCP upload speeds can be drastically improved by following this simple registry hack which I documented below. Yes, you need to do it for Win Vista and Win7 if you're not getting within 10% of your advertised upload speed - with WinXP you may just need to adjust the value:

RE: Lots of factors...
By Chillin1248 on 8/18/2010 5:27:29 PM , Rating: 2
To be honest, it would be better to use a Registry editing program for those tasks.

My favorite is TuneUp Utilities, it is the first program that I found that actually works as advertised. It also implements several changes to the registry like you mentioned automatically with the option to undo any changes.

(Note - I have no affiliation with TuneUp Utilities, I am just mentioning my personal opinion based on what I have used.)


RE: Lots of factors...
By EricMartello on 8/18/2010 11:06:12 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, you can use one of the software programs to do that but they typically focus on optimizing download speeds and ignore uploads. Since Vista, the default TCP settings auto-scale nicely so the defaults work well. I was able to get teh full 35 Mbps download rate on a default Win7 install...but I still had to do the upload tweak to go from about 8 Mbps upload to ~25 Mbps.

RE: Lots of factors...
By Justin Time on 8/18/2010 6:10:12 PM , Rating: 2
Surely it has more to do with the fact that Cable uses a shared-access approach (effectively comparable to coax Ethernet) and the more people sharing the cable, the slower the performance of individual connections. This is why you will get variation in performance at different times of the day.

Wireless towers are shared access, so have similar limitations.

DSL uses a dedicated link to the exchange, and from there it would take an unusual set of events (or deliberate under-spec of equipment) to load the shared backbone access enough to impact individual speeds. Of course, DSL has the issue that each line to the exchange is unique and can suffer physical issues that will impact on individual performance.

More true than you know
By masamasa on 8/18/2010 4:51:50 PM , Rating: 2
The advertising of these broadband companies are pure lies. Think about it...up to 25mpbs and in fine print, 4 pt font, the usual legal disclaimer that gives them every out directly from the handbook of scammers and bilkers.

I recently complained to the CRTC up here in Canada due to ongoing Internet performance issues I had in 3 residences for months (1/15 of claimed speed from a major provider who has a history of false advertising). The advertising standards organizations that enforce ethical advertising and the CRTC don't give a s**t.

So it seems that you can pawn off any product or service and make unrealistic, unsubstantiated claims about said product or service, and quite simply get away with it.

When it comes to advertising, all I can say is welcome to the age of zero credibility.

My next purchase ---Hybrid vehicle, 60MPG.....note: claimed MPG only possible with foot of the gas, coasting downhill, with a strong wind behind your back.

RE: More true than you know
By jdietz on 8/18/2010 6:23:39 PM , Rating: 2
The EPA conducts efficiency tests in an impartial manner.
Carmakers know the test conditions beforehand, so they can design the cars to take advantage of the test conditions. They can't juice the test, as it is conducted by EPA officials.

RE: More true than you know
By Solandri on 8/18/2010 7:55:48 PM , Rating: 2
The EPA car mileage figures are not intended to be a predictor of the gas mileage you will get with a particular car. That depends too much on your personal driving habits.

The EPA mileage figures are intended to allow you to compare fuel consumption between cars. e.g. If the EPA figures show car A as getting 20 MPG and car B as getting 40 MPG, you may not personally get 20 MPG and 40 MPG. But the EPA figures let you conclude that you would get roughly 2x the mileage using car B as you would with car A.

By Salisme on 8/18/2010 4:32:53 PM , Rating: 2
Half?! really?! I'm lucky to get ten percent. Time Warner customer here, I'm even paying for the upgraded 30Mbps setup and I get if I'm lucky on a good day downloading from a prime Steam server I get 2Mbps. My speedtest from the TW servers caps out under 5Mbps. Their tech support claims its my computer. Mind you I'm streaming 1080p vids to my TV on my LAN, so I doubt highly its my PC.

Supposedly they are rolling out a 50Mbps in my area, not falling for that one. My other option is dialup since FiOS is not available and I don't have a phone. Just gotta grab the ankles and take it.

RE: Half?!
By QuimaxW on 8/18/2010 10:37:56 PM , Rating: 3
Have you considered redoing your plan with TW to their lowest speed plan? Call them once and ask to get the cheaper plan, it will confuse them why you want slower speeds! :)

One of two things should happen:
1) You get their attention and they actually fix your connection.
2) You still get slow speeds, but at least aren't paying as much as before.

By Aikouka on 8/18/2010 5:29:51 PM , Rating: 2
I have Comcast right now, and I bet with that and the title, you know where this is going. Before I moved, I had Time Warner's Roadrunner Internet service. While the Roadrunner was not as fast (I could usually download around 1Mb/s) as my Comcast connection's ~2Mb/s connection, I've had a significantly higher amount of downtime and service interruptions. None of the dispatched service technicians have been able to figure out why my modem (which has been replaced) will randomly lose its Online status or lose the connection entirely.

Frankly, I would gladly take this "half advertised speed" for reliability.

RE: Reliability
By atlmann10 on 8/21/2010 12:36:37 AM , Rating: 2
Hey Aikouka I will tell you what to do. First up go out to your cable in terminal, unless of course it is on top of a telephone pole. Look at where they have the cable line for your house connected in circumference to the incoming tube (usually the center, but depends on the terminal) it will come up the middle but the closest connect is usually the top left or right. If either is empty switch the one from your house to one of those. Next go to where the cable comes into your house there will be a splitter there. Make sure it is capable of 1000mhz or better. Many older splitters will have a max of 900 MHz this will not work on a digital line. SO if this is the case go to radio shack or even WalMart will often have splitters home depot and Lowe's to. Change it out but make sure that single metal wire connected to the splitter is reconnected to the new splitter as it is your ground wire. Next you need to see if there is another splitter between the line coming in the house and the room where your cable modem is. I could get more detailed but imagine this will help you unless you truly just have a weak incoming signal, that may very well be the case, but you may be able to fix it for a few dollars. Another thing try and make sure if your cable splitter has DBA reading next to each in socket you hook your cable modem to one which is no more than 4DBA (they will often read 3.0 DBA and 7.5) these are for loss not positive signal sometimes the will say -3.5 and -7 etc, but often they will just have the number to.

Sprint 3G and ATT DSL Experiences
By jah1subs on 8/18/2010 6:58:04 PM , Rating: 2
For my last job, I was initially given a Sprint 3G/4G modem. Never spent the money to go 4G with it. The company is a Microsoft partner and I ended up downloading and installing Windows 7 Enterprise and Office 2007 Enterprise (before Office 2010 appeared). The download speeds averaged 1Mbps and I was satisfied. Gmail worked fine and Outlook through Gmail also worked fine.

Later, I was told that we would save money and I ended up with ATT DSL service. It was supposed to be 768 kbps but ATT told me that they could not support it and had to cut me back to 384 kbps. Reason was that I was too far from the CO. This surprised me since I know that the CO is less than two miles away in a straight line. The technician explained that the circuit path was actually 20,000 feet!!! From my perspective, the circuit was going back and forth back perpendicular to the line between the CO and me as much as it was coming towards me. To add insult to injury, Gmail throttled back to its low speed interface. To make matters worse, I could no longer send meeting invitations from Outlook through Gmail.

Now I have no broadband service. Currently use the computers at the local public library and plan to go back to Comcast (which I had several years ago) at the basic 1 Mbps tier the next time that I need to work from home.

By StevoLincolnite on 8/19/2010 1:41:14 AM , Rating: 2
This surprised me since I know that the CO is less than two miles away in a straight line.

That would equate to about 3.5 kilometers in a straight line which you should have been able to obtain about 4-8mbps.
However... Phone lines never go in a straight line, I've seen people who live near an Exchange, however there copper line pretty much goes in the opposite direction of the exchange and pretty much around the entire suburb, basically not allowing DSL to be provided.

6-7km's is pretty much the limit here for DSL depending on the quality of your copper lines, how many joins, interference, house wiring, and the gauge of the wiring in use.

Best way to work out your maximum speed is to go inside the router and grab your attenuation figures and compare it to the graphs in this wikipedia link.

By JonnyDough on 8/18/2010 7:03:33 PM , Rating: 2
It's almost as if the FCC is starting to do it's job...I don't know if they'll be enforcing anything and making companies actually market properly...but its nice to see them taking a freaking interest.

By FITCamaro on 8/20/2010 8:22:51 AM , Rating: 2
Starting to do its job? The FCC has been all over ISPs like a fat girl on a twinkie for years.

Small correction
By UNHchabo on 8/18/2010 5:13:30 PM , Rating: 2
Valve is not a service that allows users to download games. Valve Corporation owns Steam, which is such a service.

FCC is perpetuating ignorance
By GeorgeOu on 8/18/2010 8:04:34 PM , Rating: 2
The FCC and media are perpetuating the sensational headline that broadband performance is only half of the advertised figures, but this is grossly misleading because it conflates Internet performance with broadband which are two different things. Internet performance is often limited by non-ISP factors.

Gotta love FiOS
By ReblTeen84 on 8/18/2010 8:47:55 PM , Rating: 2
I'm paying for the 25/15 tier...I regularly get 30/20 on a speed test. On a normal download, I'll get between 3MB/s and 5MB/s down.

By stm1185 on 8/19/2010 2:14:41 AM , Rating: 2
I have had the 50mbps Comcast Business class internet for months now and game after game I download it has gone over 6MB/s. Downloading and installing Mass Effect 2 took about 35min last week. Which matches going out and buying it at the store and waiting for it to install off the dvd.

I can see them screwing over the 10mbps crowd, who are ignorant of download speeds, but the 50mbps customer knows the difference and would switch service if they are not getting the speed they want!

By Murloc on 8/19/2010 4:58:19 AM , Rating: 2
do the same for internet connections, just pick randomly and without telling the companies some connections and test every offer, and mandate that they indicate the speed on their website or adverts.
If they want the test to be retaken, they can ask and pay for it.

By tpurves on 8/19/2010 9:25:49 AM , Rating: 2
It may sound crazy, but some indie ISPs (at least in Canada) are actually offering speeds faster than advertised. Read it and weep:

Wouldn't it be fair
By HoosierEngineer5 on 8/19/2010 10:33:36 AM , Rating: 2
...if I only had to pay 'up to' the stated price, but only actually pay what I felt like, based on perceived performance?

Is it just cable?
By menace on 8/19/2010 12:10:29 PM , Rating: 2
The article title points the finger at cable ISP providers but the text of the article implies it is not just cable.

According to the report, U.S. broadband customers in 2009 received approximately half the speed they paid for.

I wasn't going to pore thru the FCC report for details, I'd appreciate the article more if the writer would glean the details to back up the title claim. As it is I can only conclude it is a false claim.

That said, I have recently gotten ATT U-verse ISP service and I get download speeds right at the level advertised. Previously I had DSL and also got downloads at the advertised speed. Not that I don't believe cable is the worst of the lot but if you are going to make a titular claim you should back it up with facts.

How dumb are some of you people?
By Homerboy on 8/20/2010 9:15:46 AM , Rating: 2
Saying you're paying for 20Mbps service and only able to dload at 5Mbps from XYZ service? Did you ever stop to think that maybe... JUST MAYBE... the limiting factor in your download speed is the XYZ service itself? If XYZ service only allows, or has free 5Mbps that's all you're going to get. It doesn't matter if you have an OC192 running directly into the back of your PC... your max is then FIVE Mbps!!!

The only "true" way to test max speed of your internet connection is to download something directly fromy our ISP itself (even this has a few "ifs" attached to it, but lets take perfect conditions into account). When you dload directly for your ISP, the traffic is 100% contained on their network, giving you and showing you what your max dload speed is (or uplaod if you reverse the process). Dloading for a 3rd party, yes even, is never going to be accurit. Period. End of story.

There is a nother decently "safe" test too that will show you your max dload. Dloading from a newsgroup server, whether by your ISP or 3rd party, should give you a fairly decent representation of your max dload speed. NSPs do not throttle connections and have MORE than enough available bandwidth and sockets to allow full speeds from most residential connections.

Stop spouting ignorant fud everyone. It's annoying and only perpetuates this crap.

By majBUZZ on 8/20/2010 8:30:22 PM , Rating: 2
"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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