more and more Americans use the internet daily, a wildly varying set
of usage patterns arises. Thus the Federal Communications
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
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
well. The FCC is also looking to roll out a national offering
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.
quote: as the FCC notes that most providers advertise speeds of "up to xxx Mb/sec".
quote: [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
quote: 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.
quote: Never, EVER brag about getting more than you're supposed to!! ;)
quote: 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.
quote: 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).
quote: This surprised me since I know that the CO is less than two miles away in a straight line.
quote: According to the report, U.S. broadband customers in 2009 received approximately half the speed they paid for.