May 1 2007

Why I was pissed off at my ISP

The only option I have for high speed access where I live is the local cable provider, CableOne. I’m stuck, and quite frankly, they suck. Now, add in what I pay… $59.95 a month for 5 mbps down/500 Kbps up. It’s a joke.

Adding to the pain now is Fiber To The Home (FTTH)…the internet connection of my dreams it seems. So far in the USA, this is primarily offered by the Verizon FiOS service, and only in very limited areas. The pricing runs 5 Mbps/2 Mbps for $39.99, 15 Mbps/2 Mbps for $49.99, 30 Mbps/5 Mbps $179.95. The last package is nuts, but I could spend $10 less a month and triple my download speed and quadruple my upload. That’s insane.

Then comes the pain of the Japanese connections. D’oh! Danny Choo has talked a couple times about the incredible speeds he’s getting, along with what he’s paying. He is paying around 5,000 yen ($41.73 at the current exchange) a month for a 100 mbps connection. To compare, I used the Speakeasy Speed Test and I got 5Mbps download speed and 261kbps upload speed. Danny Choo tested his and got 61.68Mbps download and 58.25Mbps upload. I may cry in a corner now. He is getting 12 times the download speed, and, well, a crapload more times the upload speed… and costing him $18 less a month than I’m paying.

Luis over at BlogD, also a blogger in Japan, informed me this was part of a program in Japan called “e-Japan“. The initiative was started in 2001 and stated:

a. Promote the establishment of one of the world’s most advanced Internet networks within five years, and enable all the people who need it to have ultra high-speed access networks1 (30-100Mbps2 as a standard) at affordable rates. (Aim to provide high-speed constant access networks3 to at least 30million households and ultra high-speed constant access to 10million households)

Seems they are succeeding.

So, how can the United States, the developer of the internet, be lagging so far behind other countries? It’s not just Japan who is handing us our asses when it comes to speeds, and here we are languishing at 5mbps. And even at that, at least once a week I seem to drop out at either work or home (yes, I pay $59.95 a month… per location… lucky me). Last night, when trying to do a blog entry, I lose my connection repeatedly, and it just fed me up. I want a better connection, but alas, I have NO options available to me. Never mind I am overpaying for such a slow connection, I just want it to be consistent!

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  • To be completely honest, the Japanese connections are not always up to the speed advertised. My 70 Mbps connection seems to have a 12 Mbps upload ceiling and a 40 Mbps upload ceiling, if I can ever get it up to those speeds–usually it’s somewhat less. But then again, the same is probably true for Internet connections everywhere. The advertised speeds are probably really best-possible-laboratory-condition speeds at optimum distance and et cetera.

    Still, I can’t complain–it is fast, and does cost less than $40 a month. Soon after I got it installed, I got speed rates for a single download that ranged into the 25 Mbps range. Sometimes for a Bittorrent, I can get 8-10 Mbps per file, and a 350 MB file can come down in a matter of an hour or two. Some specific regular 175 MB downloads come down extra fast, in less than five minutes.

    The bitch of the American story is not only that America has no real cohesive Internet broadband plans or programs, but that consumers got shafted–the Telecoms got a juicy fee increase based upon the promise that they would invest the income in broadband connections like your FTTH–and then they welched and kept the money. NOW they say that they need the money from abolishing Net Neutrality, and they’ll use that money to pay for your F/O… which, of course, they carefully arranged not to be a binding promise, so you can guess where THAT is headed.

    In the end, the US Telecoms will offer fast, cheap F/O connections only when the economic constraints force them to–and as long as they can make most of their money off of lower-speed connections without spending all that money on infrastructure upgrades, they will do it.

  • Erm… that’s a 40 Mbps download ceiling. Sorry.

  • Oops. And the 350 MB file usually comes down within an hour or two–it can come down in a lot less, especially if you get those lucky 1MB/sec speeds on it. Sorry for the excessive corrections.

  • Correct away Luis:) I know the advertised speeds are RARELY going to be a reality, heck, I hardly ever get my 5mbps. It is insane what I’m paying though. When I decided to run a small server from my office, I had to go to their $99 a month package, and all that did was “double” my upload speed. The server moved like a snail, so I dumped it and went back down to the $59 package.

    I am still WAY overpaying for what I receive, and as you sighted, the telecoms just keep shafting us. This is not going away anytime soon, and it is quite frankly pissing me off. (I know… Sean pissed… what a shocker.)

  • Roy

    In the condominium I was living in before I moved I got a shared (with 10 other units)100Mbps fiber/optic connection that would average around 40Mbps up/down. The best part was that it was totally free AND I got 5 global IPs to boot AND they had lan ports in the walls of every room. Japan is great!

    Now, I have to PAY for the Fiber in my house which totally sucks…

  • Roy… please go die…


    *mumbles about FREE 40mbps*

  • Roy: please fill me in. I’ve heard of Global IPs before, but do not yet fully understand their utility. Could you tell me what they’re best for?

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