back to article Good news! US broadband speeds are up. Bad news – they're still rubbish

Average internet speeds have increased in the US over the last year, but America is still falling behind many other developed economies when it comes to data speeds and latency. The annual survey by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reported that maximum advertised speeds rose from 37.2Mbps in September 2013 to …

  1. ma1010 Silver badge
    FAIL

    Welcome to the Third World

    It would be really nice if we had options like that here in a major city in Northern California. Where I live, I can have DSL, satellite, or CrapCast cable. Although the other half of the Data Transmission Axis of Evil (AT&T) offers U-Verse service in most of the city, it's not available where I live, so there isn't really even any pretend competition (you know, the thing that keeps prices reasonable).

    That's why I still have a DSL connection. Highest it's even gotten is 120 KBPS (bytes per second, at least, not bits), but unless I want to open Pandora's Box and sign up with CrapCast, it's the only game in town.

    1. MondoMan
      Pirate

      Re: Welcome to the Third World

      Reminds me of a story I read a few years back of a longtime NoCal net guy who strung his own cable from his house to the peering center in downtown Palo Alto to get true high-speed internet!

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Welcome to the Third World

        "Reminds me of a story I read a few years back of a longtime NoCal net guy who strung his own cable from his house to the peering center in downtown Palo Alto to get true high-speed internet!"

        That was me. Ref: http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/1679598

        The cable runs are still viable, as of last Thanksgiving.

    2. jimbo60

      Re: Welcome to the Third World

      You call it CrapCast. I call it a decent deal. Comcast recently doubled my speed (again) for the same price, so now I get 150Mb advertised downlink speeds. (I've no idea what the up speed is now, I can't find it listed anywhere on their silly web pages or the bill. An actual speed test while other family members are also using the connection got 90Mb down and 6Mb up.) All I had to do was reboot the modem to get the new speeds. The previous doubling required my to take my old modem to the service center and swap it out for a DOCSIS 3 model, but that was also a free upgrade.

      Comcast modems also now broadcast an XFINITY SSID that any subscriber can connect to anywhere. I've used that while traveling, including once when a free resort connection was so slow as to be unusable but I was able to grab a nearby Comcast modem signal and use my XFINITY account to get a fast connection.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Welcome to the Third World

        "I was able to grab a nearby Comcast modem signal and use my XFINITY account"

        Me too - nice account you have there, thanks for handing over the account details when you logged in - I'll be using your account in future.

      2. chivo243 Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: Welcome to the Third World

        It's good to see there are some satisfied customers. However, I know a ComCrap engineer. I've been told the firmware originally on the Xfinity box was the cat's meow, now it's a piece of usable crap. He was quite disgusted and changed the subject as we were on holiday and having a good time...

        My parents have CC in another part of the country. They have problem after problem. Mom has stopped asking if I can help

      3. tom dial Silver badge

        Re: Welcome to the Third World

        That is my experience exactly, down to using xfinity rather than the unusable hotel service while travelling.

        Comcast has done some wrong things, but where I live southeast of Salt Lake City it provides good service, albeit at a price higher than I expect after Google completes its scheduled build-out here.

      4. Joe User

        Re: Welcome to the Third World

        jimbo60: "You call it CrapCast. I call it a decent deal. Comcast recently doubled my speed (again) for the same price, so now I get 150Mb advertised downlink speeds."

        That's so you can slam into their data cap sooner, and then open your wallet wider....

    3. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

      Re: Welcome to the Third World

      "It would be really nice if we had options like that here in a major city in Northern California."

      Neighbor of mine? I have the same non-choices, though it turns out that Omsoft in Davis covers all of Sacramento. They lease at&t lines but at least you get good customer service.

  2. Oengus Silver badge
    Flame

    With the changes to the NBN here in Oz I expect that we will soon drop to 3rd world internet speeds. We are already below New Zealand (and slipping further behind them each year). I consider myself lucky when my connection goes above 8Mbps (usually around 4.5Mbps) and I am one of the "lucky" ones. I have friends who live in some areas of Sydney who can't get ADSL 2+ they can only get ADSL 1 (if there are spare ports in the exchange) otherwise they have to go with mobile solutions and some areas can't get that.

    Add to that the stifling data caps (a mobile conection here often has a 2 or 3 GB monthly data cap and fixed line ADSL usually has less than 100Gb per month) that are imposed by the major players and we might as well have no connection.

    1. Tony S

      "I consider myself lucky when my connection goes above 8Mbps (usually around 4.5Mbps) "

      I dream of the day that I might actually go above 1.5 Mbps. (Probably the same day that I get 3G at the house.)

      Unfortunately, it's all down to the wires in the ground. Not going to be replaced any time soon, so all I can do is dream.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @ Tony S

        Internet access itself is hardly a necessity for life. So-called broadband is a luxury on top of that. To suggest otherwise is roughly the same as saying owning an automobile[0] is a necessity, so everyone should drive top-of-the-line sports cars.

        I personally use a 9600 baud dial-up connection about 7 days a month (our place up in Fort Bragg is roughly 14 miles from the CO, and I hate Satellite connections). When it rains or is foggy, I'm lucky to see 4800, and 2400 is common[1]. About the only thing that I do differently up there than down here in Sonoma is my choice of Web browser. Up there, I use Lynx[2], down here I use Firefox. The end result is pretty much the same.

        Note that "Up there" is barely 200 miles, by road, from Silly Con Valley.

        [0] Substitute "personal form of transportation" if you prefer, and adjust.

        [1] Old cable plant and cracked, dusty wires make for a bad signal/noise ratio when wet.

        [2] There are other arguably better text-only browsers, but my fingers know Lynx. That'll happen to a guy when he's been using software for a decade and a half or so ...

        1. Semtex451 Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: @ Tony S

          @Jake - So you're clearly still satisfied with ASCII pron.

        2. Gene Cash Silver badge

          Re: @ Tony S

          > Internet access itself is hardly a necessity for life

          Since I work from home, it indeed is a necessity. And since I'm expected to do desktop sharing and VoIP, broadband is just as necessary.

          Aw Jake, you're so cute when you play the old grizzled techie card.

          1. Martin an gof Silver badge
            Flame

            Re: @ Tony S

            Internet access itself is hardly a necessity for life

            Since I work from home, it indeed is a necessity.

            It's difficult, this, because there are some conflicting issues. For the vast majority of home uses, 2Mbps - 8Mbps is still more than adequate. A minimum of 2Mbps will allow basic streaming of audio or video or even desktops. 2Mbps is fast enough that OS updates (and I speak here as an OpenSuse user so I do see rather a lot of updates) aren't a total drag and even relatively complex sites such as BBC News or Amazon will load in all their multimedia glory in a reasonable time.

            Yes, I would miss it if it weren't there at all. No, it wouldn't kill me; although life would be more difficult, it is still perfectly possible to make your way in the modern world without a fast internet connection or, indeed, without any.

            But it is becoming more difficult to do so, so a 'basic' level of access is important, and this is where capitalism really sucks because capitalism cannot justify dragging new cables out to flybown villages where the RoI is never going to work, simply so that the inhabitants of said outposts of humanity can fill in their tax returns online.

            The problem with broadband - in the vast majority of cases - is emphatically not that some people only get 20Mbps when they could be getting 100Mbps. It is;

            • no access at all (very rare these days)
            • access at speeds below 2Mbps
            • unreliable access (missing packets, dropped connections, that sort of thing)
            • high monthly charges (the UK seems to be doing relatively well here)
            • low data caps with punitive over-cap fees

            and looking at that list I can see very few items that don't require either legislative or direct government influence in order to improve them.

            In the meantime, if your job requires you to work from home, and relies on a fast internet connection in order to make that possible then perhaps your employer should be paying at least some of the cost of that access which - if you are out in the sticks - might be considerable but is rarely completely impossible.

            Of course, pure capitalism says that this is looking at the problem from the wrong direction. If the work requires a particular resource which is available in one location but not another, then the worker must move to the resource and not expect the resource to come to him. This is indeed what happened in Europe in the 17th - 19th centuries when we learned that pure capitalism has some major downsides.

            It still amazes me that people complain about 10Mbps or 20Mbps being slow. There are very few circumstances when our own 5Mbps(ish) connection (throughput - sync is about 7Mbps) has been limiting at home, and my family of six lives a fairly full modern digital lifestyle, though we don't allow online gaming. Not a necessity of life methinks.

            Yes a few more Mbps would be 'nice', and I do have one use where a better uplink speed would be good (ours is around 1000kbps sync) but it's hardly as vital as a safe supply of water, a safe way to dispose of sewage, a reliable and safe supply of food etc.

            Note: this is a relative of the rant I often get into when they publish those "deprivation" surveys that include lack of a pay TV subscription, a games console and a night out once a week as indicators of poverty.

            M.

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: @ Tony S

              looking at that list I can see very few items that don't require either legislative or direct government influence in order to improve them.

              Which would be fine if government did improve things, but in my experience do the very opposite. Here in Oz, we are being forced off ADSL onto NBN. In my case, I used to have "unlimited" bandwidth at 1.5 Mb/s. Now it's 50 GB at 10 Mb/s for the same monthly cost. IOW I have less than 10% of the bandwidth. In a bad month, such as when MS push multiple redundant copies of W10 onto my computers, we are shaped to 256 Kb/s for half the month. So, while the higher speed encourages more video streaming, the limitation on bandwidth means you can only do that if you want to spend more money.

              Mind you, the people I feel sorry for live at the fishing village called Dover, some 20 miles south of where I live. Some years ago the abalone divers had fibre to their homes installed at their own expense. Under the forced move to the NBN that fibre connection is to be replaced by fixed wireless that is limited to a nominal maximum of 25 Mb/s. The existing fibre will only be used for ordinary telephony.

          2. jake Silver badge

            @Gene Cash (was:Re:@ Tony S)

            "Since I work from home, it indeed is a necessity."

            Counterpoint: I work from home, and it is not a necessity. I can (and often do) run this place at 9600 baud for up to a week at a time (sometimes dropping to 1200 baud ... ain't USR 19.2 modems wonderful?).

            Anywho, Glitter doesn't get work done. Never has, never will.[0]

            "And since I'm expected to do desktop sharing and VoIP, broadband is just as necessary."

            Working at home (with your own hardware, no doubt), and expected to do high-bandwidth stuff. So you are a conslutant, and your bill reflects your hardware and bandwidth costs, no? Where's the problem? Charge the hell out of them! I do! :-)

            "Aw Jake, you're so cute when you play the old grizzled techie card."

            That's not cute. That's curmudgeon. Get it right. You, on the other hand, are old enough to know better.

            [0] Unless your are in the "entertainment" business, of course. In which case I feel very, very sorry for you.

      2. circusmole
        FAIL

        I would think I had gone to heaven...

        ...if I got better than 2Mb/s here in a large town in the UK. I also have no hope of anything better in the foreseeable future - thanks to the tossers at BT.

        "I consider myself lucky when my connection goes above 8Mbps (usually around 4.5Mbps) "

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I would think I had gone to heaven...

          Most of these companies advertising their "Cloud Services" don't seem to realise that without a decent access speed, their services are going nowhere. Sometimes I go into the office just to use the Internet - working from home is not an option.

    2. mathew42
      WTF?

      79% on fibre selected 25Mbps or slower speeds

      > With the changes to the NBN here in Oz I expect that we will soon drop to 3rd world internet speeds.

      nbn records strong first quarter media release contains the following information:

      * 35% on fibre opted to connect at 12Mbps

      * 44% on fibre opted to connect at 25Mbps

      * Average speed on fibre is 33Mbps

      It is possible that you thought fibre being installed meant 1Gbps connections as announced by Labor. NBNCo have made these speeds available for order to RSPs in December 2013, but so far not a single RSP has offered 1Gbps plan. This is not unsurprising when you read Labor's NBNCo Corporate Plan which predicted that in 2026 less than 1% of connections would be on the 1Gbps speed tier.

      If you want fibre there is the option of moving or fibre on demand.

  3. tom dial Silver badge

    "The FCC noted that high-latency satellite internet connections, used in more remote parts of the country, were still below optimal levels."

    Good luck fixing that.

    It would be interesting to see how we Usians located within metropolitan areas. My limited experience suggests it is fairly good, although not fully up to the likes of really densely populated or compact nations. I did not see such a breakout in a quick scan of the report's table of contents.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Good luck fixing that."

      LEO birds have much better latency but the handoffs are complex. Loon is also intended to deal with it.

      The underlaying problem is legislated local monopolies without adequate oversight (both sides of the atlantic) or punitive action when promises made in exchange for concessionary treatment get broken (repeatedly) - it's quite clear in the USA that the telcos have the local PUCs in their hip pockets, whilst in the UK, BT tells Openreach to do what suits BT best, not what suits Openreach best.

  4. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Typical Feral Blovating

    Internet speeds will all over the map in the US. First there are some fairly remote regions which are not the last mile but last 100 miles. Some areas will still have dial up or satellite. Second many cities and counties have granted local monopolies the cable companies meaning that best speeds are with the cable monopoly. ASDL for many reasons is slower and not always available and is often not really price competitive.

    1. Mikel

      Re: Typical Feral Blovating

      As I always do when I see this density thing brought up, I am going to remind everyone of Grant County in Washington. They have had gigabit fiber to the home for 15 years. The county is 2/3rds the size of Los Angeles county and is decidedly rural. The county seat holds 8,000 souls, some small towns as few as fifty. 92,000 total population in the entire 2,700 square mile area. And fiber to every single one.

      You all live in the copper era because you pay copper era corporations vast sums to corrupt your politicians to keep you there.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Typical Feral Blovating

        Grant County got the deal because the fiber company responsible for it wanted to make an example. And they didn't want to do a ton of infrastructure costs, so they use a sparse, rural county that happens to be up north and not TOO far from the IT haven of Redmond, meaning they've got a major data trunk nearby. And note, they went NORTH, where natural cooling attracts data centers (which is what happened to Grant County--big companies built data centers there). I doubt you could make the same case in, say, Tuscon, Arizona. As they say, read between the lines and you'll see there's more to the story than meets the eye.

        Color me impressed when a rural community in the middle of Nebraska (or like I said, a place like Arizona or New Mexico) can do their own high-speed installation without some carrot deal from a provider (which is how most communities get locked in: many times the providers demand exclusivity before they'll agree to send a data line their way, take it or leave it).

        1. Mikel

          Re: Typical Feral Blovating

          Grant County got it by accident. The Power Utility District was going to install Internet Protocol based smart meters. But that didn't work out and they decided to make lemonade. Gray's Harbor county did it too. Comcast and AT&T then saw the threat and funded a bill that made it illegal for other counties to follow suit. The "Telecoms Investment Protection Act" or some such, as they did over much of the US.

          But regardless, if Grant can do it fifteen years ago (and they have) and the density arguments hold then why does Greater London with 1/4th the area and almost 100 times the population not have 40Gbps Fiber to the home today? That would be the implied ratio adjusted for 15 years of technology's march. Because you are paying people to prevent it. Not because of population density.

          You want the future? Stop paying people to keep you in the past.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Typical Feral Blovating

            Age.

            London is an OLD city, meaning full of built-up infrastructure that you have to get around to put in new infrastructure. Sparse places don't have as much infrastructure. Nor do young cities like in the Far East where lots of stuff got REbuilt. As I recall, New York City suffers from the same problem in places, particularly Manhattan where infrastructure is a case of trying to cram a baker's dozen in an egg carton.

            1. Mikel

              Re: Typical Feral Blovating

              So there is no place in Greater London that there are an aggregate 90,000 people out of your 8 millions who could be served more easily than stringing fiber over and under 2700 square miles of rocky mountainous terrain. That is what you are saying.

              I guess then that you agree the density argument is complete hogwash. We only differ about why.

              My feeling is that when it comes to avoiding the future, any excuse - no matter how implausible - will do.

  5. Ole Juul Silver badge

    Advertised speeds?

    Akamai reports the average U.S. Internet connection speed was 11.9Mbps in 2015 which might be a more useful number than the 72Mbps that the FCC is reporting from a survey of advertising.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Advertised speeds?

      Thing is, the FCC regulates advertising. Sure, there is the catch-all "up to", but the FCC can still check to see if the advertised maximum rate is in any way feasible or within reason, and if it isn't, the ISP can still be nailed for deceptive advertising. IOW, the FCC's survey can have legal consequences.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Advertised speeds?

        "Thing is, the FCC regulates advertising"

        Surely this is the purview of the FTC? (And if it was, the FTC has shown itself ready to move fast and hit hard when deceptive advertising is used)

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Advertised speeds?

          They're BOTH involved since the ads go through and involves a communications medium. The FTC gets involved because of trade practices, the FCC because of the use of a regulated medium.

  6. jockmcthingiemibobb

    Median speed would be far more useful. No mention of rural WISPs either.

    1. Ole Juul Silver badge

      Median would be equally useless. Note that they're compiling a list of advertised speeds. In any case to do any analysis using those you'd have to have number of users at each supposed speed.

  7. Financegozu
    Meh

    I feel sorry for you guys

    my ISP just doubled the downstream capacity to 250 MBit/s and 25MBit/s upstream ...

    1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

      Re: I feel sorry for you guys

      Of equal interest and possibly of more value is how much those speeds cost you, and where in the world you are?

      If it costs vastly more than my paltry bits cost me then my response is a shrug. If not then my response is unrepeatable except to the CEO of the provider of my paltry bits.

  8. Spamfast Bronze badge
    Trollface

    At least half of the US population don't think that evolution is correct, believe that the Earth is less than ten thousand years old and insist that the entire contents of their particular version of the Bible are the literal truth despite self-contradictions and hideous doctrines. I'm surprised they even notice how fast their magic speaky strings are going. ;-) Happy New Year!

  9. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics.

    The FCC numbers and average speeds are for those folks that HAVE internet service - in the towns and cities you see speeds from around 3Mbs upwards but as you move away from the towns into the countryside the speeds drop to 14kbs (modem on a rainy day).

    The FCC numbers are based on the folks who have internet service - if they counted all the people for whom internet is simply not available, then the true average speeds would be a lot lower - is it any wonder that much of the rural population holds beliefs that were current 30-40 years ago when their network speeds still resemble those available in the 80's?

  10. thomas k

    Well, my speed did increase 5-fold this year

    I dumped my DSL for cable.

  11. SoloSK71

    Make bigger tubes!

  12. Efros

    8 years

    My cable company (TWC) has maintained the same speeds (10MB) in our area for 8 years now, charges have nearly doubled over that period for the same service. Plus they have just announced that they are increasing the modem rental to $8 a month, I bought my own one when they introduced this charge about 2 years ago.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: 8 years

      They may change their tune if Verizon or AT&T start bringing fiber to your area. Cox has to keep their prices down after Verizon FiOS was rolled out in my area (since the two now directly compete service-for-service).

    2. joed

      Re: 8 years

      I've never paid for equipment rental but I've actually downgraded my Internet service due to excessive demands by Comcast. Yes, it's nice to have higher speeds and one could watch videos beyond 720p but - at 12x the difference in monthly service fees (a year) it's hardly worth it (if only not to feed the monopoly). While majority seems fine with 100$/month I'm OK with 3rd world's 3.7/1Mbs at half the price (I'd go lower if cheaper option was available).

  13. AdamKR
    Facepalm

    I'll take less bandwidth!

    I would gladly trade my 100 megabit connection for a 768k connection and webpages that aren't laden with all sorts of advertisements and tracking that make my fast computer and internet connection feel like a pile of crap. I think that is the real issue with internet speeds, and it's a shame it's not more recognized as such.

    1. Nunyabiznes

      Re: I'll take less bandwidth!

      I wish I could upvote this more.

  14. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    "Today's report confirms that advances in network technology are yielding significant improvements in broadband speeds and quality," said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in a statement.

    Technology is more than capable of the stated speeds, and better, without advances. The limited speeds are purely down to cost/profit and lack of competition.

  15. Nunyabiznes

    density

    What some people forget is that in the Western US we have a LOT of Congressionally assigned Wilderness (and our wilderness areas are different than what you might think - they are managed as pre-Columbian - you can't take a bicycle in there, foot or horse (yeah I know) only) Federal Parks, and federal public lands managed as Wilderness that can't have wires strung across them. That makes it even more difficult to get point to point. The electric grid has worked around these areas, but in general those are privately owned towers and they don't have to lease space on them to anyone else. Combine that with low population densities and pay back terms longer than the infrastructure is designed to last and you have a problem. And lets face it, it is a lot easier to screw people than it is to install fiber everywhere. :)

  16. readman

    you city folk are lucky. I live in the northern california mountains and I'm lucky enough to be able to get a wireless ISP that provides 1.5 mbps (that's bits per second}. Most folks are stuck with satellite, one neighbor has a $350/month bill. My speed hasn't changed for the last 3 years. No DSL, No Cable, no fiber. and never will have those options.

  17. Mark 85 Silver badge
    Meh

    Meh....

    "Faster, better broadband will unleash new innovations and new services to improve the lives of the American people"

    Um.. yeah.. Whatever you say. Faster cat videos and porn downloads, FCC?

    Maybe it's me but I read the reports and statements and much of what is there is a lot of patting themselves on the back. They didn't couple speeds and data caps which seems disingenuous. AT&T raised the data cap for my wife's phone (at no charge) but no improvement in service or speed. Our cable company raised the speed albeit slightly (10%) but no increase in data cap. With the cable company, we can't get close to the advertised speed. On a good day, it's about half the advertised.

    Somewhere in all this data and statistics is a reality.. besides the obvious "we in America are screwed".

    1. Blank Reg

      Re: Meh....

      It's been the opposite for me, I've always gotten more than the advertised rate. I'm currently paying for 175Mbps but I've never seen it go below 200, it usually clocks in at 225-250. And they recently eliminated the data cap so I have nothing to complain about.

  18. drtune

    My comcast is great

    My Comcast in San Francisco - 164Mbit/s down, 13MBit/sec up.

    From my experience I have no idea what people are whining about with Comcast - it's not very cheap but it's fast and very reliable.

    I work from home as a software/firmware guy and I find >150Mbit/sec downstream is ample (assuming the folks on the other end have their server shit together; I'm looking at you STMicroelectroncs)

    In passing I was at a friend's wedding earlier this year and spent a most enjoyable time geeking out with the bride's father, who was (back in the day) one of the chief modem designers at US Robotics in the era of going from 9600 -> 56kbps..

    Eh, kids nowadays. :-p

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: My comcast is great

      > I have no idea what people are whining about with Comcast

      You obviously haven't had to deal with their customer "service" when something has gone tits-up or you want to cancel. In addition to the internet horror stories, I have a couple friends with personal experience of the nightmare.

      Comcast is fine as long as it works.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My comcast is great

      RE: "I have no idea what people are whining about with Comcast"

      You live in the fucking silicon valley area. What do you expect? Dial Up?

      People are whining coz its not cheap (even you said that) and its not particularly fast in most other areas. Plus those fucking data caps they introduced seem cunningly designed to catch most of us out if we don't take care. I could pay vastly more for a business account and lose the caps but still not get anywhere close to your speed. We're whining because compared to lots of the rest of the world we are getting screwed by Comcast. That's the wonder of the internet: It gives us a wider perspective of the world so we know what we're missing.

  19. Marty McFly

    6Mb DSL on an average day...

    But I live out in the sticks. I don't live in a concrete jungle with people stacked on top of each other. I can target practice from my carport, and I can piss in my front yard without anyone noticing or complaining. For that kind of peace & privacy, I'll take a crappy DSL speed any day of the week.

    1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

      Re: 6Mb DSL on an average day...

      You're singing my song. I rarely piss in the yard (though I could if I had to) but the bears certainly do. We watch them and it might not be as great as some of the videos on you tube but I can smell them and hear their breath, and the hair at the back of my neck tingles when they look at me and move closer. Real life is still better than the internet. I'll give Comcast their due though, they did manage to roll a few cables out this way. I just wish someone else would so I had a choice.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: 6Mb DSL on an average day...

        At our place in rural Mendocino County, all the guys piss at the edges of the property line whenever possible. Seems that the bears shy away from male human pee. I was skeptical, but when a bear started teaching her cubs how to climb the trees in my apple orchard, thus breaking the limbs, I decided to give it a go (as it were ;-). Result? No more broken branches. We've expanded the perimeter a bit, and now have 30ish bear-free acres.

        It also saves a little wear & tear on the leach fields ;-)

        1. Geoffrey W Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: 6Mb DSL on an average day...

          @Jake

          Gosh, you must be absolutely full of piss to ring 30 acres with it, or can you buy it wholesale? I'm not son of the soil enough to know such things.

  20. Gene Cash Silver badge

    18Mb DSL

    In east Orlando, Florida, I have 18Mb DSL from AT&T at $53/mo, which was a step up from the 12Mb cable from a local provider (Brighthouse) at $65/mo

    However, the $53/mo is a 12 month sweetheart deal designed to get me into their TV service (which I declined) and will be expiring this month, to something like $90/mo.

    I have noticed Brighthouse is now selling 75Mb cable for $35/mo, so I will probably switch back to that. This price has appeared because Comcast & AT&T have moved in and provided competition in the past 18 months. Before that, there was no competition.

  21. earl grey Silver badge
    Flame

    at least the monopolies are rolling in money

    They're like Scrooge McDuck.

    My TW just tested out at 12 out of the "up to 20 if the earth tilts and all other users on your cable fall of the earth" speed. Don't think i've ever seen close to 20 and rarely even 15.

  22. CarbonLifeForm

    One of my pet peeves

    It's really embarrassing, our broadband. My biggest concern is however not improving broadband where it already exists, but rather just getting it into the smaller towns and communities.6

    You can go a few dozen km from e. g. Miami and you may find the nearest DSL access point is 20 km away; effective broadband for DSL drops linearly with distance from the access point, so your actual broadband is horrible.

    The current setup suffers from being too much corporate socialism. The federal regulators and large telcos are very chummy, and maintain this situation by carving out rent seeking arrangements.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: One of my pet peeves

      No, it's mostly down to raw capitalism. It's especially true out in the sticks where small communities would like to get on the Internet, don't want to go to the cities (which is why they're out in the sticks), and face the little problem of the nearest trunk line being 100 miles away or so. Laying a cable from there to the town is going to cost a pretty penny, but the community doesn't have that kind of money. So they're basically over the barrel which is why cable providers offering to roll out to the sticks can coerce exclusivity agreements out them. For many it's a simple matter of bend over or go without, and the community won't accept the latter.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Living in denial

    It's unclear what world Mr. Wheeler lives in but with routine weekly complaints from thousands of consumers to the FCC and FTC regarding failed cable/telco service, illegal acts by same and no effort by the FTC or FCC to terminate the violations of law and hold those responsible accountable, what value do these government agencies provide other than consumption of tax payer dollars and housing inept, lazy, over-paid bureaucrats who are exploiting tax payers?

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