For many years, mobile operators would try to hide the fact that their mobile data services really sucked by promising speeds "up to" some amount that was much higher than you were ever going to see in real life. It appears that cable and DSL providers have learned the same trick. The NY Times notes that it's not often that you get the actual speed your broadband provider advertises -- and the providers get away with it by only promising "up to" a maximum speed. The providers, of course, claim it's no big deal and it's true that you could, in some circumstances, get the promised speeds. Services like Broadband Reports help keep the companies at least somewhat honest with their speed tester tools that allow a small, but vocal, group of users to complain loudly if the speeds they get never get anywhere near what's being paid for. Meanwhile, there are those who claim that the speed is meaningless, since consumers don't really need those high speeds. Of course, that may be true, but if those are the speeds they're being promised, isn't it what the companies should deliver?
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