Must… Have… More… Bandwidth

from the more-more-more dept

US broadband providers are in the midst of a speed boost, offering new, higher tiers of speeds — even as high as 50 Mbps — and demanding higher prices. As Om Malik points out, it’s all about the money: increasing the bandwidth to customers doesn’t cost these companies all that much, but it’s something for which they can charge a lot more. The rub, though, is that people with these faster connections don’t necessarily use the net more — an experience confirmed by high-speed networks in Japan that have seen only a modest increase in overall traffic following speed raises. Why? For one thing, people are settling down in how they use the internet, gravitating towards some key activities for which having a faster line doesn’t necessarily dictate increased usage — like IM and email. Also, regardless of how much time it takes to download something like a movie or song, it takes the same amount of time to play it back. So because you can download a movie in about 10 minutes on a 30-megabit line, it still takes 2 hours to watch — so users’ appetite for media consumption may not scale with the speed of their connection. The other side of the bandwidth boost wonders just how much people really notice these higher speeds, particularly in normal Web surfing. Probably not much, really, once they get past a certain point. But, as Om again notes, people perceive that they’re getting faster speeds and a better experience, and they’ll pay for it.

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Comments on “Must… Have… More… Bandwidth”

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minus says:

Re: 50mbps

True to that. It seems that the boost we are talking about is being started by Verizon and their Fiber Optic service. This would mean that we would have greater upload speeds (if not equal to download), which in my book is worth the extra 50-100, etc… Why? With that much upload you can start webservers, game servers, etc… Thus you won’t have to go through 3rd party providers to host your own stuff! Woohoo!!!

Anthony says:

Re: Re: 50mbps

I have cox Internet Premier in Phoenix AZ. They are currently at 9Mbps down and 1Mbps up….No Noticeable difference in web surfing but downloading anything it is almost instant. Most windows OS are not optimized for the higher broadband speeds. You have to run a program that optimizes your Internet connection to get the speeds you are paying for.

Jim says:

Re: No Subject Given

You got it partially right. If the ISP found out about you running a web server they would probably cut off your connection. For most, like myself, it doesnt matter. I run a developement server at home that is not used much except for tests.
They close port 25 due to the fact that many people can easily spam and use up a lot of bandwidth this way.
They are not closing it down to prevent a game server from running. Most cant spam through a game server. Note I said MOST.
As stated before, they make more money by having you pay more for hosting things through them or a 3rd party host (supposing they get bandwidth though AT&Ts network). As long as the greed outweights the desire to get internet to the masses (or the gov steps in), it will always be like this.

jt says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

Some companies do offer nice connection speeds both ways, which is nice. Provo City (in Utah) has its own recently installed fiber network. 10Mbps for both up and down can be purchased four around $40 a month.
A friend which uses the service regularly clocks 8Mbps down and 8Mbps up.
Kicks the trash out of my Comcast connection.

Just one guy says:

It's not a matter of using it!

Well, if you are advocating a pay-per-use pricing mechanism, then this is exactly what we’ve finally got out of, and well about time, too.

I want really a broad broadband. Call it a hugeband. Not because I need it, but just because if I need it I want it. I don’t usually download whole movies, but in 15 minutes a wonderful lady wil come to my house and ask to watch, I don’t know, Breakfast at Tiffany, which I don’t have and BlokcBuster, of course, hasn’t either. Just the risk of running nto such a situation might make me want hugeband connections.

It’s like buying a Ferrari (assuming that I could afford a Ferrari): I would buy it not because I want to drive fast all the time or to drive fast at all: just the coolness factor, the awareness that in emergencies I COULD drive very fast, or that I could overtake that truck in less time than my Honda Civic, or that I like the feeling of just caressing the huge raw power of that engine, even if I will never need it. That’s just enough for most Ferraris’ drivers, and would just be enough for me. And for having hugeband, too.

rhett says:

From an ISP standpoint

I’ll admit that uploads are very slow compared to what they could be. However, if ISP’s didn’t limit uploads you’d have grandma and grandpa spewing out viruses at full speed destroying the ‘reliability’ of the network and the service. 384k seems to be standard for uploads around here. you don’t need faster unless you are trying to send massive video or pictures.

You also have to take into account that the smaller ISPs and most of the telecom world still have to pay about $800 for 1.5mbps pipes. If they let uploads just run rampant, they would have to spend a fortune on more t-1’s and thus charge more for the service. I think ISP’s are doing fine considering the government constrants and the competing with unregulated services.

Ed says:


I pay an additional $15.00 per month for 800K/10Mbps service. Standard service is 256k/3Mbps.I rarely ever see anywhere near my rated speeds, however. During peak times, I’m lucky to get 2Mbps. Plus, most download sites cap their bandwidth.
Is it worth the extra money? Probably not on the downstream side, but on the upstream, definitely yes.

Mike says:

Sometimes it's a web server issue

I have a 3Mb connection at home and while it’s nice and speedy for large files, I can’t always get to the file I want to download if the server hosting the file is under too heavy a load.
Using the Ferrari example above, all that power and a desire to go fast is useless if the highway is jammed up with idiots going at half (or say a tenth) the speed limit.

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