by Mike Masnick
Tue, Sep 25th 2007 6:48pm
Most broadband is advertised these days solely on its download speeds (or rather, what those speeds might get "up to" under ideal conditions). However, for a while, we've been wondering when more broadband providers would realize that the internet isn't just about downloadable "broadcast" contest, but in multi-directional communication. That is, when would they realize that people value the upstream part of their broadband connections? There had been some talk about this a few years ago, but most marketing is still focused on just the downstream speeds. That's why it's interesting to see AT&T now hyping up the fact that it's boosting the upload speeds on its 3G wireless network. AT&T (from back when it was Cingular) has fallen way behind both Verizon and Sprint in terms of offering 3G data services around the US. It launched much later and has had trouble ramping up the network as fast as its competitors. However, by upgrading the upload speeds, it looks like AT&T is searching for some differentiator it can use to compete. While it may just be partly a marketing gimmick, at least the company does seem to intrinsically realize that in an age of VoIP, user generated content, virtual worlds and video games -- upload speeds really do matter to many people. While it may not be a huge enticement, it's worth watching to see if others start boosting (and hyping) their upload speeds as well as their download speeds.
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