Customers With Disabilities

‘Can You Really Get Those Speeds?'

by Employee ‎02-02-2010 02:16 PM - edited ‎02-02-2010 02:18 PM

LightMultichannel News shoots off skyrockets and throws confetti around its survey showing cable's rapid build outs of DOCSIS 3.0.  And at Broadband Reports, there's much discussion of cable-provided Internet speeds of up to 105 megabits per second (Mbps), along with some commentary that the market is not ready for speeds that fast.  And there is discussion of cable resetting its speed tiers in parity with Verizon's downstream speeds (NOT upstream, though; Verizon can do 35 Mbps upstream and cable can't touch that).


But more importantly, in the comments below the Broadband Reports article, there's this one:


"Can you really get those speeds?

"The speed tier doesn't matter much if it slows to a crawl every evening. Which is what would happen every evening to me when I had Comcast. It still happens to my brother and my parents. All different neighborhoods.

"I've never had that problem with FiOS. And those Comcast speed tiers are almost laughable compared to what FiOS offers. And the FiOS speeds are available 24/7/365."


Every time DOCSIS 3.0 comes up, we make exactly this point. Because the cable systems are based on nodes that serve from 125 to 500 customers, the stem of those service starbursts can clog if a lot of users go online or do big downloads or stream movies or music at the same time.


FiOS, on the other hand, puts no more than 32 customers onto a gigantic 2.4 gigabit per second trunk, which leaves lots of headroom for delivery of promised speeds.


And even FiOS's little brother, Verizon High Speed Internet, is not subject to that kind of traffic jam because the DSL Internet signal rides your personal phone link back to the central office and the Internet connecting point.  No shared pipe.


I've had a DSL-based service from another telephone company for about 3 years now. My DSL has NEVER gone down and consistently delivers the 5 Mbps that I pay for and that meets all my Internet needs.


Can a cable TV network designed half a century ago for one-way TV telecasting really deliver what we need in 2010, even if they tweak it? What's your experience?







by whyfios
on ‎09-07-2010 02:32 AM

The problem with statements like "... Verizon can do 35 Mbps upstream and cable can't touch that..." is that on paper this may sound good, but in a real world test does not have the same result.  In my experience, I have found that their is little to no difference in actual speed between FIOS service and RoadRunner service.


While deciding between the two main services in our area, I had both FIOS and RoadRunner coming in for a month or so.   To make my own determination, I would download certain files from one service and keep track of the actual elapsed time for the download.  Then I would switch the cables to the other service, reboot, and download the same file.   Both downloads occured within the same 5 minute window, so traffic should be around the same for each test.  I tested the time it took for several links to open the webpage as well as ran a couple of programs from a remote RDP connection into a client site.  I was also carefull to reboot before each test to ensure the same machine processing.


There was no clear winner.  Sometimes the FIOS downloaded slightly faster, other times, the RoadRunner connection was slightly faster.  It was so close that most users would not notice such a small difference.   With no real difference in speed, I chose to use the FIOS connection because of its slightly lower cost and had a 2 year price guarentee.  However, 2 months into my contract it was obvious that this was not the case.


The hidden fee's and surcharges are indeed mentioned in the fine print, as required.  However they are, for some unknown reason, not required to disclose the actual amount of these fee's and surcharges until AFTER the trial period has ended, at which time you can no longer cancel the contract.  In turn, you are then stuck with charges for fee's and surchages that you did not know the amounts.  In this era, there is absolutely no reason the should not be requried to disclose the amount of the fee's and surcharges, even the tax's are not difficult to determine.  RoadRunner did have hidden fee's as well, but not to the extent Verizon is allowed to.


In my case, these hidden charges caused the FIOS service to cost much more then the RoadRunner service.   Even with the prices locked for two years, luckily, I am only comitted for one year.  That 1 year is less then a month away.  I have been reading as much as I can, and most likely weill be going back to RoadRunner with the same performance at a lower cost.


If have overlooked something in my benchmark testing mentioned above. please reply to my post...


g peters

on ‎09-07-2010 04:53 AM

Consistency and reliability. Yes Mbps upstream is a reality. I had 20/5 and switched to 25/25 and a friend could connect to my system and then download files just as fast as his cable connection could take them. Before with the 20/5 his downloads were much slower from my system.


Reliability. Cable must have power supplies and repeaters everywhere to compensate for copper line loss. During out bad snow in Maryland last winter power was out everywhere, we had power in our neighborhood, and everyone's cable was down, but not my FiOS.


Do your research before you sign up for any service. They all charge taxes and fees. Some may argue that you need a set top box for every TV, and that is the going trend with every service. Do your research based on your statements and make the choice for what will be best for you and what you want.


I have had FiOS since it was available in 2005, and have been very satisfied. The only time I lose my connection is when I have no power. My connection does not slow down when everyone off of the node or copper cable is online at the same time. Verizon has make a considerable investment to provide good reliable connection to my home, and even came out to provide a new ONT when I upgraded to 35/35 . They did this just to insure I was able to get the advertised 35/35 and not 35/29. What has cable done for us lately. Currently I pay for 35/35 and have 43/35. Yes 35 upstream. But if you do not transfer file upstream it may not be a big deal for you.


So make your choice based on what is best for you.



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