Friday, March 31, 2006

1.5Mbps the Same as 6Mbps

This quote from Arstechnica from Randall Stephenson, COO of AT&T, spawned a discussion on Slashdot.

""In the foreseeable future, having a 15 Mbps Internet capability is irrelevant because the backbone doesn't transport at those speeds," he told the conference attendees. Stephenson said that AT&T's field tests have shown "no discernable difference" between AT&T's 1.5 Mbps service and Comcast's 6 Mbps because the problem is not in the last mile but in the backbone.

Go here for the Slashdot thread.

I can promise you there is a difference. I recently moved into a new condo development that touted "bundled services" with "highspeed" interent access. Its a bundle of data, voice, video and security. The billing goes through the HOA.

First, I don't care about security in this situation. I will not be getting a voice solution from a POTS providers. I don't really care about TV.

So what I would do if left to my own devises is get the new 8Mbps data plan from Comcast with the basic digital TV package: one company, one tech support, one bill.

From the Comcast site:

"Or, for $10 more per month (I think that works out to be about $67 per month), you can enjoy the connection of 8Mbps/768Kbps. It's so unbelievably fast, you'll wonder how you ever surfed the Web without it."

Since I can't do that I started asking around about the service. Eventhough its a bundled package you have to deal with each company individually as well and the aggregator companies. The data rate is suppose to be 3Mbps.

Here's what it looks like:
My first call was to Fusion. I asked the nice lady on the phone what the download rates were suppose to be. At the time she thought it might be 1.5Mbps down - they have a number of communities online so she didn't really know exactly. No big deal.

I said, "Wow, that's kind of slow. Comcast is offering a new plan that gives you 8Mbps down."

She said, "But web pages don't download that fast."

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