Broadband, schmodband…

This past week I called my cable internet provider, Time Warner Cable’s Roadrunner service, to find out what it would take to remove the cap from my home broadband. Why? I can download fast at 5 million bits per second (mbps) but uploads are slow since they’re capped at 384 kilo bits per second (kbps). I know this is arbitrary and done to keep people from running web servers, performing file sharing and any other activities which may suck up bandwidth TWC would rather not provide, but it pisses me off since my needs are legitimate.

There are a lot of reasons why upload speed is important to me:

  • I upload photos to a web site I have and a 100 photos (just took 500 in Japan, for example) is 400-500 megabytes! At my upload speed in the thousands of bits per second, uploads like this take several hours
  • When delivering my wife’s publications to her printer in Texas, her files are 150 MB’s or greater
  • Backing up machines at home to our online storage location is *very* tedious and time consuming
  • I setup my home machine for file transfer availability (FTP) and it’s great to be able to retrieve needed files from anywhere though it’s *very slow* since the uploading from my machine sitting at home is capped
  • I use Skype and would like also to be able to use it for interviews inserted in to my podcasts as well as the ones my wife would like to do for her business. Faster uploading speed minimizes or eliminates drop-outs on the phone calls.

Roadrunner’s only options are business services. I can get a “home office” business service that would give me 784kbps up with 5mbps down for $99 per month (double the price I’m paying now). 784 is fine, but I’d like 1-2mbps uploading with that download speed the same. That would cost $249 per month but, they assure me, the quality of service is MUCH higher! (I could buy a dedicated T1 line with symmetrical 1.5mbps up/down for not much more than that).

Om Malik (a broadband blogger) writes about a company that is planning to build chipsets that would enable 2.5 gigabits per second over one of the Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) flavors. Anyone who is in-the-know in any way gets that the amount of consumption of big blobs (binary large objects) like audio, video, PDF’s, photos is exploding. More and more of us will demand that the US stop suckin’ the hind teat of the world with our adoption of what we euphemistically call “broadband”. Gotta go faster and I absolutely believe that true broadband, ubiquitously deployed, will toss gasoline on the fire of our economy (especially the ‘net-based one!).

The FCC defines high-speed connections to the Internet speeds greater than 200kbps (you gotta read this for a chuckle while you’re at it). That’s like riding a bike to work but you’ve got a 30 mile commute. You’ll get there, it’s just gonna take an hour and a half and you’ll be pretty sweaty and tired upon arrival.

1 Comment

  1. Steve Peterson on August 23, 2005 at 9:58 pm

    I have that $100 Roadrunner Business Class service at home, primarily because it’s what you need to get multiple IP addresses. I used Agiliti over Qwest DSL at the old house, but the new place isn’t served by Qwest for DSL. My initial reaction was that I was downgrading to Roadrunner from DSL. I was wrong — service has been great; we’ve never had an outage that I’ve notice and the performance has been what was quoted.



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