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 “Up To” Broadband Speeds are Bogus

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PostSubject: “Up To” Broadband Speeds are Bogus   Fri Aug 20, 2010 12:04 pm

That’s according to a recent report of the FCC in the US — broadband subscribers in the US only get around 50% of the promised internet speeds by service providers.

If the report were for the Philippines, I would not be surprised. So, it’s not only us here but also in first world countries like the US & UK.

So I fired up my browser and checked Speed Test:



I’m subscribed to a 2Mbps connection and usually get around 1Mbps. Now that’s also 50% of promised (same %age loss like in the US).

I think the reason why, despite the similarities, the issue is more prominent with us here in the Philippines is not due to the percentage loss in the promised bandwidth but the amount of actual bandwidth itself.

In the US, if you’re subscribed to a 10Mbps connection and only get 5Mbps, I think you will not feel the difference especially when you’re just browsing the web or just watching YouTube.

However, in the Philippines, if you’re subscribed to 1Mbps and only get 512Kbps, you’d significantly feel the speed bump.

As an example, my WiFi b/g router at home promises up to 54Mbps speeds on my local network (that’s about 6.75MB/s transfer rate). However, if I try copying files over the WiFi network, I only get around 2.5MB/s (20Mbps). That’s only 37% of promised speed but I don’t complain because I don’t feel the connection being ‘slow’ despite the huge speed loss.

The gap between advertisement and reality isn’t a function of technology—it applied to all kinds of broadband connections, from cable to DSL to fiber. The less-than-ideal speeds aren’t necessarily the “fault” of the ISP, either; crufty computers, poky routers, misconfigured WiFi, transient line noise, and Internet congestion all play a role. {via Ars}

My suggestion is that if the promised speed (with the “up to” labeling) cannot be achieved, why not just change the label instead.

So, how about “Plan 999 @ up to 256Kbps” instead of the current “Plan 999 @ up to 1Mbps”? Then, even if they’re on a 256Kbps plan, put them on a 1Mbps pipe so that when the subscriber tests their speed and they get 512Kbps, they will be happy they got 200% of what they subscribed for.

That’s what I call “under-promise and over-deliver” and not the usual “over-promise and under-deliver” mantra we often get.
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