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(Venture Beat)   The United States lags to 31st place in global internet speed. Most likely because running things faster would make it more difficult to spy on every keystroke   (venturebeat.com) divider line 116
    More: Fail, United States, download speeds, information transfer, Akamai, internet access, Moldova, Google Fiber  
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1434 clicks; posted to Geek » on 27 Nov 2013 at 9:27 AM (48 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-11-27 09:29:18 AM  
That and the government is frightened by the idea that the average low information voter might choose to become educated instead of the state sponsored ignorance
 
2013-11-27 09:32:05 AM  
Meh. I was under the idea that it simply costs money to upgrade infrastructure for faster internet, and that would cut the money out of the pockets of telecom job creators.
 
2013-11-27 09:40:04 AM  

snowshovel: Meh. I was under the idea that it simply costs money to upgrade infrastructure for faster internet, and that would cut the money out of the pockets of telecom job creators.


Hopefully Google will start giving the current IPs an incentive to improve their infrastructure.
 
2013-11-27 09:41:41 AM  
Naw, it's a conspiracy between the MPAA and the RIAA.

My internet seems fast enough. Kind of curious to know how long it would take someone in South Korea to download the HD version of "Day of the Doctor" from iTunes. Took my computer about three minutes, which seems plenty fast to me.
 
2013-11-27 09:46:25 AM  
Don't worry, everybody.  We have the freest markets in the alpha quadrant.  There's no way private enterprise would leave us hanging.  We just have to wait.
 
2013-11-27 09:46:45 AM  
It's not maliciousness.... it's greed. Telecom companies don't want to invest in their own networks and have been pocketing the profits that should have been applied towards making a better network for years.

Why do you think they are afraid of things like Google Fiber?
 
2013-11-27 09:49:37 AM  

The_Time_Master: It's not maliciousness.... it's greed. Telecom companies don't want to invest in their own networks and have been pocketing the profits that should have been applied towards making a better network for years.


Why improve your networks when you can just cap everyones bandwidth and keep it at y2k speeds for decades?
 
2013-11-27 09:50:09 AM  

Richard_The_Clown: Naw, it's a conspiracy between the MPAA and the RIAA.

My internet seems fast enough. Kind of curious to know how long it would take someone in South Korea to download the HD version of "Day of the Doctor" from iTunes. Took my computer about three minutes, which seems plenty fast to me.


Yeah, I felt that way when I upgraded to a 56.6k modem and downloaded a 150KB .jpg of Cindy Crawford in about 3 minutes.  What the hell would you need faster internet for?
 
2013-11-27 09:51:36 AM  
I have 80Megabit download speeds with Verizon FIOS.  problem is: companies throttle from their end.  So I normally get 20Megabit download speeds.  Every once in a while, I get the full 80 (~10MB/sec)
 
2013-11-27 09:51:57 AM  

Richard_The_Clown: Naw, it's a conspiracy between the MPAA and the RIAA.

My internet seems fast enough. Kind of curious to know how long it would take someone in South Korea to download the HD version of "Day of the Doctor" from iTunes. Took my computer about three minutes, which seems plenty fast to me.


Nice for you. The vast majority of the US have speeds no where near that fast. South Korea speed is typically about 3-4 times the fastest US speeds however and at most half the cost. They also have far more competition, but while At&T, Time Warner, Charter, etc. can pay state assemblies for their monopolies nothing is going to really change there.
 
2013-11-27 09:51:58 AM  

Richard_The_Clown: Naw, it's a conspiracy between the MPAA and the RIAA.

My internet seems fast enough. Kind of curious to know how long it would take someone in South Korea to download the HD version of "Day of the Doctor" from iTunes. Took my computer about three minutes, which seems plenty fast to me.


Same here. I have a 50/25 connection through FiOS. I download, surf, run an FTP server, and constantly remote-desktop into my system, and i never seem to really hit the ceiling. FiOS keeps trying to up my speed for only $10 a month, and in the past, i would have jumped at the chance to up my speed when i was on cable, but now, i dont think i would ever need the extra space.

Now, in the future when we are all streaming 4k HD, maybe, but for now, i cant complain.
 
2013-11-27 09:53:00 AM  

J. Frank Parnell: Why improve your networks when you can just cap everyones bandwidth and keep it at y2k speeds for decades?


Don't worry, a new, upstart competitor will be able to break into the market and they'll be forced to improve! Oh.... right...

There's another important factor: most ISPs are arms of much larger telecom entities, and those telecom entities have spent the past century investing in telephone service, and the past half century investing in cable television service. Internet service directly competes with these bread-and-butter industries.
 
2013-11-27 09:55:56 AM  

lennavan: Richard_The_Clown: Naw, it's a conspiracy between the MPAA and the RIAA.

My internet seems fast enough. Kind of curious to know how long it would take someone in South Korea to download the HD version of "Day of the Doctor" from iTunes. Took my computer about three minutes, which seems plenty fast to me.

Yeah, I felt that way when I upgraded to a 56.6k modem and downloaded a 150KB .jpg of Cindy Crawford in about 3 minutes.  What the hell would you need faster internet for?


The law of diminishing returns comes into play here.

the differnce between 15min and 3min? thats a lot. 3min and 1min? fairly significant. But now we are at the point where the difference in speed between tiers that most providers offer is closer to 8 seconds vs 3 seconds.
 
2013-11-27 09:58:24 AM  

LemSkroob: lennavan: Richard_The_Clown: Naw, it's a conspiracy between the MPAA and the RIAA.

My internet seems fast enough. Kind of curious to know how long it would take someone in South Korea to download the HD version of "Day of the Doctor" from iTunes. Took my computer about three minutes, which seems plenty fast to me.

Yeah, I felt that way when I upgraded to a 56.6k modem and downloaded a 150KB .jpg of Cindy Crawford in about 3 minutes.  What the hell would you need faster internet for?

The law of diminishing returns comes into play here.

the differnce between 15min and 3min? thats a lot. 3min and 1min? fairly significant. But now we are at the point where the difference in speed between tiers that most providers offer is closer to 8 seconds vs 3 seconds.


Right, for current file sizes.  I remember when 1 GB was an enormous sized hard drive.  Who the fark would ever need all that space?
 
2013-11-27 09:59:45 AM  

Richard_The_Clown: Naw, it's a conspiracy between the MPAA and the RIAA.

My internet seems fast enough. Kind of curious to know how long it would take someone in South Korea to download the HD version of "Day of the Doctor" from iTunes. Took my computer about three minutes, which seems plenty fast to me.


Then you didn't get an HD or it was streaming.  That show was 80 min long, so for HD quality that file would be atleast 4gb so unless you have a 155 Mbps (OC3) connection it took longer than 3 min.  I bet it took 10 min which is a 50Mbps connection.

http://www.numion.com/calculators/time.html
 
2013-11-27 10:02:53 AM  

Tyrone Slothrop: Hopefully Google will start giving the current IPs an incentive to improve their infrastructure.


That.

Where I live there are only 2 (worth-a-shiat) broadband options -- local cable company or satellite (there's also DSL, but it's a small step up from dial up). I have the local cable mid-tier plan @ $70 a month which is 1-1.5mpbs down and 160-220kbps up....next plan up is $130 a month for a tiny bit more down and a lot more up speeds. I could go with ATT/Wildblue/Sat (they damn near all have the same prices) for $10 more a month ($80) till the equipment is paid off, but I'd have slower speeds and (more) lag in online games. Either way I go I'm being charged out the ass.

When there's no competition there's little incentive for companies to have decent prices.

/Slightly related...My cable company needs someone who understands video compression and knows how to use ffmpeg/mplayer....Friggin cable tv is lower quality than YouTube videos...not exaggerating one bit -- If possible, I'll watch HQ YouTube TV Rips over my paid for cable TV just so I have better quality. Black areas look like blackish-grey checker boards, no fine details, small words become hard to read. As someone with plenty of experience ripping dvds and making lower bitrate, high quality backups, I watch tv and go "WTF, I could (probably, these farkers are incompetent) set their mpeg2 transcoders up to give us a higher quality and use less bandwidth/bitrate". I'd also ditch all SD programming and say "F U, get a better TV or a converter box. We have to change with the times and this old crap is jamming up our lines and preventing us from delivering higher quality content".

//Bought a 42" 1080p flat screen with a digital tuner 4 years ago, cable started broadcasting in digital 3 months ago -- video quality went down, audio quality went loud....

///Digital tuner picks up all sorts of OTA TV with wonderful picture and video quality. I watch all my local news/channels OTA instead of the piss-poor transcoded cable company version.
 
2013-11-27 10:03:14 AM  
We may not be the fastest, but our Internet is the best!
 
2013-11-27 10:05:03 AM  

dkimball: I have 80Megabit download speeds with Verizon FIOS.  problem is: companies throttle from their end.  So I normally get 20Megabit download speeds.  Every once in a while, I get the full 80 (~10MB/sec)


Some maybe throttling, some do not necessarily throttle, but you're reaching their maximum output. I work in a private data center and up until two months ago our connection was 40Mbs I think we're now at 60, but still way less than gigabit and there's no way you'd get the full 80 due to other things using the bandwidth at the same time.

And it could very well be a connection in between that could be throttling.
 
2013-11-27 10:07:53 AM  

lennavan: LemSkroob: lennavan: Richard_The_Clown: Naw, it's a conspiracy between the MPAA and the RIAA.

My internet seems fast enough. Kind of curious to know how long it would take someone in South Korea to download the HD version of "Day of the Doctor" from iTunes. Took my computer about three minutes, which seems plenty fast to me.

Yeah, I felt that way when I upgraded to a 56.6k modem and downloaded a 150KB .jpg of Cindy Crawford in about 3 minutes.  What the hell would you need faster internet for?

The law of diminishing returns comes into play here.

the differnce between 15min and 3min? thats a lot. 3min and 1min? fairly significant. But now we are at the point where the difference in speed between tiers that most providers offer is closer to 8 seconds vs 3 seconds.

Right, for current file sizes.  I remember when 1 GB was an enormous sized hard drive.  Who the fark would ever need all that space?


It's getting really sciency in here. But informative. Also, don't forget the increasing quarterly dividend strains too.
 
2013-11-27 10:10:56 AM  

lennavan: Right, for current file sizes.


And for applications where bulk download is viable.  Consuming media is different from applications like, say, live streamed video chats. Or online video games. And these aren't just constrained by things like bandwidth, but also  network latency. I might be able to download 10GB from a server in a surprisingly reasonable amount of time, but how long does it take each individual packet to travel down the wire?

There's also one important technological truism:  usage grows to meet capacity. If you buy a bigger hard-drive, you will fill it. Networking is a little different- if you're the only one on Earth with a big fat pipe, you aren't going to get much usage out of it- you need other people who  also have those big fat pipes. New applications, new uses for networking resources will appear as network capacity grows and network latency shrinks.

Right now, the US lags behind the developed world. What's a minor handicap now is going to become a serious disadvantage.
 
2013-11-27 10:12:17 AM  
How much of this is just based on the size of the countries and population densities though. I mean something like Singapore is a tiny country, smaller in area than New York City. So with crazy population density I would totally expect them to have awesome infrastructure because with that kind of density it is way easier to maintain systems. But with larger countries like the US maintaining/upgrading infrastructure to places like Montana or worse Alaska is much more expensive. And if places like those have lower speeds it is going to pull down the average. I would be curious to see places like Singapore compared to populated areas, like Southern California or the US north east.
 
2013-11-27 10:23:55 AM  

mechgreg: How much of this is just based on the size of the countries and population densities though. I mean something like Singapore is a tiny country, smaller in area than New York City. So with crazy population density I would totally expect them to have awesome infrastructure because with that kind of density it is way easier to maintain systems. But with larger countries like the US maintaining/upgrading infrastructure to places like Montana or worse Alaska is much more expensive. And if places like those have lower speeds it is going to pull down the average. I would be curious to see places like Singapore compared to populated areas, like Southern California or the US north east.


The urban population density of the US is the same as the urban population density of South Korea. What you say is true for rural areas, but it doesn't explain the discrepancy in urban areas, where the majority of people live.
 
2013-11-27 10:24:44 AM  
There's a lot more porn flowing through our tubes than some countries.
 
2013-11-27 10:30:12 AM  

mechgreg: How much of this is just based on the size of the countries and population densities though. I mean something like Singapore is a tiny country, smaller in area than New York City. So with crazy population density I would totally expect them to have awesome infrastructure because with that kind of density it is way easier to maintain systems. But with larger countries like the US maintaining/upgrading infrastructure to places like Montana or worse Alaska is much more expensive. And if places like those have lower speeds it is going to pull down the average. I would be curious to see places like Singapore compared to populated areas, like Southern California or the US north east.


Which is a valid argument until you realise that NYC should then have blisteringly fast and reliable options available towards the top end of the scale.  It is a densely populated area after all.

But it doesn't and what 'high speed' internet options there are seem to be priced somewhere between 'your first born' and 'bite down, I'm coming in dry'.

Then you realise that America is already criss-crossed with unlit fibre... so the only reason you've got crappy overpriced packages is the companies themselves.
 
2013-11-27 10:33:05 AM  

Vaneshi: Which is a valid argument until you realise that NYC should then have blisteringly fast and reliable options available towards the top end of the scale.  It is a densely populated area after all.

But it doesn't and what 'high speed' internet options there are seem to be priced somewhere between 'your first born' and 'bite down, I'm coming in dry'.

Then you realise that America is already criss-crossed with unlit fibre... so the only reason you've got crappy overpriced packages is the companies themselves.


And that is all I was really asking, if you compare densly populated areas in the US is it still shiatty or does it improve. Like in Canada, it sounds like still shiatty.
 
2013-11-27 10:42:41 AM  

mechgreg: And that is all I was really asking, if you compare densly populated areas in the US is it still shiatty or does it improve. Like in Canada, it sounds like still shiatty.


Still shiatty.
 
2013-11-27 10:44:57 AM  

mechgreg: I would be curious to see places like Singapore compared to populated areas, like Southern California or the US north east.


Singapore
Southern California (A few months back TW added 150 Mbps service, before that it was 10.5 Mbps U-Verse or 3.5 Mbps DSL. MOst of the rest of SoCal hovers around 30 Mbps, give or take.)
US north east

Where there were multiple options, I picked the fastest one.
 
2013-11-27 11:10:26 AM  

Tyrone Slothrop: snowshovel: Meh. I was under the idea that it simply costs money to upgrade infrastructure for faster internet, and that would cut the money out of the pockets of telecom job creators.

Hopefully Google will start giving the current IPs an incentive to improve their infrastructure.




I doubt it. According to all of my Apple-using friends, Google is the evil company that must be destroyed.
 
2013-11-27 11:15:40 AM  

ManateeGag: There's a lot more porn flowing through our tubes than some countries.


We choose to download poon. We choose to download poon and do the other things, not because the girls are easy, but because we are hard.

/We just need the right inspiration.
 
2013-11-27 11:18:24 AM  

snowshovel: According to all of my Apple-using friends, Google is the evil company that must be destroyed.


i1.ytimg.com
No, no, no they didn't. But you could imagine what it'd be like if they did, right?

 
2013-11-27 11:35:57 AM  

Smeggy Smurf: That and the government is frightened by the idea that the average low information voter might choose to become educated instead of the state sponsored ignorance


People who call other people "low information voters" tend to not be terribly educated themselves, I've noticed.
 
2013-11-27 11:36:06 AM  
You mean a country 2000 times the size of Korea with a spread out rural and suburban population dOesn't have fast internet like super dense urban countries?

Romerocopter away
 
2013-11-27 11:36:32 AM  

RexTalionis: Smeggy Smurf: That and the government is frightened by the idea that the average low information voter might choose to become educated instead of the state sponsored ignorance

People who call other people "low information voters" tend to not be terribly well educated themselves, I've noticed.


FTFM
 
2013-11-27 11:40:52 AM  

mechgreg: How much of this is just based on the size of the countries and population densities though.


That's some of it but.

1) Notice how other countries with vast rural areas are doing.  The Nordic countries are doing much better, we're just barely doing better than farking Russia.

2) As someone mentioned already, you can raise that population density and knock down that size big time by eliminating certain areas.  New York state is more densely populated than places like Denmark and France.  If size and density were the only problem, you'd expect great speeds on the coasts and shiatty speeds in the Mountain time zone, but that's not what you see.
 
2013-11-27 11:43:35 AM  

Vaneshi: mechgreg: How much of this is just based on the size of the countries and population densities though. I mean something like Singapore is a tiny country, smaller in area than New York City. So with crazy population density I would totally expect them to have awesome infrastructure because with that kind of density it is way easier to maintain systems. But with larger countries like the US maintaining/upgrading infrastructure to places like Montana or worse Alaska is much more expensive. And if places like those have lower speeds it is going to pull down the average. I would be curious to see places like Singapore compared to populated areas, like Southern California or the US north east.

Which is a valid argument until you realise that NYC should then have blisteringly fast and reliable options available towards the top end of the scale.  It is a densely populated area after all.

But it doesn't and what 'high speed' internet options there are seem to be priced somewhere between 'your first born' and 'bite down, I'm coming in dry'.

Then you realise that America is already criss-crossed with unlit fibre... so the only reason you've got crappy overpriced packages is the companies themselves.




Monopolies given to cable companies back in the 70's/80's contributed.

/Once Comcast buys out TimeWarner, it will all get better.
 
2013-11-27 11:51:00 AM  

12349876: 2) As someone mentioned already, you can raise that population density and knock down that size big time by eliminating certain areas. New York state is more densely populated than places like Denmark and France. If size and density were the only problem, you'd expect great speeds on the coasts and shiatty speeds in the Mountain time zone, but that's not what you see.


I live in Seattle. You'd think we'd have very good internet here, but we really, really don't. The problem is lack of competition. Literally, my only choice is Comcast, which means Comcast doesn't have to upgrade anything to keep me around.
 
2013-11-27 11:55:04 AM  

mechgreg: How much of this is just based on the size of the countries and population densities though.


I looked around a bit and Maryland smaller than the Netherlands (32,133 km2 vs 41,543 km/2. Average down speed in Maryland: 7.6 Mbit (according to speedmatters), average down speed in the Netherlands: 38.7Mbit (according to tfa). Population density Maryland: 234.1 / km2 (wiki), and 404.9 / km2 for the Netherlands (also wiki).

This would mean that size probably isn't the deciding factor. Population density might matter a bit more.
 
2013-11-27 12:01:10 PM  

Mike Chewbacca: I live in Seattle. You'd think we'd have very good internet here, but we really, really don't. The problem is lack of competition. Literally, my only choice is Comcast, which means Comcast doesn't have to upgrade anything to keep me around.


Link
 
2013-11-27 12:07:51 PM  
Maybe it is because here we have a government agency that splits off a copy of everything for themselves so it doubles the load on the Internet...but then I'm hearing they spit of a copy of everything everywhere else.

Never mind.
 
2013-11-27 12:09:28 PM  
But we're still world leader in dark fiber, installed back in the 90's,  right?


/something something last mile
 
2013-11-27 12:10:38 PM  

TedCruz'sCrazyDad: /Once Comcast buys out TimeWarner, it will all get better.


Yes... yes I'm sure that'll help.  If you're a Comcast shareholder.
 
2013-11-27 12:18:32 PM  

DerAppie: This would mean that size probably isn't the deciding factor. Population density might matter a bit more.


It's more than population density. NYC has a population density of over 10,000/km2. The average speed in NYC is 22mb/s. The average speed in  all of NYS is 25mb/s. Average speed in Pittsburgh  and Philly is about 23mb/s. All of PA? 22mb/s. Chicago is also about 22mb/s.

What about LA? LA clocks in at a whopping 16mb/s on average (with an 8,000 person per km2 density). LA is beat out by Birmingham, AL's 17mb/s average, and in the same neighborhood as Vermont- with Vermont's dense 26 people per km2. Major population centers all average about 22mb/s, which is only slightly above the national average.

The idea that "oh, it's just geography- rural areas are dragging down the average!" doesn't fly.
 
2013-11-27 12:25:00 PM  
well, my internet may be slow by global standards, but at least it's expensive!
 
2013-11-27 12:25:04 PM  

pacified: You mean a country 2000 times the size of Korea with a spread out rural and suburban population dOesn't have fast internet like super dense urban countries?

Romerocopter away


This post comes pre-debunked.

It's a pretty awesome new feature.
 
2013-11-27 12:30:41 PM  

t3knomanser: DerAppie: This would mean that size probably isn't the deciding factor. Population density might matter a bit more.

It's more than population density. NYC has a population density of over 10,000/km2. The average speed in NYC is 22mb/s. The average speed in  all of NYS is 25mb/s. Average speed in Pittsburgh  and Philly is about 23mb/s. All of PA? 22mb/s. Chicago is also about 22mb/s.

What about LA? LA clocks in at a whopping 16mb/s on average (with an 8,000 person per km2 density). LA is beat out by Birmingham, AL's 17mb/s average, and in the same neighborhood as Vermont- with Vermont's dense 26 people per km2. Major population centers all average about 22mb/s, which is only slightly above the national average.

The idea that "oh, it's just geography- rural areas are dragging down the average!" doesn't fly.


Geography is only part of it. Places like Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Sweden also tend to have much newer infrastructure because they developed a little bit later than our large cities did. Our cities tend to be all running on older infrastructure like old copper cables, some of which may be up to 100 years old (in the case of DSL).
 
2013-11-27 12:36:22 PM  

TedCruz'sCrazyDad: /Once Comcast buys out TimeWarner, it will all get better.


I dread this.  I know people in other parts of the country may hate Time Warner, but their Milwaukee/Southeastern Wisconsin unit is actually quite good.  Stellar uptime and I get 15mbps for $40ish a month.

(Not nearly as good as other places in the world, I know, but for the United States and the Midwest especially, that's pretty good.)
 
2013-11-27 12:44:46 PM  

t3knomanser: DerAppie: This would mean that size probably isn't the deciding factor. Population density might matter a bit more.

It's more than population density. NYC has a population density of over 10,000/km2. The average speed in NYC is 22mb/s. The average speed in  all of NYS is 25mb/s. Average speed in Pittsburgh  and Philly is about 23mb/s. All of PA? 22mb/s. Chicago is also about 22mb/s.

What about LA? LA clocks in at a whopping 16mb/s on average (with an 8,000 person per km2 density). LA is beat out by Birmingham, AL's 17mb/s average, and in the same neighborhood as Vermont- with Vermont's dense 26 people per km2. Major population centers all average about 22mb/s, which is only slightly above the national average.

The idea that "oh, it's just geography- rural areas are dragging down the average!" doesn't fly.


Well done, I was too lazy to do the leg work on the cities (which is why I only went after size). Nice to see it worked out so nicely.

It does show, however, that higher population density dies increase the availability of higher internet speed within a country. At least if we compare the cities to Maryland.
 
2013-11-27 12:48:39 PM  

RexTalionis: Geography is only part of it.


Well, my point is that geography isn't a big factor,  except for explaining why rural areas perform poorly. The fact that dense, urban areas perform just as poorly, or nearly as poorly, should demonstrate that geography doesn't matter very much at all.

RexTalionis: much newer infrastructure


Much newer infrastructure is obviously the reason, and yes, part of that comes from developing more recently. But another part of it comes from the fact that both the public and private sectors have continually invested in improving infrastructure. Sweden is a technological leader in the world for a  reason.

The aging US infrastructure- roads, transport, telecom, and worst of all,  power,are aging  because we let them age. After a series of flurries of capital investment, we've simply sat back and expected the rewards to keep coming in, like they did the first time, because why should they ever stop? Now we carry a huge load of technical debt, and the cost to improve is only going to increase.
 
2013-11-27 12:49:38 PM  
NPR had a story a few months ago about how we also pay more for broadband than the rest of the world.

The problem is quite simple: lack of competition.

In most cities there is only one or two providers. This is because back in the day cities granted exclusive franchises to cable companies to operate in part or all of the of the city. And then that cable provider drags its feet on building out service to low income parts of the city.

So much for the free market.
 
2013-11-27 12:56:51 PM  

DerAppie: At least if we compare the cities to Maryland.


Actually, using the data from Speedtest.net, it appears that Maryland is much faster- 28mb/s. Baltimore's average is 18mb/s.
 
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