High speed Internet? Are you high?


I got a call over the weekend from a telemarketer that wanted me to switch to their “high-speed Internet” service.  He said he could save me a ton of money if I’d just sign up with him.

“How fast is high-speed?” I asked. 

“Up to 3 Mbps,” he replied, smugly. 

Let’s leave aside the hilarity of the “up to” part of his answer and focus instead on the raw speed.  Is 3Mbps fast?  Well sure, compared to dial-up; but seriously, is any serious Internet user still comparing their experience to dial-up?   What can you do with 3Mbps?  And I wonder why he didn’t mention upload speed?

I can’t imagine trying to squeeze all the things I need to do through a soda straw like 3Mbs.  Between the video conferencing, Slingbox media stream, surveillance webcam traffic, ftp uploads, RSS downloads, media downloads, email, messaging, gaming, not to mention the Internet habits of the rest of the folks in the house, it seems to me that the link to my house would be bulging like a worn out garden hose on a hot summer afternoon.

Which brings me to the next bit of gristle in the sandwich – fair access policy (FAP) enforcement.  You see, I’ve played this game a time or two.  I sign up with a service that promises “up to” a certain speed only to find out that they cap the usage of folks who actually need the speed the most.  And the company that called is one of the best at playing Whack-A-Mole with their most demanding users.

So I passed.

Just curious; what kind of broadband speed do you get?  What speed do you need?

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  1. #1 by shawn - June 15th, 2009 at 09:22

    get? 4mb down, 1mb up. It’s wireless and I live less than a mile from the tower as the crow flies. Need? As much as I can get. But, so far, this isn’t so bad. Works pretty much all the time and is quick enough to run a small blog from a WHS without too much trouble. Unlike my old Crapcast connection…

  2. #2 by Banner Stands - July 19th, 2009 at 16:44

    Has anyone tried the new Virgin, Fibre Optic broadband?

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