Group Calls For Faster U.S. Broadband Speeds

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News Posted: Tue, Aug 12 2008 7:12 PM

The high-speed Internet advocacy Web site, Speed Matters, has just released a report on the average Internet connection speeds by U.S. State. If you live in Rhode Island (6,769 Kbps), Delaware (6,685 Kbps), New Jersey (5,825 Kbps), Virginia (5,033 Kbps), or Massachusetts (4,564 Kbps), you can take pride that your state has one of the fastest average Internet download connection speeds in the U.S.

But before you get too smug, compare your speed against the average 63 Mbps download speed that the Communications Workers of America (CWA) claims Japan has... Or South Korea (49 Mbps), Finland (21 Mbps), France (17 Mbps), or even Canada (7.6 Mbps) for that matter.


Credit: Speed Matters

The report states that the overall average download speed for the U.S. is just 2.3 Mbps--only 0.4Mbps faster than the previous year. The states (or territory) with the slowest average speeds are Puerto Rico (499 Kbps), Alaska (814 Kbps), North Dakota (1,164 Kbps), Montana (1,320 Kbps), and Wyoming (1,325 Kbps). As far as upload speeds go, the U.S. average is 435 Kbps, with the fastest state, Delaware, at 1,483 Kbps, and the slowest state, Alaska, at 246 Kbps.

These results were collected from a survey of almost 230,000 Internet users who used the Speed Matters Internet speed test between May 2007 and May 2008. The Speed Matters site is an advocacy arm of the CWA, a large labor union of communications and media workers. The mission of the site is to promote high-speed Internet connections in the U.S., for economic growth, global competition, and to get broadband Internet connections into the homes of low-income families.


Credit: Speed Matters

"This isn’t about how fast someone can download a full-length movie. Speed matters to our economy and our ability to remain competitive in a global marketplace. Rural development, telemedicine and distance learning all rely on truly high-speed, universal networks." -- Larry Cohen, CWA President

The report offers an eight-step plan for how the CWA envisions the U.S. can meet the CWA's mission:

  • "Establish a national policy goal" of constructing an infrastructure that supports 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream by 2010.
  • "Develop state and national maps" of broadband deployment, adoption, speed, and prices.
  • "Create public-private partnerships" and task forces to stimulate high-speed Internet deployment and adoption.
  • Reform universal service subsidies to "support affordable, high-speed Internet for all."
  • Adopt programs that "provide free or low-cost computers to low-income households, expand community-based digital literacy, and fund grants for community-based public-interest broadband applications and services."
  • Create government "subsidies, low-interest loans, and tax incentives" to spur "the deployment of faster networks."
  • Ensure that there is "no degradation of service or censoring any lawful content," while recognizing that "reasonable network management is necessary to preserve an effective open Internet.
  • Create public policies that protect consumers and workers, and that "should support the growth of good, career jobs, and require the public reporting of deployment, actual speed, price, and service."

At least some of these steps are part of the Broadband Data Improvement Act, which was introduced by Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) in May 2007. The bill is currently with the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation--of which Senator Inouye is the chairman.

If you'd like to see how your downstream and upstream speeds compare to your neighbors, check out the Speed Matters Internet speed test here. How do your speeds compare to your state's average? Let us know in the comments below.



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Wow I love my 15mb connection but I don't see how someone in japan can use a 60+mbs.
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warlord replied on Tue, Aug 12 2008 9:48 PM

My house could with the wife streaming video of the olmipycs and the kids on youtube and streaming video everywhere on gods green earth  and of course 8 people gaming in my house at any 1 time. Wish i had a 100mbps

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Maybe but my girlfriend watches the Olympics and I was watching tekzilla in HD last night and downloading the new Elive distro and not touching it. Gaming online takes a surprisingly small amount of bandwidth. I bet some torrenters could use it up. I'm going to run a bandwidth monitor for a few days and see what I use.
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acarzt replied on Wed, Aug 13 2008 9:45 AM
IPTV
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rapid1 replied on Wed, Aug 13 2008 9:58 AM
Interesting my download is 20500-22841 and upload was 1497-1509 over 3 tests it says I upload faster than any other country and only loose the download test to Japan.
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My up and down are right at 15/15mb

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shanewu replied on Wed, Aug 13 2008 1:44 PM
Where do you live, bob?

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Grahf replied on Wed, Aug 13 2008 3:25 PM

How about insteading comparing the massive USA against these smaller, easily wired countries we instead compare states? Do so and you'll find we're not that bad off.

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rapid1 replied on Thu, Aug 14 2008 12:53 AM
That's whats weird I live about 40 miles north of Atlanta. So I saw the test and clicked it. When I got the first results I didn't believe it so I did it two more times. The only thing specific is this I have 2 on board nics there both pci xpress. I run em with a network bridge through XP pros network setup. But that's pretty common I also have another computer hooked to it. Either way that's the test results I got.
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shanewu:
Where do you live, bob?

Richmond, VA

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I need faster speeds.... much faster 300kb down and 75kb up....

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Hey man my mom only gets 150/30

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warlord replied on Thu, Aug 14 2008 4:50 AM

I get 8md down yet only 684k up

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Slow uptimes really kill you overall speed. I hate it when you get some crazy good downloads but complete crap uploads.

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warlord replied on Thu, Aug 14 2008 6:10 AM

Its the scurge of the south...lol...This  entire area in every direction for 200 miles same issue.

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ice91785 replied on Thu, Aug 14 2008 11:24 AM

With EVERYTHING being streamed everywhere now-a-days i would say that upping our overall speeds are probably nothing but beneficial for consumers... and Enterprises in many cases

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shanewu replied on Fri, Aug 15 2008 10:06 AM
Bob...So, what company in Richmond offers 15Mb/15Mb? I've never heard of an ISP that "good" in the states. Are you paying much for that?

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I have verizon FioS.

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rapid1 replied on Fri, Aug 15 2008 6:12 PM
Check this out this is hilarious there must be no internet customers on my node or something




Dear Friend,

Time's up. Pencils down.

How did you do on the SpeedMatters.org speed test?

Believe it or not, you had one of fastest connection speeds in the country – and you're probably paying a pretty penny for it. The majority of people who took the test didn't come close to scoring as high as you did.

But fact is, even some of the fastest internet connections in the United States pale in comparison to many of our global competitors like Korea, Sweden, and Japan. These countries have average speeds that are almost ten times faster than the United States -- at about 1/12 the cost to the consumer.

FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps has admitted "America's record in expanding broadband communication is so poor that it should be viewed as an outrage by every consumer and businessperson in the country."

It's time to fix this problem, and the first step is determining exactly where our current high speed networks reach -- and who is getting left behind.

You've already helped us begin to gather this crucial data by testing your Internet speed.

So what's next? Now you can help grow our movement and educate as many people as possible about the importance of improving our country's high speed Internet access. That way, when we demand our elected representatives take action, they'll hear us loud and clear.

Forward the message below to everyone you know, and ask them to join you in getting the U.S. up to speed.

Thank you,

Beth Allen
speedmatters.org Online Mobilization Coordinator

P.S. Don't forget to sign up for our weekly SpeedMatters.org blog update email to stay up-to-date on the nationwide effort to expand high speed Internet access and the amazing things that people are doing with the improved technology.

http://www.speedmatters.org/blogsignup
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rapid1 replied on Sat, Aug 16 2008 1:03 AM

I still don't get this how in the he77 can I have one of the fastest....... I have the regular power connection. I don't even have the highest speed offered I called and asked my ISP. They tried to get me to upgrade ROFL... I told them I was just calling to ask where my connection rated in price performance level and they said I was the standard not the limited not the extra speed middle of the road.......

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Don't you have FioS rapid1. THey try to get me to upgrade everytime I call about anything. Great internet horrible tech support by the way. On the bright side I now now a few things about configuring a routerBig Smile

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rapid1 replied on Sat, Aug 16 2008 2:04 PM

yeah, I am a hardware network engineer so I guess I have extended knowledge and have the network tweaked a bit, but I don't have FIOS yet. I asked about it but she said it wasn't here yet and wouldn't give me any definite on FIOS timeline. The only thing I can figure is multifaceted to a point I worked for Comcast in the past there were connection problems here for several years. Then Comcast bought Adelphia (the old provider) the problems still existed for about a month and a half. I wouldn't take any sole responsibility on this but I called and raised a bit of hell for a couple weeks I assume others were to. Then they ran 2 new lines of the thick underground cabling to my building. The buildings here are somewhat strange in that each floor of each building has a Siemens Com room. All the phone lines Cable Lines etc for the whole floor run through here which is a very nice (corporate setup) that you wouldn't expect in an apartment complex.On top of that the TV signal is mixed between dish and cable. So at least that splits the amount of customers on the line then the amount who have cable internet must be well under capacity for me to have a signal as strong as I do. I guess it's luck of the draw but from the strength I see with the signal level I have I would say there's 10 or less cable internet subscribers on this line for this floor of the building.

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Thats nice rapid. I was never that lucky when I had comcast.

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churin replied on Sat, Aug 16 2008 11:43 PM
I am visiting my mother in Japan who has FTTH connection whose speed is claimed to be nominal 100Mbps Up/Down. I personally measured connection speeds to and from various points and their typical speeds as follows:
1. Download from telocom's server: 89 - 92 Mbps
2. Download from Entry point to the ISP's backbone: 28Mbps
3. Download from ISP: 15Mbps
4. Down/Up within Japan:15/10Mbps
5. Down/Up from/To Atlanta/U.S.: 6/0.7Mbps
6. Down/Up from/to Sanfrancisco/U.S.: 10/0.8Mbps

1. above were mesured by a test site given by the telecom and the 2./3. were by test sites given by the ISP. 4. 5. and 6. were mesured by using Speedtest.net.

One tech support with the telecom company(NTT-Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Company) told me that internet connection speed varies with ISPs and that the typical speed within Japan is 30 to 40 Mbps. Another tech support from NTT said typical speed is 15 to 20Mbps.
I did see once 24Mbps download speed within Japan using speedtest.net.
The connection speed of 100Mbps to the nearest server as claimed by the telecom is very real. I questioned the ISP why in the world the connection speed is only a fraction of 100Mbps. Their response was that the speed is going down even within the telecom's network so that the speed at an entry point to their backbone is already way down, which they said is beyond their control.
The first hop is realy fast but it appears that rest of the network infrastructure needs catch up in order to fully utilize FTTH connection even within Japan, not to mention worldwide.

As to the article, I can believe 2.3Mbps download speed in U.S. but over 60Mbps in Japan does not appears to be average download speed but it could be the speed to telecom's CO or a server nearest to subscribers. The speed in Japan even by that definition appears unrealistic because the majority of Japanese still subscribe to ADSL whose speed tops out at 50Mbps. ADSL speeds available in Japan are 1M, 1.5M, 8M, 12M, 24M, 40, 50M. My another relative who is located in a small town subscribes to 12M ADSL and typical connection speed is 2Mbps because of location of their house relative to the CO. Their house is recently wired from a cable TV company by optical fibre wire so that they have option of subscribing to internet connection service at 30M Down/Up.
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rapid1 replied on Mon, Aug 18 2008 12:19 AM
Well I am skeptical of that test or there testing method. When I test on DSL reports I don't get that speed. I get decent speed but it's well under the astronomical figures the speed matters test gives. So somethings fishy here about the speed matters test as I tested through four sites around the nation on DSLreports. So I don't believe the speed matters test read.
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Some ISPs give you a speedbump when you have a speet test running.

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