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812 comments

Not so slow (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24908925)

See? First post

Re:Not so slow (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24909171)

the internet is so slow cause timmy touches himself at night

The Internet isn't slow.. (5, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24908931)

just the journalists who try to write about it.

Internet Axiom: The internet is slow (5, Insightful)

Nymz (905908) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909093)

...and it couldn't be any other way. Even if they built 100 times the bandwidth we have now, it would still be slow. Like George Carlin's routine about people buying stuff [youtube.com] that fills up their home, and when it's full they move all their stuff to a bigger house, so they can buy.. more.. stuff.

Re:Internet Axiom: The internet is slow (2, Insightful)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909169)

Well, duh. If they built 100 times the bandwidth and it was still flat-fee, use-as-much-as-you-like then... guess what... people will use as much as they like. If bandwidth is a scarce resource then just charge people per gigabit of data sent and received. Or arrange that the first N gigabits of data you transfer each day are high-priority, with priority dropping off (relative to other users of the same ISP) as you use more and more.

Re:Internet Axiom: The internet is slow (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909267)

So you are opposed to net neutrality ? Because every law I've seen about net neutrality forbids payment of any kind for prioritising traffic by end-users, making your second option worthless.

Big surprise once again ... people want basically unlimited amounts of some commodity (bandwith) and there is only finite supply. The fair solution is demand clients pay for it, but good luck trying to get that one sold to slashdotters.

An alternative is prioritisation based on usage limits (which is VERY hard to implement for technical reasons, but let's say it works), which would mean that playing quake (or WoW, or ...) online and downloading movies would basically be impossible (unless you accept 10s pings at 19h)

Banner ad's, dynamic content. (5, Insightful)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 5 years ago | (#24908933)

I have on occasion used Firefox plugins that filter out most banner ads. I've found my pages load about 70% faster. I watch the little status line at the bottom of Firefox and I've found that most of my "waiting" time is for advertisements.

I've also found DNS to be slow for some reason. Things that aren't cached on the local machine slow browsing down significantly (something else adverts contribute to).

Of course the people who just leave P2P applications running non-stop are a bit of a pain.

Re:Banner ad's, dynamic content. (4, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909009)

Apols, for just posting a "me too", but that's close to my experience, as well. Frequently when I actually have to wait for a website to load, FF has the link for an ad-farm or 'plex as the site being waited for.

The other thing that does delay websites is when their front page is a multi-megabyte FLASH. What's wrong with good ole plain text, guys?

Re:Banner ad's, dynamic content. (2, Informative)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909103)

I've also found DNS to be slow for some reason.

Try OpenDNS.

I used to have huge problems with http in the evenings, really long response times or timeouts. Some evenings we couldn't browse any websites for a couple of hours, even though ssh and games worked perfectly.

I changed to OpenDNS, and haven't had any problems since, not a single night of slow websites or timeouts. I think in my case, and perhaps in yours, the ISPs DNS servers are simply being swamped.

Re:Banner ad's, dynamic content. (1)

cryptodan (1098165) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909123)

I have on occasion used Firefox plugins that filter out most banner ads. I've found my pages load about 70% faster. I watch the little status line at the bottom of Firefox and I've found that most of my "waiting" time is for advertisements.

I've also found DNS to be slow for some reason. Things that aren't cached on the local machine slow browsing down significantly (something else adverts contribute to).

Of course the people who just leave P2P applications running non-stop are a bit of a pain.

For me, I always add the urls of banner ads to my host file and redirect them to 127.0.0.1. No slow downs for me when I browse websites.

I tried ad-blocker and found it more annoying then having ads on.

Javascript downloads are slowing things down too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24909235)

Not only are those ads a major slowdown, but the absurd amounts of Javascript used these days for various, often unused or even useless "features", are also slowing down websites. And that's *not* because Javascript executes slowly, but simply because all those scripts have to be downloaded as well. Often they are placed inside the body, so they have to be downloaded before the browser can render the site! So speedier Javascript engines are *not* goint to fix it.

Try for yourself: disable Javascript in your browser and surf the web. The effect of this on my Symbian mobile is even more dramatic. And well-built websites do not depend on Javascript to function properly, so disabling Javascript by default is a good option.

I have no idea what they're talking about (4, Insightful)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#24908935)

Is this a US phenomenon? My Internet seems to be pretty much as fast as always and I don't do filesharing. The reason Granny waits for her webpages is because she still uses dial-up and webpages have become increasingly dial-up unfriendly.

Why Granny still uses dial-up (1, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909059)

The reason Granny waits for her webpages is because she still uses dial-up

The reason Granny still uses dial-up is because the broadband providers haven't reached her house yet. Instead of spending money on rolling copper or fiber into less-urban areas, the providers are spending all their spare money on backbone transit for bandwidth-hogging customers' packets.

Re:Why Granny still uses dial-up (2)

EdZ (755139) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909095)

I wish! Most fibre is still dark. Granny is using dial-up because a nice man over the telephone gave her a 'good deal' on it after a long chat.

Re:Why Granny still uses dial-up (3, Insightful)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909099)

Of course. That 'granny' is often in a less dense, or poorer, neighborhood. Why spend money there when spending the same investment in a customer dense, higher income neighborhood gets a lot more services purchased with a lot more margin for profit? Even for DSL, which requires only network setup at the Telco offices, if the homes are further away from the switching office the customers will get much less bandwidth.

That backbone transit is not only for the home customers, it's for the serious business customers. Take a good look at the bandwidth costs for your workplace: it's not cheap.

Backbone transit, lol (5, Interesting)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909115)

Big ISP don't pay for backbone transit, they have peering agreements. And content providers pay for the transit, in cash and service, it's spelled A.K.A.M.A.I.
You've fallen prey to the corporate american bullshitocracy. They are trying to lobby and lawyer their way out of a technical problem instead of investing in network and equipment.
My ISP [www.free.fr] did that, they have zero caps whatsoever, they make shitloads of money. It's not in the US, obviously.

Re:Backbone transit, lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24909277)

Uh, yes, and Free is also one of the shittier French ISPs, limiting bandwidth to other French ISPs and generally dropping non-ICMP packets. Why not drop all of them? Because then they can say "but see, ping shows no packet loss, it's all in your head."

Free is a pretty bad ISP, using it as an example of something good is just stupid.

Re:Why Granny still uses dial-up (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24909155)

bullshit.

they don't roll it out to less-densely-populated areas because it takes much longer to recoup the money they put out. it's not cost-effective, so it doesn't happen.

what isp do you work for?

Re:Why Granny still uses dial-up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24909227)

the providers are spending all their spare money on backbone transit for bandwidth-hogging customers' packets.

No they're not. They're spending all their money at golf courses, and whining that it's "just not worth it" to buy a $1,000 DSL card for your neighborhood, even though ALL the other infrastructure is in place (including fiber within 1/4 mile of your driveway) and it would take them 20 minutes to score a DSL customer for life.

Re:I have no idea what they're talking about (1)

swarsron (612788) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909125)

seems to be. Ten years ago i look enviously at the US because of the connectivity they had. Today i have a 18/1 mbit dsl connection without caps for 30 Euros/month and just have to wonder what happened over there (probably nothing)

Re:I have no idea what they're talking about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24909151)

I have a 30/10 mbit fiber connection for 55 USD a month. Bit more than you pay, even after taking into account that American money is almost worthless, but it's also faster. My last connection was 15/1.5 for 45 USD a month. These are home based connections, nothing out of the ordinary. 30/10 was provided by Verizon and 15/1.5 was Time Warner.

Re:I have no idea what they're talking about (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909243)

I'm in Germany and yes, parts of the internet are slow. DNS can take ages (upwards of fifteen seconds aren't unusual on a slow day) and on slow days I seem to spend most of my waiting time between the DNS lookup and "Waiting for XYZ...". It fluctuates heavily and doesn't seem to correlate with heavy usage periods - for example, right now everything's fine even though it's sunday afternoon.

Re:I have no idea what they're talking about (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909283)

Ah, I guess I'd have to switch to my ISPs DNS server in order to find out if it makes a difference. I run my own DNS server since ages and never saw a need to switch back. (Yeah, a full power one, not merely a forward cache DNS)

Re:I have no idea what they're talking about (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909251)

> Is this a US phenomenon?

It's a personal problem.

> My Internet seems to be pretty much as fast as always and I don't do filesharing.

Same here (in the rural US. Of course, I also don't download any ads.

> The reason Granny waits for her webpages is because she still uses dial-up and webpages
> have become increasingly dial-up unfriendly.

You're right, but granny still doesn't think broadband is worth the extra cost. She's willing to wait a few minutes to see the pictures of the grandkids.

What's the problem? (5, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 5 years ago | (#24908939)

A contract cuts both ways. People were ranting about personal responsibility when that family got hit by $18k roaming charges a few stories ago by AT&T. Companies need to hold themselves to the contract too, they signed the contract saying they'll provide a service under the given terms, so when a user takes advantage of it they have nothing to complain about. If they have oversold their capacity that is solely the ISPs problem.

Re:What's the problem? (1)

Chief Camel Breeder (1015017) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909081)

... Companies need to hold themselves to the contract too ...

Yes, I agree. But in the domestic-broadband contracts (in the UK) I have seen, the over-subscription and contention are written in. We need some ISPs to offer better contracts. If you have such a contract I'm very happy for you and please tell us all who, where and how much.

Re:What's the problem? (5, Insightful)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909083)

You can be pretty damn sure the contracts are so onesided the company isn't required to really do anything.

Re:What's the problem? (4, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909201)

Of course, you are correct. But we're going to hear a lot more about how "the few are making it slow for the many" because the telecoms and ISPs are looking for a big price increase.

They're jealous of the oil industry, who was able to raise prices by 300 percent in a few years.

Believe me, now that the oil industry has raised the bar for profit, the other monopolistic industries are going to go whole hog, especially if their favorite Party gets another four years in office.

 

Re:What's the problem? (2, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909207)

What's the problem?

The real one? That in the US it's far too easy to terminate customers that you don't want. If they tried anything like the blameshifting in the US our consumer protection agency would tell them to put a sock in it and fix their terms. I do remember them trying here in Norway with X Mbit/s for Y GB, then ISDN-speed = 64 kbps for the rest of the month or pay an extra boost. It was pretty much a flop so now the commonly understood definiton is that "X Mbit" means that speed 24/7. Also they've been pretty strict on the "up to" under normal circumstance, on the highest tier it's "as much as possible" but on lower tiers it's fairly strict. So if they're offering up to 2, 5 and 20Mbit but only able to deliver 12 (dsl line speed) then that's fair for the 20Mbit, but if you're not normally delivering 5Mbit on the 5Mbit service you'll be in trouble.

In the US, particularly in the monopoly areas (which we don't have much of because the telco giant must lease the lines to others btw) it seems people are afraid to complain because what'll happen is that there'll be a stink, they might get some petty cash and the company will terminate their broadband access and say they don't want them as customer anymore, which means they're back to dialup. Seriously, if any company here tried to terminate or deny customers service on such vague grounds they'd be slapped so hard they just don't do it. If all it costs you is some petty cash to get rid of a "problem" customer who's using a lot of bandwidth and isn't profitable anyway forever, they'll do it. And if you think PR - a heavy user telling other users, which often are also heavy users, to stay the hell away from them is not bad PR - it's good PR to lose customers you don't want in the first place.

Yeah! (5, Interesting)

wodeh (899541) | more than 5 years ago | (#24908943)

Yeah! Damn all those people slowing down *my* internet by using the bandwidth that they paid for! Damn them for cutting into ISPs profit margins. People who expect to get what was advertised to them and what they paid for are nothing but dirty rotten thieves, stealing from the pockets of poor, disadvantaged company directors the world over!

Re:Yeah! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24909025)

In other words, ISPs sell more bandwidth than they can cover because they assume you will only use 5% of what you pay for.

I know why they do that, but hey, a little more headroom wouldn't hurt. If a few saturated consumer connections can make your entire net sluggish, you are cutting it too close.

Re:Yeah! (-1, Troll)

bwalling (195998) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909085)

People who expect to get what was advertised to them and what they paid for are nothing but dirty rotten thieves, stealing from the pockets of poor, disadvantaged company directors the world over!

Interesting that you use the phrase "what they paid for" in defending people who are illegally downloading large volumes of copyrighted material.

Re:Yeah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24909143)

They paid for the bandwidth -- using it isn't illegal.

It's a pretty big leap to assume that they're using the bandwidth for illegal downloads.

Just maybe they're using the bandwidth for legal streaming?

Re:Yeah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24909161)

There are other ways to clog your tube, you know. Especially up-stream.

Re:Yeah! (2, Interesting)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909179)

Interesting that you use the phrase "what they paid for" in defending people who are illegally downloading large volumes of copyrighted material.

Yep. Because they paid for the bandwidth. And that remains true regardless of whether they're downloading pr0n, sharing movies, running a 24/7 multi-webcam stream or just streaming white noise between locations.

You can't have it both ways. If the law is the law, then it protects the subscribers right to fully use the service they paid for, just as it does much as rights of copyright holders. You can't justify throttling everyone just because some of those people using the full amount they contracted to have available may be engaging activities that arguably impact the profitability of the big studios and software houses.

Re:Yeah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24909213)

Ah, another example of slashdot's I-don't-agree-therefore-it's-a-troll policy.

Re:Yeah! (2, Interesting)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909279)

...or telecommuting (which I do a lot of)

...or videoconferencing

...or video/media streaming (YouTube et al)

...or using a third party VoIP application (Lots of this too)

...or doing any of a thousand other perfectly legal and legitimate reasons for a private individual to be sending or receiving lots of data. (Collaborative video projects as a personal anecdote)

That said, I've been quite happy with FiOS in that I've never seen slowdown that I could attribute to the network itself. Part of the problem with cable is everyone on the block shares the same coax, and therefore the same bandwidth. FiOS has dedicated fiber runs from each house on the block to a head-end with very high bandwidth so there's no congestion there.
=Smidge=

Re:Yeah! (1)

stevied (169) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909165)

OTOH, scarce resource availability during "peak hours" is not exactly a new phenomenon. I pay the government to provide "road bandwidth", but my journey time through my town still doubles during the rush hour, and I doubt any amount of complaining is going to change that.

For stuff that doesn't have to be done at the same time as everything else, it only seems considerate to defer it. My ISP dislikes P2P between (IIRC) 6pm and 11pm; if you persistently hog bandwidth during those hours they move you to a separate bandwidth allocation pool which is shared with the other hogs. Outside that time, you can do what you want (lawsuit risks [slashdot.org] notwithstanding) - that seems pretty reasonable ..

Another point that might be worth making: my ISP could install enough capacity, and buy sufficient transit from their upstream(s), to allow everyone to run their links at full throttle, but that wouldn't guarantee that the remote 'leaf' networks people want to access would be up to the job..

Re:Yeah! (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909265)

Well the problem with this shared network layout is that you are paying for your bandwidth and the other guys who is abusing his. The guy is like someone in a Chinese Buffet who goes and fills his plate with shellfish and leaving none or little for everyone else (in many cases they get full before they finish the plate throwing half of it out. , as it could take some time for a new batch to be cooked. It is rude of them to abuse a shared network, even though they are paying for a fair share they are abusing the fair share.

Next if you cut into the ISP profit margins (which are a lot lower then you really think, as most companies will take those margins and put them into growing the company, hire more people, new equitment....) But if you cut into their margins nothing good will come from it. They will either raise there rates (people don't like that), Throttle The Speed (people don't like that), Throttle speeds allowing approved sites more access others limited (Network Neutrality debate here), Charge per usage (people don't like that as it makes it hard to budget as well you may get sticker shocked).

In reality there isn't much you can do except trying to make a point if you are on a shared network try to be considerate of other people when using you network. Download a movie that you want to watch fine (watch it while it is downloading, you can do that now you know) but don't download as much as you can, just so you have it there. I have seen people who are addicted to downloading large amount of data and the bulk of it they just don't use or even touch that just made bandwith slower for everyone else with no gain.

Duh. (1)

stjobe (78285) | more than 5 years ago | (#24908945)

Yes? Is this astounding, breathtaking news?
I would have guessed the ratio closer to 20-80, but still?

It's not news, it's astronews (1)

pieterh (196118) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909163)

The real news, not much discussed, is the way that "Major ISPs" are being absorbed into the old telecoms cartels. This news is not about bandwidth at all. It's about turning the heat up on the pirates by blaming them for bad service (which as many posters have explained, is a bogus argument). The attacks on "bad users" of the Internet is part of a campaign to filter, lock down, and shackle the Internet so that it stops being a threat to the telcos and the music / movie / TV industries.

Once the telco/ISPs have isolated the "pirates" as the bad guys, it's simple to keep stretching the border between "good" and "bad" use of the Internet until we're back in 1980 where every thing one did with a telco line had to be sanctioned and paid for, or one was disconnected.

It's about banning VoIP, banning streaming, banning anything that is not part of the profitable communications and media cartel system.

Anyone in doubt at the reality of ISPs + old media vs. the Internet should be aware of the Telecoms Package (4 directives) going through the European Parliament this month. Not nice stuff.

So That's Why! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24908957)

Because of me!

Does it irk anyone else that the teaser blurb that appears on Slashdot for articles gets tagged with something like "Anti-Globalism writes" when it was a sentence taken from the first paragraph of the article? It makes it seem like Anti-Globalism wrote that sentence himself, when he obviously didn't unless he's Chris Wilson, the author of TFA.

Why is poor granny picked on as an example? (2, Interesting)

DamonHD (794830) | more than 5 years ago | (#24908959)

I don't have any grannies of my own left, but I have no reason to believe that every otherwise canny granny has a slower connection than you or that she hasn't discovered the delights of FasterFox or premium service or whatever! Try to give up the annoying and patronising stereotypes...

Back to the point: it's called the tragedy of the commons. Shared and limited resources are misused by the greedy or impatient or desperate.

Perhaps we'll need peak-hour kWh and MB charges to help persuade people to use those resources sensibly and fairly, and not be too anti-social.

I just paid 3x more than baseline up front, negotiated with my ISP, volunteered an AUP for my own usage, and I down-regulate my traffic when there is Net congestion, and hey-ho! I'm not disappointed with my service.

Rgds

Damon

It Sounds Darn Nice (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909117)

I have no reason to believe that every otherwise canny granny has a slower connection than you or that she hasn't discovered the delights of FasterFox or premium service or whatever!

Some grannies live in parts of the United States where "premium service" is ISDN.

Re:Why is poor granny picked on as an example? (1)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909275)

My 'granny' is running Ubuntu with cable, few other cable subscribers (internet, anyhow) around her, and still complains her internet connection is too slow.

Incompetence from ISPs (3, Insightful)

francium de neobie (590783) | more than 5 years ago | (#24908961)

It's ok to blame the users for clogging up your pipes if the pipes you have a already the best in the world.

But it's not ok to do so when there're plenty of people in the likes of France, South Korea, Japan and Hogn Kong who're already having 100Mbps+ at home, at a much cheaper price, and not-so-clogged up.

Re:Incompetence from ISPs (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909029)

i totally agree, i think broadband ISPs CEOs & CIOs better start upgrading the infrastructure instead of buying that second vacation home on the lake...

Re:Incompetence from ISPs (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909039)

Is there any major webserver that delivers that download speed?

Content Delivery Networks (1)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909147)

Akamai and friends. Costly service, but delivers (or is at least supposed to deliver) that much.
Google has its own infrastructure to achieve the same kind of thing.

Re:Incompetence from ISPs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24909043)

Korea are already rolling out 1gbps net services to the home. I think the highest I've seen here in the US is 50/20mbps on FiOS, which comes in at $140/month in my area. I have the 20/20mbps service for $65/month, and I do get those figures.

Re:Incompetence from ISPs (1)

mmu_man (107529) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909111)

Mind you it's sometimes slow as well in France...
Mostly nonwebsites (flash, but its blazing fast to load a white page when I disable it...) and ads...

Oh, and /. is awfully slow in the comments page with all the javascript loading everything at once... on firefox on both BeOS and XP it hogs the cpu... it *looks* easy to use until you get 30 comments, but we all know only stories about Cowboy Neal gets less than 30.

Population densities... (3, Insightful)

WallaceAndGromit (910755) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909139)

Realize, though, the population densities [wikipedia.org] are much, much higher in the Asian countries you mentioned (>300 people/km^2) as compared to the US (31 people/km^2), which likely makes it much, much more cost effective to connect all of those people together at high rates. I, for one, would rather have slow internet than 10 more people per every one person who already lives in the square km around me (I live in a suburban area).

I don't buy the premise, just yet (4, Interesting)

iritant (156271) | more than 5 years ago | (#24908965)

This report is perhaps based on a false premise. While it may be true that 5% of all the users are using 50% of the bandwidth, that's only because the rest of us aren't as demanding. Were we so demanding, TCP, which is what most of the world runs on, would provide more of a fair share. It wouldn't be perfect, mind you, but particularly with WFQ, if you're using more there is a larger chance that your traffic will drop. This doesn't hold true with UDP-based applications that are less friendly to the network.

Also, where is that 50% measured? Is it on peering points or is it at the access point? If it's at the access point then (A) it could be p2p traffic that never transits a backbone and (B) some of that traffic could be dealt with by making arrangements with content providers like Akamai to bring the content closer.

Not just the poor granny.. (2, Interesting)

heteromonomer (698504) | more than 5 years ago | (#24908979)

it's most of us who are not gamers and online video file sharers. I just don't have the time to do those things. I find a lot of other things (including my research) exciting enough. And I find my internet access annoyingly slow (particularly the latency), during weekends and other times when I expect it to be normal or good.

If the story that it is due to 5% of the users is true, I feel it should be set right.

Re:Not just the poor granny.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24909193)

Wasn't it not too long ago that the bandwidth actually being was like 5-10% of the real capacity? So maybe 5% of the users are using 50% of the bandwidth _being used_, which is still a very small part of the network.

Slow websites (5, Insightful)

SigILL (6475) | more than 5 years ago | (#24908989)

Nah, it's more because website designers still haven't figured out how to make compact, fast-loading websites. They swear by flash, while we swear at it. They forget to set content expiry properly so your browser reloads all their little images every time you revisit their site (yes Greg Dean of Real Life Comics, I'm looking at you). They consider their site to be "unfinished" if its frontpage is below 500 kbyte.

That site mentioned in the article, ancestry.com, has 59,6 kbyte of HTML, 56,99 kbyte of CSS, 64,88 kbyte of images and a whopping 314,39 kbyte of scripts, totalling 495,91 kbyte. And most of the non-image content isn't even compressed! No wonder it's slow.

Re:Slow websites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24909131)

1. Real Life Comics sucks, it's the king of "talking head" and "copy-paste" comics. Read better comics. But on to objective matters:

2. Your browser sucks. http://www.reallifecomics.com/ [reallifecomics.com] sets an ETag [w3.org] for every page. After loading the page once and reloading, Firebug shows a string of 304 Not Modified responses.

Since the site also supports Keep-Alive stringing along a bunch of "not modified" requests shouldn't be a big deal. Firebug shows a load time of about 200ms for every cached resource. (500ms for the main page which isn't cached, 200ms for everything else.)

I suppose setting the "Expires" header could be even more cache-friendly, but you may want to check your browser's cache settings.

Re:Slow websites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24909133)

The Reallifecomics creator seems like someone who would do something about that if you'd mail him explaining the problem. Have you tried that?

Re:Slow websites (1)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909137)

What tool did you use to measure that? How can you tell if a page is sent compressed?

Re:Slow websites (1)

dustpuppy (5260) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909145)

The ol 'designers haven't figured out how to design efficient website' argument is rolled out now and then and it think it's time it was put to rest.

We're not on dialup anymore - there is no need to waste time on getting the most minimalistic (in terms of file size) anymore. Yes it's a nice to have, but no longer essential. Even mobile phones which are the closest to dial-up are heading down the fast 3G route.

It's the same as to why we don't need to program in machine code anymore to make the most 'efficient' program possible ... it's okay to use higher level coding tools.

I reckon most of these 'the internet is too slow' articles are just a media beatup. I'm yet to meet anyone who has 'slow' internet.

Re:Slow websites (1)

NoName Studios (917186) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909167)

Minus the Javascript for the fancy image display that I am highly considering taking out, I get concerned when my home page goes over 50kbs. This is not counting the pages with gallery images on them because it is expected they will be much larger. The gallery thumbnail pages are about 100kbs which does not include the Javascript.

I think I am just going remove that Javasript.

"WHO" (Comcast) might have paid for that "ad"? (3, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#24908993)

How incredibly obvious and transparent is this ad? This is not a problem for DSL providers because they have bandwidth limiting built in to their service. Only cable has the problem described where there is bandwidth sharing going on.

Comcast is appealing the FCC ruling with the courts. I hope they lose, but it is pretty easy to imagine that they will win by arguing something stupid like "we provide the internet and we need to control it."

Advertising doesn't help (1)

antic (29198) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909011)

In my general travels through news sites and places like Slashdot, a good portion of waiting comes from the third-party embedded ads. When I hit some Slashdot pages, it can literally take 5-8 or so seconds (count it out - that's slow for a page that's largely text) to show the content. For most of that time, the status bar is flickering with action from one of Doubleclick or Mediaplex's (I think) ad servers.

Two words (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909013)

Flat Rate...

 

Re:Two words (4, Funny)

badpazzword (991691) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909069)

The point is not about the cost, the point is about this mythical 5% group of cancer/hackers/sharers/etc. who are at fault of everything that's wrong with internet. They are killing the music industry, They are killing the films industry, They are killing the videogame industry, They shamelessly copy copyrighted content to their computers, They disrupting the ad industry with filthy plugins, They do not contribute to the OOS movements, and they are the cancer who is killing random boards on weird websites.

It's always Them.

Re:Two words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24909173)

And for some reason chemo always fails...

Can't say it's slow (1)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909015)

My three gig movies and online games work just fine ...

In other words: Build better infrastructure, all the providers try to sell broadband HD content and Triple-Pay. How can they complain about 5% using what they are trying to market to everybody? Hypocrites.

Re:Can't say it's slow (2, Informative)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909045)

Come to think of it btw. a while back my provider here in Germany tried to buy "power users" out of their contracts for a 100â bonus. I courteously but firmly declined the two letters and several phonecalls they gave me. During one of the telephone conversations though I was told that for my 6Mbit line the average calculated downstream "should not exceed 20GB/month" in their calculation. So they rent lines to people that are supposed to do a mere 1% (6Mbit 24/7 = ~1800GB a month / 20 = ~0.01) of their theoretical throughput. In my calculation that's about a fifth of what I actually use. And a lot of bullshit. It's not the customers, it's the bad price calculation on the ISP side.

Re:Can't say it's slow (1)

sakusha (441986) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909223)

There you go. The ISP pricing model is based on the assumption that most customers will use far less bandwidth than they are paying for, so they averaged things out and priced on what would be profitable for an average user. In a sense, granny's once a week email account is subsidizing the video sharing users. If everyone used high amounts of bandwith, they'd just price things higher.
Even in the days of dialup, resource hogs were a problem. I remember battling with my university's online service provider back in the early dialup days, when a couple of users had scripts to reconnect every time they got disconnected from a timeout, monopolizing a few lines in the scarce dialup modem pool.

This is just the latest shot in the war to raise prices. And prices WILL go up. Have you ever seen a service like this, that lowered prices over time?

It's the market (3, Insightful)

pmontra (738736) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909017)

If the premise of the article is right let's cut the Internet connections of that 5% of power users. We end up using only 50% of the available bandwidth and ISP paying more than they should. I bet that they'll quickly sell the unused bandwidth (it's called cost reduction and profit maximization) and poor granny will start waiting for Ancestry.com again.

The Internet will never be fast because ISPs will give us no more than what we need to use it in a more or less acceptable way.

By the way, how it comes that poor granny's connection is slow while power users play WoW without problems?

Games? (4, Insightful)

bcmm (768152) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909021)

Have online games started using large amounts of bandwidth (instead of trying to minimise traffic in the interests of latency) since I last played a new game?

Or are they just something that the aforementioned Granny doesn't do, and therefore probably antisocial?

What does this mean? (3, Interesting)

jrothwell97 (968062) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909027)

It means the ISPs haven't been bothered to fix the pipes. The ISPs should be able to provide for both users seeding their BT files, and Granny with her Windows 98 machine trying to find out what great-great-grandma did for a living. I can understand, perhaps, if users were downloading the Wikipedia database dump every hour (and then mirroring it) but we're not in 1997 any more.

Besides size, many sites are "Slow" today... (4, Insightful)

onlysolution (941392) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909035)

Because of improperly implemented ad or site statistics scripts. I cannot even begin to count how many times I have thought a site was being served up slow due to network congestion only to see "waiting for doubleclick/google/etc" in the status bar...

Monopolies (1)

Netsplitter (983360) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909037)

Monopolies and their typical game of artificial scarcity. It seems that most countries each have their own token monopoly telecom giant who is holding everyone back so they can make an extra few million $ while selling back something that is relatively cheap for them to produce at a much higher cost.

it's all about cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24909041)

so granny and ancestry needs to upgrade their connection to the great big cloud

Um wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24909047)

This is all bullshit.

The technological ability to push data through every larger curve is on a logarithmic curve just like everything else in science.

The one problem is cost of roll out and really is pretty damn cheap in large population centers. The problem is the urban areas which happen to be a lot of places in large countries like the US.

If the government subsidized the cost of running line far out into rural areas with the Internet, as it does with TV and Phone service, we'd be seeing the social benefit immediately.

There is absolutely no reason why we shouldn't wire up every home with 100Mbit up and down and have the backbone that can support all that speed at full duplex within 10 years. The technology is there and the one time cost is little more then wiring and routing equipment.

Duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24909051)

It's called "The Tragedy of the Commons" Allow everyone unlimited use of a shared resource, and some people will abuse it, reducing the utility of the resource to every else. The only solution is to charge those who use more bandwidth proportionately more. This is Economics 101 stuff, and I've been saying this for years now.

Scapegoat (5, Insightful)

WoollyMittens (1065278) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909063)

If we let ISP's vilify a minority as an excuse for their aging copper-wire infrastructure, instead of forcing them to upgrade it to European/Asian standards, then their greed with stifle and choke the last growth market the USA has: intellectual property. Good luck selling your movies and music online if downloading is strictly rationed.

Maybe gramma needs a new abacus? (1)

ccguy (1116865) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909071)

While these 'power users' are sharing three-gig movies and playing online games, poor granny is twiddling her thumbs waiting for Ancestry.com to load.

I think poor granny needs her computer and/or internet service checked or upgraded.

I'm one of those 'power user' and even when I'm maxing out my pipe with non-interactive* stuff I still get good browsing speeds. I don't see how my downloading habits can affect granny but not me.

*interaction starts once the download has completed, so it's irrelevant here.

If you can't beat them, join them (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909077)

If 5% are consuming 95% of the bandwidth, then clearly the best option is to run a bittorent tracker, edonkey, gnutella nodes and an ftp mirror all the time. Might as well get my money's worth while I'm paying for something they are using.

The sooner the bandwidth is used up, the sooner a sane pricing model will appear. So, fuck you all, I'm off to mirror ibiblio and anything else I can think of.

 

Re:If you can't beat them, join them (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909237)

Ah, yes, charge more for less. Because ISPs could not possible invest into new networks, like they were given money to by the government. That would be too expensive. How would they afford those mansions and luxury jets? Will someone please think of the ISP execs?

bias (2, Interesting)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909089)

Anti-Globalism writes "The major ISPs all tell a similar story: A mere 5 percent of their customers are using around 50 percent of the bandwidth, sometimes more, during peak hours. While these 'power users' are sharing three-gig movies and playing online games, poor granny is twiddling her thumbs waiting for Ancestry.com to load."

Wow. Awesome. About two lines of text but they pack two dimensions of bias. While I"m sure most here will descent into the discussion with the 5% vs. 50% angle
Anti-Globalist(?) also attempts to convey the idea that somehow text traffic is obsolete / desired to a lesser degree - i.e. "granny" in a pursuit of a topic most find extremely boring.

Peak Packet Near at Hand! (1)

arpad1 (458649) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909101)

With no new source of packets the era of cheap internet communications is coming to an end.

"We need to build a new Internet based on sustainable technology. We can no longer depend on an unending stream of cheap, easily-obtain packets to fuel the Internet. Plant-based packets, while still expensive and difficult to obtain are the only way to go if we are to move confidently into the twenty-first century", said movie star and technology guru Sean Penn.

Some critics maintain that recently-discussed slowing of the Internet is due to the escalating cost of packets but others maintain that the slowing is due to artificial constraints engineered by OPEC - the Organization of Packet Exporting Countries - in a bid to seize control of the Internet.

"For too long the wealthy nations of the west have treated the Internet as if it belonged to them when in fact, without a steady supply of cheap packets the Internet would not exist." said H.E. Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika, Malawian minister of Trade and Private Sector Development. "Malawian packet mines are too valuable a national resource to allow them to be exploited by wealthy, western nations where they are used to download pornography and pirate music."

Dr. Mutharika went on to outline a proposal to trademark high quality, natural, Malawian packets to differentiate them from the cheaply-made and inferior Chinese packets that are flooding the market.

"Consumers should be aware that cheap, artificial packets can clog the Internet's pipes and can easily cause modems to explode violently", Dr. Mutharika warned. "Natural packets are safe to use and protect the pristine beauty of the natural Internet."

Sheesh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24909119)

Have the australians moved to america....

Oh man, poor Granny (5, Insightful)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909121)

She's being victimized by the file traders! And we, the ISPs, are powerless to help! If only there were some way to make Granny's internet connection higher priority. Some kind of . . . service quality protocol. Quality of Service, perhaps. We could call it that. But no such thing exists, of course, because if it did, we'd be using it by now. And we aren't. So.

But even if it did, it would rely on web traffic being easily recognizable. And it isn't! It's not like virtually all web traffic goes through a specific "port" or anything. And it's not like HTTP connections are easy to check for and flag as "higher priority". The technology *just doesn't exist*, and can never be developed. Ever.

And even if that all existed, well, of course it would be impossible to implement it! For reasons I don't feel like explaining right now. Just trust me. And I suppose we *could* just buy more bandwidth but, whoops, that takes too much money! Money which we've spent on . . . uh, we just don't have it. That's right. We don't have it. It's . . . I think someone else has it. Ask them. I guess, instead of solving the problem, we'll just have to whine at the lawmakers until they prop up our badly-designed business. Wait that's not right. Let me try that again. We'll have to complain in news articles and attempt to villainize our customers who foolishly took our contracts as contracts. No, no, no, that's not right at all. Man I just can't think of the proper solution right now.

Well, to make a long story short, we're too cheap to solve the problem QUICK LOOK OVER THERE it's an elderly person who's being inconvenienced by those damn hoodlums again! Think of your grandmother!

HTTP tunnels (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909157)

Some kind of . . . service quality protocol. Quality of Service, perhaps. We could call it that. But no such thing exists, of course, because if it did, we'd be using it by now.

What's to stop every file sharer from turning up the QoS for all packets?

It's not like virtually all web traffic goes through a specific "port" or anything.

Especially now that so many applications are tunneled over HTTP or HTTPS in order to coast through corporate firewalls.

Re:HTTP tunnels (1)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909191)

If someone's downloading 200 gigabytes of webpages every month, they're probably not browsing Slashdot. Rig up HTTP/80 with a standard refilling bandwidth bucket several times larger than anyone really ever uses, and if the bucket runs out, drop their priority back down to "bulk data".

As a bonus, if someone is downloading gigabytes of porn over thepiratebay, their web browsing will still be nice and snappy :D

These problems are not hard to solve.

(For that matter, you could just toss their entire internet connection through said QOS bucket. People downloading 200 gigs will get bad performance. People who aren't, won't. Done.)

Re:HTTP tunnels (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909203)

QoS primarily affects latency, not speed. There would not be a noticeable impact in speed of the average file transfer simply by putting a few MBs of texts at a higher priority. But this is assuming ISPs would play nice, and not throttle such data. As soon as they start doing so, and you can bet they will right off the bat, all bets are off.

Maybe granny should move to Japan if she wants to keep up with the times...

Maybe if the ISPs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24909141)

...had used those billions the government gave them to beef up their networks like they were supposed to, instead of just pocketing it, they wouldn't be in this mess now.

Toll Road (1)

OldFish (1229566) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909153)

It would be instructive to see distribution data for monthly bandwidth use. Tentatively, I have no problems with ISPs reallocating bandwidth above some threshold as a toll road.

Traffic shaping is the answer (4, Interesting)

jamesh (87723) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909189)

I'd love to have an ISP that could do something like the following:

1. My hardware identifies traffic streams as 'Interactive', 'Download', and 'Bulk Download'. 'Interactive' is the obvious ssh, rdp, etc traffic. 'Download' is for stuff I want sooner rather than later, 'Bulk Download' is for stuff that I don't necessarily want so fast (eg torrents).

2. I get 'Interactive' traffic at full speed for the first 10MBytes and then at a much lower speed after that, eg a Token Bucket Filter. The 'much lower speed' is to stop customers just classifying their p2p data as 'Interactive', but the initial 10Mbyte bucket ensures that you'll never hit it otherwise.

3. I get 'Download' traffic at full speed (lower than interactive though) for the first (say) 200MBytes and then at a lower speed after that. I'm not sure how well TBF's scale up to the bucket being 1GByte though...

4. I get 'Bulk Download' traffic at whatever is left over after other customers 'Interactive' and 'Download' traffic is taken into account, up to my monthly download limit (eg 20G or whatever)

This only happens on the customer end of the ISP's business, and because it is done in agreement with the customer (eg the customer nominates the tier of their traffic) I don't think it breaks net neutrality in any way. If an ISP did this sort of thing without customer agreement then the deal is off...

I've done this sort of TBF shaping (eg with a big bucket) on a smaller scale at the local library and it works really really well. They offer free 802.11abg wireless that works at the full 20mbits/second off of the DSL for the first 10MBytes, and then shapes back to 200kbits/second after that. People coming in to surf, chat, or update facebook etc never notice the limit, but anyone using p2p gets shaped down almost immediately. No deep packet inspection or anything required at all. Having the tiers though would mean that your interactive traffic doesn't suffer just because you hit your download limit...

STOP IT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24909199)

STOP FILTERING MY TUBES [imageshack.us]

Slow? (1)

Mascot (120795) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909249)

This must be an ISP issue, not the infrastructure as a whole. Heck, I'm fetching most of my packets across an ocean, and most pages still load virtually instantly.

Yeah right (1)

Quatl (927704) | more than 5 years ago | (#24909273)

Reality check: I'm running P2P, a news crawling application, and half watching a video on hulu while I browse. My pages are loading just fine. Am I supposed to believe that other folks on my provider's pipe are having slowness while I myself am not? Yeah right. If your internet is slow it is because your provider sucks, plain and simple.
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