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Charter Launches 60 Mbps Service

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the deepening-the-digital-divide dept.

The Internet 299

ndogg writes "While other companies are throttling their services, and capping bandwidth, Charter Communications, the cable company, is launching a 60/5 Internet service, starting in St. Louis, MO. It's certainly not cheap, starting at 129.99 per month (add another 10 if it's not being bundled with television or phone.) Currently, it's the fastest down stream speed available, and being a cable company, they potentially have greater reach than FiOS." However, there may be a risk to putting too much money down on this service; Charter Communications as a company faces some serious financial problems right now. As reader Afforess writes, "rumors abound that Paul Allen may just cut his losses and run," by selling the company. (Allen is the majority stockholder.)

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299 comments

I want the Upstream (5, Insightful)

alain94040 (785132) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660041)

I don't care so much about the download speed of 60 Mbit/s (although it would allow streaming of live HD, which requires 6 - 10 Mbit/s sustained).

What I'd love is the upload bandwidth of 5 Mbit/s. Forget about file swapping: the killer app for the family is video conferencing that works. Can you see me? I'm tired of the pixellized, ugly, breaking video chat on skype.

Of course, I wouldn't trust a soon-to-be-bankrupt provider on anything, especially the promise that they don't plan to throttle the traffic. Yeah, right!

--
5 Reasons You Shouldnâ(TM)t Incorporate Your Business [fairsoftware.net]

Re:I want the Upstream (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660127)

I'm almost ready to boycott the internet.

Every other country in the world can get symmetric broadband by now.

Re:I want the Upstream (1)

Fex303 (557896) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660215)

Every other country in the world can get symmetric broadband by now.

What planet are you living on? Outside of Europe and Japan, everyone's at least as screwed as the US when it comes to broadband.

Re:I want the Upstream (4, Insightful)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660277)

You mean outside of the industrialized world?

Re:I want the Upstream (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660339)

Occum's razor [wikipedia.org]

Re:I want the Upstream (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26660605)

...Why should the most powerful country on the Earth, home to Microsoft, Apple, AND Google, be behind ANYBODY on broadband internet services?

Re:I want the Upstream (-1, Troll)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660739)

Simple. Because they (you?) are the most powerful country (in military terms).

You can't have both. Or in other words: Because you spent all the money on wars.

Re:I want the Upstream (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26660789)

More like because we're vastly bigger than all those other countries (combined), and with much lower population density.

Re:I want the Upstream (2, Interesting)

Llian (615902) | more than 5 years ago | (#26661331)

This has nothing to do with it. Only to do with regional areas not having super fast broadband. The telco's just don't want to invest anymore, and with your economy as it is, well.... a large handout would be needed.

As for pop. density, try Oz. Ours sucks even in the populated areas.

Re:I want the Upstream (5, Informative)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660883)

Simple. Because they (you?) are the most powerful country (in military terms).

You can't have both. Or in other words: Because you spent all the money on wars.

{sigh} why is it that you people always try to sell Americans on the idea that we spent all our money on wars and thus must have less than you in other areas? Your logic is faulty, and your conclusion suspect (although I'm sure it makes you feel all warm inside just thinking that Americans will never have faster broadband than you because we have more guns than you.) I hate to break this to you, but the two are not mutually exclusive. Anyway, there's your reality check (since yours has obviously bounced.)

This has zip to do with Federal expenditures on our military, and has everything to do with the private sector here being run by greedy fucks that are nickel-and-diming us back to dial-up, all the while doing their damnedest to offer us less for more. We're loaded with dark fiber at the moment (laid during the DotCom bubble) that, if it were actually lit up, would give us more than enough capacity to be competitive on the world scene. But it's kept dark because certain large corporations make more money by inducing artificial scarcity (kinda like the music industry, but that's a story for another day.) In fact, if you've been keeping up on your Slashdot, you'd know that our Telcos got about two hundred billion dollars in tax breaks, granted in exchange for their providing high-speed connections to all. They reneged on the deal ... but kept the money.

Simple, really. You just have to have a few facts at your command.

Re:I want the Upstream (1, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#26661309)

Why is it that you people always try to sell Americans on the idea that we spent all our money on wars and thus must have less than you in other areas?

Umm, because sensible people think that if you spend money on X then you can't spend the that money on Y? Of course, governments are not sensible so you end up with the fractional reserve banking system.

Re:I want the Upstream (1)

massysett (910130) | more than 5 years ago | (#26661321)

We're loaded with dark fiber at the moment (laid during the DotCom bubble) that, if it were actually lit up, would give us more than enough capacity to be competitive on the world scene.

That dark fiber is not running to your house. Lighting some intercity cable isn't going to give you a speed boost.

Re:I want the Upstream (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660775)

...Why should the most powerful country on the Earth, home to Microsoft, Apple, AND Google, be behind ANYBODY on broadband internet services?

Because we were ahead. See. When you have nothing you can build the best. On the other hand when you have multi-billion dollar corporations that have tons of "working" infrastructure they tend to not want to immediately scrap 10's of billions of dollars in equipment that they are still making profits on so that your speed can be greater. The profit motive will after a time make us move forward but not until many more of us are willing to stop paying for the old stuff.

Re:I want the Upstream (4, Funny)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26661173)

Because we were set up for liberty, not free bullshit. You want the government to give you everything? There are plenty of countries just waiting for you.

Re:I want the Upstream (2, Insightful)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26661243)

Also, it's fairly well known that early adopters take the R&D hit. That was us....we invested all the infrastructure that made it all possible. Other countries got to buy in once the tech was refined, and weren't saddled with old-investment gear.

Re:I want the Upstream (1)

Ironica (124657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26661301)

...Why should the most powerful country on the Earth, home to Microsoft, Apple, AND Google, be behind ANYBODY on broadband internet services?

Because we leverage inequity.

Re:I want the Upstream (1)

dingo8baby (1262090) | more than 5 years ago | (#26661005)

you mean there are other countries outside of the EU, USA, and Japan? seriously, though, doesn't south korea also have superior broadband compared to the US?

Re:I want the Upstream (2, Informative)

athakur999 (44340) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660581)

You can get symmetrical speeds with FIOS. Their 20/20 plan is $65/month. Of course, the usual disclaimers about limited FIOS availability apply.

I use their 20/5 plan which is $10/month cheaper. 5 Mb/s is fast enough for all of the time critical upstream I need (VOIP and the occasional video call) and it's fast enough that I can get to a >1 share ratio on torrents in a reasonable amount of time. I'd rather put that $10 into savings instead.

Re:I want the Upstream (1)

hclewk (1248568) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660935)

When I lived in Provo, UT I got 15/15 for $40 per month and a $100 setup fee. Now I live in Texas and I get 10/1 for $65 through Charter. It makes me sad.

Re:I want the Upstream (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660185)

What I love about charter is how they don't make secret deals with the RIAA as far as I know. They sell you internet access, you get it. Deal is done.

I wish I could get charter where I am at.

Re:I want the Upstream (5, Informative)

mpaulsen (240157) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660415)

"They sell you internet access, you get it. Deal is done.

Well, sure. Unless you count forging DNS results and deep packet inspection in order to insert ads into the sites you're visiting.
http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/02/15/0432259&from=rss [slashdot.org]
http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/05/13/1832256 [slashdot.org]

Re:I want the Upstream (2, Informative)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660647)

Charter is in bed with Universal and someone else.

I looked into it a few years back when my parents got a warning letter for downloading some movie.
(The letter was prompt and accurate.)

No idea about the music side of things.

Re:I want the Upstream (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660257)

It was nice being on campus at my undergrad school during winter break... at one point I was one of about 10 people sharing the huge pipe the school had (multiple 1Gbps connections), in order to normally feed 16,000 students and staff. The on-campus network was 100mbps ethernet, so ~12MBps down and up.

In order for Remote Desktop to my Windows machine to run smoothly, I had to limit my BitTorrent client to 2MBps down, 500kBps up. That was nice... :)

Now I'm in the Real World (tm), and I have my Comcastic (tm) home connection. :/

Re:I want the Upstream (2, Interesting)

vindimy (941049) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660773)

Here at UCLA (which participates in Internet2 [internet2.edu] and CENIC [cenic.org] and some other organizations), it's not uncommon to see 40 Mbps download/upload in offices and 25 Mbps download/upload through the campus-wide WiFi for students. I can get WinXP SP3 in around 5 seconds...

Not to brag - I actually fear what might happen if some worm or hacker gets access to such high-speed network... :/

Re:I want the Upstream (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26660417)

You like the upstream and live in Sacramento, CA area? Then check out Surewest [surewest.com] . I've got their 20Mbit/s service and you get every bit (no pun intended) of bandwidth that you pay for. They also have a 50Mbit/s service, but it is kind of pricey. Like $250 a month unbundled, or $190 if you bundle it with TV or phone and 1 year contract. But for either of those prices, how can you beat 50Mbit/s upload AND download. My friend has the 50Mbit/s and he absolutely loves it. They also supposedly have monthly caps, but I've transferred WELL over the cap a few times and never heard a peep from them. From what I understand their entire infrastructure is run on Cisco equipment and their backbone provider is Level3.

I'm not shilling for them or anything, just a very happy customer. Their tech support lacks at times, email web interface sucks ass, but the service is rock solid and I've never had my connection go down 1 single time in 4 years with the exception of California rolling blackouts a couple summers ago.

In Sweden ... (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660491)

Bredbandsbolaget charges 349 SEK for this including telephony (which normally cost 125 SEK by the regular network.)

349 Swedish kronor = 43.616973 U.S. dollars

Normal price is written as 399 sek for 60 mbps, 50 sek for telephony and 100 sek off the price.

Re:In Sweden ... (2, Informative)

etnoy (664495) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660641)

Actually, BBB charges 270SEK (around $34) for 100/40mbps. I'm on it right now, and it is fast! Also, telephony included and I get a fixed IP, no download cap and all ports open in all directions.

Re:In Sweden ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26660951)

I have friends who have 100/100 Mbps for 180 SEK/month = 22.5 USD/month, although it is semi-capped at an average off 10GiB/day (go over and you have to wait a day for your average to go down)

http://www.muniwireless.com/2007/05/22/us-average-broadband-speed-is-1-9-mbps-versus-61-mbps-in-japan-45-mbps-in-sweden/
When i first opened this article i was sure i was missing something as there was nothing special about it, but i guess it simply looks to good to be true in the US.

Re:In Sweden ... (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660975)

40 mbps up? With what? The regular ethernet stuff? We're not on 10 mbps up longer?

Re:In Sweden ... (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660987)

Also isn't the price for the ethernet option 320? You pay 270 because you have SIP thru them? Or what? Why haven't anyone told me? For how long has this been?

I pay 75 SEK for my "call all swedish landlines free"-SIP, but I'd switch in an instant if I'll pay -50 SEK :D

Re:In Sweden ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26661237)

That's truly insane. Our office is on a 10mbit/sec symmetrical LAN extension, and it costs us $800/month...now, there's an SLA involved, but it's not like it's never gone down. So...you're getting ten times the downstream and four times the up at...what...one-twentieth of the cost?

Just one more reason I'm moving to Sweden ASAP.

Re:I want the Upstream (1, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660559)

Also it really does not matter much. If they dont have 1TB pipe running to the headends for the 60Mbps services it's gonna be saturated within minutes.

Also, If most servers you connect to are no where near that it's a waste. Sites like slashdot and others throttle individual users to keep you from sucking it all up for everyone else.

And then with Charter hating P2P people, you wont get any faster Torrents.

My 1.2mbps DSL at home is as fast as Comcast's 5mpbs when it comes to downloads and video streaming. So if they gave me 900mbps down It wont make a difference.

Re:I want the Upstream (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660587)

What I'd love is the upload bandwidth of 5 Mbit/s

It would be nice (I live in NYC and the largest upload link I can get at home is 512kbps), but I don't think 5Mbps is enough to be all that pleased. FiOS, on the other hand, is offering a symmetric 20Mbps connection for $70/month.

I know we're probably in the minority, and that the majority of people probably don't care much about upload speeds. But it's not that small of a majority, I don't think.

Re:I want the Upstream (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26661155)

No, it's not that small. Products from Mushroom Networks (http://www.mushroomnetworks.com/) can bond arbitrary lines (DSL, Cable, T1, Cellular) and you do need a unit at each end, but you can certainly get more than would normally be possible from a single DSL upload.

Re:I want the Upstream (3, Informative)

Danny Rathjens (8471) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660771)

What's with the fake signature block you have put into your comment? Trying to trick search engines into promoting your blog? Please stop abusing the system and only put your actual comment in the comment field.

Re:I want the Upstream (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26661171)

FYI, video conferencing works really well on your average half-meg-up connection...you just need it to be directly-connected, which you are not with Skype. We use H.323 on all sorts of residential-grade xDSL and cable connections, and SIP works just as well. Even students overseas in Europe, Middle East and Australia are able to communicate reliably and smoothly.

Speaking as someone... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26660079)

Speaking as someone who's paying $105/month for 1.5/512 wireless internet connection, I'm insanely jealous.

Of course, at least I don't have to live in St Louis.

Full power (5, Funny)

Panspechi (948400) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660103)

Just plug it straight into my veins... oh yeah, that's the good stuff.

A juicy point from the article. (4, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660107)

According to Fawaz, Charter will not impose bandwidth-usage caps on any of its high-speed Internet subscribers. By contrast, Comcast's policies limit users to 250 Gigabytes of data consumption per month.

Nice. Very nice. I guess there are providers out there interested in competing on the technical merits of their service, while giving the consumers what they want.

Re:A juicy point from the article. (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#26661071)

I guess there are providers out there interested in competing on the technical merits of their service, while giving the consumers what they want.

and if the majority of your customers are stressed enough to consider scaling back to dial-up at $10/mo what then?

Lulz (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26660121)

Charter stock trades at 9 cents a share today. That's up from 8 cents yesterday.

60/5 meg (1, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660155)

And with what limitation?

If its anything like comcast you can burn thru that in no time. Top speed ratings are worthless if you cant actually use it.

Re:60/5 meg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26660363)

none. charter has no caps.

chapter 11 (5, Informative)

fredan (54788) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660175)

from wikipedia:

"On January 28, 2009, Charter Communications reportedly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy."

Charter Communications [wikipedia.org]

Re:chapter 11 (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26660223)

Now it says:

"On January 28, 2009, Charter Communications reportedly set up us the bomb."

Re:chapter 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26661013)

No it didn't but now it does.

You're almost out of the past, American internet (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26660205)

We have this via VDSL in several countries in Europe since beginning of last year, for approx. 45-50 USD a month, but with an upstream of 5-20 mbps (depending on linenoise and distance to the DSLAM).

Re:You're almost out of the past, American interne (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26660899)

I had VDSL in the US too (Qwest test market). Max speed available 3 mbps down/1mbps up. Woo hoo! Yeah, right. It's not the technologies used or not used in the US, it's the providers. Apparently the telcos are less greedy and stupid over where you are in Europe. Qwest chose to use the bandwidth to deliver TV service tried compete with the cable company. They pulled the VDSL out a few months ago and switched me to their 7mbps/864kbps ADSL2 service. Much better service (no outages so far, compared to frequent outages on VDSL), and it was a free upgrade to me too. Sadly, I don't think America will ever be "out of the past" on this as long as we have we have the current group of greedy schmucks running the telcom companies.

Speed isnt everything (5, Informative)

sempiterna (1463657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660213)

As a previous charter customer, I wont ever re-subscribe to charter if I have the choice of providers. For the first year I had charter latency was worse than dial up. All their customer service would tell us is that "It's a known issue and it's bound to improve.. sometime." No credits, no refunds, just.. that's how it is, deal with it or cancel your account. After they upgraded their backbone, they blocked port 25, 80, 110, and most of the server ports inbound, and their upload speed was really, really poor. (5 mbs service, with 128k upload MAX) I would not want 60mbs internet if they blocked nearly everything I want to do on the internet.

Re:Speed isnt everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26660297)

They have never blocked port 25, 80, 110. I know because i run a server and i have never had a problem with them for the past 4 years.

Re:Speed isnt everything (1)

sempiterna (1463657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660319)

I haven't used Charter since 2002, so.. Plus, each of charter's 'localities' have different policies. Your millage may vary depending on which locality your in.

Re:Speed isnt everything (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660679)

Way to include that info in your original rant, asshole.

What's the big deal? (4, Insightful)

JoonasD6 (912298) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660225)

Re:What's the big deal? (3, Funny)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660981)

Yeah, but then I'd be living in Finland.

Not. Gonna. Happen.

Re:What's the big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26661363)

I'd love to! I visited Finland once and have wanted to go back ever since.

fastest? (4, Informative)

MoFoQ (584566) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660229)

fastest? no.
As an example, there are several providers that have 1Gbps (1000Mbps) service in Japan
here's one [eonet.jp]
here's another [gate02.ne.jp]

Maybe the fastest for US cable internet companies thus far but it's nowhere near being the fastest, period.

Re:fastest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26660475)

Japan isn't in the US, therefore isn't in the world as we know it. Everyone knows that ;-)

Can you translate those pages? Would be interesting to see what those services cost.

Re:fastest? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660761)

Shame /. isn't a US centric site~

Re:fastest? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660919)

Shame /. isn't a US centric site~

You forgot the "Oh wait ..."

Re:fastest? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660903)

fastest? no. As an example, there are several providers that have 1Gbps (1000Mbps) service in Japan here's one [eonet.jp] here's another [gate02.ne.jp]

Maybe the fastest for US cable internet companies thus far but it's nowhere near being the fastest, period.

What, are you trying to make us feel bad? This is a U.S. Web site discussing a U.S-centric article about a specific U.S. Internet Service Provider. What was your point again?

What is the cap? Can you only get 60meg in off hou (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660235)

What is the cap? Can you only get to the max of 60meg in off hours?

Charter's Goin' DOWN... (3, Informative)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660239)

Incedently, Charter is Paul Allen's company. They are bleeding money right now with a stock price of... EIGHT CENTS! They've been skirting insolvency for a few years now and the Securities and Exchange Commission is saying that if they fail to refinance some of their debt, they will be forced into bankruptcy.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2008683150_charter29.html [nwsource.com]

All I want for xmas is (1)

Aloisius (1294796) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660251)

Fiber! That's what I want and I want it from a real service provider darn it!

I live in San Francisco. It is shocking that there aren't any around. I mean, there are huge amounts of dark fiber under the streets (and they seem to put more in every day).

I'd take 10 Mbps symmetric. I'd pay $100/mo for it and if they were going to do video on demand, I'd go to $140.

Re:All I want for xmas is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26660313)

beans are a good source, but they can cause collateral damage, so to speak

best to stick with whole grains (incl. bran) and a healthy quantity of fruits and vegetables. Metamucil can be added to the diet as well.

as far as dark fiber, I guess you could go with legumes, but your coworkers might not care for your increased methane production.

Re:All I want for xmas is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26660489)

All I want for xmas is fiber

So I take it you have trouble expunging your surplus fecal matter?

Re:All I want for xmas is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26660539)

Fiber! That's what I want and I want it from a real service provider darn it!

In that case you should move to Crosslake, MN [crosslakec...ations.com] . Fiber for $35/mo.

Then again, the "high-speed" service is just 1Mb/s up/down. Oh well, can't have everything.

Why the lame upload? (2, Interesting)

Hsensei (1055922) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660275)

I love the 20/20mb/s service i get with FiOS. My friends leech off my FTP at 1MB/s. and for only 70 USD. I wanted the upload, I could care less about down. I do cheer more competition in these speeds that can only help bring prices down across the board.

two words (1)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660303)

RIAA/MPAA

one word (1)

vindimy (941049) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660835)

**AA

Re:Why the lame upload? (2, Informative)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660717)

COULDN'T CARE LESS.

Meanwhile.. (1, Interesting)

Super_Z (756391) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660301)

So? In Sweden you can get 60-100/8-10 [bredbandsbolaget.se] Mbps for $33.7 per month. Including phone and 10GB online backup.

Re:Meanwhile.. (1)

JickL (1398643) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660505)

Yeah, it would be nice with some less US-centric summaries!

Re:Meanwhile.. (1)

vindimy (941049) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660887)

But that's metric 60-100 Mbps. That's like... 7.5-12.5 MBps in US imperial units!

Holy Shnikeys! (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660361)

Man, that makes my RoadRunner Turbo (22 Mbit down/ 2 Mbit up) look like crap!

Re:Holy Shnikeys! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26660529)

Wow, what a wonderful contribution to the discussion. You fucking mouth breather.

It's cable. (3, Informative)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660389)

This is a cable connection. Sure, they advertise 60Mbps, but your mileage will vary, namely far down. In the evening you will likely NEVER hit that, especially if a lot of people in your neighborhood are online. That'll saturate a shared cable region in no time. That and your latency is probably going to suck. Maybe I'm just bitter, but I just ditched Commiecast 8Mbps service for 7Mbps DSL and I'm happy as hell that I did. No more random connection drops, no more shitty latency spikes, just a clean connection so far. I hate cable.

Re:It's cable. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26661241)

The limit for one 256bit QAM is 38.8mbps. This means that Charter is using a second QAM channel (must be using a DOCSIS 3 modem) to provide the extra bandwidth. If anything, this effectively doubles the amount of bandwidth they have with only a select few customers taking full advantage of it.

At the Cable Expo in Philadelphia last summer, I saw demonstrations of 150mbps synchronous connections on coax cable using 4 QAM's.

Seems like if they do it right, all of their customers in this market will benefit from it.

cool... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660395)

But call me back when you have 60/60 at a reasonable price.

SPONgE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26660447)

supp7ies to private All servers. Coming of OpenBSD versus

Local customers want to know What is the catch? (1)

Bushido Hacks (788211) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660453)

What is the catch behind 60 Mbps service? (Keep in mind, that cable TV itself is a 100 Mbps service.) Are there services that will be lost? Ports blocked? Contracts with MPAA/RIAA under the table? Or is Paul Allen and St. Louis Charter GM Steve Trippe on their way to Barbados with a corporate bonus they do not deserve?

Charter has dropped nearly ALL local public access programming [geocities.com] . You want to have a show on public access? Good Luck with that.

Due to conflicts with the Belo Corporation, local CBS affiliate KMOV is still not available in HD as February 17 rapidly approaches.

In Southeast Michigan... (4, Interesting)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660479)

Charter is the cable company in rural areas, while Comcast gets the major cities. This is one of those areas that I don't fully understand the legislation at the state level that would allow this. How does Comcast get Ann Arbor, Brighton, most of the Detroit suburbs and Charter has to handle the rural areas of Livingston, Jackson, Washtenaw, Wayne, etc.

What a brilliant deal for Comcast. They get densely populated areas where their return on infrastructure investments are the best, and where more affluent people live, and Charter gets to handle all the heavy lifting of running a cable network in the hard to reach places.

I always wondered how that cherry-pick arrangement came to pass, if any of you know, please respond because that would perhaps enlighten us as to Charter's financial woes.

On the flip side of that, I visited a datacenter for Charter and it was really nice, obvious they spent alot on it.

Oh, and BTW, Charter filed Chapter 11 yesterday.

Re:In Southeast Michigan... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660939)

I always wondered how that cherry-pick arrangement came to pass, if any of you know, please respond because that would perhaps enlighten us as to Charter's financial woes.

Corruption, bribery, and malfeasance in office. Obviously Comcast put in the winning bid.

Any more questions?

Re:In Southeast Michigan... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26661151)

WRONG!

Cable companies have areas, regions, territories whatever you want to call them. The infrastructure for the most part is already there is maintaining it and upgrading it. Also the FCC as well as your local franchise authorities and Cable comish' all have a say in what they do where they do it and how or else the fine the hell out of them, sadly to many people think cable is just this horrible monopoly, the reality is there is a plenty of checks and ballances, namely FCC *AND* local authorities on top of that.

and how dare we let capitalism spread in this country! Why not just sign all infrastructures over to the government? they seem to be doing a good job at running everything else why let a private company make money for doing the right things with their business?

Re:In Southeast Michigan... (1)

drgruney (1077007) | more than 5 years ago | (#26661095)

There is no legislation at the state level. Not much anyway. Some states allow state-wide franchise rights for cable companies.. Texas is the only one I know of off the top of my head. Mostly it's all done at the municipal level. Cable companies have franchise rights with counties or cities. The reason Comcast has the big cities in your area is because they could afford to deal with those cities. Cable companies are in an odd position. They have to lay all the infrastructure and give it to the local government. It's what local government requires as the cost of doing business for the cable ops. Then the city sets a ceiling on prices and requirements. If a city wanted they could require the cable company to charge $5 a month for basic + HBO. Obviously the cable company could just say screw you, we're out.

Re:In Southeast Michigan... (1)

charliestl (1021503) | more than 5 years ago | (#26661233)

In the St. Louis area, where Charter is starting this service, the population is almost 3 million. Lots of suburbs, but not very rural.

We know. We don't care. (3, Insightful)

RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660519)

To all the people who are going to point out how much better broadband is elsewhere.

How much do you pay for an 1100 sq ft (102 m^2) apartment? How much do you pay for energy? For gas? For food?

Do you REALLY want to get in to a cost of living comparison between, say, Tokyo and here? Because I will GLADLY accept my crappy 12Mbps Comcast internet in exchange for 3-4 times more living space.

And, by the way, "gigabit" Internet service often isn't. My university has "gigabit" Internet service (in that the computer labs are wired with GigE and 10G uplinks), but the entire campus shares 4Gbps of Internet bandwidth. For anything but other universities (Internet2) or Akamai (local mirror), it's not significantly faster than the 12Mbps Comcast I have at my apartment. Of course, the fact that everyone is torrenting probably has something to do with that.

Re:We know. We don't care. (1)

triffid_98 (899609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660891)

It gets worse than that, if you don't have a newish car(<10 years old), you'll pay huge fees for that too. The fees actually start at three years and ramp progressively higher.

My family has four older cars, so if I were living in Japan I'm sure I could effectively multiply my rent by three to figure what it costs to register/store/insure them. I guess it's cultural bias, but if I were in charge of manufacturing cars I would be glad to show that 20-30 year old ones still work great. For that matter I have a 44 year old Chrysler that is still running on it's original parts(+1 set of piston rings).

Do you REALLY want to get in to a cost of living comparison between, say, Tokyo and here? Because I will GLADLY accept my crappy 12Mbps Comcast internet in exchange for 3-4 times more living space.

Is it just me, or is this slow? (2, Informative)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660569)

I guess it's just me, or the local market I live in, but I can get 50/5 fiber service for $80/month now. WiMAX services in the area offer up to 150/150 (no, that's not a typo).

Local university speed tests are pushing 90 down and 80 up.

I guess I'm just lucky in my area. Always has seemingly been ahead of the bandwidth curve. Nothing against others offering this, as it's definitely fast.

Re:Is it just me, or is this slow? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660943)

I guess it's just me

Lucky you. Best I can do is 18 down, 1 up with AT&T U-Verse.

Re:Is it just me, or is this slow? (2, Insightful)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660999)

I guess it's just me, or the local market I live in, but I can get 50/5 fiber service for $80/month now. WiMAX services in the area offer up to 150/150

Gee thanks for all that info. Too bad you were so much more interested in talking about yourself than in actually passing any useful information along that you left out where your "local market" actually is.

Re:Is it just me, or is this slow? (4, Funny)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 5 years ago | (#26661055)

I guess it's just me, or the local market I live in, but I can get 50/5 fiber service for $80/month now. WiMAX services in the area offer up to 150/150

Gee thanks for all that info. Too bad you were so much more interested in talking about yourself than in actually passing any useful information along that you left out where your "local market" actually is.

First off, as a fellow smart ass, I can recognize a compliment. Spank you very much.

Secondly, to answer your question, my local market is the Tampa Bay area.

(That would be in Florida.)

(Florida, the one in the United States.)

(In case you were wondering...)

Who cares about Chapter 11? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660781)

If they go out of business, then you don't pay.
Most likely someone will buy them the bankruptcy and they will need to honor the previous contract for consumers.

Now, I wouldn't pay any in advance.

Well that explains it... (4, Interesting)

Miseph (979059) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660791)

I'd never realized that Paul Allen had anything to do with Charter, let alone ran it. I admit that I did very little homework on them before signing up... just enough to find out they were the only viable broadband option available to me where I live (DSL is too far from a switch and therefore very slow, there are no other cable companies in the municipality because of an exclusivity contract, and there's simply no way I can afford a T# or satellite connection). I also soon found out that they're ridiculously overpriced, have terrible customer support, routinely underserve their customers and can't even manage a channel numbering system that remotely reflects the actual FCC granted channels the networks broadcast over.

It figures that only a company run by a Microsoft exec could actually make my blood boil worse than Comcast.

Re:Well that explains it... (3, Insightful)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 5 years ago | (#26661227)

It figures that only a company run by a Microsoft exec could actually make my blood boil worse than Comcast.

Allen was co-founder and left Microsoft in 1983. He's hardly to blame for what's happened since.

other cable companies are rolling higher bandwidth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26660817)

Just FYI, other cable companies are starting to roll higher service plans.
  Rollout to major metro areas is spotty, but will continue to spread.
  Expect uploads to be on the increase as well

Employees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26660841)

I know I'm probably begging to be flamed, but a disclaimer, I work for Charter in the field. The funny thing about this whole thing is the fact that it wasn't rolled out very well. I live in the St. Louis metro area where it's being rolled out, and when I called around to ask where exactly it would be, no one could give me a straight answer. I just want the upload.

No Backbone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26660873)

Charter's St. Louis backbone to Sprint is only OC-12 at best, so several 60mb users will kill that quick. Since they are going bankrupt, they will cut that backbone down. Don't waste your money. I'd rather have satellite internet.

Money Down? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660961)

Money down? I see no mention of 'money down' anywhere except the FUD warning. You pay your monthly fee, and you get your internet. There's nothing to be scared of.

Canada - 100 Mbps down / 5 Mbps up @ $250 (1)

cjjjer (530715) | more than 5 years ago | (#26661159)

Shaw is now offering 100 Mbps down / 5 Mbps up in Saskatoon (Saskatchewan) @ $250

http://www.shaw.ca/en-ca/ProductsServices/Internet/Nitro/?WT.mc_id=C53A300S38 [www.shaw.ca]

To steep for me but glad to see that DOCSIS 3.0 is being rolled out, I am sure prices will come down eventually

Actually, dial up would be fine for me (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 5 years ago | (#26661179)

A PuTTy ssh session just doesn't need all that much speed.

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