×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Dutch ISP Demos Symmetric 100Mbps DOCSIS3

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the why-in-my-day dept.

Networking 159

Mark.JUK writes "CAI Harderwijk, a DOCSIS 3.0 based Cable Modem operator in the Netherlands, has apparently managed to achieve a world first by demonstrating symmetric broadband internet access speeds of 100Mbps. The tiny Dutch operator is home to just over 16000 customers and was already planning a switch onto Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) technology, although this may now be delayed. The test itself is important because cable operators are still, perhaps unfairly, seen by some as being inferior to fully fibre optic-based broadband services. In reality, cable operators are, for the most part, continuing to keep pace."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

159 comments

Elementary (2, Funny)

drmofe (523606) | more than 3 years ago | (#34183940)

Carbon-based life-forms using silicon-based computing systems with copper-based communication lines. We need to break these bonds.

Re:Elementary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34184174)

Jigaboos!

Re:Elementary (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34184204)

Indeed, I want to be silicon based and use carbon-based communication.

Re:Elementary (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34185510)

But using the existing copper is cheaper, because it eliminates the need to hire millions of men to dig ditches to lay fiber.

I'm also wondering why they offered 100/100 internet. Since I don't rarely need to upload anything, I'd rather have 190/10 internet so I have a fast enough pipe to grab HD video across 4 or 5 sets.

Re:Elementary (1)

sxpert (139117) | more than 3 years ago | (#34185530)

there's no point in digging, as that's already been done, and copper been pulled through;
time to remove the old copper, recycle it, and pull fiber in it's stead.
no need to hire millions...
should take about a year for your medium-sized city

Re:Elementary (1)

simcop2387 (703011) | more than 3 years ago | (#34185844)

Now consider the fact that even over Europe there are tens of thousands of cities, and that you'd have to also install new distribution boxes everywhere to deal with the different media. Next you'd have to either provide the copper hookup still to each and every house so that they could get tv on it still, or you would have to provide new STBs to every single customer. That's lots and lots and lots of investment in time and money and while it wouldn't take millions of jobs to do it, it would most certainly take thousands. So why spend all that money when you can instead use the existing infrastructure without wasting very much energy (it takes energy to replace all that copper and produce all the fiber) by instead upgrading the systems on it?

For a bad car analogy, it's like the cash for clunkers program. You can potentially help the environment more by keeping your car on the road more and offsetting the manufacturing cost of the car instead of treating it like a disposable commodity.

Re:Elementary (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34186074)

>>>copper been pulled through;

Pulled through what? Almost all of it is just bare cable under the dirt.
.

>>>time to remove the old copper, recycle it, and pull fiber in it's stead. no need to hire millions...

Size of United States: 3,537,441 square miles
Number of Homes: 110 million units
Miles of Copper connecting these homes: 2 billion miles (telephone)

So yeah I think you WILL need millions of men to dig the copper out of the ground and then replace it with buried fiber, especially if you want to get the job done in a reasonable amount of time (before 2015) and not stretch it out over decades.

So some Dutch people now have 100Mbps connection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34183948)

Is that news?

Re:So some Dutch people now have 100Mbps connectio (3, Informative)

MartijnL (785261) | more than 3 years ago | (#34183982)

It's Symmetric 100Mbps over Cable. And a sizeable number already have 100Mbps (like with UPC Fiber) but that still is asymmetric. Yes that is news.

That wasn't the news part (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34183990)

The notable words are "Cable operator" and "symmetric". A cable operator showed that they are able to deliver 100/100 Mbps speeds (as opposed to the 100/10, which is much more common) and generally tries to debunk the idea that cable operators are (becoming) inferior when it comes to ISPs. No "Groundbreaking news" there but I still think that TFA was a decent way to spend one minute of my life.

Distance? (0, Offtopic)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34183952)

So far the problem with DSL has been that the longer from the central you is, the lower the speeds and it drops quite rapidly once you're more than a couple km from the central. I would think it is the same for cable, since that too is based on electrical signals. With fiber you don't need a repeated more than every 70-150 km, meaning you can lay FTTH almost anywhere without worrying about it.

Re:Distance? (4, Informative)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184044)

It's not DSL, it's cable, so using coax cables instead of telephone lines. I don't know what that means for speed vs. distance though. For your information: "CAI" is Dutch for "central antenna installation". Those cables have been laid to deliver TV signals.

Secondly "laying FTTH" of course is nice, but it's also mighty expensive and disruptive to break open all the streets and dig trenches to everyone's home. These CAI cables are there already, so why not continue to use them? Just like what DSL is basically doing with telephone lines.

When building new homes of course nowadays they should put an optical fibre in the trenches that they dig already for telephone, cable TV, water pipes, power lines, etc. Then it's a relative cheap upgrade. But for existing homes this is definitely the cheaper option.

Re:Distance? (2, Informative)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184102)

The main difference between DSL and DOCSIS cable is that DSL is your personal connection. No one is sharing it. DOCSIS cable line is shared between those on the same line, so if you have active warez people in your neighbourhood or someone hosting an active server of some kind, expect much lower speeds and higher latency then advertised.

Second difference, which has been largely negated lately is latency. DSL offers slightly lower latency by advantage of design.

Tradeoff is that DSL only uses one really shitty quality copper pair, that limits distance and maximum speed far more severely then cable's coaxial. This is exacerbated by the fact that many phone lines are from times before CAT3 home cabling, which is a realistic requirement to reach even ADSL2 level of speeds, causing end user speeds to be below 10mbps even over 24mbps ADSL2+ connection.

Re:Distance? (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184136)

Latency yes... that was (is?) an issue... I recall from 10, 15 years ago when ADSL was no more than about 1 Mbit, cable would blast it away at about 5 Mbit. Down that is; up has always been a fraction of that only.

Me downloading stuff was happy about the speed compared to ADSL lines.

Gamers however complained cable is too slow - they care more about latency than raw throughput.

And indeed cable is a shared medium but I never really had a problem with that. May be luck.

Re:Distance? (3, Informative)

Zsub (1365549) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184214)

Latency may once have been an issue. I ping to AMS-IX from Groningen (Netherlands) in less than 10 ms. Usually some 5-7 ms. I use a Ziggo connection (former @Home) and have never been so satisfied with performance. Only my previous ISP could match speed and latency. That was the university using ethernet and fiber connected to the educational backbone.

Re:Distance? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34185544)

>>>I recall from 10, 15 years ago when ADSL was no more than about 1 Mbit,

Yeah well ADSL is now 100 Mbit/s with a just-released 200 Mbit/s standard being rolled out. Unfortunately you have to live in Korea or Japan to get it. :-| Still the technology exists to enable DSL to match Cable speeds, and it's a dedicated phone line not a shared neighborhood coax cable, so the user gets what is advertised.

Re:Distance? (1)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184178)

Not all cable is a shared medium. Depends on the network. Some, like the old StjärnTV/Chello installations in Sweden, use a star topology rather than ring/loop.

Re:Distance? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184350)

DSL proponents like to point out the shared nature of cable, but forget that all internet connections get shared at some point. Its just a question of the location where this first happens.

Cable users are, in practice, experiencing higher bandwidth than DSL users. The assumption from the DSL camp is that sharing closer to home is a downside for the end user, but the evidence seems to suggest otherwise..

Could it be that Cable networks are forced to structure themselves better due to their nature? That the immediate sharing is actually a downside for the provider (cost inefficiency) instead of the end user (service inefficiency?)

In short, doesnt DSL allow the provider to get away with using less equipment, and so they do, and you get less bandwidth because of it?

Re:Distance? (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184460)

The thing is with cable with 10 people on it, if 9 of them are downloading, fat chance of you checking your email.
With ADSL, the backhaul is more than likely far faster than the individual connections added together, so no speed degration for anyone.

Its all about where the bottleneck is, and 99% of cases its the bit closest to the users.

Re:Distance? (1)

bytesex (112972) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184570)

Why ? Can you not design a concentrator that shapes traffic intelligently, based on MAC addresses ? TCP will bring itself down usually.

Re:Distance? (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184654)

You seem to be assuming that there's no congestion control on the cable. In practice, if 9 people are downloading and you try to get your email then they will all be throttled back a tiny bit, won't notice, and you'll think your connection is fine. Most cable ISPs (outside the USA) resegment if a part of their network is being congested.

Re:Distance? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184976)

The thing is with cable with 10 people on it, if 9 of them are downloading, fat chance of you checking your email.

Got any citations for this?

You seem to think that if the provider offers 10Mbit, that thats all the cable line will carry, that 2 people downloading only get 5Mbit each..

Wrong.

Re:Distance? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#34186042)

Well, at 100Mbps you're using enough channels that it's unlikely that there are more channels open on the local segment for data unless the cable operator has moved to exclusively using switched digital video.

Re:Distance? (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34185976)

Wrong, because even DOCSIS 2.0 supports 38 megabits/second. However, users are NEVER sold this full amount. They're sold a much lower cap.

For example, my Time Warner service is capped at 5 megabits/second. (The modem itself enforces this cap, probably modern headends double-check to make sure the modem has not been tampered with.) So it takes nearly 8 simultaneous full-downstream users before anyone sees evidence that their line is shared. For upstream, I have a cap of 512 kbps if I recall correctly. This means it'll take approximately 50 users saturating their upstream before I see any evidence of sharing of the 27 megabits/sec upstream channel.

The cable providers can pretty easily throw extra channels at the problem, splitting the load even more.

However, where the cable providers have underspent on infrastructure is their backhaul (e.g. their connection to the Internet). At this point they have the same problems as DSL users.

Re:Distance? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34186174)

>>>DSL proponents like to point out the shared nature of cable, but forget that all internet connections get shared at some point

If the DSLAM is being fed with a 10 Gbit/s fiber line, then no, there won't be any slowdown even if all your DSL neighbors decide to bittorrent at the same time. A coaxial cable can carry about 5 Gbit/s... minus about 2400 Mbit/s for television and on-demand channels... leaving just ~2.5 Gbit/s for your neighborhood. i.e. Less bandwidth.

Re:Distance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34184538)

"The main difference between DSL and DOCSIS cable is that DSL is your personal connection."

your information went out of date when (euro)docsis2 came along.
today you have your own dedicated frequencies until the central hub in your area (AKA your personal connection). just like with ADSL.

the real difference is that the cable has a relatively thick central core and is SHIELDED. this increases the usable frequencies immensely (greatly increasing available bandwidth) and almost eliminates distance as a factor (as in no need to check how far away you are from the hub. it wont matter you'll get the full speed)

as for ping... i get ping of 11 to my own ISP, and 15-20 to most of the country (the Netherlands)
if ADSLl reduces that to 8 or something... i really couldn't care less.

Re:Distance? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184586)

That "Shitty quality copper pair" is Cat6 and feeds nearly every Major circuit in the country. Yes, if your how was built in the 50's it's possible that you have some really old copper, but most people have stuff that's relatively new. The problem with DSL AND cable modems is the willingness of ISPs to oversell the connection.

Re:Distance? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#34186200)

Cat6 has NEVER been used for POTS line in the US, those are all going to be CAT3, and further even if they *were* Cat6 that wouldn't get you 100Mbps past a couple hundred meters, the only way to achieve those kinds of speeds is to do fiber to the curb or at most a remote shelf very near the house.

Re:Distance? (2, Informative)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184984)

The main difference between DSL and DOCSIS cable is that DSL is your personal connection. No one is sharing it. DOCSIS cable line is shared between those on the same line, so if you have active warez people in your neighbourhood or someone hosting an active server of some kind, expect much lower speeds and higher latency then advertised.

Second difference, which has been largely negated lately is latency. DSL offers slightly lower latency by advantage of design.

Tradeoff is that DSL only uses one really shitty quality copper pair, that limits distance and maximum speed far more severely then cable's coaxial. This is exacerbated by the fact that many phone lines are from times before CAT3 home cabling, which is a realistic requirement to reach even ADSL2 level of speeds, causing end user speeds to be below 10mbps even over 24mbps ADSL2+ connection.

This is VERY wrong.

#1. DSL is shared just like cable, just at a slightly different point. Several DSL customers connect to the same node and from there, they are given times slices. example. My brother has aDSL, he has ~20 people on his local node and he had an 80ms ping to his first hop. Yes, his ISP that is just down the road is an 80ms jump. If he had this dedicated connection you talked about, it would be impossible to have anything much more than 1ms to his ISP.

#2. even FTTH has local choke points. You don't connect directly to your ISP, you connect to a local node. Your local node is shared by many many people.

#3. Cable uses CDMA. You can have several people per channel talking at the same time. You share a local physical coax loop with a few of your immediate neighbors. This coax loop has a crap ton of bandwidth. You then connect from this coax loop to your local node, this node is shared by several loops.

The *only* difference between cable and other techs is that the connection between you and your node is shared, but your node to ISP is still fiber and has the same limitations of all the other techs.

My trace route to Chicago is about 700 miles long which is a 3ms ping at the speed of light in a vacuum. I get a 15-18ms pings to Chicago from my ISP , during peak hours I might add, and my ISP has over 2 million internet customers over that link.

Re:Distance? (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 3 years ago | (#34185364)

Wanted to add a few more things.

Obviously FTTH and FTTC is better than cable, but it's mostly better on the reduced noise on the line. DOCSIS tech is really good, but if there is something wrong with your coax, it can sometimes be hard to diagnose the issue. With fiber, there is much reduced chance of having intermittent issues and it's more likely to just not work. I would rather my connection completely fail so my ISP can fix it, than have a problem go away when my ISP shows up to fix the unknown problem.. gahh, i hate that

Most of cables bad rep comes from DOCSIS 1. v1 used time slices along with channels. This meant you may get good connection to your local node during off hours, but on peak hours you'd have to compete for time slices. Time slices suck horribly and scale badly.

DOCSIS 3.0 doesn't use time slices anymore and 2.0 it was optional. When using CDMA with 2.0/3.0, you get a pseduo-dedicated connection. Yes, your share the same line with your neighbors, *but* that don't allocate your bandwidth in any shape or form. When more people on the line does do is add noise. There will be an upper limit to the amount of people that can use a single line due to additional noise, but CDMA is quite resiliant.

An interesting note is that DOCSIS will scale to 1gbit on coax in future versions, it's already been announced.

recap.
#1. you get pseduo-dedicated bandwidth with CDMA enabled 2.0 and 3.0 docsis
#2. a 100gbit fiber connection to your ISP won't help at all if your ISP has too many customers and not enough bandwidth to the internet
#3. the different between fiber/cable/dsl is more an exercise of theory as a practical implementation from your ISP is the biggest issue.
#4. there are many choke points on any network, it just depends on your ISP to decide where yours is

#5. fiber rocks.

Re:Distance? (1)

fgouget (925644) | more than 3 years ago | (#34185596)

This is VERY wrong.

#1. DSL is shared just like cable, just at a slightly different point. Several DSL customers connect to the same node and from there, they are given times slices.

It's unclear what you call a 'node'. If you mean a local exchange then yes obviously a lot of people are going to connect to it. However each ISP usually has their own DSLAMs there and the customer's line plugs directly into the ISPs DSLAM. Then upstream of the DSLAM of course every thing travels on a single 'cable'. However that is normally a fiber optic line with far more bandwidth than the DSL lines that connect to it so it's no issue. There are still cases where the DSL plugs into a competitor's DSLAM and where the traffic is then transmitted to your ISP, at cost to the ISP, via fiber optic lines. However, at least in France, that's less than something like 10% of the lines and is being eliminated as fast as possible (remember the 'at cost' part).

example. My brother has aDSL, he has ~20 people on his local node and he had an 80ms ping to his first hop. Yes, his ISP that is just down the road is an 80ms jump. If he had this dedicated connection you talked about, it would be impossible to have anything much more than 1ms to his ISP.

The extra latency you see is mostly created by the DSL error correction algorithms. Some ISPs (e.g. Free in France) let you choose the level of error correction on your DSL line which lets you adjust the tradeoffs between bandwidth, latency and packet loss.

The *only* difference between cable and other techs is that the connection between you and your node is shared, but your node to ISP is still fiber and has the same limitations of all the other techs.

That's a significant difference. With cable the choke point is where it is hardest to fix: the last mile. With fiber the choke point is where it is trivial to fix: between the local exchange and the rest of the Internet.

Case in point: some poster mentioned 'still' getting 5-6Mbps during peak hours out of 50Mbps theoretical. I have ADSL and I still get 12Mbps during peak hours which is the maximum my line supports given its length. So either his ISP really skimped on upstream bandwidth, or more likely his choke point is still in the last mile cable connection.

Re:Distance? (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 3 years ago | (#34185906)

I shouldn't have started my rebuttal with "This is VERY wrong".

I'm sorry.. :*(

I should've stated something more like "DSL being "dedicated" is a common misconception" or something.

Re:Distance? (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 3 years ago | (#34186166)

Good job exploding the DSL vs cable myth. The tired old mantra is just repeated mindlessly as if the repeater understood a single thing about the issues involved. Everything depends on the particulars of each case.

Re:Distance? (1)

papasui (567265) | more than 3 years ago | (#34185182)

**EVERY** consumer internet solution is shared bandwidth. That's the entire business model. The only question is which side of what router does everything get smashed together at. You used to hear DSL advertising that they weren't shared bandwidth, you don't anymore (at least in the US) because it's not true.

Re:Distance? (1)

xnpu (963139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184148)

I don't know about Harderwijk, but in the places where I've lived in NL there would be a tube from the house to the street, limiting the trenches to the actual street. There would be no trenches on your property.

Regardless, you're right. FTTH is (at this moment) unjustifiably expensive and disruptive when an alternative like this is available.

Re:Distance? (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184172)

I remember when cable TV came to my parents' home (roughly 25 years ago). Fantastic for me and my sister, more TV channels to watch! Anyway part of the installation was digging a trench to the house. I don't think they would ever use the existing pipes such as the sewage pipe.

It could be that this cable is in a tube by itself with room to get another cable through, I really wouldn't know.

Re:Distance? (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184444)

Nope, CAI cable in the Netherlands is typically just the green cable in the ground with no further protection. On occasion they get torn up but by regulation they have to be put in at at least 80cm depth.

It is common when connecting new houses that the folks doing electricity, gas, cable and phone lines etc. time it so that all the stuff gets put into the ground at the same time though. Lot less hassle for everyone concerned, most of all the customer.

Re:Distance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34185234)

All communication is 'electrical signals' including fiber, the DACs on the xfp/line cards are a perfect example of that, and simply because transmission is at the speed of light regardless of how far away 'repeaters' are note there are (while impressive) very firm limitations upon the distance/throughput/reliability/availability of data links, regardless of specific physical medium - which is why people like me build those systems for a living. :)

I will keep my focus on the current paradigm of cable internet and DSL, I don't want to get on a tangent and talk about fixed wireless all day long lol.

The difference between DSL and fimux/cable operators are the technologies for the last mile and the hierarchy of the overall network. With DSL you need a physical pair of wire that goes directly from customer premise to the CSO (central switching office) and hit the MDF (main distribution frame) that further differentiates POTS from digital DSL signals. Then the data is muxed into an abstraction at the access layer from there (ethernet, fiber).

With cable, the coax goes to a local node like a 'hut' or a 'pedestal' that has backhaul serviced by the 'head end' of the network, typically by fiber with a CMTS (cable modem termination system). Because the CMTS is required at a site more remote than their CSO or major PoP (point of presence) cable providers have more last mile facilities just due to the basic requirements of the technology. At this point, the limitation on speed regardless of technology is purely your last-mile connection, the first hop on Layer 2 of the OSI model. The sheer difference in frequencies and bandwidth that can be carried by the two different mediums is substantial; twisted pair for DSL is typically 4mhz in optimal situations whereas cable can be 1ghz in sub par situations. This is why DOCSIS3 is 3-400Mbit theoretical maximum, just due to the simple physical cable's properties of attenuation/impedance not even to mention cross talk or interference.

Most telcos have the DSLAM located in CSOs as it would not really be providing the end users with any additional capacity further out in their cloud. DSL will hit 1.5Mbit at 3 miles vs 25Mbit at 300m, so building out around neighborhoods makes their costs grow exponentially without a concurrent exponential increase in capacity. The more plant is routed to a CSO, the bigger the DSLAMS they purchase because in the whole telecom industry no matter which sector (hell you know this if you ever bought a cheap workgroup switch) cost of the gear is on a per-port basis. Buying a million dollar device servicing ten thousand customers makes more fiscal sense and achieves quicker/flatter ROI than buying ten hundred thousand dollar devices servicing a thousand customers each. So the model of having all the gear at their head end means not paying for 'facilities' such as huts or pedestals and the gear that goes inside them in addition to the 'plant' they maintain, and then they are aggregating their connections in the CO which already has backhaul facilities. This allows them to service more subscribers making more profit with less capital expense, pretty much a no brainer.

This is where it gets really hairy. Cable providers (in the us ok idk re: denmark/globally) pay individual municipalities/areas/counties/etc for exclusive rights to provide cable services in a given market. They do not 'buy' the existing infrastructure in whatever shape it is in, they are given a license to 'operate' it, which in the Cost Of Goods Sold/expense writeoff vs capital investment standpoint is a pretty huge deal. Because of this, they upgrade and enhance their plant all the time in order to ensure they continue achieving ROI on the initial flat capital expense of the franchise fee. They see a real bottom line need to maintain/replace infrastructure that is aging and under-performing or satisfy subscribers that are increasing in amount or demands. What they don't have any motivation for is to improve their head-end infrastructure to enable higher-speed access on that last mile, because then they have to purchase more bandwidth at the Tier1 level and more equipment at their head end. All of this of course without being able to bury that cost under COGS for maintaining the network making them take on some capital expenditure that tips their balance sheet to where they cant be competitive on the bid when the franchise agreement comes up for review. Summary: Yeah our last mile rocks but we don't want to pay anything to increase your speed because you're gonna pay us the same amount for internet no matter what - even though we're screwing you we're the best deal in town.

Most (not all) Telcos on the other hand being LECs (local exchange carriers, remnants of the baby bells) are legally required to provide facilities to customers last mile as well as interconnection to other LECs and CLECS (competitive local exchange carriers). In return they receive government subsidies in addition to payments from other telecom entities to complete connections to their own subscribers that originate from different networks. The business model of a LEC specifically (not a CLEC or an ISP, but an actual LEC) is ridiculously inflating their retail pricing on big pipes (T1/PRI/DS3/OCn/MetroE) and not selling for a penny less than they want because "Thats our cost to provide the service, and what the market will support". Then that makes the schmucks trying to compete (ok NOW I'm talking CLECs lol) shoulder paying them on the backend just for the privilege of getting to that customer. It's simple to be billing outstanding revenue for existing plant/services through acquiring more wholesalers where you don't have to service a customer just interconnect all the while cherry picking the huge contracts by 'special case pricing'. It's all a sham, their backhaul can support millions of times more traffic but then there is the potential risk factor of you guessed it... capital expenditure that may not yield the economic prospects of return. They don't want to upgrade any of their last mile plant because it pays for itself already several times over. Why would you give up the goose laying the golden egg when the alternative is creating an equivalent of The Death Star - really expensive and time consuming, pretty scary to anybody else in your neighborhood that doesn't have one/knows its weakness - but if someone else has one they kinda cancel each other out. What happens if Uverse and Fios get opened up due to competition rules and the smaller carriers have a comparable offering but never footed the bill? They are so afraid of that - they retail out the biggest and brightest chunks of the market while still getting paid wholesale rates on everything going down the same wire they already paid for. .

Telephone calls seem hardly to ever even be a consideration on Slashdot, but they still make up for a pretty huge majority of telecom revenues and the overall business market. I have worked for a multimillion dollar firm with hundreds of employees and over a dozen offices with no more service to an individual site than bonded T1s channelized/dynamic PRI. And the bills for this utilization, keep in mind land lines (even PRI/SIP trunks because they physically terminate) pay into the tax/fee/LATA/Inter-LATA/Extra-LATA etc etc rates, and even just connecting calls in the same county let alone geographical area/state would cost thousands and thousands of dollars a month. All it is are the remnants of the 80s antitrust with the government taxing and in turn subsidizing, ma bell charging flat arbitrary (astronomical) rates for service, leasing out lines to 'competitors' that have to charge the same astronomical rates to 'compete', and then ma bell fighting amongst herself so furiously as to owes who and gets what that the large chunks of revenue turn into tiny scraps and line items on a balance sheet. This is why relying on our existing completely broken telecommunications infrastructure to fix our problems with access and capacity absolutely will never work.

Here is where my tirade goes somewhere. Cable is broken because of franchising, wireline facilities is broken because of monopolization/over regulation, satellite is broken due to capacity/latency, fixed wireless is broken due to lack of spectrum, mobile wireless (3g) is broken due to oversubscription, FTTH is broken because rollouts are too expensive per customer, hell the whole damn internet is broken at the last mile.... first mile everything is peachy keen and there is gobs of competition. In any decent carrier-neutral colocation facility you will be paying about as much for 50Mbit as you will for a standard business cable connection/T1. I have had an idea brewing for a while and I figure I may as well share it with Slashdot, as hopefully some of you will put it to use. Screw the 'providers' and 'carriers' for data, stop 'bundling' services and seeing it as essential that you have one provider for voice/internet/video. Let's open source the internet. It starts with technically savvy people understanding all the pieces to the puzzle.

Imagine a condominium complex. People are accustomed to paying a Homeowners association dues for upkeep and maintenance of their property. What would stop someone from building a new condominium complex from doing 2 Cat5e drops to each unit (if its run with the rest of the wiring and planned construction it will only be 20$ a drop or so per unit TOPS) Then a single mode fiber drop to each wiring closet with a pair of midgrade switches for a few grand, and a pair of routers sitting in a locked rack at the MPOE for the complex. Kicker is, it's not your router, it's a CPE that you swindled in your deal with the carrier. Offer 25Mbit symmetrical internet to 75 residents for $80/mo letting them know that it is AT COST as a 'groupon' type deal and that you can lower their total monthly cost for that speed locked down to $35/mo if they sign a 3/y and pay a small fee up front. And thats the brilliant part, you just got enough for your switches, and with all the credit you are holding over the subscribers with the ink you can get that ds3 or oc3 with a small commit paid for as a managed circuit with a managed cpe device. Or choose to pick a transport provider to get you a preferred Tier1, assuming more liability but reducing costs.

You simply plug your switches into the managed pipe, skim the difference off the bill as 'maintenance + upgrades', and the subscribers couldn't be happier. In fact, they are so stoked that they want to become involved in seeing what can be done to improve capacity or decrease cost - even potentially refer friends and family. Sound like a fairytale? People are quite tribal regarding where they live (Church, PTO, City Hall) or activities they enjoy (Scouting, School Sports, Book Club) and giving them the ability to make their own decisions will not only guarantee financial support, but moral support, and an awareness campaign. When I worked at a wireless ISP that serviced remote areas we had groups of people approach us willing to pool together to build a tower so they could have coverage. Right now there are a lot of people staying small due to economic reasons, but to double the competitions Mbit/s, make it fully symmetrical, be part of a small elite group, while literally saving 50% off your bill, come on its a no brainer.

That proof of concept scales very well to striking deals with developers to lay fiber in new developments. The problem with the commercial model of FTTH is right of way, trenching, attaching facilities to home/mpoe etc. In new developments where all work is being done at roughly the same time it is a simple feat to wire up all the homes for fiber.

Reason I was deliberately squirrely there regarding details is you can really run it either way you want, more control == more return == more overhead, however still a viable competitor to a traditional service offering on one hand or completely making it a committee of like minded people with a common goal pooling resources and nobody profiting. Either way it is no longer simply internet access but internet evangelism through a community of cooperation.

This model can be a large to one man isp/consultancy, a cooperative with a central logistics arm but helping many independent parties, or a non-profit dedicated to keeping their experience/speed high, costs low, and saving all the members money while providing a better product. If like most fixed wireless isp and satellite providers you charge a small site fee for any on-site troubleshooting and they own the physical wiring/infrastructure so if its screwed, pay me or someone else to fix it. Your only responsibility is to make sure that the SLA on your circuit(s) and switch hardware exceeds the SLA given to the end user. Once you have an amount of demand and payment guaranteed on paper somebody will get off their backside and give you that wholesale bandwidth on a managed connection. When a client wants more bump the commit, mark it up, renegotiate contracts every few years, good to go!

I'm not thinking of this as a moneymaking venture for myself at all, more trying to expose an idea that you don't need to be an ISP to provide internet, you don't need to be a carrier to provide a good alternative to consumers, and there's room for ma and pa on the internet too! I don't see why an idea of 'campus based' services cannot be supported with the current model of the internet. These huge companies obviously haven't figured a need to do anything but stifle each others innovation and maintain status quo, hell my internet isn't any faster than it was 10y ago and I live in a major metropolitan. Even though I know this won't catch on like wildfire its at least an alternative to complete corporate ownership of the whole net. While there is never going to be a way to cut out the backhaul providers we can still at least have some say in an internet *partially* owned by us.

In other news (2, Funny)

rshxd (1875730) | more than 3 years ago | (#34183962)

Torrent trackers have popped up all over the Netherlands from home 100Mbps users

Cable = 1GHz of bandwidth (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34184088)

One coax cable has a usable bandwidth of about 1GHz. All users connected to the same cable share this bandwidth. Depending on the signal-to-noise ratio, encodings, forward error correction, different effective channel capacities can be realized. In practice it's going to be about 7bits/s/Hz, so the total capacity of a coax cable is no more than 7Gbps, which of course isn't all available for internet access because people still want cable TV. At most 35 dedicated symmetric 100Mbps connections can be supplied by one coax cable, fewer if you consider technical limitations and split usage with cable TV. Hundreds of customers are typically connected to the same cable.

Not using it at full capacity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34184138)

At most 35 dedicated symmetric 100Mbps connections can be supplied by one coax cable, fewer if you consider technical limitations and split usage with cable TV. Hundreds of customers are typically connected to the same cable.

I don't think that ISPs should sell more than they can provide (if they know that the lines are in heavy use at peak hours and can't deliver the advertised speeds then, they should warn about that) but they certainly can and should use some basic teletraffic engineering. I find it very difficult to even come up with a scenario where all 35/35 people would be using their 100/100 connection at full upload and download speed at the same time. Despite being a heavy user of my 100/10 Mbps connection, I'm pretty certain that you could easily serve twice or thrice the amount of people without anyone noticing any difference (except possibly at peak hours... but I doubt even that in most real world situations).

I want my ISP to provide what they sell but I also don't want them to charge me extra because they build infrastructure for amounts of traffic that don't ever occur...

That said, your other point about technical limitations stands true: Many technical limitations put the throughput well below the theoretical capacity.

Re:Not using it at full capacity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34184182)

Typical contention ratios are in the hundreds to one, i.e. uplink capacity is oversold several hundredfold. This is true not just for cable but also for DSL and other internet access technologies.

Re:Not using it at full capacity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34184246)

really? in the UK they are ty[ically 50:1 , 30:1 , 20:1 and in one isp called bethere claims 1:1 with their connections

don't know what country you are in but methinks yer being humped

Re:Cable = 1GHz of bandwidth (3, Informative)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184162)

Where I live, we have cable in a star topology, rather than ring/loop, and just in these 4 houses, there are 220 apartments. Yet I can still hit 5-6 MB/s during peak hours, on a 50Mb/s down connection, from a decent FTP like say Sunet.

Re:Cable = 1GHz of bandwidth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34185444)

we have cable in a star topology

Star topology (tree topology really) is unlikely, except in-house and where many (i.e. hundreds) customers are in a very small area. Relatively modern in-house installations are often in star topology to facilitate cheap transitions to satellite TV. With a cable feed, all branches still end up with the same signal, so even though it's physically a star topology, it might as well be a chain/bus.

in these 4 houses, there are 220 apartments

...and you have not installed gigabit ethernet yet?

That's how it is everywhere (4, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34185608)

Cable is basically always star with regards to multiple houses. Reason is that cable companies need to be able to charge per house, connect and disconnect services per house. If it was looped through all places, well then they'd lose any ability to do that.

What you also discover is that for a lot of reasons, cable Internet being one of them, they've built out the fiber part of their network quite far. The cable network isn't all coax and hasn't been forever. It is called a HFC, Hybrid Fiber Coax, network because that is what it is. So you find that because of that, they can and do segment it down pretty far. Yes you'll share with other places, but probably somewhere in the 32-128 realm, which is the same you get with a FTTH PON connection.

Also with DOCSIS 3 they can separate users out even more. DOCSIS 3 allows for multiple channels to be used for data (that is how it gets its speed). Well they can have even more channels than a single person gets. So each user gets, say, 4 channels (152mbits) on their modem. However they have a total of 16 channels for a segment. They then stagger what channels users are on so there's less sharing going on.

Don't get me wrong, FTTH has the capacity to be faster in the long run, fiber optics just has more theoretical bandwidth because of that whole Shannon's Law thing. However cable can work very well, and does when providers want it to.

Mb or MB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34184094)

I guess it should be 100MBps, not 100Mbps

Re:Mb or MB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34184194)

While 100 megabytes/sec would be wonderful, it would never be usable by 99% of home users. Also, internet speeds are always advertised in bits/sec.

burst (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184122)

And yet no provider is going to stand for more than a couple of people actually operating at that speed more than a few hours a month. Lines are congested; transit isn't free. Internet access is being mis-sold just like everything else today: on the basis of a few upfront figures but ignoring the ongoing experience.

(Only yesterday I was confirming once again that there is no point upgrading my 10-year-old printer and CRT, while another dead mid-range LCD gets dismantled for parts after five years of life.)

Re:burst (2, Informative)

Splab (574204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184158)

Err, not everyone lives in countries with no consumer rights.

I can go at 40-50mbit all day both directions and not a word from my ISP (capped by my inferior linksys router, actual line speed is 60mbit) - what they have realised around here is most people wont be going "balls-out" all day on their connection, there is simply a maximum for how much information any given pira.. err user can crave.

Re:burst (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184218)

So are you confirming or disagreeing with what I said? I'm also on one of the few "Unlimited" ISPs in the country which, to everyone's knowledge, has never (for those on its premium brand) kicked someone off for excessive usage, nor does it shape traffic.

This is only possible, as staff have suggested, because pretty much everyone either transfers an insignificant amount of data or practices restraint. If even a sizeable minority were to take unrestrained advantage of the Internet's wealth of multimedia resources, as has been increasingly happening with mainstream ISPs, the ISPs end up introducing fair usage policy/caps/throttling/traffic management (sometimes not revealing this last until a few technically minded people demonstrate it).

Re:burst (1)

del_diablo (1747634) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184480)

Lets say the ISP get 1-2Gigabyte in total speed.
We spread that on 2-3 thousend hourses.
That is close to 1 entire megabyte per house, but ONLY if its a peak hour and everyone is using. About as much as perhaps 1/6 will want to torrent in this generation, which needs steady +1 megabyte connection, the rest will use neglishable except for youtube streaming for short moments, it balances itself.... except in really odd cases.
If we speculate, we could sell 8-80-200 megabit services, where only a few will actually buy 200. Most will buy 8, which again in turn means more bandwith since they will barely use it.
Now... lets say you sell this connection to 60-80 thousend, along with 8 and 20 services in megabits, then you are SCAMMING the people. Because there will not be an entire megabyte availon except for the really rare occasion.
Scam = should be illegal
Capping service without it being properly baked into the price or the commercials = scam
Not giving out enough speed = scam
So fuck fair useage, sell proper what the network can actually DO! Capping is scamming, so is restraining, except if its baked into the deal, where by principal nobody wo

Re:burst (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184762)

This is only possible, as staff have suggested, because pretty much everyone either transfers an insignificant amount of data or practices restraint. If even a sizeable minority were to take unrestrained advantage of the Internet's wealth of multimedia resources, as has been increasingly happening with mainstream ISPs, the ISPs end up introducing fair usage policy/caps/throttling/traffic management (sometimes not revealing this last until a few technically minded people demonstrate it).

If the norm for what is "normal" to use on an unlimited line changes, then the company should change their oversubscription, not add more (*) conditions. This whole thing is created by having one product, even though we know the profitability varies greatly and trying to "clamp" it so the unprofitable ones can't actually use it as advertised. If you want a "Value" subscription that isn't like the "Unlimited" subscription, then go for it.

They've tried that here, everyone went for the cap-free subscriptions so that the others eventually died off. You might argue that the market is acting irrational in subsidizing the bandwidth hogs, but there you are. What's funny is that here the Norwegian companies are free market, and the US ISPs are socialist. Yes, that's what they are. "Please use only what you need, restrain yourself, be fair to the rest" is pretty much one half of "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need". For corporate profits of course, but that is the appeal.

Re:burst (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34184166)

If you are referring to bandwidth caps, I can assure you that most providers in the Netherlands (where the ISP in the article is located) have no such thing. Some have a 'fair use' policy, the rest are truly unlimited.

I'm on DSL and get the full 30 Mbps I pay for. No caps, no throttling, no nonsense.

Re:burst (1)

Pax681 (1002592) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184266)

i am with the UK ISP mentioned by the AC above and it's 24/2.5 ADSL2+ utterly uncapped and i FTP plenty of files fdor work and stream video etc till the cows come home, download like a madman and no complaints from my isp.

i once pushed them on the contention ratio being 1:1 and was informed that it was a "virtual 1:1 contention ratio" , peforms well enough as i am close to the exchange(400 meters by wire)

Re:burst (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184704)

The problem with 100Mb/s is that it quite often just moves the bottleneck elsewhere. A few years ago, I had a machine on campus connected to a GigE network which linked to a 34Gb/s Internet connection. When connecting to things on ja.net, I could download so fast that the bottleneck was my disk - if you watched memory usage, it would quickly shoot to 100% as the disk cache filled up and then the download speed would start to drop. For pretty much everything else, there was no noticeable difference between that and my 10Mb/s connection at home. If the server is also on a 100Mb/s connection and serving 10 clients at once, it can only allocate 10Mb/s to you. If it's on a 10Mb/s connection (many cheap colo machines are), then it can't even saturate your connection if you're the only client.

The 100Mb/s upstream on this makes it much more interesting, because it means that a lot more people can host things at home and the Internet can return to a more flat topology. More communication between peers means less chance of a server being a bottleneck.

Australian NBN (1)

Wizarth (785742) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184132)

This is the technology the Australian Coalition party is suggesting is equivalent/good enough compared to FTTH. If this is the first live deployment of it, I would want to know distances involved to get these speeds, and how many bonded pairs are required - and if these pairs are installed in Australian DOCSIS setups.

Also, no-one seems to feel that a symmetrical connection is valuable, focus is on download speed and upload speed a footnote. As a business operator with off-site backups, as well as transferring raw video content to be processed in other offices, upload speed is critical to me.

Re:Australian NBN (1)

xnpu (963139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184170)

IMHO, upload is becoming increasingly important. More and more people are stuffing things onto cloud drives, youtube's, video calls, etc.

As for the distance in Netherlands: where I lived the TV cable divider was rarely more than 500m away. Much better than copper, which I was usually 4-6km away from.

Inferior to fiber (3, Informative)

PseudonymousBraveguy (1857734) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184160)

The test itself is important because cable operators are still, perhaps unfairly, seen by some as being inferior to fully fibre optic-based broadband services

Of course cable *is* (technologically) inferior to fiber. There's no doubt about it. 100Mbps would be trivial on fiber, heck 1Gbps would be trivial on fiber. The only advantage of cable is that it's already there, whereas for FTTH the vast majority of households will have to wait for a long time until they are connected.

Re:Inferior to fiber (2, Interesting)

Kvasio (127200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184484)

No, there is another one. For time being, POE works way better on copper than on fibre.

Re:Inferior to fiber (1)

fgouget (925644) | more than 3 years ago | (#34185726)

No, there is another one. For time being, POE works way better on copper than on fibre.

How many cable ISPs provide POE? How many DSL ISPs do so for that matter? Right. None. So that point is irrelevant in this discussion.

Re:Inferior to fiber (1)

teachknowlegy (1003477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184678)

Inferior? Depends on how you look at it. Ever experienced Verizon customer service? How about Comcast customer service? I've had poor experiences with both. However, I'm losing far less money per month when things go wrong with a less expensive service. Also, my *primary* home line is DSL. I could have cable here, at a full 50Mbps (actual, I've tested it). I don't need it. I stream HD video to a five plus member LAN with little or no delay after a moment of buffering (at 768Kbps) My in laws, OTOH insist they need it for their two email machines. There is more to technology than wires. Customer service and resource management count, too.

Re:Inferior to fiber (1)

AltairDusk (1757788) | more than 3 years ago | (#34185238)

Customer service has nothing to do with cable being technologically inferior though. If GP was judging the ISPs then taking customer service into account makes perfect sense but they were only comparing the technological merits of a coax cable connection vs a fiber to the home connection.

Re:Inferior to fiber (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184852)

Cable is superior in one very important way: it is already in the ground, meaning that it costs a lot less to use than newly laid fibre. That said, the quote was about cable services being seen as inferior to fibre services, and this is often not true. A 10Mb/s cable service is clearly inferior to a 1Gb/s fibre service, but a 100Mb/s cable service is not necessarily worse than a 100Mb/s fibre service.

Perhaps not as inferior as you think (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34185522)

It is true, that fiber has more theoretical bandwidth. Light operates up in the 100s of THz range. However making use of all that potential bandwidth isn't as easy as one might hope, particularly in a passive network. Remember that FTTH is NOT fiber like you find in a data center. It is not a point-to-point, active network. It is a passive optical network. That is a point-to-multipoint setup where you have multiple people connected using passive optical splitters and you are sharing bandwidth.

Well this implies a whole bunch of things. One is like I said bandwidth sharing with others (as happens with cable), another is that while WDM is used, it is only used to put downstream, upstream and video on one fiber. There aren't multiple channels for DS and US at this point. Also the technology for the signaling isn't as fast as you might hope. While gigabit stuff is coming online in some places and 10G is in development, most of it is BPON which is OC-3 to OC-12 speeds (155-622mb). Not bad at all, but not as fast as you might think, and not outside of what DOCSIS 3 can do. Currently at my place I'm on a network with a total of 152mb/sec of potential bandwidth with the number of channels in use (4) and more can be added.

Don't get me wrong, fiber has more bandwidth potential and there's no question on that. However cable is not as bad as you think, nor is the fiber technology you get to your house as advanced as you might wish.

Cable still holds its own quite well, especially when you compare speeds to what is useful. While geeks love to gush over bandwidth numbers for their own sake, you have to ask how much really matters. How much really makes a difference in a browsing experience for a normal user, on the net right now. Well that depends on how fast servers will hand things out, what kind of bandwidth things like video need, and so on. Well turns you that 20mbit is pretty much "good enough for anyone." Around there you stop noticing much improvement with higher speeds. Sites just won't send you the data much faster, it is enough to stream even very high quality HD video, there just isn't much improvement at present moving to something faster.

I've gone from 20mbit to 50mbit (and actually more like 100mbit in reality because they are not choosing to limit my modem at this time) and the improvement is extremely minor. Browsing the web is no different (nor is it any different at work on a gig network out to a good deal of bandwidth), I wait on ad serving sites to respond or the browser to render, if anything. It is instant in most cases. Files don't really download any faster form most places, they just won't give a single user more bandwidth. Steam does get faster downloads, if their servers aren't loaded, but that's about all. Any video streams immediately and well, including the high bandwidth HD stuff form places like VUDU. I like my faster net, because it is cool, but in terms of user experience it really is a wash.

Fiber is the ultimate way to go, but there is no need to rush on it. Cable really does have a lot of life left to it.

Re:Inferior to fiber (1)

fgouget (925644) | more than 3 years ago | (#34185676)

Of course cable *is* (technologically) inferior to fiber. There's no doubt about it. 100Mbps would be trivial on fiber, heck 1Gbps would be trivial on fiber.

Correction: 1Gbps is trivial on fiber.

In France the number one ISP, Orange [generation-nt.com], is deploying fiber using the G-PON [wikipedia.org] technology for residential service. This means 2Gbps downstream and 1Gbps upstream. Of course they don't give you access the the full bandwidth, mostly for commercial reasons. However the point is that the 'optical modem' they send you already communicates at gigabit speeds while being cheap enough to be deployed on a large scale.

cable is pretty good in NL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34184228)

Both of the big cable companies in the Netherlands (UPC/Ziggo) already have subscriptions that give you 120/10mbps speeds (for €65ish a month in the case of Ziggo at least), and I am loving it, especially the 10mbps up it gives is way beyond anything I can get with VDSL here. As someone who used to swear by DSL (for low pings reliability etc) I have to say DOCSIS3-cable has definitely won me over. Which is a bummer because I was fond of my old DSL ISP, but the DSL is just falling behind too far now.

I think the fast speeds being offered now by the cable ISPs here is to proof to our government they don't need to invest in fiber networks and let the market take care of itself. I'm not sure if that is a good thing in the long term, but for now I am a happy consumer :)

Re:cable is pretty good in NL (1)

servies (301423) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184300)

I think the fast speeds being offered now by the cable ISPs here is to proof to our government they don't need to invest in fiber networks and let the market take care of itself

What fast speeds. 10Mbit up is NOT enough... maybe for the coming 1 or 2 years but after that it's probably no longer enough.... and that 10Mbit up I only get when I take the most expensive subscription. I want a symmetric connection.
CAI Harderwijk is just a small provider with probably a relatively new network. UPC and Ziggo all have networks that are largely more than 20 years old with all the age problems included. Theoretically they will be able to do the same, practically not...
In the neighbourhood where I live, there will be fiber next year and I predict a marginalization for UPC in the coming years around here...They just won't be able to keep up...

Re:cable is pretty good in NL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34185212)

10Mbit? Oh boo-hoo. Here in the U.S.of A, time warner is more than happy to cap upload speed at -- 512kbps. Yeah that's right. Pay through the nose and you might be able to get 2Mbps.

Regional monopolies suck.

Cableperformance in Netherlands (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34184238)

About cable performance in the Netherlands:

I've got an 120/10 Mbit account (with another ISP) and my speeds are near perfect. Outside rushhour that is.
At about 10pm, when the rushhour here starts to fall (http://www.ams-ix.net/cgi-bin/stats/16all?log=totalall;png=daily) the speeds climb to the advertised speed giving me 14,4 Mbyte/s download, rock steady, flatline.

In my opinion I can't see why consumers need higher speeds than this, I never reach the max speed because the sending end doesn't, exept using usenet. And when using usenet my single SATA drive can hardly keep up.
That is in this point of time anyway...

Re:Cableperformance in Netherlands (1)

servies (301423) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184304)

In my opinion I can't see why consumers need higher speeds than this, I never reach the max speed because the sending end doesn't, exept using usenet.

Luckily not everyone is as shortsighted as you are...

And when using usenet my single SATA drive can hardly keep up.

Check your hardware, copying files from my home server goes with a speed that's at least 500 Mbit... Let me guess your internal network is only 100Mbit...

Cable IS Superior (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184250)

Cable DOCSIS 3 technology can achieve 160/100 mbps to a node, which is shared between 64, 128, or even more users, depending on how cheap/small the cable company is. For comparison's sake, Verizon's FIOS uses a Passive Optical Network (PON) to share 1 or 2.4 gbps among 32 users, depending on how aged the equipment is. Currently Verizon is testing XGPON, which will allow them to deliver 10 gbps to 32 users. This will make 1 gbps connections the standard. There is no competition between cable and fiber.

Re:Cable IS Superior (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184326)

How does 1 gbps make cable superior to fiber? Fiber has no trouble at all to offer that kind of bandwidth.

Re:Cable IS Superior (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34185018)

160/100 Mbps to node? I have 200/10 Mbit/s cable (DOCSIS 3, euro version). How does that work then?

Re:Cable IS Superior (1)

Ksevio (865461) | more than 3 years ago | (#34185796)

On the other hand, the typical speed provided to the consumer is 5-25 Mbps so until they start upping that dramatically, it's not going to matter.

8 days to download movies (2, Interesting)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184284)

With high speed Internet, at one point it might be simpler to download zip with all relevant films ever made then to download it one by one. Lets assume there is 100 quality films created each year. For one movie in reasonable quality, you need 1GB. Assuming most people are interested in last 50 years of film industry and only few pieces older then that, you get something like 5TB zip file. Now, lets assume this 100Mbps line works on average with 60% avg. speed, it means 8 days to download "movie" file. So, still plenty room for improvement. We need something to download it overnight.

Re:8 days to download movies (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184380)

For one movie in reasonable quality, you need 1GB.

I'm not so sure about that, with current state-of-the-art compression we're still looking at 720p movies weighing in at 2 GiB for decent quality. And for a lot of movies it makes a lot more sense to aim for 4 GiB rather than compromising quality just to save a little bandwidth.

If you're going with 1080p you can probably expect an average file size of 5 GiB per movie or so if you want reasonable quality. That's more like 25 TiB with 50 * 100 movies (although I find that number suspiciously high, I'm usually happy if I find more than three new movies per month that I think are good enough to bother watching, and after watching about a third of those turn out to be disappointments. So a more reasonable rate of new relevant movies per year would probably be 10-12, let's go with the higher number. We also have to factor in that as time passes some good movies become classics and retain their appeal while others fall out of favor, so we're unlikely to even want to download 12*50 movies at once, more likely we'll settle on something like half of that.

Now we're down to a library of 300 movies that can be subjectively considered the best of the last 50 years. If we disregard the technical issues and plain insanity of compressing all of these movies into one archive file and focus on the size that's only about 1.5 TiB. With my current connection I could easily download that in under 48 hours.

Considering that 300 movies should come to about 90*300 minutes of watching or about 450 hours I'd say that's plenty. You could watch one movie per night for a whole year with a 48 hour download. That's pretty good.

Now, the problem here is of course getting your hands on those movies, if you want the latest and greatest or one of the "universal" classics you can probably get it, but what if you want something else? That's becoming more and more of a problem, we have the bandwidth but to steal a phrase, the "long tail" of the content is still hard to get.

Re:8 days to download movies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34184924)

Now, the problem here is of course *LEGALLY* getting your hands on ... movies

Fixed that for you. Pirated media is more easily accessible than the legal media, that would be the pitfall and why piracy is so wide spread. Besides iTunes, I don't even know where I would download (not stream, I have netflix) a full length movie for personal use.

Re:8 days to download movies (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34185680)

Not everyone downloads to keep. Streaming is where things are currently moving, and people are going to want consistent, high performance for that. What if I want to stream and watch a different movie than the kids or the wife? That doubles the bandwidth right there.

Re:8 days to download movies (2, Funny)

fnj (64210) | more than 3 years ago | (#34185836)

Anything less than 10GB for a movie looks like CRAP.

Re:8 days to download movies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34185036)

I can wait for 8 days.

I mean, 100 movies per year for 50 years. That's 5,000 movies. Let's say at least 1h30 each. That's at least 7,500 hours. Or 312 days to be spent in a row in front of a TV set!

Yes, I can wait.

Fibre good because of less obvious reasons (2, Interesting)

Device666 (901563) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184406)

In the end we will end up with fiber, but not necessarily because of the obvious reasons. In Negroponte's book "Being Digital" he writes about the Chinese destroying the network because of theft of the copper. So the Chinese had to use fiber because copper based network became very expensive in numerous ways. I don't say the Dutch or citizens of any other country will steal the copper, but if there is so much speculation in the commodities prices might become so high fiber will become most attractive. I am Dutch. Just before the dot com boom I moved to a rented flat. This new flat had fiber everywhere and not yet cable. Then the dot com bubble exploded and neither the cabling, telephone or fiber company wanted to do further investments on their networks. I ended up living above a fiber network which wasn't finished and no cable, so I had to resort to my old 56K dailup modem, while most people had cable or adsl. I remember the price of downloading a debian iso image. My telephone cost where often around 800 euro's that time. Ofcourse I moved again shortly. But I still hear that on my old flat they don't have fiber, though they do have cable.

Re:Fibre good because of less obvious reasons (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184448)

I'm in the UK. There are stories every other week about theft of metals like railway lines and signalling, telephone cabling, even manhole covers etc. for sale on the black market. It costs the companies involved millions each year and they have special insurance for it. This is part of the reason that BT uses as much fibre as they can now and are pushing FTTH or FTTC.

I was stunned to see copper guttering on the outside of buildings when I visited Europe recently. There is no way that something like that would last two seconds in the UK without someone just pulling it off and walking away with it.

Re:Fibre good because of less obvious reasons (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184470)

Wow, that gave me a great business idea, selling fake "electrocuted" birds. You put a couple of those in front of your house along with a speaker playing a buzzing/cackling sound and you can probably scare off all but the very smart or very stupid thieves :P

Re:Fibre good because of less obvious reasons (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34185760)

In Detroit it is not uncommon for persons to be electrocuted stealing live power lines for copper.

Re:Fibre good because of less obvious reasons (1)

HornyBastard (666805) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184494)

Same here in South Africa. Except for the last mile, which is still copper, most of the network has systematically been upgraded to fiber. Something that made newspaper headlines a few years ago. The Western Cape is South Africa's largest exporter of copper, but there is not a single copper mine in the Western Cape.

Re:Fibre good because of less obvious reasons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34185598)

I'm in the UK. [...] I visited Europe recently.

Can you imagine someone saying "I'm in Alaska. I visited the US recently."?

Re:Fibre good because of less obvious reasons (2, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34186028)

No, but it's the same as me saying that I'm in the US and I visited Northern America recently, or I'm in China and I visited Asia recently. Europe is a continent, the US is not (despite its ambitions).
(
That said, it's obviously implied to mean "elsewhere in Europe", or "Mainland Europe". And surveys shows that most English (UK, but that's another geography lesson) people don't class themselves as European. How would you like it if we referred to the US using the same word as we do for Canada and thus didn't distinguish between the two of you? How many people think English or even Welsh or Scottish when they refer to their European friends? The UK / Europe is a very difficult subject sometimes. Hell, calling a Welshman English is likely to incur substantial dental bills on it's own, and they are both "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland", in fact they are both Great Britain.

Tip: Don't refer to English people as European if you're doing business with them. It can leave a bad taste.

Not discussed: Part fibre, part copper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34184552)

The advantages and disadvantages of both have been mentioned (fibre: you have to dig up the street and it can be faster; copper: you don't have to dig up the street and it can be really fast), but at least in the UK there tends to be a combination.

If you go with the "Mainstream fibre provider" (Virgin) you will get "Fibre" at 50mpbs, although this is simply a fibreoptic connection to your local telephone cabinet, and copper from there. It still gives me very stable 51mbps speed test speeds, whereas the best ADSL is 16mbps. Although naturally coming across as a bastard child to most Slashdotters, maybe this is a way to overcome the problem of variable copper quality?

Email and News, with a dash of YouTube (1)

myneknoturs (1937926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184578)

Having people think that they NEED FTTH is laughable at best. Really, take a moment and think of home many people you know that would actually utilize that pipe. Now think about how many people you know actually utilize all of a coax pipe even with a 10mbps xfer. 100mbps is pretty sweet, I can still remember upgrading my 14.4 modem to a 28.8. But if you think about it the only people that would actually use the full potential of that pipe are a few college kids sharing a place with all their xboxes hooked up while d/l the next crappy album by some band to put on their ipod.

Re:Email and News, with a dash of YouTube (1)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184870)

What is this 'need' you are speaking of?

Strictly speaking, we need food, water, shelter and human companionship. Some of us would beg to differ on the latter.

Everything else is a luxury. We defined that certain luxuries should now be considered essential. That's okay. But the reason for this reassignment can have its root in pure wishing, liking and wanting.

I'm not gonna die if I can't download whatever off the internet in the blink of an eye. But I'm gonna like being able to do it a hell of a lot.

I don't NEED FTTH. I just WANT it very, very badly.

Re:Email and News, with a dash of YouTube (1)

CProgrammer98 (240351) | more than 3 years ago | (#34185204)

some people have this thing callled a Family...

  5 people in our house, 2 playing Wow, 2 watching iPlayer and someone else torrenting from eztv - that sweet 50Mbps Virginmedia cable connection we have starts getting stressed. (yes, that does happen a lot!)

We're moving more towards online entertainment all the time (netflix etc) so it's not unreasonable that 100mbps will become the expected connection speed before too much longer.

Re:Email and News, with a dash of YouTube (1)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 3 years ago | (#34185312)

Drop the torrenting for some better P2P solution, and your connection will be sufficient. Back when I shared an apartment with several other people, as soon as we blocked torrents, 5 people could split a (back then blazing fast) 24Mb/s down connection.

Re:Email and News, with a dash of YouTube (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34185912)

What P2P solution is better than BitTorrent?

A little historical context. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34184594)

At least in the Netherlands, cable used to have a bad name courtesy casema.nl and the system they used, I forgot its name, that was: 1) based on the premise of bringing viditel/vtx/btx/minitel with a base requirement of 1200/75 into the home via cable, and 2) woefully underspecced, so that even if you didn't live in an area with a lot of subscribers you could expect no more than something like 4k down and less up. Oftentimes it was slower than a contemporary modem. That and their epically bad customer service, causing angry mobs to show up at their front door, an extreme rarity in the Netherlands.

I know of at least one competitor that used the same system with marginally less bad results, so it wasn't just the company, but the combination left a bit of a trauma with the collective dutch internet service market.

What planet are you on? (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 3 years ago | (#34184800)

In reality, cable operators are, for the most part, continuing to keep pace.

Keep pace with who? Another monopoly I am unware of? I'm pretty sure my ISP would deny the existence of DOCSIS 3 if I asked them about it, let alone this strange thing you call symmetry.

Eastlink in NS, Canada has had this for awhile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34185178)

Eastlink has had 100mbps DOCSIS 3 cable for awhile now.

http://eastlink.ca/internet/docsis3/index.asp

Fixed IP addresses? (4, Informative)

FridayBob (619244) | more than 3 years ago | (#34185474)

One of the things I hate about cable Internet is that, in the Netherlands (and probably elsewhere as well), consumers always seem to be given dynamic IP addresses. So, I called up CAI Harderwijk, a non-profit organization incidentally, to ask them directly about this. Apparently, they are indeed a cable operator (not an ISP), so they said this issue was always up to the various ISPs that make use of their infrastructure. Nevertheless, I asked why, in their opinion, do cable ISPs in general not offer fixed addresses? Well, they do, apparently, since this is also possible with previous DOCSIS versions, but its a privilege that is usually reserved for business customers. Most cable ISPs consider it unnecessarily expensive to provide all customers with fixed IP addresses.

Otherwise, CAI Harderwijk now have a thoroughly modern infrastructure. For instance, they can remotely control the availability of their services to individual clients. This is as opposed to UPC (the only available cable ISP in and around Amsterdam), who still have to arrange their client connections locally and manually. The latter method has the added disadvantage that a small percentage of cable customers will always enjoy services for which they do not pay -- something that is impossible to avoid due to the scale and the administration involved. CAI Harderwijk does not have this problem; an advantage that they can now pass on to their ISP customers.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...