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Global Broadband Speeds Dropped At the End of 2011

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the new-jersey-isn't-a-city-oh-wait dept.

The Internet 118

darthcamaro writes "A strange thing happened at the end of 2011. For the first time in years, global broadband adoption and speeds dropped. According to Akamai, broadband adoption declined by 4.6 percent and average speeds declined by 14 percent. In a somewhat strange twist, New Jersey now also dominates the top 5 list of fastest broadband cities in the U.S, though Boston is the fastest overall at 8.4 Mbps."

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City, State, whatever (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39856573)

New Jersey is just a city now? That IS a strange twist...

Re:City, State, whatever (3, Funny)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#39856625)

its one huge suburb of NYC

Re:City, State, whatever (3, Funny)

what2123 (1116571) | more than 2 years ago | (#39856689)

Hey, Hey! Now you wait just one second. There are a few million that still consider themselves apart of the Philly Burbs.

Re:City, State, whatever (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39856713)

People seriously need to go back to school and get some reading comprehension.

"New Jersey now also dominates the top 5 list of fastest broadband cities in the U.S"

The phrase "New Jersey dominates the list" means that the majority of cities on that list are in New Jersey.

Oh look (FTA): The fastest city in the US is Boston at 8.4 Mbps; fractionally ahead of North Bergen, NJ for average connection speed. Jersey City, NJ came in third at 8.3 Mbps, Monterey Park, CA fourth at 8.2 Mbps and Clifton, NJ fifth at 8.0 Mbps

3/5 cities on that list are in NJ. Hence, NJ dominates the list.

Re:City, State, whatever (2)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#39858189)

i thought the same thing for about a split second, then i realized it was a joke on new jersey, which is always appropriate and funny. what was that about reading comprehension?

Re:City, State, whatever (1)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 2 years ago | (#39858961)

Comprehension or not, the phrasing is terrible as the sentence was unnecessarily ambiguous. You could legitimately think that there is a city called New Jersey which has an overwhelming lead over the other cities on the Top 5 list and the sentence would work perfectly. There's a city called New York, which might well dominate top 5 lists of many things, so this is not all that hard to believe.

You could have just said "Cities in New Jersey dominate the list," and it would have been crystal clear.

Re:City, State, whatever (1)

exploder (196936) | more than 2 years ago | (#39860137)

You could legitimately think that there is a city called New Jersey which has an overwhelming lead over the other cities on the Top 5 list

No, you couldn't, because it says that Boston is fastest.

Re:City, State, whatever (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39856727)

Wow, almost all of the first posts are complaining about the same thing, and for once timothy is right and they are all wrong. TFS said:

In a somewhat strange twist, New Jersey now also dominates the top 5 list of fastest broadband cities

This is correct. Cities in New Jersey have three of the spots (2, 3 and 5) on the top 5 list.

Re:City, State, whatever (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 2 years ago | (#39856865)

FWIW, my complaint is towards "somewhat strange". NJ has the highest population density of any state in the US. That's pretty much exactly the kind of state I'd expect to dominate this kind of list.

Re:City, State, whatever (1)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 2 years ago | (#39857539)

I'll spare you my thoughts on Newark and why strange might be fair.

One reasonable explanation is that AT&T is based in NJ. It's kind of like Comcast having a big presence in PA.

Re:City, State, whatever (4, Informative)

ffejie (779512) | more than 2 years ago | (#39858513)

A couple things to consider, as someone who works in the industry, and lives in New Jersey.

NJ has the highest population density (1189/sq mile) [wikipedia.org] . It is surrounded by two major cities (New York and Philadelphia).

AT&T is not based here, but they used to be, before SBC bought and renamed themselves. That company is now based in Dallas. There are still a lot of AT&Ters around the state in large facilities. This doesn't really matter though, considering AT&T probably provides local access to less than 1% of the NJ population.

Verizon is based here. Their actual headquarters is located in New York City, but all of the executives sit in Basking Ridge, NJ. This is important, because almost all of the Verizon employees at a director level and above are now in New Jersey. Different from AT&T, they are the local telco in almost every town.

Comcast is based in Philly. Lots of Comcast employees live in New Jersey. Comcast is a major cable franchise in NJ (as it is in most places).

The state of NJ, a few years ago, granted Verizon a state wide video franchise. [cedmagazine.com] This is a big deal. It means that Verizon can offer FiOS everywhere in the state without negotiating with the 566 different municipalities in the state [wikipedia.org] . (566 municipalities for 8.8 Million people - NJ is a a good example of local government gone awry. Compare to 351 for 6.6M in MA, or 482 for 37M in California)

As the result of the above, FiOS is available in most towns, offering 20-50Mbps internet. Comcast Xfinity offers their highest tier service wherever there is FiOS, so nearly everyone in the state can get fast internet if they're willing to pay $30-$60/month. Notice to governments: reducing the amount of regulation (state wide franchise) can create more competition which can yield better results for citizens.

Re:City, State, whatever (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | more than 2 years ago | (#39859905)

The speed increases and jump in any rankings can be attributed to Fios. Prior to 2007, broadband was pretty lousy in NJ. Comcast was slow crap... ever since @Home imploded back in December of 2001. I had faster service with them back in 1997 then I had from 2001 to 2007! Cablevision's Optimum Online was always the fastest in those days, basically 8/1Mbit service.

Re:City, State, whatever (2)

Kevin Stevens (227724) | more than 2 years ago | (#39859207)

As a resident of Jersey City, I am not surprised we are on that list. They pretty much started ripping up the entire waterfront starting about 15 years ago, and just rebuilt the whole thing from scratch. I actually had fiber running into my last apartment, which was a new building. Multiple data jacks in each room- topped off with a real patch panel in one of the closets, it was a dork's dream...

Many people have never heard of it, but Jersey City is directly across from Manhattan on the other side of the Hudson river, and many financial firms, which have big data requirements, have relocated their technology departments (or their entire offices) there. Verizon Fios is available in most parts of the city, and they offer 150/35Mbps, though the "standard" is 50/20 or 25/25.

Re:City, State, whatever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39857189)

How else are the corporations going to keep their Indian guests in touch with the "Indian homeland?" The cheapest labor pool in America is located in New Jersey and it keeps growing. Heck, you can't even jump your our gasoline in New Jersey due to state law. Besides, the mafia need the high-speeds to conduct business in the twenty-first century.

New Jersey (1, Funny)

mikehilly (653401) | more than 2 years ago | (#39856579)

I hate that city!

Re:New Jersey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39856617)

I'm sure they meant Jersey City, but I have to admit I did a double take when I read that. (Resident of the Great City of New Jersey)

Re:New Jersey (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#39856719)

No they didn't.

In order to "dominate" a list of 5 items and yet not be the top item you have to occupy multiple spots in the list.

Hence, more than one of cities (3 to be precise) in the list are cities in New Jersey.

But yes it's terrible wording.

Re:New Jersey (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39856747)

What they actually meant was that the state of New Jersey dominates the top 5 because several of the cities in the top 5 are in New Jersey. Jersey City isn't in the top spot though. That's taken by Boston. This service provided by someone who doesn't speak the language natively. HTH.

New Jersey...and Pace Picante Salsa (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#39858771)

Ok...can someone answer this for me.

The early on, Pace Picante salsa commercials, the first one with the cowboys sitting around the fire...complaining that the salsa didn't taste right....then looking at the label saying "This ones made in New Jersey".

The whole group goes "New Jersey"??? And you hear one voice doing..."Get a rope...."

Ok...awhile after that came out...and was established as a funny common commercial...for some reason, they took and re-dubbed it to say "New York City"....and all subsequent commercials along that line always said NYC...never New Jersey again.

i've never been able to find out why they changed that. Did NJ complain? It was much funnier the original way.

Maybe someone in NJ, with the high speed internet can research this better than I, and report back on this....

Re:New Jersey (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39857031)

The good news is, the country's fastest broadband can be found in New Jersey. The bad news is, the country's fastest broadband is in New Jersey.

timothy! GEOGRAPHY! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39856581)

Hey timmyboy,

New Jersey now also dominates the top 5 list of fastest broadband cities in the U.S

Didn't you learn in the first grade that New Jersey is a state? Oh, wait; I'm asking too much here. Nevermind!

Re:timothy! GEOGRAPHY! (1)

Mr. Esterhouse (849759) | more than 2 years ago | (#39857207)

OMG people!!! Reading the article is the first step. Comprehending it is the next and the most important.

Re:timothy! GEOGRAPHY! (1)

Rasperin (1034758) | more than 2 years ago | (#39858337)

Welcome to /. you must be a Microsoft shill.

Re:timothy! GEOGRAPHY! (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39859175)

Nah, his UID is too low. Everyone with a UID over two million is a shill. Everyone with a UID under two million is a troll.

Failed State. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39856585)

New Jersey isn't a city.

Re:Failed State. (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#39858201)

RTFA

New Jersey is a city now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39856587)

New Jersey now also dominates the top 5 list of fastest broadband cities in the U.S

This misleads the reader into thinking that New Jersey is a city. Perhaps it is.

Given the reversion to the Compuserve Model... (4, Insightful)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39856593)

...I'm not surprised.

Instead of providing superior service (at various levels) on a flat-rate connection, you get a degraded connection(at any level) that is metered.

Re:Given the reversion to the Compuserve Model... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39861447)

That and the fact that price competition seems to have stopped in some markets. The speeds are going up with the new offerings, but there seems to be no price cuts with the existing slower speeds (8-40 Mbps). Additionally the lowest speeds (1-5 Mbps) are not even offered anymore among the normal offerings in some city areas, but replaced with metered wireless connections. The only way to get a connection under 24.50 EUR where I live is to have a wireless connection, or have a residential internet service.

8.4 Mbps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39856609)

Should be engough for just about anybody.

Re:8.4 Mbps (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#39856959)

Isn't it interesting? That's essentially a megabyte per second, or more data transfer per second than the total amount of computer memory Gates talked about in your homage...

I do think that we're reaching a point where it's hard to actually use all of the bandwidth available to us, just like it's hard to use the CPU power available to us, and to a lesser extent, the memory and the disk space. It's easy to waste CPU power and the rest of the computer's resources though, as programmers don't feel the need to optimize what they write to get as much capability for as little math as possible...

Re:8.4 Mbps (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39859271)

These things tend to go in bursts. People think of things to do with bandwidth, which drives demand, and eventually technology reaches it. There was a little peak in the '90s between 56K modems and Napster where internet connections where fast enough, then people started streaming music and they became too slow. For any reasonable quality, you needed at least a 100MHz Pentium to be able to listen to the music in real time. ADSL and cable modems took us past that, and 1Mb/s was fine up until people started streaming video, which again required faster processors. Now, iPlayer HD is 3.6Kb/s, and the quality is fine - noticeably better than DVD. Higher quality video isn't really that interesting and 8.4Mb/s is enough for two concurrent streams for a household.

I suspect for most users now the bottleneck is upstream, not downstream speed. Uploading photos and video clips is still pretty painful because most consumer ISPs are set up assuming that consumers are... consumers.

Re:8.4 Mbps (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39859823)

I do think that we're reaching a point where it's hard to actually use all of the bandwidth available to us

I know how to use all of a household's allocated bandwidth: a household with multiple computers all trying to download a recently released service pack for the operating system over a single satellite connection. Or is there a version of WSUS designed for home use so that each computer doesn't have to download the service pack separately?

Global proxy for Gov't monitoring of citizens? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39856627)

Wonder if the various proxies in place at the ISP level might have an impact on speed? How's that change working out?

Re:Global proxy for Gov't monitoring of citizens? (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#39857019)

They wouldn't place proxies at the ISP level. They'd place them at the backbone provider level, if they were going to do it at all. Placing them at the ISP level would be stupid, as there'd be way too many people who'd have to know about them in order to keep them under wraps. Backbone providers are already a lot more secretive than ISPs, and there wouldn't need to be nearly as many people to somehow keep silent on the matter, plus there's a lot more access to the total communications in only a few points of contact that way.

People are VPN'ing into the office (4, Insightful)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#39856639)

Jersey City is right near NYC. wouldn't surprise me if the reason everyone wants broadband is so they can VPN into the office instead of taking the train to work

Re:People are VPN'ing into the office (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39857521)

The train is ok. It's when you have to commute between office and home and there is no train and it's 40 miles all of them in NJ.

There are probably other reasons too - NJ has very high per capita income, population density and a lot of it is served by both FIOS and cable giving some competition that seems to generate promotional deals and service tiers with high bandwidth for bragging rights.

Re:People are VPN'ing into the office (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 2 years ago | (#39858419)

I think it also has to do with stock data. Someone correct or clarify, but I read somewhere that the exchange computers for stock trading is in new jersey, among other places. Everyone want to be near them because for high frequency trading, a millisecond can be of consequence. So there is a building where rack space pricing is phenomenally high since it is right next to the trading computers.

Re:People are VPN'ing into the office (1)

ffejie (779512) | more than 2 years ago | (#39860865)

Jersey City has a large number of banks and investment houses [wikipedia.org] that got displaced by 9/11. It is about 1 mile from WTC Ground Zero.

Secaucus has a large number of data centers [datacentermap.com] , although not necessarily more than New York City.

NASDAQ has it's high frequency trading facility in Carteret NJ. [securities...onitor.com]

I don't think any of these actually add to the broadband rates in NJ, as the study is measuring mostly consumer rates. That said, there is a large amount of IT investment in New Jersey.

For those that didn't read (4, Informative)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39856641)

For those that didn't read the article and were confused by New Jersey's new status as a city, what it actually means is New Jersey cities are in the #2, #3 and #5 spots of the top five list.

It doesn't say New Jersey is a city, dummies (3, Insightful)

flibbidyfloo (451053) | more than 2 years ago | (#39856645)

It says New Jersey "dominates" the list. One entry can't dominate a list, so obviously they are saying that the list is dominated by cities IN New Jersey. If you RTFA you'll see that 3 of the top 5 cities in the US are all in NJ. It's always such a surprise when people are snarky and dumb on the interwebs.

Re:It doesn't say New Jersey is a city, dummies (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39856709)

Silly fool, please read the summary.

New Jersey now also dominates the top 5 list of fastest broadband cities in the U.S, though Boston is the fastest

The implication here is that New Jersey is a city even if the author didn't mean it. Compositionally, Boston is being compared to New Jersey. If you read the article, you realize that this isn't the intended comparison, but the reader should not have to read the article to understand the summary's blatant inconsistencies.

Re:It doesn't say New Jersey is a city, dummies (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#39856785)

How do you "dominate" a list without being the in top place and only having one entry?

Do you also complain that "the United States isn't a university" when some article says "The United States dominates the list of the world's ten best universities though the University of Cambridge tops the list"?

Re:It doesn't say New Jersey is a city, dummies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39857339)

No, douche nozzle. What YOU wrote is actually coherent.

Re:It doesn't say New Jersey is a city, dummies (1)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 2 years ago | (#39856819)

See, I read it as: the cities in New Jersey take up more slots in the top 5 cities than any other state. I must not be able to understand things.

Re:It doesn't say New Jersey is a city, dummies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39856841)

Wah wah wah I had to read, can't someone just inject the words into my brain?

Re:It doesn't say New Jersey is a city, dummies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39858443)

Does it have to be words? Words are too hard, I want pictures injected.

Re:It doesn't say New Jersey is a city, dummies (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39856775)

"fastest broadband cities" defines the group members (cities) and the scope (fastest) of determining what is on the list. In this context, the article indeed points to the subject of the sentence (New Jersey) as being a member of the the group (cities) and thus (although logically fallacious) New Jersey is a city, to the average reader.

Now, the average reader does not possess the knowledge of logic you and I have, so they don't know that you cannot define a singular object as possessing ONLY the qualities of the group, without first proving the object does not exist in other groups, or have other qualities outside the group.

But, having said this, shouldn't the editor be more careful to avoid wording which implies a logical fallacy to the average reader; to begin with? Readers should not have to fact-check an article and extrapolate meaning of a table from a disparate article on a different web-site, if only to prove to YOUR satisfaction the original poster was not a complete and misleading dumbass

Re:It doesn't say New Jersey is a city, dummies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39857277)

It's always such a surprise when people are snarky and dumb on the interwebs.

You must be new to the internet...

New Jersey and HFT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39856657)

Northern New Jersey cities...coincidentally where most HFTs (high frequency trading) firms seem to be located.

GrOAT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39856659)

To kkep up as formed his own represents the FreeBSD project, propaganda and engineering project A way to spend has run faster engineeri0ng project resulted in the

Mobile net? (3, Interesting)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39856665)

Maybe people are switching to mobile net?

Re:Mobile net? (1)

medv4380 (1604309) | more than 2 years ago | (#39857101)

I wouldn't say so much switching as just using. I have nice broadband at home and I have a data service on my Android, and the same goes for my Boss and Co-workers iPhones. There's no way the 3g and 4g service beats my home line yet, but each time we use our phones data plans to pull up a web page it's going to mess with Akamai's averages. If my phone starts going faster then my home line then I'm upgrading my home line.

Re:Mobile net? (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 2 years ago | (#39859201)

DING DING DING DING! We have a winner!

I have a 10 Mbit Cable modem at home, which I use heavily. But increasingly, my Android phone is becoming my dominant platform for casual browsing. Its 3G connection affords me ~ 1 Mbit, which would definitely push the average numbers down quite a bit in my case, but still represents a net increase in overall bandwidth consumed.

Simply put, I use more Internet bandwidth, everywhere.

Harsh cap (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39859869)

Good luck watching videos or updating PCs' operating systems over mobile net without running into the 5 GB per month data transfer limit of most mobile net plans.

Re:Harsh cap (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39860013)

This is a global survey not an American one.

I'm not surprised... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39856717)

Take where I live for instance:

The cable company hasn't done much in 4-5 years for increasing bandwidth. However they did put in metering.

The telco, similar. DSL speeds have remained static, while there are now bandwidth charges.

Phones? Yes, that 4G phone might be cool, but it doesn't take much to burn through its bandwidth. Paying half a C-note to transfer a DVD? Bullshit.

It is no wonder why people are seeing this. There is zero incentive to add infrastructure, other than real time monitoring with indefinite log retention. So, the only things added for the consumer are fees.

Wake me up when I can actually pay less than $400 a month for a smartphone and Internet connection combined in a TX metropolitian area, and I am nowhere near a heavy user (no torrenting.)

Re:I'm not surprised... (2)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#39857007)

Dunno about your Smartphone data plan but I live in Texas and have DSL from consolidated communications, they are pretty good. They certainly don't offer the fastest connection out there but they've never once throttled me or complained about my constant torrenting.

There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Market (3, Insightful)

Catbeller (118204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39856743)

"Freedom" for whom, that's the question. We, the people, who need more network capacity, and could easily get it for pennies if we paid for it with taxes, like our roads, are now paying enormously more for shrinking, monitored, censored communications. And it's going to get worse.

Image what our roads would be like if we had built them with a "free market" model. Constricted, gated, metered, and ten times more expensive. And most of us would walk.

Re:There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39857029)

Never driven on a toll road, eh? And if the government holds the deed because we paid in taxes, it will be even more confined, monitored, censored, gated and metered. And once it's "done", it's ignored. Like our bridges.

But other than those few things, I agree with everything else you posted.

Re:There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Market (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39857383)

The New York Thruway is kept in great condition, and once gas hit about $2.50/gal it became cheaper to pay the toll than to take parrallel roads that are not as straight and level (e.g. US20, NY17/I86).

And the money collected also maintains the Erie Canal Trail.

Re:There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Market (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | more than 2 years ago | (#39857835)

And if the government holds the deed because we paid in taxes, it will be even more confined, monitored, censored, gated and metered.

Oh, that wouldn't be so bad. You'd just need to renew your internet user license every few years (and we'll never use it as a global ID card! Promise!). Renew your computer registration...make sure it clears a malware emissions test. Make sure you don't ride the net in an OS that hasn't had several tens of millions of dollars worth of "hack-resistance" collision testing, such as Linux. And submit to periodic traffic-stop hard drive "inspections" from an officer. And if you don't use a antivirus safety restraint software, the "safety" officer will use that as an excuse to inspect your hard drive. Other than that, you can travel the information super highway in complete "freedom" citizen.

Re:There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Market (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39857545)

Indeed. That's why it's time to declare internet service a utility once and for all, and regulate the fuck out of these industries, just as we do with those providing our power.

When my local electricity provider wants to raise rates, they need to go to our public utilities board and get the rate increase approved, and they need to do so in public hearings where the people can (and do, our last rate increase hearing made the local news when a few people went all Tea Party on them) comment. Arbitrary bullshit like the ISPs pull, especially as regards shoving bandwidth caps down our throats and daring us to do something about it, would simply not be as easy to pull off if the public and the media were aware of it before it happened, especially not when they'd be forced to face those people openly in a public forum.

If they want to keep their local monopolies, they need to be regulated, just as our power, water/sewage, roads, and local telephone service are. If they refuse to be regulated, then they need to have their local monopolies taken away and the market truly needs to be opened up for competitors once and for all. As with the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which opened up the lines and forced the owners to allow competitors to use their lines in exchange for a reasonable licensing fee, the same needs to be done for our network infrastructure. Once we've got Time Warner, Comcast, Charter Communications, Cox, and every other ISP in the nation competing across the entire nation for customers, the price per mb is going to plummet and the bullshit artificial scarcity model they love so much will completely collapse.

That will be great for consumers, which is why it will never happen, not in this ridiculous pro-business, anti-consumer climate here in the states.

Re:There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Market (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39857761)

>>>That's why it's time to declare internet service a utility once and for all, and regulate the fuck out of these industries

We don't regulate electric, natural gas, or sewer companies because they are utilities. We regulate them because they are natural monopolies and would price-rape their customers if the State did not price fix them.

Internet is not a natural monopoly. You can squeeze 100 fibers into the space of one sewer pipe. There is no reason why we should be limited to just one company, when we could have a choice of 100 companies (one per fiber).

I propose we turn-over this fiber bundle to government ownership, like we do with roads, and then let the customers choose whatever company they want to use, just as customers decide what car to drive. You can have Ford or Honda or GM or Toyota or..... and at home you can have Comcast or Time-warner or Verizon or ATT or Sprint or AppleTV or.....

Re:There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Market (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39857877)

Ah, yes. The glory of paid-for-with-taxes roads. It must be because they are paid for with taxes that the capacity of the roads is unlimited. I can't recall the last time I heard of a 'traffic jam' or a 'rush hour'. And the roads are always in perfect condition.

Re:There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Market (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39860335)

Ah, yes. The glory of paid-for-with-taxes roads.

I'll take my "paid for with taxes roads" over a toll road any day. Do you think private industry or the free market you worship would have ever constructed the interstate highway system? If they did, it would cost a thousand dolars to drive from Miami to LA, stopping every mile or two to throw another dollar in the basket.

And guess what? The last toll road I was on (actually it was a toll bridge) was full of potholes and congested during rush hour, just like the free roads.

Re:There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Market (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39860803)

The question was not whether or not private industry could have constructed a road system. The statement made by the OP implied that if the government owned the ISPs, there would be no slowdown of speeds and that capacity would be sufficient. He gave roads as an example. My point is that the roads suck. They do not have enough capacity, and they are in terrible shape in many places. If the government-owned roads are so awful (and they are), what makes anyone think a government-owned ISP is going to be any better?

And guess what? Those toll roads that suck? Also owned/maintained by the government! Of course, if the government was running the ISPs there would be no throttling or other attempts to get you to cut back on your usage, right? I mean, those $12 tolls to get into NYC have nothing at all to do with encouraging people not to use the roads, do they?

Damn, no Chattanooga (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39856751)

OK all you geeks, move to Chattanooga and sign up for the Gig service. We need to raise our average. Bonus Choo-choos to the first thousand to sign a lease.

civil rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39856771)

its all about civil rights and the net is to commercialized and too spied on.
sorry but don't want it no more . i've no use for it.
OH and im not going back to cable

Re:civil rights (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#39857051)

Thank you, Miss Fleming, you call me when the shuttle lands...

Misread (0)

eedwardsjr (1327857) | more than 2 years ago | (#39856861)

"New Jersey now also dominates the top 5 list of fastest broadband cities" could easily be viewed as "The state New Jersey now also dominates the top 5 list of fastest broadband cities". This does not imply New Jersey's clasification as a city, but moreso that the list is is a classification of cities. The state dominates the list as containing more cities with broadband than other states. Key words: "New Jersey now...dominates...the...list" and "list of...fastest...cities"

Re:Misread (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39856987)

Your reinterpretation still attempts to make the comparison of The State of New Jersey to Cities.

Keywords: state New Jersey now... cities

Redefinition is one of the classical defenses in debate, and Taking out of Context is a classical fallacy. When you can apply BOTH of these to a problem, and it STILL proves to have fundamental flaws to your case, and appears logically wrong, perhaps you are on the wrong side. Keywords: fundamental flaws... you are on the wrong side... you are... wrong.

Metropolitan speeds? (1)

war4peace (1628283) | more than 2 years ago | (#39856933)

There's something missing from the report, and that's Metropolitan speeds. The report calculates connections to Akamai, which is a good metric data set, but what about Metropolitan broadband? It's just as relevant.
In-country broadband or city-wide broadband speeds are relevant; it's about how fast local connections are and how infrastructure is handling traffic. When you download stuff (e.g. distros) you usually pick the closest repository and get data from there. Also lots of other files and data are mirrored across the globe and it's very likely there are a couple mirrors in your state or even city (if it's large enough).
My broadband has about 5-10 mbps bandwidth if I transfer something from "general" Internet, but metropolitan speed is 100 mbps. My country-wide connection speed is about 50 mbps, tested with friends; http, p2p and ftp transfers are all equally fast.

Re:Metropolitan speeds? (1)

kontos (560271) | more than 2 years ago | (#39857237)

There's something missing from the report, and that's Metropolitan speeds.

My broadband has about 5-10 mbps bandwidth if I transfer something from "general" Internet, but metropolitan speed is 100 mbps. My country-wide connection speed is about 50 mbps, tested with friends; http, p2p and ftp transfers are all equally fast.

What country is this. In the US, a connection like that would be seen as a rip-off. (I'm paying for a 100 Mbps connection, but only get 5-10 % of the speed when connecting to the actual Internet) I take it that most people are using a single ISP, and their internal network is much faster that their peering. There are enough different ISPs in the US, that that probably wouldn't work as well.

Re:Metropolitan speeds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39857921)

Huh? Where I live, I have two, possibly three choices for ISPs. The cable company, the telco for DSL, and maybe Clear if I'm lucky enough to get a decent signal.

The cable company I'm not impressed with. A neighbor several doors down still has yet to have any device receive a valid IP from the upstream, even after multiple calls and visits.

The telco is decent, but expensive, especially with the extended bandwidth charges.

Clear is iffish, and expect high latency.

Of course, you can tether, but here in the US, transferring a terabyte will cost you $20,000.

Even finding Wi-Fi is hard. If the connection doesn't require either paying for it or dealing with ads due to a WISP, it is usually saturated because of the guy in the back with Transmission running full tilt.

The US has lousy at best Internet access. Even the Aussies managed to free themselves from a monopoly.

Re:Metropolitan speeds? (1)

war4peace (1628283) | more than 2 years ago | (#39859683)

Romania.
We only started to have a broadband boom in late 90s, so it's why all networks around have been built with CAT5 cabling and later, optic fiber. As a result, the infrastructure is excellent, compared to more developed countries which are having a hard time replacing old infrastructure and mostly rely on improvisations to increase broadband speed.
Oh and I pay 10 bucks a month, flat rate, for unlimited traffic at max speed.

Time for some questionable analogies... (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 2 years ago | (#39856965)

1. Does New Jersey, as a state, suffer from short man syndrome? Rhode Island doesn't, it just sends you to sleep with the fishes.

2. Broadband speed claims are a little like braggin' on your new spawts cah. Sure, it goes from 0-60 in less then 6 seconds. How's that working out for ya on the Garden State at 5:30. Headed South. The GSP is usually Slashdotted by then, save for holidays and wrecks.

3. And braggin' on your broadband speed is as relevant as braggin on the new BMW. Stuck in traffic. With a detour ahead through Paramus. In the dark.

Speed is nothing without control. Selective caps, overt blocking, treating streams as piracy no matter the source, content, or license, equating imagined piracy with distributing kiddie pr0n, all of these are the real threats to the Internet and its usefulness. Speed is down the list.

Why is it strange that NJ dominates the USA cities (1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 2 years ago | (#39856971)

Why is it strange? NJ having one of the highest population densities of all states, and even higher than the state-wide density number shows due to about 1/4 of the state set aside as a national park, the pine barrens, where no new houses or developments can take place. This turns the 8,722 square miles really into only 6,722 square miles, and takes the population density from 1011 people/square mile to 1312 people/square mile. That is almost 5.5 times the population density of California!

Re:Why is it strange that NJ dominates the USA cit (4, Informative)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39857425)

Its the big historic cable stations, New Jersey has a lot of optical and federal interest due to the international traffic that enters/exits the USA from around the world.
A lot of that traffic passes/passed via NJ and to a lesser part Rhode Island. So the area by default would be over served by private telco and NSA interests over many years e.g. TAT-14.
Add in huge loops that span Europe, the Caribbean, and South America and link to parts Middle East - it all gets back to parts of New Jersey.

Would state-wide density really show a bump if everybody was on the same fly over state "old copper, cable or average new optical roll out speeds" vs say massive hardened backhaul?

Re:Why is it strange that NJ dominates the USA cit (1)

dlakelan (43245) | more than 2 years ago | (#39858035)

It may be almost 5.5 times the population density of California as a whole state, but consider the following, there are 8.8 Million people in NJ but compare with the actually populated portions of CA:

Los Angeles County: 9.8 M people, 2400 per square mile
Orange County: 3 M people, 3800 per square mile
San Francisco County: 0.8 M people, 17200 per square mile!
Alameda County: 1.5 M people, 2000 per square mile.
Santa Clara County: 1.8 M people, 1400 per square mile

Total population of those counties: > 16M people

and that doesn't even consider the portions of those counties that are parks etc (especially significant for Alameda I think)

So the majority of people in California live in a region that is more dense than NJ, and the total number of people involved is close to double the entire population of NJ.

http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=DEC_10_SF1_GCTPH1.US05PR&prodType=table [census.gov]

Re:Why is it strange that NJ dominates the USA cit (1)

ffejie (779512) | more than 2 years ago | (#39859267)

So you looked at the most dense parts of California and compared them to the entire state of NJ (less National Parks)? That's not really a good comparison. Consider:

Hudson County (next to New York City): 13,495 people per square mile
Essex County (Newark): 6,211 people per square mile
Union County (Elizabeth): 5,216 people per square mile
Bergen County (NYC Suburbs): 3,884 people per square mile
Passaic (NYC Suburbs): 2,715 people per square mile
Middlesex County (Edison): 2,612 people per square mile
Camden County (next to Philly): 2,309 people per square mile


This list encompassed 4.6M people in NJ, or just over half of the state. Your list includes less than half of Californians. It's hard to figure out how anyone could make the claim that California is more dense than New Jersey, if they were slicing the data in anything resembling a fair comparison. I guess the one claim you could make would be: "San Francisco is more dense than Hudson County."

Other comparisons:

10% of Californians live in a population density of 4,556, (combine SF and Orange Counties). For NJ, 16% live in 8,226 (Hudson and Essex)
To get down to that density for NJ, you'll cover 38% of the state. At 38% of California, you're at 2,785 density.
To get down to that density for NJ, you'll cover 68% of the state (the top 10 counties). At 68% of California, you're at 1,402 density.
1,402 density covers 95% of NJ, which is all but the 4 least dense counties.

By the way, those 4 least dense counties have a population density greater than all but 17 of California's counties. Basically, the least dense part of NJ is still denser than a big chunk (22%) of California.

If I look at it by land size, combining SF and Orange Counties, I get 837 sq miles at a density of 4,556. This compares about equally to NJ which has a density of 4,851 for its top 692 sq miles. (It's tough to compare directly to the 837 - adding one more county goes to 1000+ sq miles.) In summary, if you took Hudson, Essex, Union, Bergen, and Passaic counties and put them on top of San Francisco and LA, you'd have roughly the same population density and roughly the same land covered.

USA falls behind again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39856995)

You've got to be kidding me - 8.4MBit? In my region in Germany you cannot even BUY something slower than 12MBit anymore. When we also buy IPTV you get up to 32MBit over DSL. And I always thought US was something about high technology or so?

Re:USA falls behind again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39857513)

It's not the bandwidth you want, it's the latency

I'm not at all surprised. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39857093)

The fact is, most users don't need ultra-fast broadband, myself included.

I had a 25MBit connection in 2010 for something around $80 monthly. I later downgraded to a 5MBit connection for around $40. It makes zero noticeable difference for browsing. The only thing it effects is download times, which I don't really care about as long as it doesn't take years, and of course, streaming services.

5MBit is still good enough for Netflix.

What happened, is I got suckered by aggressive marketing. I bought a product that I simply had no need for, and later realized my mistake.

I doubt I'm alone.

Re:I'm not at all surprised. (1)

ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39857281)

I would guess this is the case more and more. Also, new adoption is probably among the poor. The poor can probably only afford cheap setups anyway, hence lower averages.

I think this indicates that broadband is reaching a wider population and we could even be looking at the start of a shift to a cheaper broadband infrastructure if price demands go lower.

More that you're not allowed to use it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39857965)

What, exactly do you need the speed for that ISN'T going to be considered illegal nowadays? And what ISP would let you use the bandwidth for more than a short while before whining about you being a bandwidth hog?

Re:More that you're not allowed to use it (1)

JazzLad (935151) | more than 2 years ago | (#39858621)

Steam [steampowered.com]

How many times are you supposed to download (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39858843)

How many times are you supposed to download your game from Steam? Or is this because the system is so flaky, you need a multitude of attempts to download before getting your game?

If it were that, I would have thought that someone would have said something about it by now...

Re:I'm not at all surprised. (4, Informative)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#39857583)

Paying $40 for 5mbit is price gouging. I can get 25/25 for $50 here in the USA, and that's high compared to some places. That one Cali start-up ISP is offering 25/25 for $30 and 50/50 for $50 and 1Gb for $75.

The point about tech isn't how much bandwidth people use today, but how bandwidth could be used tomorrow. You get a chicken and the egg issue. Certain services require high bandwidth, like true 1080p BR quality streaming, or weekly cloud back-ups of your 1TB drive.

There are an infinite amount of possible services that we have not yet thought of because we don't have the bandwidth for them. The same thing happened with computers. Pffft, who needs an electronic calculator? Who needs an 8086? Who need a Pentium? Who needs a dual core cpu? We now have quad core 1.5ghz cpus with GPU acceleration and 2GB of ram, packed into a cell-phone.

Build it, and they will come.

Re:I'm not at all surprised. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39858243)

OP here...

That's not quite fair, because the lines and the capacity are already in place. I have no reason to upgrade my speed if there simply are no services that require it. When the day comes that I can get 1080p high quality streams, I can simply phone my ISP and get an upgrade. In the mean time, buying into it would be a waste. It's like buying a Ferrari when I only need it to shuttle around my parking lot.

Explanation: It's the Economy, Stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39857151)

With the economy in the toilet and people being laid-off the reduction in high-speed Internet connectivity is easily explainable. When you have to decide between food for yourself and your family versus high-speed Internet connectivity, what would you choose?

Get over it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39857181)

Would you dorks please get over the "New Jersey is not a city" thing? Now that we all know what was intended in the post, what are your thoughts on the content of the article?

No point when servers are metered (2)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 2 years ago | (#39857319)

I opted for the 20 Mbps VDSL here in Denver (Qwest/CenturyLink's alternative to fiber, the plans for which they dropped in the wake of the 2008 worldwide financial crisis) and restrained myself from splurging on the 40 Mbps VDSL. Even the 20 Mbps is a waste. Most servers only let data out at 10 Mbps tops. I've gotten 20 Mbps only once -- downloading 1940 census images from archives.gov. I suspect people are catching on and are stepping down their last-mile bandwidth choices.

Re:No point when servers are metered (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39857589)

Most servers only let data out at 10 Mbps tops.

You should get one of these connections that let you download from more than one server at the same time, they're pretty awesome.

Sarcasm aside, for a family that is used to download and stream stuff, it's easy to hit 20Mbps, particularly if you don't want to fill the pipe, which is bad for latency sensitive applications like gaming and VoIP.

Re:No point when servers are metered (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#39857779)

I have 30Mb with 100Mb burst, and I hit 100Mb all the time. Great for downloading from the cloud.

You should see my network usage when rebuilding a computer. Between Windows Updates, Steam, Diablo3, World of Warcraft, Eve Online, ~1GB of drivers, and watching Netflix while waiting, I can keep 30Mb constant for hours with lots of bursting into the 40-60 range(powerboost).

The coolest thing I have seen is the Streaming features of the new WoW client. I only need to download ~100MB. Since my cable has powerboost up to 100Mb, it only takes about 15-20 seconds before I can start playing WoW. Then the other 10GB of the game dynamically streams in while I play.

If you can't see the usefulness of 100Mb+, you're living under a rock.

Re:No point when servers are metered (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39858277)

Given the way ISPs are now a days I see a 100Mbps connection as a way to hit the data cap in a few hours. I'm more concerned about data limits more than bandwidth. And really my only choices here is comcast or moving to another city.

More a content delivery symtom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39857487)

Would the shift to mobile data as the biggest provider of broadband access do this? Especially in economic slowdown, where having it come with the essential item of a phone plan means 1 less bill to pay.

-chris

incorrect title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39858271)

The title should read "bandwidth" not speed.

Wireless/Celluar broadband (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39860159)

Guess that the rise of smart phones, wireless hotspots and a like reduces the speed of the average user. I download ton of stuff to my phone but it's slower than using my residential 30MBps/s fiber.

Phones and Tablets (1)

nko321 (788903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39860761)

How much you want to bet this has to do with smart phone and tablet adoption and their 3G / 4G speeds?

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