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A Study on Regional DSL and Cable Speeds?

Cliff posted more than 13 years ago | from the comparing-the-bandwidth dept.

The Internet 469

antarctican asks: "I'm curious about the typical speed DSL and Cable users get. I see references in various /. articles to speeds such as 128k for DSL connections, to me that seems discustingly slow. Here in British Columbia, Canada a speed of 2-4Mbps for a DSL line (ranging from ~$40-100/month) is the norm, and is easily available in all the major centres. Why are American cable and DSL speeds so low, and where is this artificial limit coming from? It's obviously not the technology!" I don't know that American DSL is necessarily slower than that or not. Your location will greatly affect the kind of broadband access that you can posess, and I wouldn't be surprised if there were some American markets which are as fast, if not faster than 4Mbps. How fast are DSL and Cable lines in your area? Maybe someone can use this information to update the broadband availability charts that are available at various places on the 'net.

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Capitalism (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#332160)

America's high speed roll-out is slower than Canada because we have a lot of companies who throttle technology advances for marketing purposes.

The longer we pay $50/month for 128k, the more money they make. AOL will be selling them for $19.95 a month soon enough and then everyone will have high speed access. Horray.

Well, in Northpoint territory... (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#332163)

average speed is zero.

Oh, and upload speeds... (1)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 13 years ago | (#332167)

Just under 20Kbytes/second for the DSL connection, and from 100-150Kbytes/second for the cable modem. And yes, I meant bytes in the last post too. The cable modem could probably easily max out a 10 base T card.

- A.P.

* CmdrTaco is an idiot.

Re:I know I'm a bastard, but... (1)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 13 years ago | (#332168)

DSL for the static IP, subnet, domain name, etc, and cable modem because, hell, $40 a month for a 10 megabit connection, how can you say no?

- A.P.

* CmdrTaco is an idiot.

I know I'm a bastard, but... (2)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 13 years ago | (#332170)

I've got both cable and DSL. My DSL speed is reliably 150Kbytes/second (it's 1.5/384 ADSL.)

My cable modem, on the other hand, varies (probably because of the host on the other end) between 150 and 700KBytes/second. usually gives me 700K/second, which is awesome for kernel updates. The cable modem is through Optimum Online (in Connecticut), and the DSL is through SNET (for the physical line) and CyberZone (awesome ISP) for the connection itself.

- A.P.

* CmdrTaco is an idiot.

Always ask for the whole picture (2)

alewando (854) | more than 13 years ago | (#332172)

Whenever you sign up for broadband service, do what I do. Ask for the whole picture.

You see, sometimes companies like phone companies and cable companies aren't always so straight with you. Sometimes they'll bend the truth about their availability statistics or even have hidden charges. You don't want to find out about this stuff after you've already signed up, because by then, they've roped you in already with that big connection fee they didn't focus your attention on. And then you're screwed.

So do what I do: ask them for the "premium" service. You see, companies like phone companies and cable companies often have a second service they won't tell you about unless you ask. They keep it under the table and wait for those special customers to show up who ask for it. You might be just such a customer, but you probably don't even know it.

You see, things like true high-speed access can't just be given out to anybody who walks in off the street. You have to be willing to pay for it, but more importantly, you have to be willing to do what's necessary to get it. Do you think just anyone can ask for 1.2 petabyte/s connectivity and get it? Do you think it's that easy?

No, you have to be willing to sleep with the right people and maybe even kill for that kind of connectivity. You have to take drastic steps and show them you're not just one of them, no sir. You're one of us. You're ready to play with the big boys. You hate your mother, don't you? You think it's funny to laugh at others who aren't like you, don't you? You think you're so superior, but let me tell you, you're nothing. You're just a slashbot.

And that's why these statistics aren't meaningful unless they come from the field. And that's why articles like this are so important; benchmarks from companies can tell you something, but they can't tell you what you really want to know: the truth.

Re:I know I'm a bastard, but... (1)

Johann (4817) | more than 13 years ago | (#332182)

Just curious, why do you have both?
"In the land of the brave and the free, we defend our freedom with the GNU GPL."

PacBell in San Francisco (2)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 13 years ago | (#332188)

Datapoints: PacBell service to my home in San Francisco reliably runs at 1.5 mpbs for $40/month. PacBell DSL to my former workplace routinely ran at 4 mbps for $200/month. Concentric DSL at my current workplace runs at a very bursty 100 kbps-ish.

15k/s upstreem (1)

Darkstorm (6880) | more than 13 years ago | (#332192)

Well, they limited my uptsteam to 15k/s in Maryland, but the downstream is still good. But the fastest I've seen is 1.2M/s. On average I can get about 300k/s when doing multiple files. I have friends with dsl and they tend to get the same speeds when downloading but they have me on uploading. I'd be happy if I could spit out 50k/s.

Im in Mass (2)

Bob McCown (8411) | more than 13 years ago | (#332194)

and my house is 28000 feet from the CO. I get 128k, with the occasional burst to 144 if the phase of the moon is right. During the summer, I get crap, cause there's a break in the line somewhere that is heat sensitive.

My *NEW* place is 700 feet from the CO, and they claim I can get a 7.1m/768k line to that...Ill let ya know monday...


Chicago, IL (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 13 years ago | (#332204)

I live in Chicago (Actually Oak Park), have Primus DSL ADSL at 684k down/128k up, and typically get around 60Kbytes/second (684kbits/10 standard expectation). I do sometimes get worse; however, my biggest problem is that my first hop ping time is an outrageous 100 ms. That and Primus' lack of reliability (though to give them credit, it *has* been a few weeks now since I had a major outage, so maybe it's getting better).

Bottom line: if someone is only getting 128kbit DSL it's probably because they're using IDSL (DSL over ISDN) because they live outside the ADSL distance limitations.

Cleveland, OH USA DSL (1)

Geek In Training (12075) | more than 13 years ago | (#332205)

In the Cleveland metro area, I am purchasing (for the last 15 months, anyways) 768kbs down/128kbs up DSL plus ISP (mail, news, webspace) for about $60 a month. I pay my phone company (Verizon) for the DSL connection and a separate ISP for the IP and server access/account. I've had zero downtime in 15 months, and I run a Linux box, Mac and PC via NAT on the single IP they gave me. 7 days between my order and the installation, worked from day 1.

My co-worker has a different phone (Ameritech) and internet provider and he gets 608kbs down/128kbs up for $49.99 a month including ISP fees, all through one company (BigNet - seem to be a fly by night provider). He spent 8 weeks between the telco and ISP getting a line repaired, modem installed, and service activated.

Just my experience...

Cleveland, OH USA DSL (1)

Geek In Training (12075) | more than 13 years ago | (#332206)

In the Cleveland metro area, I am purchasing (for the last 15 months, anyways) 768kbs down/128kbs up DSL plus ISP (mail, news, webspace) for about $60 a month. I pay my phone company (Verizon) for the DSL connection and a separate ISP for the IP and server access/account. I've had zero downtime in 15 months, and I run a Linux box, Mac and PC via NAT on the single IP they gave me. 7 days between my order and the installation, worked from day 1.

My co-worker has a different phone (Ameritech) and internet provider and he gets 608kbs down/128kbs up for $49.99 a month including ISP fees, all through one company (BigNet - seem to be a fly by night provider). He spent 8 weeks between the telco and ISP getting a line repaired, modem installed, and service activated.

Just my experience...

Re:Cable Speeds (1)

Geek In Training (12075) | more than 13 years ago | (#332207)

Here in NJ, on Cablevision I get 5 MB/s down and 1 MB/s up, if I can find a server that will provide the service. I pay $29.95/mo for this.

Not to be pedantic, but shouldn't that be 5Mb/1Mb?

It's kind of important in this thread; one means bits, the other means Bytes (Factor of 8 difference).

Re:Cleveland, OH USA DSL (1)

Geek In Training (12075) | more than 13 years ago | (#332208)

Uh, I'd really like to know how my comment double-posted. My firewall hiccupped? Double-click submit?

Probably this frickign IE6 beta...

satisfied... (2)

Skeezix (14602) | more than 13 years ago | (#332215)

I've been very pleased with my DSL service. I live in St. Louis, MO and receive my DSL service and ISP from Southwestern Bell. In the 4 or 5 months I've had the service, I've had only one or two periods of time where I encountered problems, and even those times were very short in duration. I typically get the speed that was advertised--1.5 Mb/s download. Almost always the limiting factor is the upload speed of the server I'm connecting to.

Love my Cable modem (1)

fransdw (17996) | more than 13 years ago | (#332219)

In Tallahassee FL I am getting 100 to 460 Kbytes/s down, and 50 to 150 Kbytes/s up.

Loudoun County, VA (2)

Mike Schiraldi (18296) | more than 13 years ago | (#332221)

In Loudoun County, VA, DSL is not available and the only cable modems you can get are asymmetric -- you still need to dial in, you get a new IP every time, and you upload at modem speeds.

This despite being the home of AOL and PSINet, and one county over from Network Solutions, MCI Worldcom...

The cable company won't be more specific than to say "We plan to have bidirectional cable modem service for the whole county by the end of 2003." Which doesn't say much, considering that the east end of the county has 95% of the population, and the west end is just a bunch of horse farms. Obviously the east end will get done first, and i'd like to know when that will happen.

Nobody will say anything about when DSL is coming. :(

So unless you want to pay business rates, you have no high-speed internet options.


Cable Speeds (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 13 years ago | (#332227)

Here in NJ, on Cablevision I get 5 MB/s down and 1 MB/s up, if I can find a server that will provide the service. I pay $29.95/mo for this.

The real limits I see are due to the fact that there are really not very many places on the internet that will dish out the bits at these rates.


My $0.02 (1)

tweder (22759) | more than 13 years ago | (#332231)

Personally, my connection is as such. I have a 384k SDSL line from Covad. On this line I typically get about 36k/sec upload and download.

That said, I'd just like to complain about how SLOW it seems. Bandwidth is like an extremely addictive drug - and once you have some, you always seem to want more.

I feel dirty ..... (2)

5foot2 (24971) | more than 13 years ago | (#332237)

when ever I see that. As for my DSL speeds, my plan through verison is rated at 640 down 90 up. I have seen some big download speeds (600 ish), but I find I'm most often waiting for the server I'm pulling data off of. VA's ftp server is often really slow. I think that's one part of broadband that doesn't get much ink. If broadband becomes global (or just nation wide in the US), big sites will find they need more bandwidth just to keep up. What good is 640k download speeds if I can only get 8k from my fav kernel mirror?

Re:DSL (1)

synx (29979) | more than 13 years ago | (#332240)

In Vancouver, BC Canada:

Cable modem with Shaw@Home.

5Meg down.
4 Meg up.

I routinely have people retrieving mp3s from me on napster at nearly 400kB/sec.

No, thats KILO-BYTES PER SECOND, not bits.

As far as I know I have the fastest cable modem in the world.

Note, 400 kB/sec up/down is over twice as fast as a T1.

Yes indeed, life is good.

Comcast @ Home, Cable, Orange County, CA (1)

fd (34065) | more than 13 years ago | (#332246)

I've been able to get about 300 K BYTES per second out of the thing. Practically, though, most web sites I connect to only serve at about 50 K bytes. But even then I can initiate 5 or 6 connections to different servers all getting about 50 k each. I'm talking about big file transfers here... for viewing web pages, you don't really need any more than 50 K bytes/s. $45/month.

128Kbps or 128KBps? (5)

helarno (34086) | more than 13 years ago | (#332248)

I see references in various /. articles to speeds such as 128k for DSL connections, to me that seems discustingly slow. Here in British Columbia, Canada a speed of 2-4Mbps for a DSL line (ranging from ~$40-100/month) is the norm, and is easily available in all the major centres

I believe you're confusing 128KBytes per second with 128Kbits per second. Big difference. 128KBps is 128*8 = 1 Mbps, which isn't THAT far off from the Canadian numbers. Note that a T1 is 1.5Mbps

DSL speeds are physically limited by the length of the wiring from your home to the DSL provider's modem. The further away you are, the longer it takes for the signal to propagate and the greater the signal degradation. Using Ethernet cabling as an example (I don't have DSL numbers handy) if you used 10Mbps Ethernet, you could have 2,500 feet between the computers linked together. If you boosted the speed to 100Mbps, your computers could then only be 250 ft apart.

I live in the Boston, USA area and regularly get 1.5Mbps from both cable and DSL. It is possible to get higher DSL speeds (up to a theoretical 7Mbps) if you pay more and are conveniently located very close to a box.

However, most companies here advertise 1.5Mbps because that is the speed they can get to most consumers. It makes for much easier billing and logistics (you know, those non-technical limitations.) If you want higher speeds, be prepared to pay through the nose for it.

My Area (1)

{e}N0S (40155) | more than 13 years ago | (#332257)

In my area (mid Wisconsin) there are two companies I could get service from. One provides DSL with quoted speeds of 128k both up and down *cough* *shit* *cough*. The other company offers two downstream speeds for their cable modem access. One is 512k down and the other is 768k down, both having 128k upstreams. I havn't had it long enought to max out the speeds (last I tried I couldn't find the kernel mirror on which should max my bandwidth). 2 cents

Optus@Home, in Australia (2)

Manaz (46799) | more than 13 years ago | (#332265)

I subscribe to the Optus@Home service in Australia. Optus@Home are an Australian joint venture between Optus (owned by Cable & Wireless, though there's news of SingTel purchasing them), and Excite@Home (who I believe are responsible for the @Home cable Internet service in North America, though from what I understand, a lot of their network is run by franchise partners in different regions).

Australian Universities are all (I believe, certainly the major ones are) connected to the Internet through Optus, most of them using ATM. This means that connections from my Optus@Home service to Australian Universities are generally as fast as I'm likely to get, except for perhaps my local hub's proxy server - giving a pretty good indication of the true maximum speed of the service.

Connecting to (hosted at University of Queensland I believe), I can download, using FTP (no proxying, and a better protocol than http to do speed testing) at around 400KB/sec (that's kilobytes, not kilobits). I'd guess that realistically gives me around 4Mb/sec - not bad at all.

I've actually had 600MB/sec http downloads from the Optus@Home proxy server - but that's rather rare, and it's not a good indication of the service's speed, as it's internal, and doesn't take into account my service's connection to the Internet itself (which is often a bottleneck for Internet Access Providers).

Optus@Home is one of two cable Internet services available in Australia - the other is run by Telstra, who are Australias national, partly-government owned Telecommunications company/carrier. Telstra offer two kinds of accounts - an "unlimited download" account, which is speed capped (I'm not aware of what speed this service is capped at) and an uncapped service, for which you pay per megabyte once you have downloaded over 200MB (it could be 500MB, but for some reason 200MB sticks in my head). The unlimited download account is quite slow compared to Optus' cable service, but from all reports the pay-per-megabyte service is just as fast, if not faster.

Telstra also initially rolled their cable network out using a proprietry system, forcing people to buy their particular cable modem (a modified Motorola CyberSurfer I believe), though they are now in the process of converting it to the DOCSIS standard - all new connections are now DOCSIS. Optus@Home used DOCSIS from the start.

ADSL in Australia is in it's infancy - Telstra and a company called iPrimus are the only ones (so far) offering line rental and Internet connectivity - iPrimus recently pulled their unlimited data plan (well, they no longer offer it to new customers, anyone who signed up on that plan still has unlimited data), I don't know much about the Telstra plans. I believe though that 2 different speed connections - the fastest of which is 1.5mb/sec download.

Our geographical location (away from the US) and expensive telecommunications and Internet charges (Australian Internet access providers, including Telstra and Optus, still get charged per megabyte for data coming from overseas) means that the uptake of broadband in Australia is slow. But we are getting there. :)

Kanada uber alles (1)

theMAGE (51991) | more than 13 years ago | (#332271)

Why it seems everything these days is so cool in Canada?

<thinking /&gt+

Oh, yes! Because of the North Pole!

DSL v. cable (5)

alee (64786) | more than 13 years ago | (#332289)

In my experience, unless your ISP artificially throttles back your available bandwidth, most people will find cable to be significantly faster than DSL. The concept of "shared" bandwidth is lost because in the end, everyone's sharing bandwidth from someone (even DSL). I would venture to say that unless you live in a heavy tech corridor, where all your neighbors have cable modem, you will not likely feel the pinch. Additionally, cable appears to be more readily available, and is cheaper than DSL access for the amount of bandwidth you get.

However, in terms of regulation, I think that DSL has been friendlier to the subscribers in terms of allowing VPNs and allowing you to run your own servers. A lot of cable broadband providers have really started to crack down on this.

I think speed is only half the issue that is being faced here. It's always nice to pull down a file at speeds over the 1Mbps mark, but with all the rules and regulations, what's the point of having all that bandwidth if you can't use it the way you want?

I'd rather keep my slow 640kbps/90kbps DSL line and be left alone, instead of having an ultra-fast cable modem connection where I can't VPN, can't run a server, and can't have a static IP.

DSL? Broadband? where? (not here...) (1)

m0ng00se (64796) | more than 13 years ago | (#332290)

I can get up to 48 Kbps sometimes here in Central IL - smokin!

Don't forget that broadband is nothing but wishful thinking if you don't live near large metropolitan areas. So forums like this just irk me.
I don't wanna hear about how "disgustingly slow" you think 128 Kbps is.

128K+ is a shitload of pipe to those of us who will probably not see that (affordably) for a long time -
so appreciate it already dammit.

DSL speed results (1)

khamelin (65966) | more than 13 years ago | (#332293)

Provider: Verizon
  • d/l: 442.5 Kbps
  • u/l: 54.2 K bytes/sec

As measured through zdnet ( test.htm)

qwest dsl (1)

DarthNerdious (71128) | more than 13 years ago | (#332300)

I get 640kbps down / 256kbps up here in salt lake with qwest. Speeds can go into the Mb range if you are willing to pay for it.

Re:Well, in Northpoint territory... (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 13 years ago | (#332301)

Here in Rochester NY, TW Cable offers cable modem at 2mbits download and 384kbps upload. Frontier (the local telco) offers DSL at 1mbit download, and 128kps download. Both for $40/month.

Re:Well, in Northpoint territory... (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 13 years ago | (#332302)

128k upload that is..

Re:goatsex (1)

Tau Neutrino (76206) | more than 13 years ago | (#332307)

Yup, you're a big one all right.

In Southeastern Michigan... (1)

Tau Neutrino (76206) | more than 13 years ago | (#332308)

You can go with the local PhoneCo (Ameritech, now owned by SBC), and get 768k/128k residential, for $40 a month, with tolerable reliability. It's still half the top speed of a cable modem, which costs the same in these parts.

For a 1.5M/256k business connection, they want $100 a month. And if the reliability is no better than the residential version, it's not worth it.

Qwest land (2)

Eric Seppanen (79060) | more than 13 years ago | (#332314)

Here in Qwest land the prices ramp up pretty fast: []

The first three are all sold as "256K" connections, but in reality all are 640 down, 272. And the $20 one is Windows-only. So the (monthly) pricing basically goes:

  • $30 for 640K/272K
  • $60 for 640K/544K
  • $70 for 960K/816K
  • $80 for 1.2M/1M
  • $150 for 4.4M/1M
  • $250 fol 7.1M/1M


Darwin Networks (2)

jheinen (82399) | more than 13 years ago | (#332316)

I get ~700kps both up and down from Darwin Networks in Seattle. The bad news is they charge double for a static IP.


Artificial caps often imposed by the ISP... (5)

drin (83479) | more than 13 years ago | (#332319)

In many instances (AFAIK) in the US, the provider is imposing artificial caps on rates, particularly upstream. The idea as I understand it is to limit the subscribers' ability to host websites and ftp servers off their DSL or cable connection. @Home was lambasted for this last year (see here [] for more info), especially after a configuration error at the head-end capped downstream rates!

You can find an international cable modem ISP FAQ with service comparisons here [] if you're looking for more information. It's dated December, 2000, so take it with a grain of salt.


Monopoly is why!!!! (3)

jalewis (85802) | more than 13 years ago | (#332320)

Here in Northern Virginia, Verizon controls the last mile. The rule is, if Verizon doesn't offer it as a service, then other ISP's can't either. Verizon doesn't run DSL if you are too far from the central office, so the ISP can't either.

It pisses me off.

Depends (3)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 13 years ago | (#332325)

In some places, you can only get DSL over ISDN which limits you to 120kbits/sec, which only slightly sucks less than a 56k analog line.

For DSL areas where this is not the case, you can get up to the megabit range, depending on the distance from your central office. Most ISPs I've seen offer 256K both ways with non-static IPs for $40 a month. You want static IPs so you can run servers, it'll cost you more.

From what I've seen of cable, you usually get around 1.5 mbit downstream with a pretty weak upstream.

I've seen wireless providers start to spring up with speeds ranging anywhere from 64 kbits/sec to 3 mbits/sec. Most of them seem to have a pretty odious set of service terms.

Most solutions not involving static IPs seem to run around $40 a month.

FWIW, when I worked at MCI a few years back, we'd lease you out a T1 line for $1600 a month PLUS Local Loop Charges (Which in some cases would cost you more than the line itself.) Oh and if you weren't a business, they didn't want to talk to you at all, even if you could afford the line.

Re:128k.. (1)

smeg168 (92477) | more than 13 years ago | (#332337)

are youi crazy my cable upstream is 128k wich blows @home capped it there, but I get a nice 2.4mbps downstream so I am happy:)

Take what you can get (2)

pongo000 (97357) | more than 13 years ago | (#332347)

Obviously, when you talk about 128kbps for DSL, you're talking about ADSL. Dunno about Canada, but here in the states, the ADSL and cable providers don't see a need for increased upload throughput because most of the providers prohibit any kind of server run "in connection with the service." Download throughputs on cable modems in the Dallas area max out at around 500-600Kbps (according to my totally non-scientific survey of fellow cable modem users).

Even in the larger cities, DSL availability is extremely limited. I live within 20 miles of Dallas, yet DSL is not available, nor will it be for a long time to come because we're serviced by a "remote CO" -- basically a small building that doesn't have the room for DSL equipment. You have to live with what you can get.

MediaOne/AT&T Road Runner (1)

cyoon (99971) | more than 13 years ago | (#332349)

MediaOne/AT&T Road Runner in the Boston area is very good. I've seen consistent 1.7 Mbps transfers down and 300k/s up. Hardly ever drops out.

Ottawa Ontario - $19 CAD ($12 US) (1)

Zalgon 26 McGee (101431) | more than 13 years ago | (#332350)

I'm paying $19 Canadian per month for a 1.2M/160K ADSL connection from a little outfit called istop [] . A static IP would cost me an additional $2 per month.

No restrictions on servers, either.

There are a fair number of ADSL vendors here, plus the local cable company. Sure, it's colder and the taxes are higher, but we have more high speed options AND the beer is better!

Over here in Montreal (1)

kojaxs (102706) | more than 13 years ago | (#332351)

The DSL set-up by Bell Canada is quite bad the maximum bandwidth is regulated so you can only get around 128k/sec.
The cable service by Videotron is a nice smooth 2MEG/sec for $30 Canadian.

DSL heaven (1)

festers (106163) | more than 13 years ago | (#332356)

1.5/384k, 4 static IPs, $90/month in the Chicago suburbs. Downtime has been almost non-existent.


Cable and DSL Speed (2)

Khopesh (112447) | more than 13 years ago | (#332363)

I have friends that get 7mbps in boston. Your maximum speed relys on what service you have, how much you pay, and (mostly) how close you are to your service's routing station.

I've seen DSL get as fast as 7mbps while cable modems get as fast as a T1 (or in some cases, slightly faster - I have a friend who beta-tested it years ago).

The real difference is that Cable modems are variable speeds, a lot like a shared T1, while DSL is guaranteed throughput at the speed you pay for. If you pay for 128kbps, you get it (anything slower is the other side's fault). There are different types of DSL as well, differing on max speed and upstream (server) speed. [] has a good review of DSL speeds, stating "A T1 has long been the favourite line to host a corporate server on, and the top SDSL speed is the same as a T1, and the top ADSL speeds are a lot faster than T1"

Slashdot had an article [] a while ago that pointed at a good dsl vs cable overview at [] .

@home in chicago (1)

denjin (115496) | more than 13 years ago | (#332369)

In my area in Chicagoland (NW burbs), we get 3mbps down and 128k up. Of course, neither is guaranteed. Average bandwidth is like 900/100, but latency is poor lateley.

Seattle's cheapest is 768k down/128k up (1)

DewVinci (122115) | more than 13 years ago | (#332374)

The cheapest services in the Seattle area (~$40) are 768k down/128k up.
You can probably get slower, but you won't pay any less AFAIK.

Re:128k.. (1)

whizzird (129373) | more than 13 years ago | (#332384)

Not True.
I have a cable modem (Cox Cable Phoenix, AZ...uses @Home) that has a minimum 1.5Mbps down, 256kbps up.
I use it to connect from work with ssh and sftp and routinely get transfer rates in the 3-4Mbps range down and 600-800kbps up. And that's for $30/month plus $15/month modem rental!
The DSL in this area (frow USWest now absolutely shitty company!) is 256kpbs down and (I think) 128kpbs up, for a little bit more.

QWest/Colorado (1)

Doomdark (136619) | more than 13 years ago | (#332395)

QWest (formerly known as US Worst), Denver, 512 kbps down (nominal), usually 40-50kBps actual (not too rare to see it go up to full 64 kbytes, especially with multiple connections). 30$ mont (20$ for cheesy 'modem-like' semi-dial-up) plus ISP (which need not be QWest... a definite plus over cable options here).

Funny... Telus doesn't seem to obey that. (1)

supergumby (141149) | more than 13 years ago | (#332401)

I live in the same province as the Ask Slashdot question comes from. Telus almost never goes down, almost never is pig slow, and almost never jerks you around.

The only real problem is it's so popular the damn unionized workers can't get their fat asses in gear to install more lines.

DSL - CABLE? (1)

oV3Rd0n3 (143679) | more than 13 years ago | (#332406)

Hell we don't even know what that is out here except by our fone line connections.

Based on....? (1)

pokrefke (146856) | more than 13 years ago | (#332408)

If ever there was a need for a standard, surely /. has just proven it. mbits, KBps, kBps, kbps, MBps. How can you know what someone means? Are you measuring from MSN's bandwidth page or from a file ftp?

There are so many units being thrown around, how does anyone know what anyone else is talking about?

Houston, TX Cable/DSL (2)

zaius (147422) | more than 13 years ago | (#332410)

I've had cable in houston for over a year now (courtesy of TW/AOL), and I've been getting downstream speeds of 2Mbps+, and upload speeds of 384-512Kbps.

I also know people who recieve DSL service from (SW)Bell and Mindspring. I don't know the numbers, but overall I've heard that Mindspring DSL is at least 3x faster than SWB.... I think mindspring caps off at about 1.5Mbps though...

Houston, TX Cable/DSL (2)

zaius (147422) | more than 13 years ago | (#332411)

I've had cable in houston for over a year now (courtesy of TW/AOL), and I've been getting downstream speeds of 2Mbps+, and upload speeds of 384-512Kbps.

I also know people who recieve DSL service from (SW)Bell and Mindspring. I don't know the numbers, but overall I've heard that Mindspring DSL is at least 3x faster than SWB.... I think mindspring caps off at about 1.5Mbps though...

Re:Not just speed (1)

thedeacon (148359) | more than 13 years ago | (#332414)

Can you say "Baby Bell"? The masses are pacified with their little dial-up connections so they don't even want to hear are arguments for DSL. Hell, the phone companies can barely provide reliable plain telephone service. Don't believe me? Look at Ameritech. Ask anyone in Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan or Ohio(me).

Portland DSL rates (1)

redolsnake (157890) | more than 13 years ago | (#332421)

I pay $30 to the telco & $20 to the isp for 640k down/272 up

Re:Qwest land (1)

bigbadbuccidaddy (160676) | more than 13 years ago | (#332424)

Those numbers are for the DSL line itself, on top of regular phone service, and you still have to pay for an ISP. So its ~$45 - $50 for 640K/272K. They sell it as 256K because that's what it used to be, and because its variable between 256K and 640K depending on distance. I get around 500K download speed max.

Speed (1)

docstrange (161931) | more than 13 years ago | (#332425)

I'd trade downstream for upstream in a second. Cox@home Mesa AZ 40 bucks a month after cablemodem rental fee. Supposedley 3.3mb down & 256k up Maximum Speeds Obtained - 1200k down, 96k up Average During Peak Hours - 100-300k down, 29k up Off Peak Hours - 300-700k down, 37k up Uptime is 99.9%, better than our T1 lines at work.

Qwest in UT (1)

NerveGas (168686) | more than 13 years ago | (#332431)

Here in UT, you can get up to 1 mbit upload and 7 mbits download, as long as your line qualifies. Their qualification system is a little horky, they always "qualify" you lower than you can really handle, maybe that's to cover their butts. First, they told me that my line only qualified for 768, then only for 512k. I told them to put me at a full, symmetric megabit, and it works just hunky-dorey.


Re:Seattle's cheapest is 768k down/128k up (1)

_LMark (173102) | more than 13 years ago | (#332436)

I live in Issaquah when I'm not at school. I recently got a cable modem with At&t @home. I have gotten sustained download speeds well over 600K/bytes per second. Upload is capped like everyone else at 128k/bits/sec. Another point that others have not noted is that the latency is really low. generally I get in the 50's or 60 ms. All for 40 a month. I have no complaints yet.

Shoreline, WA (1)

binarytoaster (174681) | more than 13 years ago | (#332438)

This isn't going to be a "bitch about how slow we get it here" post, because I use modem connects regularly (try getting broadband out in Fall City, living in basically undeveloped forest) and they don't even hit 56k.. 24.6 on a good day.
I get 256/784 on my ADSL, but my problem with it is that doesn't seem to be right. I've done some testing and found that in reality, it's more like a shared 784k - if you're using about 15kb upload bandwidth, you can't get more than 30 down. Isn't broadband supposed to have the ability to use basically all the upload bandwidth and still have blazing fast downloads? Yes, I'm aware of the nature of TCP/IP needing a packet for an ACK, but that can't be large enough to cause a huge performance hit..

DSL Reports (2)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 13 years ago | (#332445)

well, [] has a nice mix of feed back on user reports on the quality of service, although I do not know about actual speed reports. The site itself is pretty good.

Be careful on the typos, though. Switching a couple of letters around will get you something else indeed.

Low Cost High Speed Internet (3)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 13 years ago | (#332446)

Here is the link to [] . Their main claim to fame is that they set themselves up as their own ISP, with rates one third of the national average. They want to help other small communities to do the same [] .

Get enough folks together, and you could have a sweet setup.

Varies by Telco and Location (1)

UnrefinedLayman (185512) | more than 13 years ago | (#332459)

It always varies by the telco, ISP, and location. In San Diego, PacBell offers up to 8 Mbps downstream with 1 Mbps upstream, with 2 phone lines (unique numbers) and 200 minutes of free local toll calls for about $119 per month (that includes all charges for the phone, not counting long distance and taxes). In northern CA (north of Sacramento), PacBell offers 384/128 Kbps for 40 dollars a month, with upgrades to 512/384 for about $150 per month.

Though I can't vouch for the actual speeds in San Diego, in NorCal the real rates are about 200-250 KBps downstream and 10-15 KBps upstream. That's kilobytes. Watch your capital letters, kids.

From Alameda, California... (1)

Akardam (186995) | more than 13 years ago | (#332460)

At home, I have 1.5mb down/384k up (COVAD/LMI [] ) for ~ USD80/mo.

At work, I have 1.5mb down/128k up (PacBell/PacBell) for ~ USD40/mo.

I'm happy to pay the extra USD40/mo for my home connection, because its so much more reliable.

Re:Midwest (Wisconsin) (1)

donutz (195717) | more than 13 years ago | (#332467)

Living in downtown Madison, WI, I routinely get speeds from 6 KB/s - 200 KB/s with @ Home cablemodem. Stupid napster using college students....

. . .

DSL in Charlotte, NC (1)

shatfield (199969) | more than 13 years ago | (#332474)

I can attest to both Cable and DSL in the Charlotte area -- I have both. Roadrunner Cable = 3mbps downstream, 384kbps upstream Telocity DSL = 1.5mbps downstream, 256kbps upstream Cable = Have reached speeds in excess of 300KBPS downstream, but only 40KBPS upstream. DSL = Have reached speeds in excess of 150KBPS downstream, but only 25KBPS upstream. This is for residential use -- business DSL is not available to me (for some unknown reason) -- I'd love to have 1mbps both up/down stream.. but alas, I'm stuck with crappy upstream rates.

New York/Pennsylvania/New Jersey - Verizon (1)

Usefull Idiot (202445) | more than 13 years ago | (#332478)

$39.99 for ADSL 640kbps down, 90kpbs up
$114.95 for ADSL 1.6Mbps down, 90kbps up
$204.95 for ADSL 7.1Mbps down, 680kbps up

No option for SDSL.

Yes, Verizon is a Monopoly, I wish there was some CHOICE!!! 90kpbs up unless you fork out $205 a month!

Why PPPoE? (1)

PSUdaemon (204822) | more than 13 years ago | (#332479)

Why do providers usually use PPPoE for DSL connections? The system cable modem users usually get is DHCP, which works a lot nicer. You plug in your cable modem, they talk, and it brings up a live line to you house. Then you plug in your computer, it goes, "ah an IP address and a domain name server, how nice!" But this damn PPPoE thing, you have to dial in, then your modem actually gets your IP and it gives the computer 10.0.0.x. then if you masquerade you are under two psudo ip's. What is the advantage of doing PPPoE? It seems it makes it more difficult for both ends.

The Great Debate (1)

bitva (206067) | more than 13 years ago | (#332485)

Here's what I know, for what it's worth.

DSL uses the old copper lines that your phone uses. Unless you're house was rebuilt/rewired/or rephoned (?) you probably have old lines, which can slow down speeds. Another thing is that you have to be within a 18,000 foot radius to the central dsl office/cirquit.

As for cable on the other hand, distance does not matter and it's running on the same fiber optic wire's as you're cable TV runs off of. Much faster and reliable.

I am a very happy cable broadband subscriber and the rumors the DSL companys were spreading about cable and the whole myth behind sharing your connection with your neighborhood and speed is complete BS. In my house alone, I have our cable split 4 different ways (3 tv's and my computer) and I'm still getting download speeds of the *promised* 768Kbs (about 90kilobytes a second....even with the T.V.'s on (I did a test)

One more thang to add about cable internet access, I called them on a Tuesday and I was up and running on the followin Wednseday. Compare that to the 2-8 week turnaround time of most DSL companies.

"We came, we saw, we KICKED ITS ASS"

DSL speed (1)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 13 years ago | (#332486)

1.5 megabits per second down max, 384 guaranteed 384 megabits per second up max, 128 guaranteed ~100 megaBYTES per second down actual ~10 megaBYTES persecond up actual SF bay US +5 static ip's $80/month

Re:DSL speed (1)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 13 years ago | (#332487)

OOPS my bad, kilo, not mega on last 3 megas'

DSL Reports (5)

CPIMatt (206195) | more than 13 years ago | (#332489)

This information is available from It has bandwidth information based on provider provided by actual users, but a wealth of other information including installation experiences and tips about network achitechture. Very cool, check it out.


Not just speed (4)

Bistromat (209985) | more than 13 years ago | (#332491)

I've never heard of such DSL speeds here in Boston, certainly, and my best guess is that the telephone architecture (especially the wiring in houses) is on the average so old (fabric-covered wires instead of twisted-pair) that higher speeds are impossible *in some cases*, so they can't very well offer higher speeds if some of their customers can't take advantage of it. Covad is having enough trouble already, and they certainly don't want the extra hassle of higher speeds.

The other thing, and the more major issue, is *price*. 4 Mbps for $40-$100? And that's probably *CANADIAN* dollars, too. Jebus. I feel ripped-off now.


What was the post about? (1)

Sabol (210513) | more than 13 years ago | (#332492)

What was the article about? It was taking too long to load the page on my new DSL line.

Since the upload cap.. (1)

dj28 (212815) | more than 13 years ago | (#332493)

My cable modem downstream connection is about 3Mbps. Comcast@Home just enacted an upload cap of 128Kbps in the Savannah, Georgia area. IM pleased with the download speed at 3mbps, but the upload speed is horrible. Sending large emails at 16KB/sec is painfully slow.

There you go again... (4)

tenzig_112 (213387) | more than 13 years ago | (#332495)

There you go again with "In Canada" this and "In Canada" that.

Maybe I want slower DSL speeds so I can savor each packet. Have you ever thought of that, Gordon?

Of course not, you were too busy with your socialized medicine and quasi non-violent prime-time tv programming to think of it.

Perhaps you should consider an alternative explanation: your DSL speeds are just as slow (or slower) than they are in the US of A, but special software makes you think your throughput numbers are better. It's all a clever rouse by the CIA to keep you Kanuks up there where we can keep a good eye on you.

Think it won't work? Somebody convinced you that round ham was "back bacon." I rest my case.

-- Sincerely,
A descent, upstanding American []


declana (214275) | more than 13 years ago | (#332496)

American speeds are artificial - pay more and you receive more. In NYC i have had DSL from Flashcom and Telocity. I currently pay $49 for 400kbs from telocity. When I had Flashcom i paid $39 for the same level of service. Due to my apartment location i have the option of obtaining the top DSL speeds from my provider, but I would have to pay hundreds to receive 4mb dsl. That speed is considered "commercial" in a country that thinks AOL dial-ups are the norm.

Raw datarate + connectivity key (2)

wmoyes (215662) | more than 13 years ago | (#332498)

It's not just the raw datarate, but also how well you are connected. A good indicator would be how fast a download can take place from several key points on the Internet (CNET, Microsoft, eBay, etc)

Also don't neglect latency and reliability (how many hours of downtime per month average where downtime is the inability to talk to approximately half the Internet).

P.S. I get 640kbits/sec down and 272kbits/sec up on my Qwest DSL. Connectivity is excellent, often better than my T3 at work.

Re:DSL heaven (1)

DreamingReal (216288) | more than 13 years ago | (#332499)

Wow! Which suburb are you in and who is the ISP?


Speeds in Alberta (1)

Majik Sznak (230190) | more than 13 years ago | (#332513)

I'm on Shaw Cable's cable modem service, and the most I can hope for when downloading is around a quarter of your worst speeds. Uploading, I get maybe 20k/s. (And yes: that's disgustingly slow)

Coz at Home (1)

John012 (234985) | more than 13 years ago | (#332515)

I have Coz at Home cable modem service. I get about 250 to 400K with my modem. But it varies widely. I agree with other posters that the speed of DSL is affected by the fact that in some area's phone lines are older than in others and are not able to carry higher speeds on them.

no way... (2)

Will The Real Bruce (235478) | more than 13 years ago | (#332517)

Cable is *soo* much faster; a friend of mine was getting 2mbits/sec from of all places, and I've seen faster.

DSL around here is just slow.

But that's what you're going to see; local usage patterns, load on the local network and the internet, and the time of day affect things a lot.

Therefore, I'd expect Canada to be faster just based on the "local network" thing...

128k.. (1)

Seeka (258435) | more than 13 years ago | (#332547)

128K sounds good for DSL, but the upload is a lot worse for cable.


must have dsl to survive 56k gives me cancer (1)

scytale42 (260417) | more than 13 years ago | (#332550)

my roommate and i get 640kbps for about $40/mnth the isp we just switched from was actually charging us for thru-put i couldn't believe it. we were allowed 1 gig/mnth we used 54. oops. the amount of thru-put costs them nothing right? before we moved into the city however we were getting 1mbps for $40 and unlimited thru-put.

Verizon DSL, Westchester County NY (1)

TheOnlyCoolTim (264997) | more than 13 years ago | (#332558)

$40 a month, rated 640 kbits down 90 kbits up... Speed test results...

Los Angeles: 465 down 79 up
SJC (??) California: 464 down 76 up

Dslreports New York speed test server is not available right now...

I would complain to Verizon to get something closer to my rated download speed but from what I've read I should consider myself lucky that it is both working and going faster than a 56k....


1.5Mbps (1)

wolfman3000 (300504) | more than 13 years ago | (#332568)

I get 1.5 mbps max on my DSL. My downloads usuall go around 700K/s when i download from fast servers....but oftne times download speeds are limited by the upload speed of the server you are downloading from, not just by your DSL provider. That may be why the DSL may average about 128k...b/c many servers will only upload to you at that speed.

DSL (1)

statusbar (314703) | more than 13 years ago | (#332588)

In Vancouver, BC Canada

ADSL with 2.5 Mbit download, 640 Kbit upload. Static IP address. $80.00 CDN = $55.00 US

Works great. For a bit more a month they can give me 4.0 Mbit download.

Re:DSL (1)

statusbar (314703) | more than 13 years ago | (#332589)


With cable before, I would get various results. Sometimes >4 Mbits, sometimes 1 Mbits.

ADSL is consistent for me.


Oz Cable speeds (1)

pbjones (315127) | more than 13 years ago | (#332592)

I am with Telstra Bigpond Cable. On an open account I have had 400+kBytes/second downloads, on a restricted speed/unlimited downloads plan I pay to have 512Kbits/sec and get that sort of speed out of good sites without any real restriction on quantity. (no servers allowed on this plan). Last night I had 8 simultanious downloads happening at 7-8 kBytes/sec each, from an Apple FTP site.

Re:DSL speed (1)

strictnein (318940) | more than 13 years ago | (#332598)

1.5 megabits per second down max, 384 guaranteed 384 megabits per second up max Guranteed 384 megabits per second upstream!!!!!! Holy balls! Where do I sign up??? 1.5 megabits per second down max, 384 guaranteed 384 megabits per second up max, 128 guaranteed ~100 megaBYTES per second down actual ~10 megaBYTES persecond up actual SF bay US +5 static ip's $80/month Am I the only one finding that sentance to cause actual retinal damage? What the hell does it all mean? It's almost painful to read. And sorry, but you're not getting 100 megabytes/second for $80.

Canadian providers cap total usage instead (1)

10101011000 (319360) | more than 13 years ago | (#332600)

Most canadian providers cap total usage instead. For example Telus caps at 5GB down, 1GB up for the $40 canadian per month cost. I remember hearing that there is a government regulation about high speed inet consumer prices.

DSL speeds in America (1)

iamroot (319400) | more than 13 years ago | (#332601)

In checking DSL [] , I have found some fast DSL speeds available, such as 2Mbps, but I haven't seen anything as fast as 4Mbps. (almost)Anything that fast(2Mbps) in America costs several hundred dollars a month. Of course there is also the matter of actualSpeed supposedSpeed. That would be very much the case with cable. Though I don't have it, cable seems to be a "This is the speed you will get if everyone else is not using it" set-up, they sell that speed to people, but what really matters is the speed you will get when people are using it. The total sum of all the speeds that people were promised is more than the total network segment speed. The low traffic time speeds are extremly fast, while the high traffic times can be extremly slow. This is what I have heard, but it may be incorrect.

Pacific Bell DSL (1)

pinpoint23 (323490) | more than 13 years ago | (#332605)

I work for an outsource company that does technical support for Pacific Bell DSL, and I think this applies to any Southwestern Bell DSL. (the ASI/SBC/Swbell conglomerate) At PacBell, the current 'normal' bandwidth is 1.5 Mbps down and 384 Kbps up. However, depending on the phone line conditions, they sometimes have to cap the line to 768/384 or even 384/128. This is usually done for people who are near the edge of the 17,500 ft range or have bridge taps/load coils on their line. I think there are plans to offer higher bandwidth (at a higher price) to those whose phone lines can support it, but I'm very low on the totem pole and don't know any specifics. I understand the G.Lite standard for DSL calls for a 1.5 bitrate, don't know whether Pacbell uses that or not...

Well if you have an @home cable modem.. (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 13 years ago | (#332606)

you are limited to 15k/sec upload.. it is horrible horrible horrible, but still the same price as an ISP/seperate phoneline (its $40) so I can't complain.


@home in Greenville, SC caps it way lower.. (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 13 years ago | (#332607)

15k/sec.. 15k/sec! It sucks


Upstate NY -- TW RoadRunner (1)

OSgod (323974) | more than 13 years ago | (#332609)

Alledgedly 3mb down/ 1.5 up

Acutal clocked down has been as low as 266.5kbps and as high as 2mbps+.

Actual up has been.. sufficient...

Realize that speed tests are also somewhat OS specific. The same speed test on a W98 box is much worse... on 2000 or Linux very close.

dsl speeds in texas (1)

mishratron (412727) | more than 13 years ago | (#332616)

I have the cheapest dsl I cna get 35.99/month I get a lowest speed of 394kbps and I have had a burst of well over 1.2MBPS I have looked into a more expensive dsl and I can buy one of up to 6 mbps I can not afford that it is well over 380 dollars a month plus I have to lease their router (per contract) and buy a new dsl modem. The problem with speeds in the us is that we are now laying the rest of the fiber back bone. Fiber is almost to my curb, but I am lucky I have a friend who is close enough geographically but the phones in there area have not had upgraded lines.
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