Linked Article Charts
The linked article contains an interesting graph that taints the perceived success of those at the top. One of the charts shows only four providers of 30-50Mbps plans. In that chart, Verizon delivered 120% of their 35Mbps plan and Cablevision delivered about 115% of their 50Mbps rated speed plan.
If you press pause and think about that for a moment, 20% more of 35Mbps is 7Mbps more. 15% more of 50% is 7.5Mbps more. I'd call that a tie yet Verizon appears to be the winner because their bar is higher. Is this contest won by setting the bar low to guarantee more excess?
I'm sure I've said it before but as Mark Twain said, there are lies, damn lies and statistics.
No foul as far as I can see. Verizon's FiOS marketers did not believe there was going to be any real use or demand for speeds above 35Mbps symmetrical. The cable companies were supposed to have delivered about 37.5 Mbps down and 25 Mbps up using the old DOCSIS 2.0 system. It did not occur for lots of technical reasons. They only delivered about 25Mbps down and 2.5 Mbps up. When the got DOCSIS 3.0, they needed a marketing gimmick, so they came up with a 50Mbps down and 5 Mbps up tier. Easy to market and sell. Not a lot of pressure on the network engineers since they may only need to bond 4 downstream channels and 2 upstream channels to deliver that service reliably, which was only half of the capability of the typical 8x4 D3 modem.
So Verizon may use the capability of fiber to make sure the customer sees CONTENT downloading and uploading at the advertised speeds 100% of the time. Addressing and packet routing overhead may be handled by the "excess" provisioned speed. The customer is pleased.
Cablevision may have decided that the Verizon FiOS way is better than being hyper technical, and trying to explain to disappointed customers what network "overhead" is.
There is a Figure 4 PANELIST MIGRATION in the report that shows a 26.66% decline from those previously using 50+Mbps service tiers. Verizon might have been correct that customers were more concerned with getting much better upload than a massive increase in download.
Thank you for the information. I don't think it addresses anything I said. Let me restate it. Given:
ISP A advertises 10Mbps $40/mo - configured max speed 30Mbps
ISP B advertises 30Mbps $40/mo - configured max speed 35Mbps
In service level charts, ISP A far exceeds their plan's published rate -- probably by 200% or more whereas ISP B meets their advertised rate 98% of the time.
1. Which ISP looks far better in reports like this?
2. Based on speed, value (not outages or latency) and these reports, can the consumer determine if there is any significant difference between the services?
I understand the FCC's intent is to keep ISPs honest. That's definitely a worthwhile goal and helps prevent less-than-ethical ISPs from misleading the public by advertising what they can never deliver. However, I think it's dangerous to draw conclusions about the relative superiority of an ISP based on how far above 100% they exceed their advertised plans.
If I was buying a car and Consumer reports publishes warranty repair rates. Per that chart 7% of A cars were returned to the dealer for warranty repairs and 3% of B cars. I immediately assume B cars are superior until I realize that A cars have a 100,000 mile warranty and B cars have a 60,000 mile warranty.
Without this information the consumer is inclined to believe superiority of one brand where none exists. Lies, damn lies and statistics.