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60% of Rural Users Get 3 Mbps or Less
And it's Not Getting Better Anytime Soon
by Karl Bode 06:42PM Wednesday Sep 19 2012
More than half (55%) of rural broadband users saw maximum peak downstream speeds of less than 3 Mbps in the second quarter of 2012, according to a new study by hardware vendor Calix (via Telecompetitor). The hardware vendor, who would obviously like carriers to buy more hardware to shore up these speeds, said 60% of rural subscribers received speeds of 3 Mbps or less. 25% received peak downstream speeds between 4 and 10 Mbps, and 8% received speeds above 10 Mbps, says Calix. These speeds won't improve any time soon, with incumbents like Verizon and AT&T hanging up on residential DSL, and smaller telcos (Frontier, CenturyLink) having little to no competitive incentive to upgrade their lines.

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tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

what's the comparitive?(previous numbers, estimates)

it wasn't all that long ago the 3 Mbps was a decent city number, or at least a starter for those upgrading from dialup.
so if some "rural" users can get 10Mbps and, 25% can get 4-10.
we've made SOME progress.
It would be nice to see a ballpark of how much and where.

motorola870

join:2008-12-07
Arlington, TX
kudos:3

1 recommendation

Re: what's the comparitive?(previous numbers, estimates)

said by tshirt:

it wasn't all that long ago the 3 Mbps was a decent city number, or at least a starter for those upgrading from dialup.
so if some "rural" users can get 10Mbps and, 25% can get 4-10.
we've made SOME progress.
It would be nice to see a ballpark of how much and where.

yeah my neighborhood was topped out at 3Mbps DSL until 2008 when At&t rolled out Fiber To The Node (VRAD) when Uverse rolled out and the magically we got 6Mbps DSL and at the time Time Warner cable offered 10Mbps as the top tier with standard at 7Mbps. In 2010 TWC got around to rolling out DOCSIS 3.0 with speed of 30Mbps and 50Mbps. In 2009 I believe TWC bumped turbo to 15Mbps. I am able to get the 24Mbps Uverse tier if I wanted to and this is on a single pair not a bonded pair I live about 500FT from the VRAD.

ctceo
Premium
join:2001-04-26
South Bend, IN
Reviews:
·Virgin Mobile Br..

BPL to the rescue

If only hobbyists and lobbyists weren't so dead-set on defaming BPL technology (properly deployed), this would not be an issue.

We could easily see people in much more rural areas getting speeds in excess of 10MB on a single connection. Which would run around $8-10/mo per.
dplantz

join:2000-08-02
Roslindale, MA

1 recommendation

Re: BPL to the rescue

BPL is a dead end tech. Power Lines were never designed to be used to carry broadband. Caused to much interference to be used. The smaller telcos and coops have it right, string fiber to the premise and be done with it. Combine this with Fixed Wimax and LTE with decent data caps and we can serve the un served areas.

ctceo
Premium
join:2001-04-26
South Bend, IN

1 recommendation

Re: BPL to the rescue

Incorrect BPL is in use in places all around the world. South Africa being one of them, Speeds are up to 30mbps in Pretoria.

While the DS2 hardware is fair, the DefiDev hardware is much better.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2

Re: BPL to the rescue

Too bad that, in many areas, utilities are disallowed from building broadband networks atop their infrastructure.

Ahem, Texas...

ctceo
Premium
join:2001-04-26
South Bend, IN

Re: BPL to the rescue

I know, they should disallow any proprietary communication on airplanes as well. While they're at it they should disallow food on planes as well it makes people fatter and could interfere with the balance of the payload.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2

Re: BPL to the rescue

Wait...what?

Don't worry about the food on planes thing...TX is home to Southwest. Peanuts for flights, though flights can no longer be had for peanuts.

ctceo
Premium
join:2001-04-26
South Bend, IN

Re: BPL to the rescue

Agreed, BPL however can be had for peanuts to rural markets and this is what major ISP's are afraid of.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL
·Comcast

Re: BPL to the rescue

...and that magically makes interference issues go away?

I've actually thought about contacting the local utility co-op and seeing how much it would cost, in pole rights, to roll out fiber along their power lines, for areas that have aerial wires. To save weight, a PON system could be used, with taps at every house and enough margin in the system to add capacity, should it be needed (for example by dedicating a couple fiber pairs to backhauling future PONs).

The catch here is figuring out where to get a satellite-competitive TV service from to deliver over the network to aid profitability. Because $70 per month ARPU ($50 for broadband, $30 for voice, -$10 for a bundle discount) probably isn't gonna pay off all that infrastructure.

ctceo
Premium
join:2001-04-26
South Bend, IN
Reviews:
·Virgin Mobile Br..

Re: BPL to the rescue

Interference is a NON-issue with modern BPL technology and PROPER installations.

It boils down to money, pure and simple. Every ISP on the market stands to loose customers if another company enters the market with a competing product. It is in their best interest to prevent such an entrant.

As for cost, BPL you will find is the cheapest as the wiring is already in place. Fiber is about $.66 /meter. The equipment is god awful expensive.

With BPL you could easily have Data/Voice & TV service for say $75 a month TOPS. and that's at typical markups in markets where it's deployed. In the average market a buyer gets 9mb BPL service, and can allocate up to an 3MB per service, but we know that great quality VoIP can be had for little of no bandwidth at all, TV & Data, depending on usage, can share the remaining 8mb without a problem. You want HD TV, No problem. Upgrade to 18mb service and viola problem solved for a mere $15 more.
--
----
As long as superstition prevails, we will fall short of eradicating war, poverty, and hunger. -J. Fresco

khanacademy.org
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---
Eek2121

join:2002-10-12
Newton, NJ
Reviews:
·FreedomPop

Re: BPL to the rescue

BPL in other countries may be doable, BPL in the US is not. A lot of our powerlines have very little (or even no) shielding. We've tried it and failed. Power over unshielded lines causes massive amounts of interference (it's physics, not politics.) In adddition, power companies can't get the kind of margins they need to make up the cost of deployment. (politics, not physics.) In some cases we are talking 100 miles (160+ kilometers) just to service 2-5 households.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL
·Comcast
As Eek2121 mentioned, the question lies in whether power lines elsewhere, where BPL works, are shielded? 'cuz in the US they tend not to be.

As for fiber costs, media converters are cheap. PON gear is more expensive but not prohibitively so. Otherwise EPB wouldn't have done what it did.

motorola870

join:2008-12-07
Arlington, TX
kudos:3
said by iansltx:

Too bad that, in many areas, utilities are disallowed from building broadband networks atop their infrastructure.

Ahem, Texas...

I don't know if this matters but there is a Utility owned Cable Co Op in Texas in Hunt County and they have rolled out DOCSIS 3.0 to compete with Time Warner Cable in that area although their uploads are not at 5Mbps they do offer 30Mbps and 50Mbps tier for about $20 cheaper for 30Mbps and the same price for 50Mbps.

I also believe that Charter is getting ready rollout DOCSIS 2.0 or DOCSIS 3.0 speeds in Ellis County Texas in areas served out of the Waxahachie Texas headend that are outside of the city limits they are upgrading the entire Waxahachie system to be 2-way as of now only the Ennis Texas Hub and Waxahachie Headend Hub are offering 30Mbps download and the outskirts only have two-way ppv on digital cable no HSI.

Also Charter has DOCSIS 3.0 in smaller towns southwest of Fort Worth Texas.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL
·Comcast

Re: BPL to the rescue

Not sure what Charter's improvements have to do with anything, though I'm happy for their customers in those areas.

The utility-owned cable co-op is a bit more interesting though. How is ownership broken down? Maybe I'm more fuzzy on my anti-muni-broadband law book than I thought.

motorola870

join:2008-12-07
Arlington, TX
kudos:3

Re: BPL to the rescue

said by iansltx:

Not sure what Charter's improvements have to do with anything, though I'm happy for their customers in those areas.

The utility-owned cable co-op is a bit more interesting though. How is ownership broken down? Maybe I'm more fuzzy on my anti-muni-broadband law book than I thought.

The utility owned cable co-op is owned by the Greenville Electric Utility Services (GEUS) which is a municipal owned electric company.

Although TWC seems to blow them out of the water content wise even though it is on the lower end of TWC's offerings they have SDV on the TWC system there and only 99 HD channels.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL
·Comcast

Re: BPL to the rescue

Interesting. Guess they had the cable system online long before regulations outlawed it. I think Fredericksburg was going to do something similar as a public-private partnership with what is now part of Windstream, but then Time Warner Cable decided that it wanted to nip that sort of thing in the bud...and now muni Internet to residences (or anything from a utility other than dark fiber) can't exist.

backfeed
is giving feedback

join:2002-12-16
Peru, IN
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

As an HF Radio (shortwave) user, I am glad that BPL did not gain traction in the US. There is so many existing sources for noise, adding the additional interference from BPL would just make things worse. The Military, Commercial Air Traffic, and Marine folks use HF very heavily. It is often for life and limb. HF is the only method of communication that can reach around the earth without any other equipment other than the transmitter and the receiver. Very very important to many people...
my $.02
--
There are 10 types of people. Those who can read Binary and those who cannot.

ctceo
Premium
join:2001-04-26
South Bend, IN
Reviews:
·Virgin Mobile Br..

Re: BPL to the rescue

In my experience and tests, I had not had a single Law Enforcement , Military or other emergency official have ANY interference problems in test markets where the few leaks were repaired. You see these exaggerated videos of people driving down streets hearing this "interference", but it never actually interferes with communication equipment in the way it was portrayed.

BPL is still a very viable technology, it is a shame that it was defamed the way it was.
--
----
As long as superstition prevails, we will fall short of eradicating war, poverty, and hunger. -J. Fresco

khanacademy.org
en.lernu.net
www.k12.com
churchofreality.org
kopimistsamfundet.se
zeitnews.org
thezeitgeistmovement.com
thevenusproject.com
---
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

1 recommendation

said by ctceo:

If only hobbyists and lobbyists weren't so dead-set on defaming BPL technology (properly deployed), this would not be an issue.

We could easily see people in much more rural areas getting speeds in excess of 10MB on a single connection. Which would run around $8-10/mo per.

BPL is not a solution, it is a short-term fix. At the end of the day, fiber services are superior in virtually every way.

The power grid in the US is different from that in other countries. It is much more noisy. On top of that BPL causes noise. No amount of hardware is going to change the fact if you transmit data over unshielded lines. You can possibly reduce it, but you can't eliminate it. Even NATO raised concerns over the interference. It is not just hobbyists and lobbyists. It is serious concern to many groups, including governments.

Keep in mind BPL is a shared medium. One that has a vast amount of people sharing the same bandwidth. And unlike existing services such as DSL or cable, upgrading the infrastructure to overcome the problem is extremely limited. It is not the magic bullet. You still need repeaters to get the service to go any significant distance. And like all services that use copper, you can only go so far before it is a waste of resources for the company deploying the service. There is no real evidence that it would solve the broadband problem here in the US.

10+ Mega-Bytes per second for $8 per month? You blew any creditability you had.

treichhart

join:2006-12-12

I can see DSL will be dead soon

I can see DSL technology soon while cable and FTTH and Fixed Wireless will pick up in the future and What I mean by fixed wireless I am not talking about mobile cell phone.
34764170

join:2007-09-06
Etobicoke, ON

1 recommendation

Re: I can see DSL will be dead soon

said by treichhart:

I can see DSL technology soon while cable and FTTH and Fixed Wireless will pick up in the future and What I mean by fixed wireless I am not talking about mobile cell phone.

More than 60% of the world is connected via xDSL. It's far from dead.

treichhart

join:2006-12-12
I am talking about US im not talking about the world.

MoorefieldWV

@hardynet.com

3Mbps? Wow, that would be nice!

Here in rural WV, I'm supposed to have a 1.5Mbps connection. However, I typically see 400Kbps - ON A GOOD DAY. When it rains, the speed drops, and sometimes the connection drops completely. I've been fighting with my local co-op for more than 2 years on this issue, and they either tell me it's my line, or that "fiber is coming someday."

This evening, I saw this post because I have just waited 6 minutes for a page to load from my online university (no kidding, my screen saver came on twice), and decided to capture yet another screen shot of a test of my dial-up speed DSL to nag my ISP about.

userBeavis

@embarqhsd.net

Re: 3Mbps? Wow, that would be nice!

I'm with you. 400kb until about a year ago and now 1.5mb DSL but frequently slower and drops when it rains too. Rural doesn't always mean out in the sticks either. I'm less than a mile from a cable TV line and 2 miles out of town and 10 mins from a major metro area. Could I buy some 4G service, yes but all i would get is speed with caps and high latency at double the cost. Not exactly useful for VPN to work and OLGs.

I love people talking about their 30-50mb connections and then commenting about my 1.5mb is an "improvement". My 1.5mb is the equivalent of a rounding error for everyone else.
jjeffeory

join:2002-12-04
USA
It's like that in Wilton and Farmington Maine, too. Advertise 3Mbps get 300 Kbps...

...and there's a fiber ring going through the area somewhere with a University in the town which makes the slow speeds a real mystery to me.

battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000

Simple fix...

Open more affordable spectrum for WISPs with better non line of sight capabilities. Forbid the big ISPs from getting and hoarding it and you will see high sped in the most rural of areas.

While you are at it adopt a use it or loose it policy for any spectrum to stop hoarding.
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I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.
decifal

join:2007-03-10
Bon Aqua, TN
kudos:1

?

Broadband? Whats that?
Eek2121

join:2002-10-12
Newton, NJ
Reviews:
·FreedomPop

Sad state of broadband.

I think it's rather sad actually. The company I work for has 60-70 employees, we live in a county with 100,000 people in a state that is the 11th most populous state in the US. The best level of internet access we can get is 10 megs down, 896k up DSL. Sound like a lot? In order to get anything faster, the price goes from $120/mo to $1,000+/mo. We are in an area that have 70-100 small businesses (all around our size) within a mile that would love a nice fast internet connection. We all pay $100+/mo for this 10 meg dsl connection (through CenturyLink). Meanwhile, go a thousand miles away to the middle of nowhere. My mom is in Dickson, TN and she has NO hi speed options, only dialup. Meanwhile, at home i pay $80/mo for a capped (250 gb during peak hours, unlimited non peak) 35 meg down/3 meg up (not terribly bad) connection, and 20 minutes away, Verizon FIOS and Optimum online are both available and abundant. Oh, one more thing. Went to a semi remote part of maine on vacation and got 50 megs down/10 up from my cell phone via Verizon 4g LTE. No wonder people aren't happy about broadband.
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Root Your Kindle Fire HD!
Eek2121

join:2002-10-12
Newton, NJ
Reviews:
·FreedomPop

Re: Sad state of broadband.

I wanted to add one more thing, I've actually pushed our cable company to survey the area to consider adding their (much faster) internet to the area. The result? Phone companies own the poles, and want about 8 grand PER POLE to drop a cable line on the pole (they say the poles need to be replaced to add additional lines). There are roughly 50-100 poles in that roughly 'mile' of area, resulting in close to a half a million of up front costs...basically assuming 100% of businesses switch, you are looking at a 26 month return on investment minimum. You'll never have 100% marketshare, so realistically you are looking at at least a 5 year ROI. No wonder we can't get faster speeds...
--
Root Your Kindle Fire HD!

Dwayne

@comcastbusiness.net

3 Mbps!

Wow! I dream of 3 Mbps!

StuartMW
Who Is John Galt?
Premium
join:2000-08-06
Galt's Gulch
kudos:2

guess it's nice...

quote:
...8% received speeds above 10 Mbps...

Guess it's nice to be one of that 8%

I used to live in a city and got 3Mbps down. Moved to a remote area and got 7Mbps. After 9 months 12Mbps became available for $10 less per month.
--
Don't feed trolls--it only makes them grow!
PastTense

join:2011-07-06
united state

Define Rural

Rural has multiple definitions (to what extent does it include towns/cities and of what size?).

So could someone clarify what it means here?

Thanks.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink

What's wrong with 3Mbps?

Karl and company are playing the same old tired tune on their violin.

By repeatedly redefining "broadband service" speeds, there will always be rural "victims" who are underserved, regardless of the fact they're unwilling to pay for the service level desired.

••••••
jatthewmoly

join:2012-09-07
Florence, AL

i live in a rurl area

this is sorrttta bs on choices are sateelit (which i have ) verizon 4g (caps are to low) or a local company called net speed now (wireless) . still cant get cable or dsl. for satelite im lucky to get .1mbps