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Buffalo, NY Named Slowest Wireless City In U.S.
Though LTE Deployments Have Helped
by Karl Bode 08:39AM Friday Jan 04 2013
Buffalo, New York has been named the worst wireless city in America, according to data collected throughout 2012 by research firm RootMetrics. The firm compiled speed test data taken throughout 2012 from the 75 largest wireless market and found that Buffalo performed the worst in terms of speed. After averaging the average results provided by six carriers, Buffalo clocked it with an average downstream speed of 3.6 Mbps across six different carriers. The firm did note that late in the year Buffalo's speeds saw dramatic improvement with expanded LTE coverage from both AT&T and Verizon.

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FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

If 3.6 mbps downsrream is worst in America, we are good

After averaging the average results provided by six carriers, Buffalo clocked it with an average downstream speed of 3.6 Mbps across six different carriers

If this is the slowest average speed in 75 US cities, then the US is doing pretty well on data access. That means 74 other metro areas are doing even better.
--
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury.

MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1

Re: If 3.6 mbps downsrream is worst in America, we are good

This was only tested in 75 cites, sorry but calling something the slowest city based on a survey of only 75 cities makes 0 sense.
You need crowd sourced data, from everywhere, maybe from someone like rootmetrics to determine things like who has the slowest data.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: If 3.6 mbps downsrream is worst in America, we are good

said by MovieLover76:

You need crowd sourced data, from everywhere, maybe from someone like rootmetrics to determine things like who has the slowest data.

Read the news item. This data was from Rootmetrics.
--
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury.

MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1

Re: If 3.6 mbps downsrream is worst in America, we are good

My bad, boy that's embarrassing I normal do.

Dan Jones

@rr.com

Remember that's an average

Hi

I wrote this story. If you look at the report it is linked you'll see its an average, i.e., Verizon's LTE numbers where bringing the rest up in 2012. Smaller carriers were getting way less than that average in individual tests.

Thanks

Dan Jones
Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

AnonFTW

@reliablehosting.com

Re: Remember that's an average

The link at the end of your article points to att.net, not the report.

Dan Jones

@rr.com

Re: Remember that's an average

Fixed now. Thanks.

Here's the original report:

»www.lightreading.com/ip-converge···number=1

Here's the RootMetrics update:

»www.rootmetrics.com/compare-carr···er-2012/

DJ
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY
Well data is data and it's borked because Sprint has totally screwed the pooch in Buffalo. I won't get into statistics, but then again this is why we have a trillion dollar deficit....

However:

1 Verizon - LTE - I get 10 Mbps on my ipad. One of the early LTE cities.
2. AT&T LTE footprint in the core up a running. Even 3G is about 2Mbps/. Again one of the early cities
3. Tmobile - They have refarmed in my area (North of Buffalo) and has 42 fauxG, and my SO straighttalk tmo cell gets over 2Mbps regularly. Since I have a beef w/ AT&T, I use it. Even when I go into the sticks I still get reliable EDGE
4. Cricket - Shady outside the core but fine for metro.
5. Sprint - Totally sucks. I ditched VM for ST because on a good day I could get less that EDGE speeds. Lucky to get 128kbps. Also wimax never came because the border w/ Canada slowed deployment and then wimax was dead, so I guess they saved $$$.

So if I can guess, Buffalo comes in dead last because Sprint/Wimax which is stupid, because all of the other major networks are top tier here. So the moral of the story is: Skip Sprint.....

Oh, and I am writing this from my FIOS connection at 50/25.

These numbers don't even talk coverage, so it's useless. We are in Verizon country, so it's like a nice warm red blanket up here. This causes the other vendors (except Sprint) to compete and the coverage has gotten way better in the last two years.

And I will say this for Sprint: Even though VM 3G was really crappy, Mrs never dropped a voice call and texting always worked. It was only $25 a month...

Dan Jones

@rr.com

Re: Remember that's an average

RootMetrics also surveyed Leap & MetroPCS, who weren't even getting close to 1-Mbit/s down in some areas. So they really pull the numbers down.

No carrier has 100% coverage of 4G LTE in any market as far as I know. Last I heard, Verizon was close to 90% coverage in some of its top performing LTE markets, AT&T around 80%. Sprint is pushing out LTE markets as soon as it gets street-level in enough areas, so can be, er, shall we say patchy?

DJ

MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1
Even though Sprint is bad, Sprint is bad nationwide, they aren't helping but their not the entire reason either.

Those 3G numbers for AT&T and T-mobile aren't great.
In my area AT&T FauxG is 3 - 6 mbps, and T-mobile FauxG averages 4 - 12 mbps, and we only have HSPA+ 21 , not 42
Maybe they need to upgrade their backhaul in your area.
Happydude32
Premium
join:2005-07-16
kudos:1
quote:
5. Sprint - Totally sucks. I ditched VM for ST because on a good day I could get less that EDGE speeds. Lucky to get 128kbps. Also wimax never came because the border w/ Canada slowed deployment and then wimax was dead, so I guess they saved $$$.
That is not true at all. Clear was in danger of losing their licenses because they promised that they’d have a certain number of markets launched by a certain date. I forget the specifics but you can look it up if you care to. Buffalo just happened to be one of those markets where wimax service was ‘launched’ (and I use that term very loosely) unofficially with no announcement, in very limited areas. Speeds are not as high as in real wimax markets but still can hit 6-10 Mb down and the standard 1.5Mb Up.

Small pockets of Buffalo have 4G Wimax service from Clear/Sprint and have had it for a year and a half or so now. Most notability on and all along the 33 Expressway on the East side and by ECMC. Supposably some of the Sprint towers by the airport are also lite up with wimax. But I never paid attention, but I know for a fact there is wimax on the East side, I connected to it many times on my Evo 3D. Also, there are a lot of small isolated pockets of wimax all over the country, the ones we can relate to are down in the Southern Tier. Hornell, Alfred, Olean, Wellsville, Salamanca and I believe Bradford, PA all have wimax. Last year, one Saturday I drove all over down there, the speeds are and would average 7-8Mb downstream in each one of those areas. You can check out the maps if you like. These unofficial areas are not listed on Sprints coverage maps, but they’re in light green on Clears website. Me and my buddy were at the Wegman’s in Hornell, he can barely get a signal on the almighty Verizon Wireless and I’m testing at around 7Mb with the lowly Sprint.

I used to be in the Rochester area three days a week for work, now I’m down to one. Rochester and Syracuse were among the first wimax markets. The Sprint 4G speeds were phenomenal. I was in Rochester on the second day wimax was first turned on. As time went by coverage got much better and speeds increased.

This is what I got in the Village of East Rochester on Sprint 4G Wimax. That was my best result, but in the general area I would average 10-13 Mb down.


This is what I got a few weeks ago right in the heart of downtown Buffalo parked in front of the HSBC Tower a few minutes before 7AM on Verizon 4G LTE.


As much as I HATE Verizon and their half-sister company, Cell Co, DBA Verizon Wireless, after almost a decade with Nextel and Sprint I terminated my relationship with them and switched to the Spawn of Satan, Verizon Wireless. In the month and a half I’ve been a VZW customer, I could not be more disappointed with the LTE speeds. I have yet to be anywhere that achieves speeds faster than that Sprint result and LTE is supposed to be some super awesome thing. I’m not expecting 24/7 30Mb downstream on a cell phone, but being able to break the 20Mb barrier would give me some faith. Mark my words, as soon as Sprint launches LTE in Buffalo (and its in the works as their network now reads as eHRPD in most of the Buffalo area) I will be gone from this garbage company, so long as Sprint offers a handset equal or better than my Droid DNA. The slow 3G speeds combined with lack of high end phones are the reasons why I jumped ship. And I’m not afraid of breaking contracts and paying ETFs. I ditched AT&T a little over a year to for Sprint because I couldn’t take using the iPhone any longer. I paid an ETF with AT&T. I re-up’d my Sprint contract in June of 2011 when the Evo 3D came up, I bought the Evo LTE at full retail, and last month I paid the ETF with about 7 months left to go on that contract. So in about a year or so once Sprint has high LTE penetration in the Buffalo and Rochester markets, and if they can partner with HTC to provide a state of the art super premium handset, I will pay that ETF with Verizon with a smile on my face and go back home to Sprint.

Your thing about Canada, actually applies to Verizon not Sprint, and Buffalo was by no means one of the first markets for Verizon LTE. In 2011 Canada went through the over the air analog TV shutdown that the US did a few years ago. Due to the frequencies used, Verizon could not launch LTE in Buffalo until this happened. Many other smaller markets (including Rochester and Albany) got LTE before Buffalo.

»www.wivb.com/dpp/news/buffalo/Wh···services

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Smith6612
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1 edit

Re: Remember that's an average

I can't blame you for hating on Wireless speeds around here Steve. I've played with Verizon Wireless' LTE speeds in this area and they are a disaster. Sometimes I'd hit 60Mbps+ on the downstream, 25Mbps upload and then the next moment I'd hit a paultry 3Mbps down, 5Mbps up. It definitely isn't 3G because that would have only hit 2.8Mbps/700kbps on an uncongested tower. Out where I am, AT&T and Verizon are the ones who have LTE available. Verizon's is spotty at best along with AT&T's. Unfortunately Sprint isn't doing well either. The problem is due to the cruddy connectivity the towers have out here, along with the huge dependence people seem to have on Cellular data where it shouldn't even need to be used (you know, where Wi-Fi or Ethernet/Wired is available). Not to mention, there are a lot of homes out where I am that have no choice what so ever but to use cell phone Internet or use Satellite.

The location where I got 60+Mbps was in Amherst, NY none the less. Boulevard Mall before the Verizon Wireless booth there replaced all the working models with basic models. But regardless, everywhere I go in Buffalo the LTE speeds are a massive rollercoaster.
Happydude32
Premium
join:2005-07-16
kudos:1

Re: Remember that's an average

My 50Mb test I posted was taken on the corner of NF Blvd and E. Robinson. Amherst seems to be the only town with the occasional burst of insane LTE speeds. Which is surprising. I would have thought all the kids at UB would be sucking the towers dry. Speeds in the city and in the south towns are disappointing. Down south in Silver Creek, Dunkirk/Fredonia I can get 15-20Mb down. Down in Lawtons in the middle of nowhere there’s a VZW tower right on RT 62, never been able to hit higher than 8Mb on that one. I have yet to get anything about 8Mb on the upstream.

Out here in Marilla, we have no 4G service, when heading north, LTE fades out a little south of the 400 ramps on Transit near the West Seneca/Elma boarder and it’s not seen again for a while. 3G speeds aren’t bad actually, I get around 0.5-12Mb down, when I actually have 3G. Right now I’m stuck in 1X and the signal is poor to barley acceptable for voice, but the same can be said for AT&T and Sprint.



Personally, I’d rather use my own cellular data connection then even think about using wifi. Public wifi is, well just icky! When I had Sprint, I had a USB modem, infact it’s still active, and with Verizon I also have a USB stick for my laptop. I would never in a million years connect a device that contains my personal data on a public wifi network. When I was in Ohio over the summer, I connected to Sprints wimax network and had excellent luck streaming video. Screw that free hotel wifi junk! Even when using smartphones and tablets where maleware isn’t a concern, I do a lot of banking and other account management on my phone and tablet and want a more secure connection. Even at home, the only time I really ever use wifi is when I share out media on it to my TV or home theater receiver via DLNA. Even if I have a few app updates, I’ll let the updates download on slow 3G or the snail 1XRTT network. I don’t really use my phone much at home, so I don’t care if it sits there and downloads at 6kbps for the next 6 hours.
--
iPhone: 4” 1136 X 640 Display, 1.30 GHz Dual Core Processor, 1 GB RAM
MyPhone: 5” 1920 X 1080 Display, 1.50 GHz Quad Core Processor, 2 GB RAM
So tell me, why is exactly is the iPhone so great?
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Smith6612
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North Tonawanda, NY
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Reviews:
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Re: Remember that's an average

Agreed on the Hotel/Public Wi-Fi deal. Even if security were not so much of an issue, the fact that the connections are either horribly slow or broken has pointed me to use a cellular modem to connect which worked fine.

What you get as you check LTE service is about what it is for me. As I head North, LTE service starts to fade in and out and speeds decline a good deal regardless of distance to the tower. LTE service here despite having 4-5 bars 3G and 1X gives us 3-4 bars LTE which goes away for hours at a time. When it comes in, the highest it ever goes is 5Mbps/1Mbps. Granted we are in an "Extended LTE" area as they state.

linicx
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2002-12-03
United State

Hmm?

I just talked to a member who lives near Buffalo who said he was getting 50Mbps down from Comcast at his house.

Who should readers believe?
--
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Dan Jones

@rr.com

Re: Hmm?

This refers purely to wireless 3G and 4G services.
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY
It must be another Buffalo. We have time warner or FIOS here...Well in buffalo, they get DSL I do get 50/25 w FIOS tho...

And yes since we have FIOS competition, TWC has wideband up here too and it's fast.

Now if you are talking weather, I agree Buffalo sucks

Dan Jones

@rr.com

Re: Hmm?

Again, this refers to wireless not cable or DSL, as far as I know RootMetrics only surveys wireless.
Gandalf4503

join:2002-06-27
Cohoes, NY
said by linicx:

I just talked to a member who lives near Buffalo who said he was getting 50Mbps down from Comcast at his house.

Who should readers believe?

said by elefante72:

It must be another Buffalo. We have time warner or FIOS here...Well in buffalo, they get DSL I do get 50/25 w FIOS tho...

And yes since we have FIOS competition, TWC has wideband up here too and it's fast.

Now if you are talking weather, I agree Buffalo sucks

I think you guys need to learn how to read. It blatantly says WIRELESS in the subject of the article.

Seriously guys.
Happydude32
Premium
join:2005-07-16
kudos:1
said by linicx:

I just talked to a member who lives near Buffalo who said he was getting 50Mbps down from Comcast at his house.

Who should readers believe?

That was me. And no I did not say Comcast. Comcast doesn’t have any territory for a couple hundred miles from here. I said Time Warner. I get 50Mb service from Time Warner and I live in a relatively rural community. The focus of this study was wireless, so I don’t see why you even brought that up.
»FCC: Deaf.Dumb & Blind
--
iPhone: 4” 1136 X 640 Display, 1.30 GHz Dual Core Processor, 1 GB RAM
MyPhone: 5” 1920 X 1080 Display, 1.50 GHz Quad Core Processor, 2 GB RAM
So tell me, why is exactly is the iPhone so great?
Droid Does What Jobs Won’t Let You Do.

linicx
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2002-12-03
United State
Reviews:
·TracFone Wireless
·CenturyLink

Re: Hmm?

The original conversation, Steve, was your disagreement with my experience with telco and cable inre poor service, low speeds and no competition in rural areas.

If a house receives Comcast, Time-Warner, or AT&T Internet it is not a rural location. Years ago AT&T, Verizon, Cox, Road Runner, T-W and Comcast divested their interest in landlines loaded with debt,old equipment, and promises they did not intend to honor in mid-markets and rural America in towns under 100,000 from coast to coast to the likes of Frontier, Suddenlink, Central Telephone, and other suckers who thought they were getting a good deal.

If the owner has a 50Mbps to the home, it is not rural. If the owner needs a modem-to-cable connection, or telco-to-modem connection to receive a signal to the house, then the house is not wireless -- not yet anyway.

I live in a tiny town 50 Miles from AT&T or a national cable providers. My town is surrounded by fiber cable. FIOS to the CO/Head-in. Telco and Cable both share FIOS. Cable charges $100 for 10/2. Telco charges $40 for 10/.512. Telco delivers ADSL over fiber to a A -D converter box some 30' from my house. There it is converted from digital to analog and delivered to the house over a POTS line. The RJ-11 device inside the house connects to the modem and the web. When I decided I wanted to be wireless, I bought wireless devices and an ASUS 802.11 b/g/n wireless router. I enjoy my wireless toys, but they are useless without a cable or telco connection to a modem.

You may actually get wireless, or FTTH, but I've never seen it, and where I live it is unlikely I ever will. .

You can argue all day long, insult me and kick and scream. The fact is you don't live here. And you have not lived in the rural areas I did in three states that had identical problems from a dozen different providers. The only thing that changed was the name on the bill.

As to the other... I wish you all *good vision and good hearing* until the day you die. I lost both at age 70. I won't apologize for what I don't see, but I will say this much: cable is cable it makes no difference who delivers it to your door. The difference is your distance from the head-in and your location in the 'hood. Mine is lousy; it's why I have telco, and Dish -- which has thus far been superior to any cable I ever saw, and telco except SBC is one town only. The net was down 30 minutes one time in 2 years.
--
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Happydude32
Premium
join:2005-07-16
kudos:1

Re: Hmm?

This is a topic about a study that involves cellular broadband speeds, I have no idea what 95% of your post has to do with anything. Wired broadband is not the issue at hand. I have been in many rural areas of the Buffalo and Western NY area that have cable service. And DOCSIS 3 service is available in 100% of the Time Warner footprint in a given division. I’ve seen cable in areas that have no weekly garbage pick up, I’ve seen cable run on no service roads. Yes, there are many rural areas with no high speed options, but there are many that do. But all of this is completely irrelevant as it has nothing to do with the topic at hand, which is wireless speeds.

Like I said, about 95% of your post above, I do not understand and makes no sense. I cannot comprehend what you are trying to say. The only thing I can come up with is you’re confusing the term ‘wireless’. You think the article is talking about the average wifi speed is determined by the speed of the land based connection it connected to, when the article is actually talking about mobile cellular broadband speeds from Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility, Sprint and T-Mobile. Two completely different things.
--
iPhone: 4” 1136 X 640 Display, 1.30 GHz Dual Core Processor, 1 GB RAM
MyPhone: 5” 1920 X 1080 Display, 1.50 GHz Quad Core Processor, 2 GB RAM
So tell me, why is exactly is the iPhone so great?
Droid Does What Jobs Won’t Let You Do.

hobgoblin
Sortof Agoblin
Premium
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Orchard Park, NY
kudos:11
said by linicx:

I just talked to a member who lives near Buffalo who said he was getting 50Mbps down from Comcast at his house.

Who should readers believe?

Not you! There is no Comcast connection anywhere near Buffalo

Hob
--
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Smith6612
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North Tonawanda, NY
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Buffalo Cell Phone Internet

Well, for one Wireless speeds in Buffalo aren't THAT bad, though yes with Sprint in the equation that will really bring the results down. Too many folks out where I am have to use 3G for Internet because no one wants to run DSL (Frontier, Verizon) or Cable (Time Warner, Comcast?) to them without having to take out a large loan to get service by running a cable 6 poles down the road. A lot of those folks are using grandfathered unlimited plans for that too, or are on resellers who offer "Unlimited" data but at throttled speeds after a certain point.

Not to mention the fact that many of the towers not in Buffalo or a Suburb are still on Copper T1s rather than Fiber, even though Fiber is available isn't helping too much. Those same towers are still running older 3G gear and LTE could be considered "extended" in those regions, but doesn't achieve more than 4Mbps/1Mbps if it ever comes in.

Overall I'm glad we're called the slowest in the country. Not because it's a good thing, but because it shows the downfalls of Wireless technology and it will probably start kicking a few folks in the rear if they take metrics like this seriously. Maybe it will inspire folks who also don't put their smartphones on Wi-Fi in their home to reconsider as well.

MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1

1 edit

Re: Buffalo Cell Phone Internet

I agree, wireless shouldn't have to be used as a replacement for wired broadband, wired broadband is way more efficient and cheaper for the consumer, especially with the explosive growth of video.

I use up to a Terabyte a month, mostly on streaming video. As much as wireless operators want to pretend wireless can support home use, it can't. Even capped plans from cable companies like comcast give you 250GB. it would costs thousands of dollars to pay for that monthly over wireless.
Companies touting wireless for home internet access are doing it for one reason only - they can charge more for it.
it is not a suitable replacement.

And bandwidth usage at home is only going to increase. People who want everything to be wireless are fools.
People should use wifi at home, it's cheaper and actually saves battery life on most smartphones, Unfortunately people are also lazy lol.

Gone
Premium
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Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
said by Smith6612:

Well, for one Wireless speeds in Buffalo aren't THAT bad

Well, compared to the performance of the LTE and 3G-they-call-4G that's on the Canadian side of the border, it is bad. When I feel like bleeding my bank account dry by roaming, I am shocked at just how slow data access in Buffalo and even NFNY is through AT&T. I've been planning on picking up a T-Mobile SIM for the last while to save on roaming, and I can only imagine how much worse the data is on that network even though they now have HSPA running on 1900MHz.

Having said that, you guys get it for less, so it's a trade-off I guess.
Happydude32
Premium
join:2005-07-16
kudos:1

Verizon Must Have Read This Study...

...Or read my bitching about being utter disappointed in their LTE speeds.

Today I was in the biggest suburb of Buffalo, Amherst, where I'd average in the low teens in past testing. Well not today!




It rivals my home connection.


--
iPhone: 4” 1136 X 640 Display, 1.30 GHz Dual Core Processor, 1 GB RAM
MyPhone: 5” 1920 X 1080 Display, 1.50 GHz Quad Core Processor, 2 GB RAM
So tell me, why is exactly is the iPhone so great?
Droid Does What Jobs Won’t Let You Do.