Speed Test and the Cord Cutter

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Are you getting what you paid for from your internet service provider ? Lately I’ve noticed wild variations when I run speedtest.net. I see downloads that vary between 7 and 30 Mbps. When I look at the local Charter website it doesn’t seem like they’re talking about much less than “up to 100 Mbps”.

speedtest

I suspect this is because as Netflix subscriptions have exceeded cable subscriptions , your local Charter/Comcast is having a hard time keeping up.

The other reason might have to do with IOT, the internet of things. Just a few years ago, my cheap little TP-Link router was probably serving just 2 or 3 devices: a PC or two and the Roku. I looked on the  DHCP list menu the other day and see 16. This includes multiple iPhones, tablets, Alexa (new addition). As every home in the U.S. starts to add all these internet appliances it has to be somewhat of a steady drain on the overall internet bandwidth.

Before the Charter/TWC merge, Time Warner Cable was planning to roll out 300 Mbps to all areas as part of the “Maxx” project. I think the Charter merge killed that deal but not sure why. I’d speculate the new bigger cable company could not sustain it.

Cable operators spend a lot of time monitoring and upgrading their optical networks to fix these “utilization” issues before they become complaints. Nonetheless, it might be worth a call to see if you can get your local optical node fixed sooner.

If you care to share, run the speed test on your own system and write the results and the name of your provider in the comments below.


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8 Responses to Speed Test and the Cord Cutter

  1. Walt Mielke says:

    Download speeds using Speedtest Beta on Chrome browser: 95.46,95.22 and 94.83; Results from FAST.com on Chrome: 87,90 & 91; Results from Spectrum (My IPS) 95.76,95.50 & 95.02 using Vivaldi browser.

  2. Len Mullen says:

    Fairpoint has throttled my download speed and is not offering me service that is almost as good as I had for ‘just a little more’ about once a month. Their analytics must be way off since 1) 29/15 is 10x what I need, and 2) I am more likely to drop high speed internet altogether than to upgrade. OTA and a cell phone is my retirement plan.

    • Len Mullen says:

      and is NOW offering me service that is almost as good as I had for ‘just a little more’

    • Greg says:

      Fairpoint is just another one of the many merger deals in recent years so welcome to Consolidated Communications. Perhaps they back off on network investment before a sale. Not sure.

  3. Augustine says:

    Keep in mind that, by using such speed testing tools, what is actually tested are your connection, the connection at the other end and the connections between them.

    • Greg says:

      Isn’t that valid? I know techs for Cable companies actually use the same tools.

      • Augustine says:

        As I said, it’s valid to measure what it measures, not just your connection, but all the connections involved. However, the ISP can only guarantee the performance of your connection with it, not with everyone else.

        Moreover, the servers used by such test tools participate in it voluntarily. Oftentimes, they may be overwhelmed by too many tests at the same time and report an artificially low performance.

        The best tools to measure the performance of your ISP service are those that it provides. After all, an ISP should be able to guarantee the performance of connections between itself and its customers.

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