Time Warner slings free Maxx upgrades to counter Google Fiber

I've been chronicling the slow progress of Google Fiber moving into my metro area, my city, and eventually, into my house. Since Google Fiber started building in the Kansas City area, a funny thing has happened: competition. Even before the Google announcement, we had the option of AT&T U-Verse or Time Warner Cable in my neighborhood. Then Google did its thing, and AT&T later announced the rollout of its own fiber product in parts of the metro. Meanwhile, my incumbent cable provider, Time Warner, has raised the speeds of our cable Internet service several times at no extra charge.

I get the sense that we're pretty fortunate around here, all things considered, compared to a lot of areas in the U.S. One thing we have that many others don't is a real set of options.

Anyhow, I mentioned the other day that the timeline for Google Fiber service turn-ups in my neighborhood is disappointingly slow, even though the fiber's already in the ground. The wait for 1000Mbps up- and downstream was gonna be pretty rough at a continued pace of 50Mbps down and a pokey 5Mbps up.

Happily, we got a notice in the mail (yes, via snail mail) the other day from Time Warner telling us about yet another speed increase at no cost.  This is part of TWC's new Maxx service offering. The "standard" service tier jumps from 15Mbps down/1Mbps up to 50/5. Our "Extreme" package rises from 50/5 to 200/20. And the fastest package goes from 100/5 to 300/20.

Not bad, really. And the change was apparently active. I ran down to my office and did a quick speed test, and sure enough, performance was up. Downstream reached about 110Mbps, and upstream hit about 11Mbps. We have a relatively new modem, from the last couple of years, but the notice said we might need to swap it out for a newer one to reach the full rates. I quickly hopped online and ordered a swap kit, which TWC promised to send out to my house free of charge.

That was on Friday. Then, on Sunday, our Internet service simply stopped working. From what I could tell after some poking and prodding, our home router was fine, and our modem was synced up to the cable network fine. It just wouldn't pass packets. What followed was a weird combination of good and bad.

Somehow, I found TWC's customer service account on Twitter and decided to see if there was an outage in my area. They were incredibly quick to reply and ask me for more info about my TWC account. I provided it, and they soon informed me that my modem had been quarantined in order to alert me that I needed to upgrade my modem to get the full speeds available to me.

Yes, they straight took down my service to let me know that I needed to order a modem I'd already ordered.

If only we had… information technology that would allow companies to target only appropriate customers with these messages. If only other forms of communication existed than a total service shut-off. If only… wow.

Anyhow, the Twitter rep took my modem out of quarantine and explained that most users should see a web-based message about the reason for the quarantine—along with a form to order a new modem and a means of getting the current one out of quarantine. It's just that "some routers" block that message. My excellent Asus AC2400 router was one that did, it seems, likely due to good security design.

Again, wow. I think competition has made TWC aggressive without really making them customer-focused. I suppose it's a start.

Regardless, my new modem arrived yesterday and I installed it. The process was a little clumsy, but I muddled through. The end result was a full realization of our new service speeds. Speedtest.net tells me I can reach 216Mbps downstream and 21Mbps upstream, just a little better than the advertised rate.

Man, four times our old upstream and downstream speeds is gonna make the wait for Google Fiber much easier. Heck, I'm not sure how many servers out there really sling bits to consumers at 200Mbps—other than,  you know, Steam. Maybe other folks with fast connections can enlighten us about that. My sense is that, for purposes that don't involve upstream transmissions, what we have now may not differ much in practical terms from fiber-based Internet services. Didn't happen how I expected, but I'm pleased to see it.

Comments closed
    • Redundant
    • 4 years ago

    Brighthouse’s recent “free” upgrade for $58/month : 15 / 2
    Pretty sweet to see Netflix is a bit less blurry for 7 or 8 seconds per minute.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 4 years ago

      Same as my Time Warner. To think, all Time Warner needs is Google to show up and suddenly they can magically make higher speeds show up.

      It’s as if all the problems in the world could be solved by making any Cable company that wants to service any part of the US must service it all, right?

    • Jeffs0418
    • 4 years ago

    Here in Sacramento we are still hostages of Comcast. Our last “free” speed increase was well over a year(2years?) ago from 30Mbs to 60. 200+ would be great. But it won’t happen until fiber gets a lot closer.

    • liquidsquid
    • 4 years ago

    Meanwhile, in rural Western NY… It wouldb e faster to drive a USB memory stick back and forth.

      • nexxcat
      • 4 years ago

      Never underestimate the bandwidth of a fully-laden FedEx lorry:

      [url<]https://what-if.xkcd.com/31/[/url<] Your latency might be a touch high though 🙂

    • the
    • 4 years ago

    I just did a similar modem upgrade as a TWC customer in the metro KC area. All I can say is that they must really fear the competition from Google. A year ago I was at 15/2 and got an upgrade to 20/2 for free in December. A few weeks ago I got the message to upgrade my modem for faster service but didn’t get around to it until today. Yesterday with the older modem I was able to hit 100 Mbit down/5 Mbit up without a change in price. Today after mentioning some connection problems and that they were inserting pop ups to update my modem, I was put on a higher speed tier and they cut my bill by $6/month. So here is what I’m currently getting:

    [url<]http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/4381524788[/url<] I've started to notice that several speed tests will actually top out at 200 Mbit and be unable to reach the 300 Mbit potential of my advertised connection speed. So yeah, I finally now think I'm getting what I actually pay for in terms of connectivity speeds. However, I still plan on switching to Google the nanosecond sign ups open for my area. There is enough bad history with customer service that not only am I dropping Time Warner like a bad habit but I'd be will to pay for my neighbors to forego Time Warner as well.

    • Meadows
    • 4 years ago

    Not many web services take advantage of it, true. It literally only becomes useful when you download things.

    Besides the obvious drag of downloading one of those recent high-tier games on Steam that weigh several tens of gigabytes, high speeds (above 200 Mbps) are particularly useful if you’re downloading, uh, several Linux disc images at the same time for yourself or friends or family.

    • Kougar
    • 4 years ago

    Congrats on the upgrade!!

    Also just received a speed bump from TWC due to Google building fiber in a nearby city. The “Turbo” package went from 20/2 to 100/10 but only after I swapped out for a DOCCIS 3.0 modem. It’s been a very welcome, sorely needed speed boost!

    Tried to do the online modem swap signup and it simply said to contact a rep or go in person due to some unknown issue. Once in person the Rep informed me I’d either have to immediately de-authorize the old modem (and disrupt everyone using the network) or later go through the backlogged phone system to authorize the new modem I’d just picked up.

    I also found it amusing how my speeds didn’t change an iota until only after the modem swap, even though the older modem was a model used for >20/2 tiers when I got it.

    • dashbarron
    • 4 years ago

    On a 10Mbit fixed wireless connection here (up from 3 originally). Hoping to get LTE coverage within the next year or two. Speeds have been pretty cruddy for months. I’m lucky to get an actual 1Mbit connection many nights, and usually never peak past 1.5Mbit. Max speed ever was about 5-6Mbits.

    DSL literally makes a circle around my house: 1/2 mile north, 1/2 mile south, and all around on the cross roads. I emailed them the other day to see what the possibilities would be of getting some sort of connection (same speed, but significantly lower), and they basically just emailed to tell me the specifications to qualify for DSL, but never actually said yes, no, or maybe.

    I would consider you lucky….

    • Ninjitsu
    • 4 years ago

    Hahaha that was fun to read. Good competition fixes so much. I’m glad Google thought of doing this.

    COME TO INDIA GOOGLE FIBER! WE WILL FEED YOU SAMOSAS!

      • terminalrecluse
      • 4 years ago

      Too much engrained corruption. It would be dead before it starts. India would demand porn filters and all sorts of socialist style concessions

        • Ninjitsu
        • 4 years ago

        WHAT HAS IT GOT TO DO WITH SOCIALISM

        Also “ingrained”. Capitalism not investing enough in education or what? ¬_¬

        p.s. the senseless jibe at capitalism was just a frustrated retort. I usually don’t care much about typos unless they’re funny.

        • christos_thski
        • 4 years ago

        Are the commies out there to take your pr0n too, on top of the assault rifles?

        • anotherengineer
        • 4 years ago

        WUT?!?!

        Ummmmmm hmmmmmm ever hear of the red light district in Amsterdam, guess what it’s in a Country called the Netherlands (Holland) which is a Socialist/capitalist based place.

        [url<]http://www.amsterdam.info/red-light-district/[/url<]

        • nexxcat
        • 4 years ago

        There’s this largely socialist continent called “You-rup” where a lot of things banned here in the freedom-loving place called “Murrica” are allowed. Only thing they don’t allow that Murrica allows are guns, but countries in You-rup are largely absent of things like bans on gambling, bans on prostitution and bans on selling alcohol. It’s as if these socialist countries are largely capable of treating adults as adults and not trying to treat them as small children.

        ETA: They also tend to have more competition for things like Internet access too, leading to better service and cheaper prices. What happened?

    • Krogoth
    • 4 years ago

    Protip: Most major download sites have QOS policies that limit download speeds to 100-200Mbps max per node. You get similar results with most torrents unless it is a well-seeded one (*nix ISOs for example).

    Having a 1Gbps connection or more is kinda silly unless you are hosting, running daily off-site back-ups with GiBs worth of data, running a WAN/VPN between two or more sites.

      • anotherengineer
      • 4 years ago

      Don’t know why you were downed for. But a 1Gbps isn’t silly if it’s the same price as a 50Mbps connection.

      I agree with the bandwidth thing though, I have an 80Mbps (down) connection and only steam has been able to max it out. Intel, MS, other big corps usually just saturate over half of my available bandwidth.

      But of course speeds will vary depending on geographic location.

        • moshpit
        • 4 years ago

        Krogoth makes a good point though, this is all based on QOS policies, and the real point of all this vast new bandwidth isn’t about a single torrent download’s speed, or some Windows Update finishing faster. It’s about being able to run that monster Windows Update while the huge torrent is downloading, WHILE still browsing the net AND watching your favorite series on Netflix/Hulu/Youtube/whatever. QOS is about allowing many services to run side by side and none of them overwhelm the others. People get too lost in how fast their most recently pirated movie downloads and forget the whole reason to fat pipes. More things at once.

          • Krogoth
          • 4 years ago

          Exactly

          It is all about having the headroom to do several bandwidth intensive applications at once without hic-ups.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 4 years ago

        Not sure about anyone else but I down voted him for the use of “Protip” and then saying something completely inane.

          • Krogoth
          • 4 years ago

          Sorry, but in the real-world hosting bandwidth cost $$$$.

          There aren’t that many servers that support or are willing to allocate 1Gbps or to a single node. It is rather ironic for those who enjoy such connection speeds. The bottleneck becomes the host rather than the client.

      • Ninjitsu
      • 4 years ago

      But it’s great to have if you have many people in the house doing many things together on the internet. Fiber is great for gaming too – low latency.

        • Krogoth
        • 4 years ago

        Latency has more to with geographical locations and routing than anything else.

        It doesn’t matter if you have fiber or not. You aren’t going to be getting great latencies on servers that are located across the globle.

    • KingLear
    • 4 years ago

    Competition is a good thing. I pay $58. for 15/1 in San Diego with Time Warner. YouTube videos can’t play without buffering. I guess my neighborhood is overloaded. The only other service is AT&T and I will never go there again. My nuts are slowly being squeezed and there is nothing I can do about it.

    • deputy dawg
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<]The "standard" service tier jumps from 15Mbps [b<]up[/b<]/1Mbps [b<]down[/b<] to 50/5.[/quote<] Typo or am I crazy?

      • NoOne ButMe
      • 4 years ago

      the up and down are used to describe the 15 and 1 respectively.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 4 years ago

        yeah but they’ve got to be backwards. 15mbit uploads but only 1mbit downloads?

    • terminalrecluse
    • 4 years ago

    Still would rather have symmetric fiber from Google, why? because F TWC.

    • UnfriendlyFire
    • 4 years ago

    But… But… Those ISPs said that competition would prevent them from investing in their infrastructure!

    How could they lie?!

    • ludi
    • 4 years ago

    I hope this “competition” thing comes to the Denver market at some point. I have an amazing choice between Comcast, for something like a million dollars a month unless I bundle cable and phone service for basically the same price as standalone Internet, and CenturyLink, which can’t figure out how to install the infrastructure for better than a 1.5/768 connection in a dense apartment/townhome neighborhood located less than three miles from fiber backbone and still likes to jack my rates up at odd times.

    • anotherengineer
    • 4 years ago

    “Since Google Fiber started building in the Kansas City area, a funny thing has happened: competition. Even before the Google announcement, we had the option of AT&T U-Verse or Time Warner Cable in my neighborhood. Then Google did its thing, and AT&T later announced the rollout of its own fiber product in parts of the metro. Meanwhile, my incumbent cable provider, Time Warner, has raised the speeds of our cable Internet service several times at no extra charge.”

    It’s pretty funny indeed when people or the FCC ask the ISP’s for more bandwidth or same bandwidth at a better rate they say no, too much money, can’t do it, no one wants that much speed, no one needs that much speed, cut into profit margins, etc. etc.

    BUT when a company like Google starts rolling out Fiber where there are already 3 players, things start changing.

    It’s just funny like Damage said!!!

      • w76
      • 4 years ago

      So you’re saying market forces are far more effective than government jawboning at bringing about positive change? I agree! 😛

        • anotherengineer
        • 4 years ago

        Only when you have companies that take initiatives like this. However that is usually not the case and more often than not, it usually comes down to the government doing something to get change to happen, good or bad.

          • w76
          • 4 years ago

          That’s an extremely narrow reading of history, and counter to everything I’ve ever seen in business. Except in cases where government either gets in the way OR allows cozy cartels or monopolies to form, businesses generally try to expand. The motive is dead simple: operate in more markets, more potential customers, more potential scale and money. But, local governments make expansion in this market tedious to the extreme (the only two things probably more tedious than construction of this nature is the heavily regulated banking and medical sectors), and the way the market is set up where an ISP can provide the service and own all the infrastructure is conducive to local cartels or outright monopolies.

          In fact, despite all that, Verizon made a stab at it and had high hopes for FiOS, before abandoning most expansion plans (last I heard).

          Belief in the religion of “all change comes from government” is just a lazy alternative to looking at the history of markets, global economies, etc.

            • anotherengineer
            • 4 years ago

            All depends where you live.

            Here in Canada gas is $1.20L at the pumps or $4.54/gal well cnd so about $3.81US/gal. I thought with the low price of crude it would have been lower, but apparently not.

            “Belief in the religion of “all change comes from government” is just a lazy alternative to looking at the history of markets, global economies, etc.”

            I agree, but most corporations will get away with whatever they can within the law of whatever country they operate in. But belief in the opposite of that is just as bad.

            Oh and if you are interested here is an interesting read about government control of crude taxes for it’s people.
            [url<]http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/norway-s-sovereign-wealth-holds-lessons-for-canada-1.3002803[/url<]

            • w76
            • 4 years ago

            Different markets for gasoline can behave different (SHOCKER, I know). For example, California is slightly disconnected from the rest of the US because of its different, unique blend. Taxes also vary. But even after a run up, fuel is still $1/gal cheaper year-over-year presently here. Also, supply/demand. Just because oil plummeted in price doesn’t mean demand for refined products did.

            [quote<]I agree, but most corporations will get away with whatever they can within the law of whatever country they operate in.[/quote<] Yes, as do individuals, but my point was that their objective is typically aligned with providing competition except in cases where the market is shaped in some way that encourages otherwise. Like the high barriers to entry in providing service to a house, or municipally granted monopolies, etc. As for the article, I skimmed it, I've read quite a lot about sovereign wealth funds, but it also seems to show that government decision making can follow something of a normal distribution; Greece at one end, Singapore towards the other, and everyone else with varying degrees of incompetence in between. Not sure what the point is, other than government being inconsistent.

            • anotherengineer
            • 4 years ago

            “but my point was that their objective is typically aligned with providing competition except in cases where the market is shaped in some way that encourages otherwise. ”

            Indeed, however Damage has 3 current providers in the area, but now with the impending entrance of Google in Damage’s neighborhood, has made at least one company change it’s offerings. So previously those three basically set their price about the same as each other

            “Just because oil plummeted in price doesn’t mean demand for refined products did.”
            Maybe not but since the raw material for making it dropped in half over the past year, one would think the end consumer would see some of those savings passed along.

            My point to your reply was sometimes some governments can do good things, if run by ethical people. Same for business. And if it’s run by unethical persons, then they do whatever.

            Bottom line, bonus for Damage and everyone else in his neighborhood. And for the other 3 companies, I bet they wish that Google wasn’t rolling out fiber there lol

            • A_Pickle
            • 4 years ago

            [quote<]Indeed, however Damage has 3 current providers in the area, but now with the impending entrance of Google in Damage's neighborhood, has made at least one company change it's offerings. So previously those three basically set their price about the same as each other...[/quote<] Yeah. That's usually what people call "the market rate." Prices for the same things in the same region is usually pretty similar, and it's up to you to determine the differences and which best suits you. [quote<]My point to your reply was sometimes some governments can do good things, if run by ethical people. Same for business. And if it's run by unethical persons, then they do whatever.[/quote<] But in the case of governments being run by UNETHICAL people, I don't have any other choice. I must still pay my taxes towards an unethical organization -- whereas with an unethical business, I can take my money elsewhere and make unethical acts unprofitable. Furthermore, we know from many studies that people will usually accept a small price hike to source their goods and services ethically, while they won't source their goods and services from unethical providers unless the discount is much, [i<]much[/i<] more significant.

            • redavni
            • 4 years ago

            I don’t know where you picked up your revisionist history (the church of Ron Paul?), but Verizon has orphaned FIOS because wireless is more profitable. That’s it.

            Source: I’m a former Verizon employee

          • A_Pickle
          • 4 years ago

          Google “took this initiative” in the cities it did because it was able to use it’s market power to leverage city councils into ratcheting down their extortion and backdoor taxation. If more city councils did this, there would be more privately financed competition. Unfortunately, they won’t, because the “nuanced” and “informed” people don’t know anything about franchise agreements or how networks are actually built, and how the cost of paying tithes to the blessed bureaucrats is built in to your monthly internet bill.

          So they hawk on about the nonsensical “Net Neutrality,” which further calcifies the monopolies in place.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<]Maybe other folks with fast connections can enlighten us about that. [/quote<] I have fiber, and I only pay for 100mbit down/25mbit up ($59.99). I think my ISP just took the download limiter off my line, though they do offer 200mbit and 1Gbit connections. Several downloads have gone way faster than what I pay for. Seems like all the important stuff hits those rates. My uploads seem to be right in line with what I pay for. For example: [url<]http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/4376800536[/url<] That server is around 20 miles from my house, and it seems like it's a local path Steam is the most important one for me, considering the 50GB downloads of recent games. I've seen it stream to me as fast as 65MByte/sec (around 500mbit/sec), which is pretty sweet - I downloaded Ultra SF4 in under 5 minutes, and it's a 14GB install. I've seen Origin and GoG downloads get close to that, as well. Apple and Microsoft's update servers both go way faster than 200 mbit. TechPowerUp and MajorGeeks downloads both get way up there, but I don't know exactly how high since the stuff I got from them was all in the 200-500MB range (such as 3DMark demos) - it's over in few seconds. Same for nVidia. The drivers are done downloaded about as fast as I can fathom. I'm assuming (but don't know for sure) that some or all of this relies on AWS and/or Azure, so sites on those services probably all go roughly as fast as I can dream of. Oh, and Battle.Net - when I got my wife an SSD and reinstalled her system a couple months ago, I downloaded Diablo 3 + RoS in about 5 minutes.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 4 years ago

      Someone’s jealous. And yes, I guess I’m bragging a bit. 😉

        • thecoldanddarkone
        • 4 years ago

        I live about 5 miles from town and I am lucky to have vdsl2 @ 20/.896. Make no mistake though, I am jealous. I did not down vote you. I also pay about 92 dollars with landline phone (a requirement where I live). Of course I could live where my dad is and get a whopping 1.5 down (other side of town, about the same distance).

          • derFunkenstein
          • 4 years ago

          Yeah, my parents live about 10 miles away from the phone relay station and when they had CenturyLink DSL they were lucky to get 768kbit downloads. They dropped that like a bad habit and went with Comcast, which is how a lot of people are stuck: the devil or his rival. At least the Comcast speeds are reasonable.

            • thecoldanddarkone
            • 4 years ago

            Unfortunately for my dad it’s wireless or an oversold node on CenturyLink. How do you know you ask? If you setup my parents address as a new customer you get an error about not enough capacity in the area).

    • Deanjo
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<] I provided it, and they soon informed me that my modem had been quarantined in order to alert me that I needed to upgrade my modem to get the full speeds available to me.[/quote<] Lol, reminds me back when I was on evil Shaw back a few years. They would send an email to recipients AFTER a planned downtime for system maintenance. THANKS GUYS! YOU COULD HAVE SENT A NOTIFICATION BEFORE HAND AND SAVE ME 40 MINUTES ON HOLD!

    • cmrcmk
    • 4 years ago

    Weird! I wonder if there’s any precedent for competition leading to improved service?

      • w76
      • 4 years ago

      I wish people focused less on the red herring of “net neutrality” and focused more on competition, which has got very little attention, except from people who want to see government-provided internet instead of rolling back or modifying regulations at the local and state levels that make it dearly expensive for guys like Google to try to come to town in the first place.

        • Ninjitsu
        • 4 years ago

        Listen, net neutrality is what enables competition – and you folks in the US inspire a lot of other governments to do weird shit – so stop inspiring our government. I don’t want to pay for WhatsApp messages on top of my data plan.

          • w76
          • 4 years ago

          What are you even talking about? I’m responding to the OP, who was responding to an article about competition between providers. WTF does being agnostic between the origin and destination of data packets got to do with enabling ISP competition? (Hint: Absolutely nothing)

            • A_Pickle
            • 4 years ago

            If you listen to Net Neutrality supporters enough, Net Neutrality will be the second coming of [s<]Jesus[/s<] Netflix and will rain free internet from the skies. Bitter? Why yes, yes I am.

            • alphadogg
            • 4 years ago

            Well, when truth pierces the veil of your chosen echo chamber and forces you to see things as they are, that can make a person bitter. Net Neutrality has nothing to do with free internet.

            • A_Pickle
            • 4 years ago

            Except for that part of the recently-passed FCC regulations where they unilaterally overturn democratically-passed state laws prohibiting it. But I’m sure they just included that part despite having no intentions of using it, right?

          • A_Pickle
          • 4 years ago

          [quote<]Listen, net neutrality is what enables competition...[/quote<] No, it doesn't. It just tells people what to do with their property, and w76 is right to criticize Net Neutrality supporters for having the political energy to get the government to pass Net Neutrality regulations, when they could've simply directed that same political energy to get the government to... not... arbitrarily support cable trusts and engage in competition-stifing practices.

          • UnfriendlyFire
          • 4 years ago

          That’s why you use Verizon’s Sponsored Apps to get around the data plan.

          On a side note, Comcast wants to compete against Youtube. I wouldn’t be surprised if their service was exempt to their own data caps: [url<]http://arstechnica.com/business/2015/05/report-comcast-plans-youtube-like-online-video-service/[/url<]

        • cmrcmk
        • 4 years ago

        That’s a good point. I think net neutrality does have some inherent worth but it also is used to improve a condition in which monopolies are assumed. The ideal is definitely multiple providers along with laws guarding customers from double billing (e.g. me paying my ISP to connect to Netflix and then also paying Netflix enough to pay my ISP for a connection back to me). I also want to see something like wiretap laws applied to the ISPs directly whereby they aren’t allowed to snoop on packets for fun or for profit without court orders.

        • alphadogg
        • 4 years ago

        False dichotomy.

        I support both. Competition keeps my price low, whereas net neutrality prevents Comcast from playing arbitrator on my access to that speedy content.

          • A_Pickle
          • 4 years ago

          It’s not a false dichotomy. Where’s the effort to remove the barriers to competition? Nowhere, unless by “competition” you mean “taxpayer financed networks,” in which case barriers to those fell very quickly. [i<]Weird[/i<].

    • Firestarter
    • 4 years ago

    so what’s the best ping you’ve seen with your new connection so far? I trust it’s a bit better than 49ms

      • Damage
      • 4 years ago

      ’tis busy right now, but we’re as low as 8-10 ms into TWC’s local network and ~22 ms into Dallas. Speedtest.net points us at “local” servers that don’t have a local path available, so its ping times are artificially high.

        • wimpishsundew
        • 4 years ago

        Oh God, even TWC is better than Comcast now. I can’t wait for Google to just propose a plan in the DC area. Both Verizon and Comcast will up their game immediately.

        The current plans isn’t too bad right now. The problem is that they jack up the price after the promotional period is up. Then you have to haggle with them to get a half decent deal. And by haggling I mean, threatening to go to the competition or just not have any cable/internet. Then you have to deal with their ridiculous leasing prices for old cheap equipment that should’ve came free with the service.

        Seriously, I wouldn’t be so mad at Comcast if the service was actually good. But they’re charging top dollars for mediocre or subpar service.

        • the
        • 4 years ago

        Try Chicago. Time Warner has an exit node there which several speed test servers also share.

      • Krogoth
      • 4 years ago

      You realize that latency has more to do with distance to point A to point B, backbones and routing than bandwidth?

        • Firestarter
        • 4 years ago

        yes, that’s why I asked for the *best* ping that he’s seen, as that would imply the minimal distance and fastest servers and thus best isolate the number I’m interested in which is the latency of his home connection itself

        the reason I asked is because my home fiber gives me 1ms to the most local servers, down from a 13ms minimum on my previous cable connection. It was a nice surprise benefit that I wasn’t even aware of before we got fiber installed

          • Krogoth
          • 4 years ago

          That’s because electricity that goes through coaxial wiring on cable travels at a small fraction of c where light traveling across a fiber cable goes at roughly 90-95% of c.

          Your latency test with cable versus fiber service demonstrates this.

    • anotherengineer
    • 4 years ago

    Hey Damage, can you test out steam servers? I have 80/8 and steam is the only one who can max out my connection.

    MS usually gets around 4 to 5 MB/s so about half my connection speed, and others well, some sites I can’t even get 1MB/s (~10Mbit/s)

    I would rather have 40 down and 80 up, with so much free storage here and there on the net is nice, but the typical connection here is 20/2 mbits, making uploading an overnight event if the file is large.

      • Damage
      • 4 years ago

      I got 25MB/s on Steam yesterday. Is that what you were wondering?

        • anotherengineer
        • 4 years ago

        Yes Sir.

        So steam basically maxed out your connection speed then.

        You should try downloading a service pack from MS and see what you can get.

        Bandwidth is an awesome thing, but it’s really nice to know if it’s your bandwidth or the company that you are downloading from is the bottleneck.

        Up here I would say anything over 40Mbp/s down is getting into diminishing returns.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 4 years ago

          Steam basically maxes out my connection, too. See my comment for details.

          • Damage
          • 4 years ago

          Man, two of the worst things for download speeds are, basically, Wintel: Intel’s driver download center and MS’s Windows Update. Both seem to be pretty horrible.

          Origin isn’t bad, and UPlay can be decent depending on the server. At least, that was true with my 50Mbps connection.

          Got a pretty fast 27GB download from GOG Galaxy yesterday, too. No metrics, so I don’t know exactly how fast it was, but clearly >50Mbps.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 4 years ago

            Windows update? Really? I’ve personally never had a problem; maybe the issue is your ISP? For mother’s day I built my mom-in-law a cheap Pentium-based system with a 120GB SSD. Still took longer to install the updates than it did to download them.

            • Damage
            • 4 years ago

            This may sound weird, but it seems especially slow on Saturdays or weekends. I dunno. It’s sometimes pretty bad, though.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 4 years ago

            Ah ok. I built it during the workday. Since I work from home, my ISP was probably clear of a bunch of consumer machines that get turned on after dinner.

            • anotherengineer
            • 4 years ago

            Fastest I have seen windows update or windows download center go is about 4 to 5 MB/s or roughly 40 to50 Mbits/s. That’s in Ontario Canada though.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 4 years ago

            This is after dinner time downloading the Win7 SP1 ISO from MS. It hit as fast as 12.8MB/sec, but this seems representative of the sustained rate.

            [url<]https://flic.kr/p/sppNaM[/url<]

      • NoOne ButMe
      • 4 years ago

      You might want to try Blizzard’s Battle.net.

      I frequently hit over 100% of my rated speed DLing over it. At one point got over 8MBps (64Mbps) over my 45Mbps connection!

      Normally it ends up “only” about 5-6Mbps over the rated connection speed for downloads over a GB from Battle.net.

      Not from any other place I’ve tried. I would test Steam, but, after having to deal with customer service twice, I stopped using it. It’s in offline mode for the whole 4 games from Steam I play.

    • Anovoca
    • 4 years ago

    can you mail me a copy of that letter? I need to do some photo manipulation on it and take it to my local time warner customer service center.

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