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Geoff Daily

App-Rising.com covers the development and adoption of broadband applications, the deployment of and need for broadband networks, and the demands placed on policy to adapt to the revolutionary opportunities made possible by the Internet.

App-Rising.com is written by Geoff Daily, a DC-based technology journalist, broadband activist, marketing consultant, and Internet entrepreneur.

App-Rising.com is supported in part by AT&T;, however all views and opinions expressed herein are solely my own.

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June 13, 2008 6:13 PM

Giving Credit Where Credit's Due

I admit I'm sometimes hard on cable companies, whether it's their P2P shaping, their lack of bandwidth, or the shared nature of their networks. But I have to give credit where credit's due.

While my Comcast cable connection only promises me 768Kbps of upload, it's often been topping 2Mbps recently. In fact, I just uploaded a 50MB VidChat (here's a teaser: it's with BitTorrent about some misconceptions of P2P) in minutes with the network supporting a sustained throughput of 2Mbps+ almost the entire time.

Don't get me wrong, I still have issues with them. Too often during busy times the network feels really sluggish when downloading, let alone uploading.

But 2Mbps upstream really ain't too bad. In fact, it's better than 95% of connections out there. (OK, so I admit I just made that stat up, but the truth still holds as the vast majority of consumer broadband, be it DSL or cable, is asymmetrical, offering no more than 1.5Mbps upstream.)

Also, I've heard sporadic reports from across the country that at least in areas where someone's deploying a full fiber network that the cable companies are deploying fiber of their own to increase capacity.

Even better is that while before cable companies poo-pooed the need for fiber, now they're touting their own fiber optic networks wherever and whenever they can.

While this last part isn't my favorite thing in the world as it muddles the messaging of anyone deploying a true fiber-to-the-home network, at least we've got more people than ever evangelizing for the awesome power of fiber optics.

And I've had discussions with multiple people that point to the fact that if cable companies wanted to, they could move to an IP-based video delivery system and open up a ton of bandwidth to be used for broadband. While it doesn't seem likely they'll do so any time soon, it's still interesting to know that if some outside force pushes them enough that they are at least capable of delivering big broadband speeds.

Though whether that'll ever happen in our lifetime to even the majority of America let alone the whole country, well that's another issue entirely...

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