Consumers In The Dark Over Their Broadband Speeds2010-03-09 11:51 by Daniela
Tags: Internet, broadband, Comcast
It's hard to conceptualize a data network with speeds that are up to 100 times faster than what the average American has at home. But last month, Google said it plans to complete a broadband network with speeds of 1 gigabit per second for up to 500,000 people in the U.S.
Most consumers don't even know what kind of speed they are paying for with their broadband. Industry analysis from Forrester Research shows that only 41 percent of Americans know what their home Internet download speeds are.
Read The All Tech Considered BlogOne Comcast ad promises the "fastest Internet speeds," while a Time Warner ad touts "RoadRunner Turbo with PowerBoost," which provides "an extra burst of speed."
Turbo with PowerBoost? That sounds like an energy drink. To be fair, companies like these are offering different levels of service. They offer download speeds between 1.5 megabits and 20 megabits per second. But that's not quite what we're actually getting.
"With broadband, we have allowed ourselves to get into the equivalent of a legitimized con game," says Craig Settles, an industry consultant based in Oakland, Calif. "All of the advertised speeds are speeds that you can't be sure you would get on an average day. It is a theoretical ceiling, if you will, and baseline."
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