Increasing broadband speeds more hype then help?

By Justin Mann on December 27, 2005, 11:32 AM
How much does having a 7Mbp/s line over a 1Mbp/s line matter to the majority of broadband users? How much does one service have over another? An interesting article talks about just that, and brings to light how different the utilization and time consumed becomes between “low speed” broadband and “high speed” broadband. For instance, the difference between the speed of a 1MB web page loading on a 6MBP/s line versus one five times as fast is just a tad over one second. Pretty much all broadband providers offer their services on the speed selling point alone.

”What this shows is that as we increase the speed, the real impact of the speed on what we do with it is marginal. Can your eyes tell the difference between a web-page loading in one second or 0.27 seconds.”
There are a few things the article doesn't take into account, such as the impatience of the average net user. I've found wonderful use for my 7Mbp/s line at home, especially when I download large files on a daily basis. The article makes some good points, however, and is worth a read.

User Comments: 11

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Bartzy said:
Obviously loading webpages is not the way of checking the difference between high and low speed broadband connections. The only way to check the differences is downloading (and uploading) big files. The reason that people use high speed broadband connections is only for downloading or uploading purposes. And if you are loading a heavy webpage, like one with a lot of big pictures, there will be a difference between 1mbps to 7mbps.
asphix said:
Right now we are at a transitional phase. Online content is becoming more and more popular. From mp3's, to streamed audio and more. In the future, you'll download your games. Your music. Your favorite television episodes. All provided by online content download sites.Web pages are but a FRACTION of what the web is being geared toward. They are the outter surface, or the visible layer. There is so much more that utilizes this bandwith.Add to that the fact that its becoming more popular for a single household to have multiple devices using that connection and that bandwith is soaked right up! X360, ps3, revolution and online play. Multiple computers running at the same time. Using online as a medium through which to download content is the future. Having devices that have contant connectivity is the future. You have 6 devices downloading something, and that webpage that launched in 1 second now launches in 6-10 seconds. Increased bandwith ensures it stays at that 1 second even if when there is limited to zero additional network activity performance margins are negligable.You're right, the article has some great points to consider. Maybe my perception of the "average" house hold is skewed since I myself am a technophile. But I could definitely use 7mbps or even more.One could argue that HD-DVD and Blu-ray arent NEEDED. Standard definition video is just fine! But people want bigger and better if not produts get stagnant and corporations cant make money anymore. 7mbps may not be needed fully by most people today, but by implementing it it opens the door for the possibilities of tomorrow. Who would want to say no to that?[Edited by asphix on 2005-12-27 11:53:33]
realblackstuff said:
I noticed a lot bigger difference going from dial-up to 1MB, then when my connection was upgraded from 1MB to 2MB.Thanks to a low contention-rate in my area, I can download with the speed of a 3MB connection.I think the average person would not really benefit from that overdose, only the bittorrent and edonkey etc. users.That last group eats up over half the total bandwidth on the Internet, anybody ever spare a thought for that?THEY are the reason for poor speed!
PanicX said:
If you build it, they will come.asphix is speaking truth, but there's more. VOIP can't take hold with limited bandwidth. Video conferencing quality is still quite poor. There's bound to be dozen's of technologies that simply can't exist until interconnection reaches high speeds. What we call today's "average user" will soon have high bandwidth needs as a part of daily living. From appliances that order groceries, to remotely monitoring your homes security systems while on vacation. The need for high speed will be here soon enough, its best to make the in roads now.
Mictlantecuhtli said:
I'd argue that the limited upstream bandwidth is the bottleneck. It's usually only 512 kbps or 1 Mbps, and as for each packet an acknowledgement has to be sent there's only so much data that can be received.
nathanskywalker said:
personally, i don't need really need, that speed, but hey, if i had the money i would pay the extra however much for a increase in speed.
K9-Cop said:
While I agree that download speeds will be more important in the future, as a gamer what I really need, what I really want, is LOW and CONSISTENT latency.Currently, it feels like low-latency apps/services are getting the short end of the stick, in favour of providing ever greater amounts of bandwidth.Fortunately, with more low-latency services (such as VOIP) hitting the market I'm hoping this perception will change, and latency will be bumped up in priority.
otmakus said:
In Indonesia, the only DSL provider charges about US$410/month for a 384 kbps down and 64 up. And in Swedia, I read that there is a plan for a 100 Mbps down and 10 Mbps up connection for $35/month. The irony...
sngx1275 said:
The fastest I can get here is 1.5 DSL. I tried to get 3, but I apparently live to far away from the box. Prices here are outrageous compared to those that live in larger cities too.
mentaljedi said:
THe faster it gets, the more mistakes will be made, more will then be fixed, moving technology onwards. Its the only way we stupid humans learn! The word "averag" is relative. Only 10 yeras ago, we didn't need dial-up speed! See what i mean?
blue_dragon said:
we'll get to the point where we use teleporting internet :D
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