Tag Archives: morgan hill

Upload speed matters and it’s too slow, say consumers

by Steve Blum • , ,

Minimum acceptable upload speed.

Consumer upload speed expectations exceed the ability of Internet service providers to deliver, at least in Morgan Hill, a town on the southern edge of Silicon Valley. Tellus Venture Associates just completed an analysis of Morgan Hill’s telecommunications infrastructure, which was presented to the city council last Wednesday.

In the course of doing that study, we conducted an online consumer survey that attracted more than 500 responses. One of the questions we asked was “what do you consider to be the minimum acceptable upload speed for Internet service?” Of the 400 respondents who chose to answer this question, 84% picked a speed of 6 Mbps or faster.

The breakout was:

Minimum acceptable download speed%
1.5 Mbps or less2%
3 Mbps14%
6 Mbps25%
10 Mbps31%
25 Mbps28%

The kicker is that, at the time, residential broadband service in Morgan Hill was provided by Charter Communications and Verizon (Frontier has since taken over ownership and operation of Verizon’s wireline system there). Neither company meets the 6 Mbps threshold: Charter’s residential service maxes out at 5 Mbps upload speed and the best Verizon can do is 1 Mbps – that’s not just in Morgan Hill; that’s best either company can do anywhere in California.

What’s more, upload speed standards set at the state and federal level don’t match Morgan Hill residents’ expectations. The Federal Communications Commission considers 3 Mbps upload speed to be the minimum necessary to use advanced services, and the California Public Utilities Commission considers an area as “served” by broadband if upload speeds of at least 1.5 Mbps are available.

After the report was presented, the city council heard from representatives of the business community who also consider the standard service options that are available in Morgan Hill to be inadequate, pointing out that the major employers in town – Specialized Bicycles and Anritsu, a telecoms test equipment maker, were examples – need to ship high volumes of design, testing and business data out of town. Indeed, that’s their primary business.

Morgan Hill considers broadband roadmap to catch Silicon Valley

by Steve Blum • , , ,

The City of Morgan Hill, on the edge of Silicon Valley just south of San Jose, does not share its usually good and occasionally excellent broadband infrastructure. Unlike most of the San Francisco Bay Area, which is largely served by AT&T and Comcast, Morgan Hill’s telecom infrastructure is owned by Frontier Communications and Charter Communications, and performs significantly below the Californian average.

Tellus Venture Associates recently completed a telecoms infrastructure element for Morgan Hill’s general plan update. The research, analysis and recommendations were presented to the City Council last night.

Overall, Morgan Hill’s broadband infrastructure gets a “D” grade – 1.0 out of 4.0 on a rating scale originally developed by Tellus Venture Associates for the East Bay Broadband Consortium. By comparison, cities in the Silicon Valley region generally get grades in the “C” to “C-” range, indicating that broadband infrastructure is at or near average for communities in California.

Two online surveys and a workshop conducted during the research phase of the project show that the infrastructure analysis jibes with local perceptions of the broadband service that’s available…

The primary market research conducted for this report indicates that residential and business broadband use and expectations differ in Morgan Hill, but in either case there is a significant amount of dissatisfaction with the choices available.

The City has the greatest amount of influence over greenfield and new or major remodelled infill development, and over work performed in the public right of way. By establishing clear broadband-related requirements for these kinds of projects, the City can encourage the construction of facilities that will support upgraded infrastructure.

The report details a broad range of options available to the City of Morgan Hill or most any other California city, including wireless facilities, planning, dig once, asset management, permitting, smart city, regulatory and operational policy.

The top line recommendation of the report is for the City of Morgan Hill to take a proactive approach to broadband infrastructure development, both by implementing specific policies and generally “for the City to articulate its role in broadband infrastructure planning and development, establish goals and adopt a phased approach to reaching those goals”.

Download City of Morgan Hill 2035 General Plan – Telecommunications Infrastructure here.