AT&T kills wired broadband service for half a million Californians

22 October 2020 by Steve Blum
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AT&T’s decision to stop selling legacy DSL service – the sort that uses 1990s technology and rides on regulated phone lines – affects 547,000 Californians, 1.4% of the state’s population. 67,000 of them will completely lose the ability to buy residential wireline broadband service from a commercial provider. Rural counties will be hit hard, with Tuolumne County taking the stiffest punch: 3.4% of its population will no longer be able to get wireline broadband service at any speed.… More

AT&T abandons rural broadband systems as it stops selling 1990s era DSL tech

8 October 2020 by Steve Blum
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AT&T will no longer sell new connections to old school DSL service, although it claims it will continue to support customers who already have it. It notified customers of the change via the last cycle of bill statements. In one respect, it’s a rational and proper decision – AT&T offers much better service via newer technology – but in another respect it’s bad news: wireline networks in rural communities redlined by AT&T haven’t been sufficiently maintained, let alone upgraded, to support modern systems.… More

Frontier’s slow video streaming platform is too fast for most of its California copper customers

17 March 2020 by Steve Blum
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Outer limits intro

There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical.

Fewer than half of Frontier Communications’ legacy copper, i.e. DSL-only, homes in California can watch more than one high definition stream at a time on its chosen video streaming platform, Philo. More than a quarter can’t even watch one HD stream, and 14% will get jerky, low quality video, if they can get anything at all.… More

DSL is the new dial-up

20 June 2014 by Steve Blum
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On the whole, Internet service providers in the U.S. performed about as well in 2013 as they did in 2012 – largely hitting the same speed and consistency benchmarks. That’s one of the conclusions of the latest FCC report on the performance of consumer-grade fixed broadband services. Diving into the detail, though, shows that DSL-based service is falling further behind the performance levels achieved by cable and fiber technologies.

The FCC puts boxes inside the homes of volunteers across the U.S.,… More

Verizon's move to fiber a blessing for some Californians, but maybe a curse for others

20 April 2014 by Steve Blum
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Click for a bigger version, courtesy of the CPUC California broadband availability map.

Verizon says it’s invested more than $500 million in upgrading its broadband infrastructure in southern California and, in contrast to AT&T, it seems to be putting its money into wireline systems, particularly its FiOS fiber-to-the-home offerings. But the company is also making it clear that regulated copper plant belongs to past, and plans for replacing it with unregulated, fiber based Internet protocol service are moving ahead in California and elsewhere.… More

Telco broadband slows at the edge, cable bottlenecks in the core

23 July 2013 by Steve Blum
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Speeds can drop suddenly at the edge.

Slow residential connections keep DSL speeds down, while cable’s problems are further back in the network. Researchers for the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology dug deep into data collected in 2011 by the FCC as part of its Measuring Broadband America program.

The NIST researchers asked the question: Where in the Internet is congestion? The results suggested that…

…a significant amount of congestion, especially for cable connections, occurs deeper in the network, perhaps, in the “middle mile”…or even farther, where the ISP connects to the “public Internet”.


Cable for broadband speed, telcos for consistency in service and advertising

22 July 2013 by Steve Blum
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More likely so.

DSL is better at delivering advertised download speeds than cable, but cable modem service is still faster. That’s one of the conclusions reached by researchers for the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology after sifting through broadband test data collected by the FCC in 2011.

DSL broadband provided connections on average delivering download speeds above 80% of the assigned speed tier more than 80% of the time. By contrast, a significant fraction of cable connections received less than 80% of their assigned speed tier more than 20% of the time.