Dismal speeds from most providers still the norm in the US

Yahoo! News has a good story today about Internet access speeds, and the news is no surprise. In spite of millions of dollars of slick advertising and cartoon characters, we’re still slow in this country. This line sums it up best. “When it comes to Internet performance, in the aggregate, none of us are exactly living it up. The fastest throughput in America clocks in, on average, at a measly 1.22Mbps.”

These figures include the cable giants who are charging you big bucks for “blazing” speeds and such.

Greenlight’s slowest residential speed is 10Mbps upload and download. Why is Greenlight different? The network is all fiber optics, plus we serve a smaller area. Most of the cable companies, including the one with the most customers in NC, rely on old copper lines that simply can’t carry the same speeds as fiber optic networks. PC Mag recently said, “Those results are clear: fiber-to-the-home is the way to go nationwide…”

Wilson invested in its own network, and other NC cities and towns deserve the same chance. If they’re forced to wait on the outdated cable and telecom companies, the US will continue to lag behind other developed countries.


Study: U.S. now 26th in global broadband speed

The newest information from Ookla shows that the US is still losing ground in the global move to faster broadband speeds.

Here’s how the US, who invented the Internet, fares against the top five countries:

1. South Korea – 34.14 Mbps (megabits per second)
2. Latvia – 24.29 Mbps
3. Moldova – 21.37 Mbps
4. Japan – 20.29 Mbps
5. Sweden – 19.87 Mpbs
26. United States of America – 10.16 Mbps

Part of the reason US speeds haven’t kept up is the lack of improvements to the aging copper systems. Remember the old cable lines that were strung in front of your house 30 years ago? They were made to carry analog TV signals, but today there’s a decent chance that they’re carrying the Web to you.

The City of Wilson built its Greenlight network as a fiber to the home system. It’s faster and much more reliable than the old stuff.

Instead of concentrating on updating their own systems, the cable and telecom giants are paying lobbyists to push bills like S1209 that would stop NC cities from building better networks.

Thanks to everyone, including private corporations such as Google and Intel, who has contacted lawmakers to explain the short-sighted effects of this bill.

Google shows that Americans want better speed.

Some exciting news is out about broadband speeds. Google is looking for a few markets around the US to build fiber networks. These networks would provide Internet access at up to one Gig per second.

The networks would be experimental and they’re probably many, many times faster than what you have now. If your only choice is the cable or phone company, your speeds are probably topping out at about 6 Mbps. During the recent snows when the kids were out of school, I bet the speed dropped even more due to high demand.

Google’s announcement verifies one of the key reasons the City of Wilson built its all fiber optic network two years ago. In spite of the cable company’s insistence that their “blazing fast” speeds are enough, people want more. Today’s Web demands it. Tomorrow’s Web will need even more bandwidth.

Greenlight, Wilson’s all fiber network is available to every address in town, and it’s owned by the people of Wilson. Today, we offer residential speeds up to 100Mpbs. Our businesses can get up to one Gig, the same speed that Google is researching.

Yet, the cable company wants the State government to prevent cities like Wilson from offering these speeds. The back and forth in the NC Legislature goes on.

On (no) snow days, you really see the value of fiber

The overnight snow that was supposed to hit this part of NC didn’t happen, but several counties in the area still had delays this morning.

If you accessed the web and you’re not a Greenlight member, you saw how unusually heavy traffic affects your speeds. Wilson’s fiber-to-the-home service carries higher bandwidth on regular days, but it really shows when traffic jumps.

Broadband customers share boxes of links to the internet. Picture a group of homes on a cul de sac. They all share the street. Wilson’s Greenlight was designed to have fewer customers on each link. Picture three houses on a cul de sac instead of 10. Fewer customers per line means better speeds and reliability when you need it.