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The Internet Networking Stats IT Technology

Global Broadband Speeds Dropped At the End of 2011 118

darthcamaro writes "A strange thing happened at the end of 2011. For the first time in years, global broadband adoption and speeds dropped. According to Akamai, broadband adoption declined by 4.6 percent and average speeds declined by 14 percent. In a somewhat strange twist, New Jersey now also dominates the top 5 list of fastest broadband cities in the U.S, though Boston is the fastest overall at 8.4 Mbps."
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Global Broadband Speeds Dropped At the End of 2011

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  • New Jersey (Score:1, Funny)

    by mikehilly ( 653401 )

    I hate that city!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The good news is, the country's fastest broadband can be found in New Jersey. The bad news is, the country's fastest broadband is in New Jersey.

  • by sethstorm ( 512897 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @09:54AM (#39856593) Homepage

    ...I'm not surprised.

    Instead of providing superior service (at various levels) on a flat-rate connection, you get a degraded connection(at any level) that is metered.

  • by alen ( 225700 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @09:58AM (#39856639)

    Jersey City is right near NYC. wouldn't surprise me if the reason everyone wants broadband is so they can VPN into the office instead of taking the train to work

    • The train is ok. It's when you have to commute between office and home and there is no train and it's 40 miles all of them in NJ.

      There are probably other reasons too - NJ has very high per capita income, population density and a lot of it is served by both FIOS and cable giving some competition that seems to generate promotional deals and service tiers with high bandwidth for bragging rights.

    • by fermion ( 181285 )
      I think it also has to do with stock data. Someone correct or clarify, but I read somewhere that the exchange computers for stock trading is in new jersey, among other places. Everyone want to be near them because for high frequency trading, a millisecond can be of consequence. So there is a building where rack space pricing is phenomenally high since it is right next to the trading computers.
  • by SJHillman ( 1966756 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @09:58AM (#39856641)

    For those that didn't read the article and were confused by New Jersey's new status as a city, what it actually means is New Jersey cities are in the #2, #3 and #5 spots of the top five list.

  • by flibbidyfloo ( 451053 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @09:59AM (#39856645)

    It says New Jersey "dominates" the list. One entry can't dominate a list, so obviously they are saying that the list is dominated by cities IN New Jersey. If you RTFA you'll see that 3 of the top 5 cities in the US are all in NJ. It's always such a surprise when people are snarky and dumb on the interwebs.

  • Mobile net? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Hentes ( 2461350 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @10:00AM (#39856665)

    Maybe people are switching to mobile net?

    • I wouldn't say so much switching as just using. I have nice broadband at home and I have a data service on my Android, and the same goes for my Boss and Co-workers iPhones. There's no way the 3g and 4g service beats my home line yet, but each time we use our phones data plans to pull up a web page it's going to mess with Akamai's averages. If my phone starts going faster then my home line then I'm upgrading my home line.
    • by mcrbids ( 148650 )

      DING DING DING DING! We have a winner!

      I have a 10 Mbit Cable modem at home, which I use heavily. But increasingly, my Android phone is becoming my dominant platform for casual browsing. Its 3G connection affords me ~ 1 Mbit, which would definitely push the average numbers down quite a bit in my case, but still represents a net increase in overall bandwidth consumed.

      Simply put, I use more Internet bandwidth, everywhere.

    • Good luck watching videos or updating PCs' operating systems over mobile net without running into the 5 GB per month data transfer limit of most mobile net plans.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Take where I live for instance:

    The cable company hasn't done much in 4-5 years for increasing bandwidth. However they did put in metering.

    The telco, similar. DSL speeds have remained static, while there are now bandwidth charges.

    Phones? Yes, that 4G phone might be cool, but it doesn't take much to burn through its bandwidth. Paying half a C-note to transfer a DVD? Bullshit.

    It is no wonder why people are seeing this. There is zero incentive to add infrastructure, other than real time monitoring with in

    • Dunno about your Smartphone data plan but I live in Texas and have DSL from consolidated communications, they are pretty good. They certainly don't offer the fastest connection out there but they've never once throttled me or complained about my constant torrenting.
  • by Catbeller ( 118204 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @10:09AM (#39856743) Homepage

    "Freedom" for whom, that's the question. We, the people, who need more network capacity, and could easily get it for pennies if we paid for it with taxes, like our roads, are now paying enormously more for shrinking, monitored, censored communications. And it's going to get worse.

    Image what our roads would be like if we had built them with a "free market" model. Constricted, gated, metered, and ten times more expensive. And most of us would walk.

    • Indeed. That's why it's time to declare internet service a utility once and for all, and regulate the fuck out of these industries, just as we do with those providing our power.

      When my local electricity provider wants to raise rates, they need to go to our public utilities board and get the rate increase approved, and they need to do so in public hearings where the people can (and do, our last rate increase hearing made the local news when a few people went all Tea Party on them) comment. Arbitrary bullsh

      • >>>That's why it's time to declare internet service a utility once and for all, and regulate the fuck out of these industries

        We don't regulate electric, natural gas, or sewer companies because they are utilities. We regulate them because they are natural monopolies and would price-rape their customers if the State did not price fix them.

        Internet is not a natural monopoly. You can squeeze 100 fibers into the space of one sewer pipe. There is no reason why we should be limited to just one company,

        • We don't regulate electric, natural gas, or sewer companies because they are utilities. We regulate them because they are natural monopolies

          According to TJ DiLorenzo's "The Myth of Natural Monopoly" (PDF) [], all the natural monopolies that people ordinarily associate with public utilities originate with the city's natural monopoly on roads and the city's resulting inability to find an efficient price for permits to tear them up to install conduit.

          You can squeeze 100 fibers into the space of one sewer pipe. There is no reason why we should be limited to just one company

          In that case, why should people be limited to one power company or one wired pay-TV company? How many power lines can one squeeze into a sewer pipe?

    • by bws111 ( 1216812 )

      Ah, yes. The glory of paid-for-with-taxes roads. It must be because they are paid for with taxes that the capacity of the roads is unlimited. I can't recall the last time I heard of a 'traffic jam' or a 'rush hour'. And the roads are always in perfect condition.

      • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

        Ah, yes. The glory of paid-for-with-taxes roads.

        I'll take my "paid for with taxes roads" over a toll road any day. Do you think private industry or the free market you worship would have ever constructed the interstate highway system? If they did, it would cost a thousand dolars to drive from Miami to LA, stopping every mile or two to throw another dollar in the basket.

        And guess what? The last toll road I was on (actually it was a toll bridge) was full of potholes and congested during rush hour, just like t

        • by bws111 ( 1216812 )

          The question was not whether or not private industry could have constructed a road system. The statement made by the OP implied that if the government owned the ISPs, there would be no slowdown of speeds and that capacity would be sufficient. He gave roads as an example. My point is that the roads suck. They do not have enough capacity, and they are in terrible shape in many places. If the government-owned roads are so awful (and they are), what makes anyone think a government-owned ISP is going to b

  • There's something missing from the report, and that's Metropolitan speeds. The report calculates connections to Akamai, which is a good metric data set, but what about Metropolitan broadband? It's just as relevant.
    In-country broadband or city-wide broadband speeds are relevant; it's about how fast local connections are and how infrastructure is handling traffic. When you download stuff (e.g. distros) you usually pick the closest repository and get data from there. Also lots of other files and data are mirro

    • by kontos ( 560271 )

      There's something missing from the report, and that's Metropolitan speeds.

      My broadband has about 5-10 mbps bandwidth if I transfer something from "general" Internet, but metropolitan speed is 100 mbps. My country-wide connection speed is about 50 mbps, tested with friends; http, p2p and ftp transfers are all equally fast.

      What country is this. In the US, a connection like that would be seen as a rip-off. (I'm paying for a 100 Mbps connection, but only get 5-10 % of the speed when connecting to the actual Internet) I take it that most people are using a single ISP, and their internal network is much faster that their peering. There are enough different ISPs in the US, that that probably wouldn't work as well.

      • Romania.
        We only started to have a broadband boom in late 90s, so it's why all networks around have been built with CAT5 cabling and later, optic fiber. As a result, the infrastructure is excellent, compared to more developed countries which are having a hard time replacing old infrastructure and mostly rely on improvisations to increase broadband speed.
        Oh and I pay 10 bucks a month, flat rate, for unlimited traffic at max speed.

        • by kontos ( 560271 )
          I'm confused, I thought you said you couldn't get max speed downloads outside of your metro area.
          • The ISP offer says "Up to 20 Mbps external and up to 100 Mbps metropolitan speeds". I am reaching 20 Mbps pretty often, but not consistently. If I get something from Australia, clearly it's going to come slowly, for example. So the ISP does what promises most of the time and I'm not anal about drops in speed. I'm using metropolitan mostly for heavy traffic (e.g. torrents) anyway.
            Another thing I think is relevant: lag/latency. Especially while playing MMOs. My usual latency (unless the server is located in a

  • 1. Does New Jersey, as a state, suffer from short man syndrome? Rhode Island doesn't, it just sends you to sleep with the fishes.

    2. Broadband speed claims are a little like braggin' on your new spawts cah. Sure, it goes from 0-60 in less then 6 seconds. How's that working out for ya on the Garden State at 5:30. Headed South. The GSP is usually Slashdotted by then, save for holidays and wrecks.

    3. And braggin' on your broadband speed is as relevant as braggin on the new BMW. Stuck in traffic. With a det

  • Why is it strange? NJ having one of the highest population densities of all states, and even higher than the state-wide density number shows due to about 1/4 of the state set aside as a national park, the pine barrens, where no new houses or developments can take place. This turns the 8,722 square miles really into only 6,722 square miles, and takes the population density from 1011 people/square mile to 1312 people/square mile. That is almost 5.5 times the population density of California!
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @11:06AM (#39857425) Journal
      Its the big historic cable stations, New Jersey has a lot of optical and federal interest due to the international traffic that enters/exits the USA from around the world.
      A lot of that traffic passes/passed via NJ and to a lesser part Rhode Island. So the area by default would be over served by private telco and NSA interests over many years e.g. TAT-14.
      Add in huge loops that span Europe, the Caribbean, and South America and link to parts Middle East - it all gets back to parts of New Jersey.

      Would state-wide density really show a bump if everybody was on the same fly over state "old copper, cable or average new optical roll out speeds" vs say massive hardened backhaul?
      • by wanzeo ( 1800058 )

        Would state-wide density really show a bump if everybody was on the same fly over state "old copper, cable or average new optical roll out speeds" vs say massive hardened backhaul?

        God I hate the arrogance of the phrase "fly-over state". Here in Indiana we have a higher average connection speed than the both New Jersey and the US average according to the akamai graph generator on the site.

    • by dlakelan ( 43245 )

      It may be almost 5.5 times the population density of California as a whole state, but consider the following, there are 8.8 Million people in NJ but compare with the actually populated portions of CA:

      Los Angeles County: 9.8 M people, 2400 per square mile
      Orange County: 3 M people, 3800 per square mile
      San Francisco County: 0.8 M people, 17200 per square mile!
      Alameda County: 1.5 M people, 2000 per square mile.
      Santa Clara County: 1.8 M people, 1400 per square mile

      Total population of those counties: > 16M peo

      • by ffejie ( 779512 )
        So you looked at the most dense parts of California and compared them to the entire state of NJ (less National Parks)? That's not really a good comparison. Consider:

        Hudson County (next to New York City): 13,495 people per square mile
        Essex County (Newark): 6,211 people per square mile
        Union County (Elizabeth): 5,216 people per square mile
        Bergen County (NYC Suburbs): 3,884 people per square mile
        Passaic (NYC Suburbs): 2,715 people per square mile
        Middlesex County (Edison): 2,612 people per square mile
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Would you dorks please get over the "New Jersey is not a city" thing? Now that we all know what was intended in the post, what are your thoughts on the content of the article?

  • I opted for the 20 Mbps VDSL here in Denver (Qwest/CenturyLink's alternative to fiber, the plans for which they dropped in the wake of the 2008 worldwide financial crisis) and restrained myself from splurging on the 40 Mbps VDSL. Even the 20 Mbps is a waste. Most servers only let data out at 10 Mbps tops. I've gotten 20 Mbps only once -- downloading 1940 census images from I suspect people are catching on and are stepping down their last-mile bandwidth choices.

    • Most servers only let data out at 10 Mbps tops.

      You should get one of these connections that let you download from more than one server at the same time, they're pretty awesome.

      Sarcasm aside, for a family that is used to download and stream stuff, it's easy to hit 20Mbps, particularly if you don't want to fill the pipe, which is bad for latency sensitive applications like gaming and VoIP.

    • by Bengie ( 1121981 )
      I have 30Mb with 100Mb burst, and I hit 100Mb all the time. Great for downloading from the cloud.

      You should see my network usage when rebuilding a computer. Between Windows Updates, Steam, Diablo3, World of Warcraft, Eve Online, ~1GB of drivers, and watching Netflix while waiting, I can keep 30Mb constant for hours with lots of bursting into the 40-60 range(powerboost).

      The coolest thing I have seen is the Streaming features of the new WoW client. I only need to download ~100MB. Since my cable has powerb
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Given the way ISPs are now a days I see a 100Mbps connection as a way to hit the data cap in a few hours. I'm more concerned about data limits more than bandwidth. And really my only choices here is comcast or moving to another city.

  • How much you want to bet this has to do with smart phone and tablet adoption and their 3G / 4G speeds?

  • My local ISP ( installed FTTH, and I'm getting 100Mbps to my house, so don't blame me for any drop in speed!

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.