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Speeds of Fios and DSL

  1. Sep 9, 2012 #1
    I got a question.. DSL, and dialup.. the bandwidth that you get is affected by the amount of users online at the time correct? Generally the more users in your area that are using DSL the smaller the bandwidth will be available to you, reducing your speed?
    does the same apply to fios and fiber optic connections? How does this works in DSL? what is happening in the wires that slows the speed down?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 9, 2012 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    the usual speed culprit is the server machine that you are linked to. if others are using it heavily via game play / downloads / video streaming... then it will slow down for everyone. Another culprit is a bad line that sometimes drops bits causing a retransmit which means your effective rate had dropped. A third culprit may be your own router which just runs slower than your line. A fourth may be your kid whos playing games on another home computer that sends out thru your home router.

    There are internet speed programs that can tell you where the bottleneck may be.

  4. Sep 9, 2012 #3
    I'm not exactly sure of the physics behind all of it, but I know that all Internet providing services are subject to slow down depending on the number of users online at one time. However FIOS in a majority of tests seems to be immune to this because according to the tests, the low latency of fiber connections coupled with the fact that each of Verizon's FIOS hubs are limited to 32 subscribers essentially places a limit on the amount of slow down that can occur.
  5. Sep 10, 2012 #4
    Another growing problem is bandwidth throttling. With the rise in popularity of such services as Netflix and BitTorrent ISPs have taken to intentionally reducing your internet access in order to squeeze as many dollars as they can. For example, if most people are willing to pay $40.oo/m just to read their email and occasionally surf the web it is in the company's interest to throttle the access of the smaller percentage of people who regularly download movie and games or whatever. They can limit a user's access by up to 99%.

    This has become the de facto alternative to surrendering network neutrality or, in other words, allowing the ISPs to outright censor the web or charge people extra for using specific services like Netflix.
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