Telecom Speeds – Your Actual Mileage May Vary

Telecom Speeds*

*: Your Actual Mileage May Vary!

The FCC recently conducted a study that shows you may not get the advertised speed with your Broadband (Telecommunications or Telecom) connection.  In fact, the study notes that you get about half of the advertised speed.  I have been aware of this in the office and home environments for years.  If you want to test the speed of your current connection click on “begin test” here.  In case you are wondering, I am currently getting 19.5 Mb/s on my Time Warner Road Runner High Speed connection.  Pretty good considering my first dial-up connection in 1990 was about 2.4 Kbit/s – that is an 800,000% increase in speed!

The reality of any Telecom connection is that your “actual mileage may vary” – I always focus on the “fine print” of any Telecom contract for home or business.  Yes, you need to read over the pages and pages and “legalese” to figure out what you are really getting.  One area in particular to focus on is latency.  Latency and network (advertised) speed together determine how fast information will move to your screen.  There are actually a number of items that can impact your performance, some examples:

Test My ISP performs the following tests:

  1. Single & Multi-threaded HTTP download speed test
  2. Single & Multi-threaded HTTP based upload speed test
  3. Consumption of the connection – the amount of data sent and received
  4. Availability of the connection – when it is unavailable
  5. Jitter
  6. Latency
  7. Packet loss
  8. DNS query resolution time
  9. DNS query failure rate
  10. Web page loading time
  11. Web page loading failure rate

So, what does this have to do with business?  Well, a good (speedy) connection (typically) leads to happier users.  Happier computer users should lead to productive employees (or at least it gives them one less excuse for not meeting a deadline!).  Telecom companies are generally offering better speeds at better prices, particularly in more populated areas, so keep your eye out or contact me.  A Telecom strategy is part of an overall IT strategy for your business.

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