Why U.S. Broadband is So Slow

March 5, 2011 – 4:16 pm

Cheap, Ultrafast Broadband? At Least Hong Kong Has It. By Randall Stross.

Today The New York Times wrote about Gigabit fiber broadband in Hong Kong, which is available there for only $26 per month. The article includes mention of Sonic.net, and the Google fiber project.

In the article, author Randall Stross wrote,

“In the United States, we don’t have anything close to that. But we could. And we should.”

Here is why we don’t:

In 1996, the US Congress kicked off the broadband revolution when it passed the Telecom Act. The 1996 Act created a level playing field for competitive carriers, and brought about widespread deployment of DSL and other broadband technologies.

Then in 2003 and 2004, the then Republican led FCC reversed course, removing shared access to essential fiber infrastructure for competitive carriers and codifying instead a policy of exclusive use and “multi-modal competition”.

This concreted our unique US duopoly: cable versus telco, the two broadband choices that most Americans have today.

In exchange for a truly competitive market, the US received promises of widespread deployment. And, to some degree this has worked. Unfettered by significant competition or price pressure, broadband in at least in its most basic form can now be delivered to most homes in America, albeit at a comparatively high cost to the consumer.

What was given up in exchange for this far-reaching but mediocre pablum was true competition and innovation.

Elsewhere in the world, regulatory bodies followed the lead of the US Congress and separated essential copper and fiber infrastructure from the services and providers who used them, and the result has been amazing. In Asia and Europe, Gigabit services are becoming common, and the price paid by consumers per megabit is a tiny fraction of what we pay here at home.

I won’t deny the innovation that has occurred in the telco/cable duopoly. They’ve got TV, Internet and telephone bundles designed to serve up prime time network shows in over-saturated HD glory, with comparatively middling Internet speeds, all offered with teaser rates and terms that would baffle an economics professor. The clear value of the bundle is to baffle, and pity the consumer who wants to shed a component. At least during the intro periods, it’s often cheaper to take the whole package than just a component or two.

For cable companies, the entrenched interest in the television entertainment portion creates a clear conflict: why should they offer an uncapped broadband connection that can deliver enough video entertainment to allow consumers to cut the TV cord? And if you do drop the TV, up goes the price for even this slow and capped Internet connection, so you pay more either way. And now that telcos have gotten into the television business too, their interest in slowing the pace of increasing broadband speed is aligned as well.

This has yielded a competitive truce in America.

In a slow tide, back and forth, cable delivers a slightly better product, then telco slightly better again, all at the highest possible cost. It is iterative, not innovative, and Americans deserve more. After all, we invented the Internet, right?

Sonic.net can reach nearly half of the homes and businesses in the Bay Area today with our Fusion Broadband + Phone service. Fusion offers the latest ADSL2+ broadband, with speeds of up to 20Mbps per line (with two line bonding available if you want to double your speed!), plus home land line voice with unlimited calling, all for $39.95/mo for one line, or $69.95 for two.

Fusion is innovative technology and innovative pricing.

This is possible because the skeleton of the 1996 Act, copper lines, are still available as a shared resource for all competitive carriers. But the reach of copper is limited to just a couple miles. (You can see if Fusion reaches your location here.) This limited reach creates islands of competition around the old telephone exchanges.

For the rest of you, a bit over half of the households in the Bay Area who are located too far from the shared telephone offices, I am afraid you are out of luck for now. We must build new fiber all the way to your home, passing by along the way the idle fiber infrastructure that the FCC set aside nearly a decade ago.

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  • http://twitter.com/fibrethedog fibre the dog

    Just the same in so called ‘digitalbritain’. The incumbent telco hanging on like grim death to the monopoly and conning everyone to subsidise their obsolete copper phone network with public money for cabinets. A third of the country can’t even get megabit connections let alone gigabit. Bring on the fibre. That is what she says.

  • http://justeps.livejournal.com/ EPS
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gabriel-Morrow/100000663577962 Gabriel Morrow

    hopefuly sonic expand to tn markets someday

  • http://twitter.com/iansltx Ian Littman

    In my area, Comcast offers internet speeds up to 100 Mbps down and 10 mbps up (or is it 105?) but prices for that service are high. Really high. In contrast, $70 per month will buy you…including modem rental…12 Mbps down, 2 Mbps up service. I’m on-promo right now with my own modem, so that service costs me just under $40…

    …which is a little less than I’d be paying for Sonic.net uncapped, unthrottled DSL plus unlimited local and LD phone service. Which is pretty good. Particularly since I’d just buy the $70 package anyway, put everything into Annex M ode and go.

    Which brings me to another issue: apparently the phone lines coming to my apartment are served by a remote that Qwest (local telco here) hasn’t deigned to upgrade beyond 5M service. I’m almost positive that I’m less than a block away from the cross box that feeds my complex, but I can’t get more than 5M (4.2M with overhead) service. If they upgraded that cross-box, I’d be using them…because then I’d be able to get 40/20 VDSL2!

    That’s the disadvantage of copper infrastructure…there are so many ways you can screw it up.

  • Mike

    Great stuff! I hope you’ll select downtown San Francisco to be an early adopter of your fiber service. Considering that we’re one of the tech capitals of the world the ISP offerings here are very unimpressive, particularly in older buildings.

  • Unhappy Customer

    Hi,

    I have repeatedly REPEATEDLY asked to be unsubscribed from all non-transactional related emails from Sonic.net. Yet they still come. Your insistence at breaking US federal law is making me question all the good you do as a local company.

    If you are unfamiliar with the CAN-SPAM act, a refresher is provided by the FTC:

    http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business

    The email quoted below is clearly not transactional in nature, it is commercial in nature. Furthermore, you have multiple violations in this email. You do not clearly disclose that the email is an advertisement and you are not honoring unsubscribe requests.

    I would appreciate a followup email detailing how you plan to address this violation of federal law.

    Thank you,

    Eric Hunt
    City CarShare

    ps. your CEO’s use of Twitter instead of publicizing his email address is not customer-friendly. Not everyone agrees that Twitter is a useful service and we stay away from it. I am crossposting this to his blog as a result.

  • Anonymous

    Hi there Eric, very sorry about this. We were to omit customers with “no non-transactional email” set on their account (as yours is), but this was overlooked. My apologies.

    -Dane

  • David

    Having recently moved to the US from the UK, there are similarities and differences.

    Broadband in the UK and US are both national disgraces, and both are due to the political upheavals and severe mis-trust of technology primarily from the right-wing. In the UK, the last Labour administration understood that certain infrastructure items could not be financed over a short-term, election-driven cycle and it was talking up the potential of re-nationalising the wireline services of British Telecom (OpenReach), thereby allowing it to make long-term financing for upgrades to the infrastructure. Along comes a more right-wing “market-driven” administration, and guess what …. BT is now “competing” (read cherry-picking) for customers, and the Digital Divide grows even stronger.

    Here in the US, I see strong similarities – again an quasi-state-owned incumbent (AT&T) that cannot see longer than one or two quarters in terms of infrastructure investment.

    It’s happened before in road, rail, telecoms even power-grids.

    Where the difference in the UK and US is is in customer service – in the UK, I have a choice of about 150 ISPs, all offering very, very similar services, but all with simply appalling levels of customer service and product knowledge. Most won’t even know what “IP” stands for, and consequently, churn between ISPs and Tecos is very high. But, who cares – it’s cheap…..

    Here, I see people like Sonic offering the best service they can, albeit stymied by the rotting infrastructure, but with highly knowledgable people.

    So, what to do. The answer is political, and it depends which way your flag flies as to what you think the answer is. I look at countries that have dismally failed to deliver a national infrastructure (UK, US) and then at others doing a much better job, (DE, FR, SE, NO). Then I look at the Autobahn network in Germany, the rail network in France and compare with their equivalents in the UK and the US….

  • Anonymous

    When will we get Fusion in Galt?

  • Anonymous

    Let me second Mike’s hope below that you bring fiber to downtown San Francisco soon.

  • Happy Sonic.net Customer

    I am with Dane that the regulatory environment of the “last mile” we have seen in the U.S. over the last 15 years is impeding innovation. Something has to give or the owners of that “last mile” will have no incentive but to manage scarcity of resources.

    I am (gladly) paying Sonic.net some $70 or so per month for ADSL service. I would happily pay Dane double that per month for larger capacity and I am not even asking for a Gbps. I suspect Dane would be just as happy to take double as I would be willing to pay it. The beauty of a free market: both sides of a transaction walk away happy.

    But the market isn’t free. The current regulations serve largely to maintain a duopoly, in which cable has every incentive to cap consumption to preclude competition from alternative, legal, providers of HD television. While the phone companies lack incentive to do anything other than not to fall too far behind cable in the level of service provided.

    That leaves the likes of me, who values the benefits of a competent ISP support staff, static IPv4 addresses, and a reasonable allocation of IPv6 address to soon come, not to mention no bandwidth caps, out in the cold.

    The current regulations mean that if you want the above, live too far from the CO, and desire faster than classic ADSL speeds, you have no options. And never will until the regulations change

    And the issue is bigger than a lack of mandate for the last-mile owners to share their pipes. There may be a business case to be made for another provider to dig up the sidewalks and install fiber to your home. The city and/or county will want its cut for digging up their (aren’t they really our?) sidewalks to install that fiber. Suddenly, the cost becomes prohibitive.

    We should expect and demand better from our elected officials.

  • Jeffrey

    We’ve still got all this really OLD copper to deal with here in America and our homes are so much more spread apart than the small country of Hong Kong. It’s gonna take a LONG time before our country has all fiber bandwidth.

  • Cuidate

    I couldn’t agree more. The FCC clearly sold us out and the Republican Party then prostituted themselves to their constituency, the top 2% of Americans, in order to keep the rest of us from enjoying the high-speed internet that the rest of the world is developing and leaving us in their dust.

    The killer is the initial costs of the installation of the fibre infrastructure. In Hong Kong, aggressive companies are looking to the future because they have opportunites where taking that risk can produce rewards. In America, corporations are clinging to the past and protecting their corporate asses, and preventing even the most aggressive sorts here, like sonic, from justifying those risks. As is too often the case, the losers are the American people.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=628992821 William Van Hefner

    Great article. There is quite a debate at the moment over Australia’s decision to go in the opposite direction (of the U.S.) by buying out the fiber facilities of their version of AT&T (Telstra) and using taxpayer money to construct a new, nationwide National Broadband Network. Things there are going very similarly to how I believe things would end up going down in the United States.

    The situation in Australia and the United States is quite different than in countries like Hong Kong, Japan, etc. for one simple reason. Population density. Both the U.S. and Australia are continent size land masses, with a majority of the population living near or around metro areas. The population tends to spread out from the center of these areas, leaving new areas for construction further and further away. In smaller countries like Hong Kong, cities tend to expand VERTICALLY. The population is less spread out. Most people live in high rise buildings, as opposed to two story homes. The cost to install a fiber network that is capable of reaching over a million people (in a booming economy, for that matter) is relatively small.

    Unless you are at the very heart of a major metro area in this country, it simply doesn’t make much economic sense for a business (or a government) to deploy fiber to the home in most instances. The payback time is quite simply too long for private investment and government would be forced to raise taxes significantly in order to make such services affordable to everyone. Regardless of who is in political power and what the regulations are, this isn’t going to change. As long as fiber and wireline technology is the best solution for distributing communications services, and cost of deployment is based upon how many people are passed per square mile, the simple laws of physics will prevent such services from ever becoming as cheap here as it is in highly vertical, crowded population centers.

    On the bright side, if you are willing to give up your yard, trees, privacy, the ability to own or have anywhere to park a car, fresh air, living close to ground level and willing to spend a lot more money on rent, you will probably be able to find much cheaper and faster Internet services than if you live elsewhere. Is it really worth the tradeoff? I guess that all depends on your point of view.

    William Van Hefner
    CommsDay Magazine
    http://www.commsday.com

  • Jeffchan

    The reality is that Hong Kong has generally much freer markets than the U.S., and has for most of its modern history. Here is an excellent comparison by Milton Friedman: http://www.hoover.org/publications/hoover-digest/article/7696

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Whittaker/1716676748 Daniel Whittaker

    Response to the “unhappy and unnecessarily enraged customer” and to all who use or are thinking about using Sonic:

    While I don’t know the exact situation of this unhappy customer, his overreaction to this minor situation has me thinking either this is one of those few that slipped through the cracks, he’s just an angry individual that spews on anyone that irks him or he could have competing interests in the TeleCom biz and this is his way of badmouthing Sonic.

    Ask yourself, if this customer WAS having problems unsubscribing to Sonic and if it was such a huge issue for him, why not email their absolutely STELLAR customer service or perhaps a quick phone call to the company on the toll-free number they provide for admin issues? He could have made that phone call and got the issue resolved faster than typing his rant here and crossposting to Twitter. He obviously wants to trash the company to as many people as possible. Lousy service, unresponsive, outsourced customer service persons reciting a script, continuous connectivity issues, dizzying 3-5 page bills…. THESE are issues worthy of an angry rant, not an email newsletter from a GREAT company that has relevant, interesting information for all of us.

    Sonics communication with customers, whether it’s responding to an email or calling them on the phone is nothing short of unbelievable. I have never seen such knowledgeable, helpful, intelligent customer service by ANY American company in my entire life. I’m disgusted by big corporations like AT&T and my cell provider T-Mobile that have abysmal customer service coming from India or China, taking more jobs away from US Citizens all for massive profits. SONIC is a company run unlike anything you’ve ever seen from a customers point of view.

    Dane is one of the few business owners who sees the value of great customer service… I know of at least 4 friends who now use SONIC not only because they are faster and cheaper than AT&T, but they all site the amazingly intelligent, responsive, friendly customer service people they have spoken to.

    Even if you’ve had a problem with Sonic that had you frustrated, which can happen in ANY company, they are quick to resolve the issue but more importantly, they CARE about their customers: their broadband service went from about $50 to $39 in December… yes, that wasn’t a typo, they were able to find a way to save money and PASSED THAT ON TO THE CUSTOMER. NO company does that in this day of massive greed.

    And btw Ranting Customer… get with the program. Even though I’m not on Twitter and think it’s kind of dumb, Twitter and Facebook are what EVERYONE uses to communicate these days. I for one am glad to see a CEO of a great company understand how and where to communicate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Whittaker/1716676748 Daniel Whittaker

    I never read newsletters, even from companies I like. I read this article and I found it fascinating and insightful, as I did the thoughtful, intelligent, knowledgeable responses. This slow Broadband situation is part of a MUCH larger and increasingly dire issue in this country: our absolute FAILURE to fund innovation, infrastructure, education, medical care and just about everything else most people hold dear. The United States lags so far behind so many other countries in SO many ways, it’s more than just an embaressment… it’s a disgrace and makes me disgusted with our elected leaders.

    There is one major overriding issue as to why this situation is as it is: Republicans (and even some blinded Democrats) are nothing more than a tentacle of Big Business that has skewed our tax laws, banking laws and government funding to a point that they are in control of a HUGE percentage of where our capital goes: massive unnecesarry tax breaks for large corporations and the rich (that do NOT create any jobs or do anything good for 95% of us), disgusting government subsidies to large corporations (WHY does Big Oil STILL get billions in subsidies when cities are laying of Policemen and Firemen like crazy??), morally bankrupt Military decisions to create unnecessary wars to divert massive funds to the Military Industrial Complex (i.e.: Big Business), and a climate of such massive greed by Big Business that most of their resources and attention are obssessed with profits at ALL costs and screw the rest of us. They are so blinded by greed, power and money that they don’t even realize they are on the road to leaving the a 3rd World United States for their grandchildren.

    Although, as William Van Hefner points out, the big part of the Broadband problem here in the U.S. is a country huge in land with concentrations of population, unlike tightly packed European and Asian cities like Hong Kong, Tokyo, London, Paris, Berlin, etc., I believe we have the capacity and technology to overcome this, if we can just change our priorities and take back control of our country and so much of it’s wealth from Big Business and private interests. When we’ve spent a TRILLION dollars on two unnecessary wars and have 100′s of thousands of troops in places we don’t NEED them stationed in (60,000 troops in Germany at ALL times… WHY??), yet have massive unemployment, crumbling infrastructures, an education system that is out of reach for 60% of the population, something is REALLY REALLY wrong, and it’s up to all of to change it.

    Supporting progressive candidates for public office instead of the Big Republican Business Party is a good start. So is our support of businesses that are part of the solution (Sonic) as opposed to those that are part of the problem (AT&T, Merryl Lynch, Wal-Mart).

  • Dominick

    As far as I’m concerned Sonic has a great an knowledgeable staff and is a great ISP. Keep up the good work in trying and in most cases succeeding in making and keeping your customers happy.

  • Jeffchan

    Daniel Whittaker, the problem is much worse than you state. Big corporations now abuse the power of government to actively prevent competition. It’s way beyond tax breaks, subsidies, etc. Even more dangerous are the government unions which are bigger and more powerful than the largest corporation and abuse the power of government to protect their own jobs, pensions, etc., to the detriment of all. Government employee unions are now doing for the Federal and state governments what they did for GM: bankrupting it.

    Same with the failed socialist experiments with Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Even if every company in the U.S were as successful and innovative as Apple and Google, there would never be enough growth to pay for these unfunded mandates whose debt is now in the multiple trillions. And there will be no more Chinas to buy U.S. debt (bonds) and bail us out again.

    A government that has the power to give you everything you want has the power to take it all away.

  • None

    Define “tiny fraction”. Here in Copenhagen i’m paying double the price of what you’re offering for much less speed (I could probably get a better deal if I really shopped around but have had bad experience of changing suppliers in the past – eg connection down for weeks while the telco’s bicker over who’s fault it is). I’d also say television packages are vastly inferior to standard US offerings (although thankfully few advert breaks).

  • Anonymous

    In Galt, your best bet is to express your interest to the folks at Softcom.

    -Dane

  • Anonymous

    We left Softcom because of the poor service. If you check the technical support hours you will see there is none before 10 am or after 7 pm weekdays, and on weekends you can only reach them between noon and 5 pm. Since they sold us a bad router and couldn’t find the trouble, it was a nightmare. Sonic has wonderful support, so we’ll wait for their Fusion.

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  • zuzupetals

    I am not sure which “Government Employees” yo are referring to…but if it weren’t for the unions of those Gov’t Employees…there will be only the lobbyists for Big Banking, Big Insurance, Wall Street left to push for rights. But it won’t be the rights of workers.

    When we are expected to believe that it is the workers; the teachers, police, firefighters, nurses, city and municipal workers and the like who are “bankrupting our nation” and yet there are not riots in the streets over that extended tax break for the top 2%…something is seriously amiss here. And only in America can those at the top count on us…the little guys…to follow along like sheeple, with the belief in our hearts that Ayn Rand was right, or that we too may be that rich guy some day and by golly we won’t want to have to pay for the nation we will then own.

    Ahh…but you may say how can corporations or companies get their fair share and compete in a world wide market if forced to pay American workers “so much”? And I ask, so American workers are now expected to compete with workers in China and Bangladesh and Sri Lanka? Internationalism OUGHT to be about bringing the rest of the world UP to our standards, elevating lives everywhere…not pushing us DOWN so that the only standard is PROFIT for those at the top.

    Where else do the slaves forge and apply their own chains and cheer for the Masters?

    In what reality are our unions…the only ones remaining after the union-busting of Reagan, et al….more powerful than those tax breaks
    and subsidies, etc.? Was it Government Unions that let the CEOs of FAILED banking and credit industries which WE bailed out when the last great collapse occured reap, not what THEY sowed…which would be bankrupcy…but what we the WORKERS sowed…and while we are taking joblessness or pay cuts…are taking BILLIONS to the bank???

  • http://www.facebook.com/kamal.s.prasad Kamal S. Prasad

    Forget fiber, I would love to just have consistent 2mbps at my place just 5 miles outside city limits. It is riduculous that the superpower of the world lags places like Korea in this simple respect.

  • Anonymous

    The challenge is that delivering broadband five miles outside city
    limits _requires_ fiber. And, under the FCC’s 2003 and 2004 decisions,
    any existing fiber cannot be purchased by competitors.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/robert.froelich Robert Froelich

    Correct in identifying the telecom act of ’96 as laying the groundwork. Incorrect in laying the blame at the feet of the Republicans. Both Democrats and Republicans that relied heavily on contributions from the telecom and cable lobbies dismantled the telecom act of ’96. The ’96 act was already a dead man walking as it was not being enforced by the FCC as early as the second half of ’99. Ask anyone that tried to buy the critical UNE’s (unbundled network elements) in 97 or 98 vs 99 – lead times went through the roof and the FCC shrugged its collective shoulders.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robert.froelich Robert Froelich

    Correct in identifying the telecom act of ’96 as laying the groundwork. Incorrect in laying the blame at the feet of the Republicans. Both Democrats and Republicans that relied heavily on contributions from the telecom and cable lobbies dismantled the telecom act of ’96. The ’96 act was already a dead man walking as it was not being enforced by the FCC as early as the second half of ’99. Ask anyone that tried to buy the critical UNE’s (unbundled network elements) in 97 or 98 vs 99 – lead times went through the roof and the FCC shrugged its collective shoulders.

  • Anonymous

    Robert,

    UNEs were a huge struggle in the late ’90′s, and companies like Covad and Newedge had to fight long and hard legal battles to achieve reasonable access. We now stand upon the shoulders of these early competitive carriers today.

    What’s missing is the ability to reach remote terminals – fiber loops and sub-loops were eliminated with the 2002 and 2003 triennia review and remand orders, so competitors are now isolated, able to reach to central office serviced customers only.

    -Dane

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Salman-Y-Khan/100000090911573 Salman Y. Khan

    Asia’s got better internet? Dude, we’re still stuck at 256Kbps here at India.

  • Anonymous

    when I was over there last I was using the 3g service on my phone and it was pretty decent and quite cheap… don’t you have access to this in your area?

  • Bobfox

    Great point that has been failed to be mentioned so far.  Population density in small areas versus a country as large as the US makes a big difference.  If all of the population is in the area the size of Hong Kong it’s much easier to supply them with services of any kind versus even piping water and electicity to all of the US consistenly.  Something that did not happen overnight and took quite a while to get to a reliable point.

  • http://twitter.com/jalewis Joshua Alden Lewis

    Just wanted to note that in Chattanooga, TN we have had Gig Internet service available to all residence and business for almost a year now. I think you will see a lot more following that lead over the next couple of years.

  • Max Peck

    Is there anything that the government can’t screw up?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jean-Ocelot/713275849 Jean Ocelot

    I pay $35/mo for 1.5 MB DSL in the USA and $6/mo for 100 MB cable in Ukraine.  Calling someone near my home in the USA from my internet phone from the USA is spotty; calling the same person from Ukraine is crystal clear.

  • Robert C Ludwig

    Most every other country treats communications like the shared commons it is.  As an essential part of every person and business’ need, almost like water and air (try running a business without a telephone), it is managed as a government entity.  It is in the interests of everyone and the country as a whole, to provide the best, most efficient communications network to facilitate a competitive market place.  Here in the U.S. we treat communications like selling widgets – and we get exactly what that model provides, the least for the most.

  • 234husky

    The unions are are not for workers rights but for their own self serving interests.  Just look at the NLB and Boeing and the machinist union. 

    The federal goverment was that cause of the lastest great economic collaspe with their demands that banks lower their lending standards so the anyone could get a loan.  When Fannie and Fredie Mae started buying these loans so that the banks could make even more loans, that created the housing bubble.  Ya, the businesses made a profit, but it was the damn Gov. regulations (in the name of social justice) that caused it. 

  • Me

    The problem is *not* lack of government regulation. Go figure out what it would cost you, in government regulation fees alone, to run fiber to your house or office. The environmental impact report alone would be more than you an afford.

  • Me

    Are you for real? The list linked to is laughable

  • SpaceDoc

    Lawrence Kansas has a local cable company that laid fibre circling the entire town about 6-8 years ago. We have had fibre available to our homes and business for a good 3-4 years along with the company originally offering free service to our schools and local government (don’t know if they pay anything at this point in time). Our top of the line none fibre service is 56 MB up and down with the fibre bundles offered everything from 10MB up and down on up to a GB up and down.
    The costs are very high as many have mentioned but for an internet business the costs pay for themselves fairly quickly being able to offer significant amount of information quickly to our customers.

  • Robert B

    How and when can I out source my ISP to eastern civilization? Let get world competition started!

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  • John lucania

    Obviously Randall has never lived in Hong Kong. Worst cable and internet companies in the World here in Hong Kong. Horrible service. perhaps they should focus on doing it the right way. When my dog poops each poop log is connected to the other but that does not make it a good thing. Hong Kong sucks ! Do not care how connected and supposedly fast the connections are, they have no concept of a good product or good customer service.

  • John lucania

    Let me follow-up my initial comment about how bad Hong Kong broadband companies are compared to other places. The largest is PCCW/Netvigator which I had in 2008. My internet went down and was down for three months. I called there customer service line and the phone just rang. Then I proceeded to call the hotline for installation of new service knowing they would pick-up that line. They picked up the line quickly and when I told them my problem they didn’t say anything but instead transferred me to the line that just rang.

    Now I just ordered HGC (Hutchinson’s) and the wifi broke down 4 times in the first month. At least they answered there phone but the technician was unable to fix the problem. The technician came out four times. The third and fourth times I asked for a different technician which they promised and the same guy showed up again and could not fix the problem. I told the manager at HGC that I would not honor their contract if they could not provide the service promised and she just repeated I would have to honor the contract. Of course I will not pay a dime of my hard earned money. I called on another company that has a solid reputation called HKBN (Hong Kong Broadband Network) but the technician could not find the box. Turns out the comapnies here will block out other companies even after the contract expires to keep your business and it’s all legal. Well I just use my iphone now for internet. A bit inconvenient but principle is involved in my decision.

  • Anonymous

    I am out of the office until Thursday, September 2nd.

    In my absence, please contact the following staff for assistance:

    Support and Customer Service, Eli Caul, eli.caul@corp.sonic.net Accounting: Nicki Schneider, nicki@corp.sonic.net
    Enterprise Sales: Mark Loher, mloher@corp.sonic.net
    Systems administration: Kelsey Cummings, kgc@corp.sonic.net
    Network admin and telco/carrier: Nathan Patrick, npatrick@corp.sonic.net HR and General administration, Jen Codarre, jen@corp.sonic.net

    Everyone can also be reached at 707-522-1000.

    Thank you!


    Dane Jasper Sonic.net, Inc.
    (707)522-1000 http://www.sonic.net/
    mailto:dane@corp.sonic.net

  • Anonymous

    I am out of the office until Thursday, September 2nd.

    In my absence, please contact the following staff for assistance:

    Support and Customer Service, Eli Caul, eli.caul@corp.sonic.net Accounting: Nicki Schneider, nicki@corp.sonic.net
    Enterprise Sales: Mark Loher, mloher@corp.sonic.net
    Systems administration: Kelsey Cummings, kgc@corp.sonic.net
    Network admin and telco/carrier: Nathan Patrick, npatrick@corp.sonic.net HR and General administration, Jen Codarre, jen@corp.sonic.net

    Everyone can also be reached at 707-522-1000.

    Thank you!


    Dane Jasper Sonic.net, Inc.
    (707)522-1000 http://www.sonic.net/
    mailto:dane@corp.sonic.net

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DWZXDSNK7EJLQMGDZJNNTDLBDU Eduard

    i just got back from Lithuania. the speed they offer for apprx. 20 bucks is 100 Mgb/s. Usa should kick the bucket for good! 

  • Charles

    Good read, thanks for the link.