UTOPIA Ups the Ante, Upgrades to 50Mbps

The rumor mill at DSL Reports says that UTOPIA residential connections will be beefed up to 50Mbps in both directions. That means downloads at least 7 times faster than cable or DSL and uploads over 60 times faster. The price? Still $40 a month as always. Even though the speeds are being upped, you still have a 100GB per month cap on transfer. Obviously no ISP is going to stay in business if they give you a truly all-you-can-eat experience with bandwidth greater than a DS3. There's no word on where commercial connections are going, but I'm expecting somewhere in the 100Mbps range.

So where's the bottleneck now? Probably in the crappy router sitting on your desktop. Most home products from Linksys, D-Link, Netgear and other manufacturers only have a 10Mbps port for the WAN connection. Most of the ones with a 100Mbps WAN can barely muster 14-15Mbps through the port. Your options are to either upgrade to a high-end router (models with a 1Gbps port sustaining 250Mbps can run $200 or more) or build your own Linux-based router. I'll write up some more later so you'll have some idea where to go when your hardware fails to keep up with your connection.

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4 Responses to UTOPIA Ups the Ante, Upgrades to 50Mbps

  1. Bob Hansen says:

    I’m a little confused (everything I know about UTOPIA I’ve learned from press releases and this site); I thought UTOPIA offered an MPLS route from the premise to the ISP. Are the $40 and 100GB numbers where the market has settled, or do they come from the underlying network? Do you expect to actually see 50Mb through MAE west (the answer may be yes; I would be impressed with your ISPs).

  2. Jesse says:

    You’re correct that UTOPIA just provides a connection between the ISP and the subscriber. $40 is the price that each retailer currently charges, so it’s more-or-less a de facto price for residential service. (AT&T offers a slower $35/mo tier, but they don’t really advertise that they still have service on UTOPIA.) Xmission is the only one I’ve seen with an upfront transfer cap, though I’ve heard stories that this is a soft cap rather than a hard cap. I don’t know about caps from MSTAR and Nuvont/Veracity, though I would bet they are comparable.

    Since SLC sits right on top of the backbones going from San Francisco to Denver and has a few major pipes going to both Phoenix and Las Vegas, I don’t think it’ll be too hard to hit 50Mbps on larger websites (i.e. YouTube, MySpace, FaceBook). All of the providers on the network have been readily established for some time, so they’ve got the moxie to nail down some decent connections. Naturally, the big bottleneck will be the lack of fast connections on the other end. After all, 50Mbps doesn’t do much good when you’re connecting to a server on a T1 line.

  3. Jonathan says:

    I work at one of the state universities. They all have 1Gig connections into the UEN network. The UEN network has multiple GigE connections (3-4 to be exact). Its pretty rare that I hit download speeds that would max out 50Mbps its not uncommon to hit 3 or 4 MB per second but much higher than that really depends on the site.

    I can get pretty good rates from other schools on the network. I particularly like downloading my Linux fix from the mirror.cs.utah.edu. I just downloaded the latest ubuntu 7.10 iso at 27 Megabytes per second.

  4. Pingback: Life in the Fast Lane: FIOS and UTOPIA Speed Bumps Kick Off Bandwidth War » Free UTOPIA!

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