Unfortunately without trying to sound like a smart ass, you just have to pay for it and even then there is no guarantee you get the whole pipe or the piece of the pipe you are paying for. Most of your Cable or DSL providers limit your speed at their end just like they limit your speed on the dowload. Your speed will depend on many factors but the main one that is the most important is the broadband provider. If you dont' mind me asking who is your provider and where do you live. The closer you are to one of the nodes be it DSL or cable the better more reliable and faster your conncection will be however with Cable it will depend on many users are hitting that same node in your area. From a text book theory type point the more users you have, in a cable environment, the slower it will be which is true to a point however you will have to have a tremendous load in your area for it to slow to a crawl. There are some things you can do to speed up connection but it is really going to be on the ISP's end to let you have the whole hog.
SteveO that is correct it can be changed but not by you or anyone else, well let me rephrase...Without hacking into your ISPs setup it can only be changed by those guys. I just moved from Florida to B'ham Alabama and I feel like I am being raped because in Florida I had a 6mb pipelne download and 780 upload with a static IPfor 35 dollars a month and here I am only getting 3.5mb on download and and 480 upload with static IP for 99 bucks a month...talking about raking someone across the coals but unfortunately Cableone has me in a bind in that they are pretty much the only show in town. DSL is out there but not in my area. My neighbor who lives down 1 block and over on the other side of the road has DSL access but not CABLE. Basically it is all a racket. I hope you are not paying too much for what you have. The only reason I have the static IP is because I run an offsite type datastorage for business's in this area if not for that I would do away with it for the cheaper option. If I could reach out there and throttle up my speeds I would do it yesterday.
I have no idea how it works in the US but in France, if you live near your NRA (where you phone line connects to) you can get bandwidth of up to 20/2 (in Mbits) so that you satisfy you... I live 5.5Km away and have 1Mbit upload (max DSL Range being a little over 6Km).
Some of the best ways to know the upload bandwidth before getting into a provider is by asking neighbors who are already subscribed. I got my DSL for $20/month 768kbps/384kbps. average 640kbps/301kbps.
Does latency matter to you too? Any applications that you be running requiring low latency? Because aside from bandwidth Latency is an issue too.
If I may add to the last post, yes, ADSL is often the most cost efficient way to get uplink Internet access capacity, on the basis of monthly cost / bandwidth delivered. Cable modems can also be pretty effective in terms of cost/bandwidth delivered. If a single ADSL or cable line does not provide the required speed, you can combine many of them together to create a faster connection. If you search on the term "Broadband Bonding" you will find more information.
In some places and applications, people are also combining 3G cellular data services to get pretty decent upload speeds, but this is intended for businesses and other mission critical applications, as most individuals cant afford to buy multiple subscriptions.
There are some ISPs who have begun to offer services based on this type of approach, which do provide an alternative to T1 for obtaining faster uplink speeds. For example, see
Also..if you can find a real basic cable modem (pre 1999) that has little or no (control) technology built in..and it does one thing...Modulates and Demodulates..your ISP technology has a hard time "chatting" to control the flow speed.
I have an old modem from 1996 which still works great and the ISP can't control the upload speeds.
It's limiting to the ISP becauase it's technology is limited and very basic.
Try looking around for one on ebay.
I would love for some hacker to somehow trick the download pipeline into thinking that you are downloading..when you are really "uploading".
T1 is only 1.54mbits, which isn't that fast compared to broadband these days. It is dedicated, so low jitter between your and your ISP.
To compare, I pay $30/month for 1mbit up and 5mbit down. My ISP has powerboost which gives me a burst speed of 25mbits down for ~10 seconds. The ping to my ISP's last hop before the internet is ~10ms with +-3ms of jitter. I get 35ms pings to New York and Los Angeles with about 8ms of jitter, during PEAK hours.
I live in the midwest and ANY speed test I use in the mid west says I get 25mbit down and 1.01mbit up. My internet connection wouldn't be better as a dedicated line, although it does go down about once or twice a year for a few hours. So far, every major site that I've tried downloading from, I've always gotten a flat 5mbit down, even for multi-gig downloads
For about $200/month, I could get a 5mbit/5mbit business line from my ISP, and I bet ya I would consistently get those speeds. T1's run about $300-$400 and only give 1.54mbit up/down, but it isn't affected by cable maintenence(which rarely happens, but it sucks to lose the internet because of digital TV upgrades).