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Verizon Doubts Cablevision's 101 Mbps Internet

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 27 comments

Verizon poopoos Cablevision's hot new 101 Mbps DOCSIS 3.0 service

Cablevision wowed us all earlier this week when it announced that it would be offering a 101 Mbps cable internet service to its customers starting May 11 for $100 a month.

Even more impressive, perhaps, is word that its 101 Mbps would be uncapped – particularly given how cable providers such as Time Warner Cable (and even smaller ISPs like Sunflower Broadband) are all about restrictions.

Verizon isn’t convinced by Cablevision’s claims of speed, however. Verizon’s PR man Eric Rabe wrote in the company’s policy blog and post skeptical of Cablevision’s service promise.

“With today’s technology, you don’t have to break much of a sweat to deliver 100 Mbps to a few customers,” Rabe wrote. “But given the inherent limits of the cable platform, a cluster of bandwidth junkies living near each other could be a real problem.  One estimate is that a single 101 Mbps customer would use some 60% of the capacity in a neighborhood.  Other users?  Outta luck.”

“What happens when a customer with that speed hits the much slower Internet?” Rabe posed. “So Cablevision is offering very high speed service to a very limited number of customers when there is little evidence of market demand for the speed.  It is a parlor trick.”

Rabe goes on to say that a fiber optic is the future of networking – which few will contest – but also points out that many parts of the internet are still connected together at speeds slower than 100 Mbps, saying that is why customers aren’t demanding speeds in the 100 Mbps range today.

“For now, CVC’s leap to 101 Mbps is about market positioning and bragging rights rather than delivering a useful service to a mass customer market,” Rabe said.

In the end though, Rabe realizes that competition such as this is good for the consumer, as he adds, “Competition is a key innovation driver, so in that sense FiOS along with CVC's product and the ultra-high-speed services of others, have the potential to spur the entire industry to breed new ideas at all levels…applications, content, information as well as transport.”

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  • 1 Hide
    geminireaper , April 30, 2009 10:47 PM
    Yeah good luck having more than one person on a whole node with the 101 mbps. You go to sign up for it and they are like sorry your neighbor already has it. your out of luck. Thats why FioS will always be better. They already have a 50/20 package and are testing 100/30 in select areas. Best part is that its your own bandwidth..you dont have to share with your neighbors
  • 3 Hide
    jsloan , April 30, 2009 10:58 PM
    what do you expect to hear from verizon pr man, that their competition has an amazing service that everyone should buy. personally i don't know if they have anything more than hype, but i'll wait for consumers to tell us how it goes and not a pr man from verizon. who knows maybe they have something, for years verizon and other pushed dsl when cable turned out to be a better deal, i got better performance at a lower cost than my friends with dsl, sure fios is nice, but their is theory and then reality, lets wait and see maybe they got something more than smoke and mirrors.
  • 1 Hide
    makotech222 , April 30, 2009 11:01 PM
    Too bad comcast and at&t are blocking out verizon from chicago-land area So i wont be seeing it in my lifetime.
  • 7 Hide
    Platypus , April 30, 2009 11:34 PM
    Parlor tricks are something every company uses... even Verizon. It makes Verizon look ridiculous and hypocritical to say Cablevision is playing games with rhetoric.
  • 2 Hide
    mavroxur , April 30, 2009 11:39 PM
    The idea of 101mbit cable internet access is interesting, but the thought of several of these connections in a small area (like an apartment complex) makes me wonder how much of the 101mbit you're actually going to see. You start talking about several gigabits worth of traffic on a single node, it just seems like you're asking for problems imo. It's not really the "your neighbor has it so you're screwed" idea that should matter because that's really insignificant. It's the 40 people in a 400 unit apartment complex, down the street from the university, that's full of students, that are consuming 4+ gigabits by themselves that makes me wonder (in addition to the huge number of people in that same complex that would be sporting cheapie 10mbit or whatever cable). I seriously doubt the cable company is going to bother putting in several nodes or a super high capacity node at a single apartment complex to cover the massive bandwith use.
  • 2 Hide
    joex444 , May 1, 2009 12:07 AM
    Verizon's long-standing criticism of cable has been the "you share the bandwidth with your neighbors" argument. While technically true, I have yet to see any time in the past, well, its 8 years now with cable that my connection has run anything less than peak. Now it may be that I'm in a suburban area with a bunch of people who just check the email and do some light surfing, I'm not sure what my neighbors do. On the other hand it may be that cable is better equipped to handle the traffic than Verizon gives them credit for. After all, Verizon has DSL where the speed depends on how close you are to some location that has, in essence, their node. What's really worse, sharing a node capable of much higher speeds than your connection or having your bandwidth decay as a function of distance from a single location? Kind of a draw I think.

    As I said before though, the 101Mbps connection is *inherently* flawed. Think about it. What do most people connect with? From what I can tell, laptops sell the most and these come with 802.11G, a 54Mbps connection. How the heck are you going to get the 101Mbps connection to the Internet if you're only getting 54Mbps within your house? Even worse, I have yet to see traffic over WiFi reach more than ~50%, or about 25-30Mbps.

    Let's suppose for a moment that you do use this on a desktop with a wired connection to a router. Your router, unless homebuilt with GbE ports, is going to run with 100Mbps cards. And these rarely are capable of handling more than 85-90% throughput, limiting you to 85-90Mbps even in this scenario.

    So, its with this in mind that I propose the only way to utilize a 101Mbps connection is with a homebuild router (Linux is particularly well suited to this, ClarkConnect for example is what I use), with two or more Gigabit ports, and a Gigabit switch. But this is *only* if the modems Cablevision has include Gigabit ports themselves. If not, you'll never ever see more than 90Mbps out of this, which is inherently flawed and should be criticized. They could just as easily market it as a 1Gbps connection, as long as it has a 100BaseT port on the modem, you'll never see more than 90Mbps.

    Finally, consider the price. At $100/mo, this is essentially twice as expensive as any other standard cable service. I have Comcast, and get a 16Mbps connection. For this price, I would expect that the nodes have half as many clients as Comcast. This would at a minimum ensure 32Mbps operation, assuming that Cablevision's nodes are as capable as Comcast's.

    BTW... cable nodes feed into fiber. The actual medium doesn't make a difference, what Verizon was trying to argue against is the topology of cable, which as I said to start with is the same old argument they've had for years. Thus far, I have yet to see my neighbors impact my speeds at any time in the last 8 years so I have serious personal doubts about the validity of such an argument. I would, however, grab FiOS in a heartbeat due to the faster speeds and lack of a data cap (not that I use more than 250GB/mo, simply that I do not support restricted accounts).
  • 0 Hide
    JD13 , May 1, 2009 12:28 AM
    I have cable & live on a dead end road & do see slow downs at peak time around 7 to 10 PM. I'd love to get the new 101 package, but who knows if it will be available or not?
  • 1 Hide
    geminireaper , May 1, 2009 1:08 AM
    Joex I see your point however i have friend who are tier 3 support for cable and yes there is inherently a flaw when it comes to nodes and total shared bandwidth. He says his company tries not to overload the node by keeping the nodes well below the recommended number of users..ie if a node can handle 32 connections safely..they put no more than 25 on it. I pay for road runner turbo with speeds *up too* 16m however depending on the time of day I get anywhre between 10-16m. I live in an apartment so depending if my neighbors are using it really does play true. Now you try to compound this by allow people to get the 101mbps connection. So now we are talking the bandwidth capabilities of 4-6 users and watch how fast those nodes fill up. Its nice on paper but only on paper. Also like the verizon rep mentioned....your still limited by slow web server connection speeds, latency and number of jumps. Even with great downloads cable has inherently crappy upload. Verizon has a 50/20 now and is working on 100/30. 101mbps is currently pushing the limits of docis 3.0. Currently we have not yet found a limit to fiber. I wish fios was in my area because then I can say buh bye to TWC
  • 0 Hide
    dragonfang18 , May 1, 2009 3:02 AM
    Gizmodo totally got this news first. But yeah... damn verizon, I live in a monopoly zone for them... Gotta send them a message and talk to them.
  • 0 Hide
    dragonfang18 , May 1, 2009 3:04 AM
    I mean they have the capabilities of faster internet, but does not, yet they charge more than Cablevision.
  • 1 Hide
    repconsul , May 1, 2009 3:21 AM
    @Joex444
    Comcast = Throttled in 2 different ways.
    1. They have "Power-Boost" which is factored in as what you are paying for. They "boost" (give you what you are paying for) for the first few seconds of packets coming in. You get way you pay for...for a few seconds. Web pages load faster then they would without it, but only as fast as you are actually paying for... Just not all the time. Ever notice a larger download jumping to 10-20% right away and then slowing down considerably? You got what you are paying for for 10-20%... So most users don't even notice since they are just "searching the web."

    So, the "PowerBoost Service" throttles your connection to what you pay for, for a few seconds. Which is also why speed tests show the speed you are paying for even though downloads or streamed content show otherwise...

    2. Comcast has a "down throttling" system also. I will just post from an article here...
    __________________
    Comcast's first traffic throttling trigger is tripped by using more than 70 per cent of your maximum downstream or upstream bandwidth for more than 15 minutes.

    Its second traffic throttling trigger is tripped when the Cable Modem Termination System you're hooked-up to – along with up to 15,000 other Comcast subscribers – gets congested, and your traffic is somehow identified as being responsible.

    Tripping either of Comcast's high bandwidth usage rate triggers results in throttling for at least 15 minutes, or until your average bandwidth utilisation rate drops below 50 per cent for 15 minutes.

    The Comcast two-tier traffic throttling system enforces different quality-of-service levels. Internet packets to and from a specific subscriber are assigned 'Priority Best Effort' (PBE) queueing by default, and the traffic rate is throttled by switching packets to lower priority 'Best Effort' (BE) queueing.

    Comcast uses a bus analogy to explain how its two-tier traffic throttling system works:

    "If there is no congestion, packets from a user in a BE state should have little trouble getting on the bus when they arrive at the bus stop. If, on the other hand, there is congestion in a particular instance, the bus may become filled by packets in a PBE state before any BE packets can get on. In that situation, the BE packets would have to wait for the next bus that is not filled by PBE packets."
    __________________
    So, basicly you get what you pay for for 15 seconds or so by throttling your connections priority up for a "boost". (even though the boosted service is what they charge you for)
    Then if you use 70% or more of what you pay for, for 15 minutess or more...you get screwed.
    ALSO, after all that you are limited to 250gig a month and i think its something like a dollar a gig after that. Granted its much better then what other cable companies are proposing, its sad. If you play online games, download movies or cd's legally (itunes, rhapsody..etc), stream content such as netflix or even if you download large files such as open source content...you get screwed.

    These are the "magic tricks" the PR guy from Verizon is referring to. Also, prob. how cablevision will make it "work." It seems like you are getting what you pay for, but you are not. Should be illegal.
  • 0 Hide
    deviltenchi , May 1, 2009 5:06 AM
    We have had 100Mbps Down/100 Mbps Up via the Utopia fiber network here in parts of SLC, Utah for quite some time now for about the same price. They have business lines that offer speeds in excess of 100/100 Mbps and 10Gigabit point to point service.

    So this company has to add the 1 at the end of its service to boast the fast speeds they offer. Depending on where you live there are companies that are slowly upgrading their infrastructure and getting speeds that compare to other countries.
    http://www.utopianet.org
  • 3 Hide
    mikecol69 , May 1, 2009 1:30 PM
    101Mbps equals a lttle over 10MBps 8 bits to a byte so wifi or a 100MBps Lan connection or router is fine.
  • 0 Hide
    dark_lord69 , May 1, 2009 1:40 PM
    give me the 3/3 package at a super low price and I'm happy.
  • 0 Hide
    xertlav , May 1, 2009 1:48 PM
    joex444Verizon's long-standing criticism of cable has been the "you share the bandwidth with your neighbors" argument. While technically true, I have yet to see any time in the past, well, its 8 years now with cable that my connection has run anything less than peak. Now it may be that I'm in a suburban area with a bunch of people who just check the email and do some light surfing, I'm not sure what my neighbors do. On the other hand it may be that cable is better equipped to handle the traffic than Verizon gives them credit for. After all, Verizon has DSL where the speed depends on how close you are to some location that has, in essence, their node. What's really worse, sharing a node capable of much higher speeds than your connection or having your bandwidth decay as a function of distance from a single location? Kind of a draw I think.As I said before though, the 101Mbps connection is *inherently* flawed. Think about it. What do most people connect with? From what I can tell, laptops sell the most and these come with 802.11G, a 54Mbps connection. How the heck are you going to get the 101Mbps connection to the Internet if you're only getting 54Mbps within your house? Even worse, I have yet to see traffic over WiFi reach more than ~50%, or about 25-30Mbps. Let's suppose for a moment that you do use this on a desktop with a wired connection to a router. Your router, unless homebuilt with GbE ports, is going to run with 100Mbps cards. And these rarely are capable of handling more than 85-90% throughput, limiting you to 85-90Mbps even in this scenario.So, its with this in mind that I propose the only way to utilize a 101Mbps connection is with a homebuild router (Linux is particularly well suited to this, ClarkConnect for example is what I use), with two or more Gigabit ports, and a Gigabit switch. But this is *only* if the modems Cablevision has include Gigabit ports themselves. If not, you'll never ever see more than 90Mbps out of this, which is inherently flawed and should be criticized. They could just as easily market it as a 1Gbps connection, as long as it has a 100BaseT port on the modem, you'll never see more than 90Mbps.Finally, consider the price. At $100/mo, this is essentially twice as expensive as any other standard cable service. I have Comcast, and get a 16Mbps connection. For this price, I would expect that the nodes have half as many clients as Comcast. This would at a minimum ensure 32Mbps operation, assuming that Cablevision's nodes are as capable as Comcast's.BTW... cable nodes feed into fiber. The actual medium doesn't make a difference, what Verizon was trying to argue against is the topology of cable, which as I said to start with is the same old argument they've had for years. Thus far, I have yet to see my neighbors impact my speeds at any time in the last 8 years so I have serious personal doubts about the validity of such an argument. I would, however, grab FiOS in a heartbeat due to the faster speeds and lack of a data cap (not that I use more than 250GB/mo, simply that I do not support restricted accounts).


    Move to NYC where at 5pm, on weekday, Time Warner Cable and their precious "speedboost" slows to a crawl with extremely high latency for four hours or so. You sir are simply lucky that you live in a sparsely populated suburb with few heavy users. Even in the Rochester area I get only about half the advertised speed I pay for.
  • 0 Hide
    blackened144 , May 1, 2009 1:52 PM
    The main problem with the 101Mb internet service is who is going to send you things at top speed? No one. Even with multiple file transfers you would need several different sources sending at incredibly fast speeds to even come close to using all the bandwidth. With my 8Mb Comcast service, I can download all day from the newsgroups at top speed. In fact, in the last 3 years, I have never once seen the newsgroups go any slower than my max speed on Comcast.
  • 0 Hide
    michaelahess , May 1, 2009 2:35 PM
    mikecol69101Mbps equals a lttle over 10MBps 8 bits to a byte so wifi or a 100MBps Lan connection or router is fine.


    You moron, all networking speeds are in Mb not MB, 802.11G will get 22-30Mb at the most, 100Mb NIC's will get 90Mb or so at the most. Learn before teachings.

    My Cisco 1130AG gets just a hair under 28Mb if I've got my laptop close to it and it's one of the best AP's you can get. And don't believe speed tests over wireless, you need to actually test a stream of data to get a good idea, burst speeds don't count. Iperf for those interested.
  • 0 Hide
    average joe , May 1, 2009 2:59 PM
    When I lived in Portland and Seattle it was always slow week days after school and on weekend evenings. In that region there were 2 cable companies Comcast and some regional player but Comcast bought them out and then doubled and tripled the rates. What they didn't do during that time was improve the cable plant. When there were 2 players in the Pacific Northwest both companies were building up the infrastructure and improving service constantly. Now with just one player they do nothing but raise prices. We either break up the monopolies or nationalize the cable plants if we expect to get anything comparable to the networks in Europe, Asia, or even urban Africa.
  • 0 Hide
    kschoche , May 1, 2009 3:45 PM
    joex444Verizon's long-standing criticism of cable has been the "you share the bandwidth with your neighbors" argument. While technically true, I have yet to see any time in the past, well, its 8 years now with cable that my connection has run anything less than peak. Now it may be that I'm in a suburban area with a bunch of people who just check the email and do some light surfing, I'm not sure what my neighbors do. On the other hand it may be that cable is better equipped to handle the traffic than Verizon gives them credit for. After all, Verizon has DSL where the speed depends on how close you are to some location that has, in essence, their node. What's really worse, sharing a node capable of much higher speeds than your connection or having your bandwidth decay as a function of distance from a single location? Kind of a draw I think.As I said before though, the 101Mbps connection is *inherently* flawed. Think about it. What do most people connect with? From what I can tell, laptops sell the most and these come with 802.11G, a 54Mbps connection. How the heck are you going to get the 101Mbps connection to the Internet if you're only getting 54Mbps within your house? Even worse, I have yet to see traffic over WiFi reach more than ~50%, or about 25-30Mbps. Let's suppose for a moment that you do use this on a desktop with a wired connection to a router. Your router, unless homebuilt with GbE ports, is going to run with 100Mbps cards. And these rarely are capable of handling more than 85-90% throughput, limiting you to 85-90Mbps even in this scenario.So, its with this in mind that I propose the only way to utilize a 101Mbps connection is with a homebuild router (Linux is particularly well suited to this, ClarkConnect for example is what I use), with two or more Gigabit ports, and a Gigabit switch. But this is *only* if the modems Cablevision has include Gigabit ports themselves. If not, you'll never ever see more than 90Mbps out of this, which is inherently flawed and should be criticized. They could just as easily market it as a 1Gbps connection, as long as it has a 100BaseT port on the modem, you'll never see more than 90Mbps.Finally, consider the price. At $100/mo, this is essentially twice as expensive as any other standard cable service. I have Comcast, and get a 16Mbps connection. For this price, I would expect that the nodes have half as many clients as Comcast. This would at a minimum ensure 32Mbps operation, assuming that Cablevision's nodes are as capable as Comcast's.BTW... cable nodes feed into fiber. The actual medium doesn't make a difference, what Verizon was trying to argue against is the topology of cable, which as I said to start with is the same old argument they've had for years. Thus far, I have yet to see my neighbors impact my speeds at any time in the last 8 years so I have serious personal doubts about the validity of such an argument. I would, however, grab FiOS in a heartbeat due to the faster speeds and lack of a data cap (not that I use more than 250GB/mo, simply that I do not support restricted accounts).



    1. Wireless N is commmon now at 150Mb/s
    2. Lots of routers nowadays sport gige
    3. gige is a standard onboard port now, and even the cheap ones are capable of pushing 100+mbit/s
    4. The people who are interested in 100mbit service are also VERY interested in the no-bandwidth-cap thing. Not necessarily because they are going to hit that cap, but because they dont believe in caps, which is a strong motivator.

    Enjoy your dialup services with your speed-boost and 4GB/year caps, as long as you support capped internet you're the thorn in freedom's side. I can saturate a 100mbit connection EASILY with completely legit usage.
  • 0 Hide
    antilycus , May 1, 2009 4:51 PM
    ill be switching if TW or VERIZON cap... regardless if I can get that speed or not. I hold companies responsible for their actions and if I don't agree they wont be getting a penny from me!
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