Bandwidth Blues


Here’s something for the gearheads.

At home, we’ve got a permanent Comhem broadband fiber connection offering 10 Mb/s down & up. Its actual performance is about 9 down and 10 up, which is OK. I like to have a swift uplink since I send a lot of large files and keep my data on a DAV server for easy access from the four computers I work with. This, to the majority who have never heard of a DAV server, means that with a slow uplink, it would take a lot of time for me to save my work when I press CTRL-S.

(A funny thing about permanent internet cabling in Swedish apartment houses is that its endpoint is usually installed right inside the front door. This is of course a sign of how new this utility is: nobody would accept to have their electricity, their phone line, their water pipe, their drainpipe or their central heating ending at the front door.)

Glocalnet recently offered me an ADSL connection that would be cheaper than the fiber connection and give us “up to 24” Mb/s down and 1 up. ADSL is a temperamental technology as it relies on the copper lines of the old phone network. Its performance varies both with the distance from your socket to the station and with the length of the cable from the socket to the modem! This means that it’s basically impossible for an ISP to predict what kind of performance you’re going to get. Still, I hoped I might get a doubled download speed (18 Mb/s) for less than I was paying for fiber, so I ordered the service.

Sadly, I got unimpressive bandwidth. Using Bredbandskollen to check, I found that even with a really short phone cable I only got 12 down and 1 up. I’d rather keep paying a bit more and keep my fast uplink. So now I need to extricate myself from the service. I guess nobody actually gets 24 Mb/s from an ADSL connection.

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9 thoughts on “Bandwidth Blues

  1. Here in America my exposure to DSL has been less than amazing as well. It tends to be slow and often unreliable, disconnecting or going down too often for me. In addition, I can remember this one instance where it just could not resolve the URLs or mail servers for the university I was attending, and I think for the week I was using it at that point that my girlfriend and I were the only ones with a problem.
    I don’t see how front door access points are an issue, throw wifi on it, which is cheaper than cable anyway. This would also make service easier, than the back of the bedroom location of my current cable port.


  2. Unfortunately at the moment I am stuck with the choice between ADSL and ComHem, both sucks. Fortunately in one month or so we will have real fiber broadband from STOKAB straight into my house, with a minimum 100 Mbit connection speed.


  3. Where I live a non-profit is slowly glazing the entire city (200 000 people). In another 3 years they expect to have full coverage (they only put fiber in the ground if at least 50% of a neighborhood sign up though). 100 Mbit up/down, only down side is that if you want telephone and HD television it goes over the same glassfiber.


  4. I don’t see how front door access points are an issue, throw wifi on it

    In my apartment the wifi would have to go on the shoe shelf then… and if the walls are thick, that placement might not be optimal.

    The problem with Glocalnet is that they are liars. I’m striking back by sharing the wifi with a neighbour. I just managed to get a wireless router to not be a router so that it’ll play nice with my ADSL router.


  5. I’ve got both ComHem and BBB ADSL here. I mainly use Comhem for P2P and BBB for work (I do most of my work from home). Comhem is easily better bulk-bandwidth-wise, at least when it comes to p2p. But the BBB connection is much quicker otherwise. Shorter turnaround-times, pings and so on, and much more reliable, in spite of our flat being almost as far away from the actual connection central (POP/call what you like) as is possible with ADSL.
    Since a few hours of downtime could easily eat up a considerable amount of my monthly income – in worst case, I choose to have two connections.


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