Broadband - how slow is 'slow enough to cancel'?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by whooleytoo, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    A while back I upgraded my broadband package from a good (but expensive) 24Mbps/1Mbps no contention DSL service, to cheaper 30Mbps/3Mbps "no contention" cable modem.

    The cable modem company doesn't have a good name, but 30 down, 3 up is pretty good, and when the sales rep said it was a "no contention service" and said if I went for the 15Mbps I'd never get less than 14Mbps (I actually laughed on the phone when she said that), I said I'd try it.

    Back on planet reality, when downloading (say, an SDK from I get 6-8Mbps with the new service, where I used to get 18-20Mbps with the old. They asked me to try a speed test site, however that is hosted by the cable company themselves. That showed speeds of 19Mbps - but I never see that kind of speed.

    Is 8Mbps bad enough to cancel, within the duration of the contract? The alternative is I could ask to get the 100Mbps service for the existing price - I might actually get my 30Mbps if I had that! :p
  2. karsten macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2010
    first off go to and use their speed test. don't rely on an internal one for the company. if you're only getting 8 out of 30 paid for I'd seriously complain and possibly quit you're getting ripped off pretty badly. is this speed only at certain times of the day (like 5-6pm?) do you ever get the advertised speed at any time of the day?
  3. whooleytoo thread starter macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    I usually only use it late (work long hours) so from 10pm onwards, and the speed is fairly consistent. Never lower than 6Mbps from any fast site, at the very most 12Mbps, but that's rare.

    Most people I've talked to have been happy with their broadband service (though they hate their cable TV); but I guess I'm coming from a better service so my expectations were higher. I certainly didn't expect a 30Mbps service to be so much slower than a 24Mbps.
  4. IzzyJG99 macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2007
    Yeah, I had a drop in my download speeds. I use Brighthouse. Cable guy came out and told me "Let's see what your speed is." He tells me to go to one of "their" servers. Which is only 25 miles away. So of course the speed comes out amazingly fast. I was like "...Yeah, no. I'm going to do my own speed test." Which came out deplorably below 1 megabit. The guy was like "Oh, I'll have to get the internet guy out here." Why didn't they send the internet guy out first? Lol. I made them install a dedicated line from the house to the node at the curb just for the cable modem after I hinted at calling AT&T and seeing if "I could possibly be one of the first to get their new broadband." All is well now.
  5. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Cable modem speed is shared with your neighbors. DSL is not.

    Cheaper services are typically slower.
  6. Amdahl macrumors 65816

    Jul 28, 2004
    I wouldn't consider it slow enough to cancel on the principle alone. If the speed actually is that relevant to what you are doing, then switch back to the faster one.

    Reality is that the whole Internet has 'contention.' There is no such thing as 'no contention' packet services. If you need 'no contention,' lease a fiber line from point A (you) to point B (your work place?). Otherwise, contention is reality. And that means that varying speeds to different sites are reality. The speed label on the service is the top speed it should be capable of. That means the ISP using their own speed test server is perfectly legitimate, to make sure the last mile is running as expected.

    However, if their backbone connections are all so overloaded that you can't get anywhere close to the labeled speed to known-fast sites, then that would be the type of service I would cancel on principle. But being outside the USA, you do have to factor in the connectivity in your country to various sites, and whether they can be expected to be fast in the first place.

    My opinion is that people are spoiled; the whole "instant global communication for a low price"-thing is a darn miracle!
  7. xlii macrumors 68000


    Sep 19, 2006
    Millis, Massachusetts
    I had a cable modem that was about 8 years old and was getting download speeds of 5 - 6 Mb/s. I went out and got a new Doscis 3.0 modem and my download speed as measured by went to 30+ Mb/s. Something to consider if you are using an antique cable modem.

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