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calendar   Monday - March 28, 2011

Monday Digital butt dragging

Darned if I know why, but my internet is really pokey this morning. I can’t even get to my BMEWS email because the connection is so slow that it keeps timing out.

How slow is it? When things get really bad I stop by one of those speed test pages. The first test gave me 14.5 MB/s. That was to a server less than 40 miles from here. When I connected to the other end of the state, somewhere “down the shore” as we say in NJ (the rest of the planet goes “to the beach”, but not us. And we pay for beach access too, unlike anyone else on the planet), and got 5.5 MB/s. That’s mighty slow for a broadband service that says it gives me 22 MB/s. That’s the old “rated” vs. “actual” thing we’ve all been dealing with since the days of the 1200 Baud modem and the AT command set. But to be fair, most of the time my ISP runs fairly close to the 22 MB/s that I’m paying for. That’s why this morning seems pokey; it’s all relative.

So I was checking out the rest of the speed test page, and they have national and international rankings. Turns out that NJ is actually near the top nationally but the country as a whole lags far behind most of the rest of the world. OK, we’re only slightly behind the UK (10.82 vs 10.79), but quite far behind the EU broadband average of 12.16. I’d make a crack about turtles with a copper wire duct taped to their shells, but we beat the heck of out Africa, which plods along around 1.5. Most of the Far East and quite a number of countries in Europe have actual tested speeds much higher than the USA. Duh, because they are all fairly small countries with large populations with money. They don’t have the wide open empty spaces like we do.

Who provides the fastest internet? According to the speed test page, it’s a German ISP called Kabel Deutschland. Taken as a whole nation, Germany “plods” along at 18.14 MB/s, hardly more than half the average speed of South Korea’s 33.64 MB/s. But when you look at individual cities, Hamburg tops them all, beating out Seoul by two ticks with a 33.49 MB/s. Wow, that’s fast. And it’s only going to get faster. Much faster. Kabel Deutschland is the ISP there, and they have two regular and two high performance internet packages to choose from bundled with telephone service:

Telefon-Flatrate + 32 MBit/s für nur 19,90 € / 1 Monat, 29,90 €/Mon.
Telefon-Flatrate + 100 MBit/s für nur 19,90 € / 1 Monat, 39,90 €/Mon.

Sehr Gut!

Wow. 100 MB/s. That’s really fast. Not sure really what I’d do with speed like that, though KD is using it to push their own On Demand style movie service. Smart move. “If you build it, they will come.” You betcha.

What’s the cost? Well, 39,90 € is $56.20. That seems a bit steep for me. 29,90 € is $42.11 for the slower service that’s almost 50% faster than mine. Considering we pay about $109/mon. ( for bundled cable, 22 MB/s internet, unlimited telephone, no HD, no free DVR, no premium channels, all taxes and fees included), that’s a pretty good deal.

What does cable TV cost in Germany?  I can’t quite figure out how the bundling works, but they do have a all in one package for sale. They give you a free ("gratis zur Nutzung!") 320 GB HD DVR with a 4 channel tuner built in, 100 regular channels, 3 HD channels, and 35 HD Premium channels including Fox and “Lust Pur” (this is Germany after all. Love the icon for that network).  My German is poor, but it looks to me like they also include a Smartcard so you can shop and gamble right from home on your TV set. All this for 20,90 €/Mon with the 1st month free? $29.44??? Nah, I must be reading it wrong. That can’t be the whole 3 piece package, that has to be just the TV when you already have the 100 MB internet. Still though, even if the TV and the ISP/telephone were billed separately, the total is only 60,80 €/Mon ($85.64), which is still a really good deal even if they tack on extra fees and taxes.


Looks like American cable has a bit of catching up to do.



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Gak. It took me 2 minutes to upload that dinky little icon file. Fuggedabowdit, I’m getting off the ‘net until things improve.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/28/2011 at 10:22 AM   
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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