Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Vermont slowing down :-(

Ouuff... this is not good news... from Dave Bradbury at VCET... released its 2008 State Internet Speed Survey findings.....In 2007, Vermont ranked 21st fastest in the US for Internet speeds and in 2008 (drum roll please), we sank to 38th fastest place (or, 12th slowest place in U.S. depending on your outlook). Whether or not these surveys pass statistical muster or not (They seem too), it is still the best survey on Internet speeds that I have come across. And unfortunately, it feels about the right results too.

And folks, here is among the saddest results: Vermont was one of five US States whose median download speed actually declined in the year over year survey. Yup, we got worse along with North Dakota, Minnesota, North Dakota and Hawaii.


Karyn Vogel said...

I wonder what is causing the slowdown?

I spent the day in Brooklyn, NY yesterday where EVERYONE had an iPhone or Blackberry or something of that ilk. People were texting like crazy, sharing photos, making phone calls, etc. There were also little laptops aplenty. My daughter and I felt like cavepeople.

David said...

My current state if connectivity depression and paranoia leads me to suggest that our market size and population density discourages any investment in Vermont and entropy (the tendency for everything to go to hell) takes care of the degradation. We’re behind the broadband redline.

I've maybe mentioned my "frustration" with connectivity in general here in the state in which i live and specifically in our little under 10 houses/mile corner of it. After six months having returned to dialup and banging my head against Adelphia/ Comcast and Verizon/Fairpoint, yesterday i placed an order for a slow, expensive satellite service with so much latency (delay) that It’s barely broadband. I have 6 days to come up with an alternative or sign up for 18 months of dissatisfaction. I can’t blame Direct-TV/Wild Blue/Hughes, two way satellite is like pi$#ing up a rope. I guess I give up, for the next year and a half.

Michael Wood-Lewis said...

People are calling this study into question.

David said...

This started on the Snelling Center Estate Blog
After following the link in Mr. Wood-Lewis’s comment, I’d like to suggest that the use of “people in “People are calling this study into question” might be a bit broad. Let’s look at the claim made by the author Eric Krangel, on ( His headlines are typically inflammatory but his central point is…
But read the fine print: The report, produced by something called Speed Matters, is at best a half-hearted guess at figuring out broadband rates. And at worse, it's something else: An attempt by the Communications Workers of America, which bankrolled the study, to lobby for a "National High-Speed Internet Policy" -- which would presumably include all kinds of work for unionized labor.* […*]We're not reflexively anti-government policy, by the way, nor do we have a problem with unions -- at least not across the board. And like we said, we'd certainly like to hop on the Net at the same speeds they do in, say, Korea. We just appreciate truth in advertising.
The original Bradbury article ( didn’t expose the union connection, it’s true, although the link to the report has CW appended to the file name. In retrospect, I’m not sure that is at all intuitive. I suspect it’s a sin of omission, rather that the sin of commission you seem to be suggesting.
There are three kinds of statistics; lies, damn lies and Internet Stats. Take a look at, I’ve been sending Web students there for years. The stats here are “collected” by widgets on high-traffic web pages. On the Internet, most samples are self-selected. There is a ton of conventional market research (, ) but this begs the question.
Did the corporate-centric Reagan era telcom deregulation environment inhibit the build-out of high-speed? Is the (lack of) competition for wireless and backbone dollars responsibility for the appearance that we lag so far behind the EU, Pacific Rim and (even) the developed African continents. That we allow the very concept of a locked handset and Cable construction pass-alongs to residential customers stuns many? Do the communications workers have a point (separate from Marxism 101) that, without collective outrage, we are destined to check our local population density to see if we are worthy of the network providers’ attention?

Karyn Vogel said...

David, I appreciate your comments. It has been six days...what did you end up doing? And, forgive my ignorance, but what is a locked handset? Is a pass-along the practice of having the customer pay for construction costs to run cable to the house?

David said...

BlueSky, in partnership with Direct-TV will install yet another dish on my house on Thurs. I had to agree to 18 months of service and am paying about $40/mo for 512k shared serviced with hellacious latency such that I couldn’t Skype if I wanted to. The pass-along I referred to is a formula, agreed to by the VT PSB, that allows Comcast to pass the construction costs along to the consumer. I have a quote for $18,000 to install cable at my home. If I, personally, solicit people on my road and sign them to Comcast accounts, the cost to each new subscriber drops dramatically. At 8 new subscribers, I believe installation goes down to about $300.
A locked mobile handset can only be used on the carrier that provides it. A mobile phone has two identifyers; an IMEI (serial number of the device) and the SIM card, which is tied to the mobile account. The US market “allowed” locked phones until recently. As a precondition to participating in the gov’t auction of more (700mHz) wireless frequencies, you had to promise unlock your wireless phone offerings. Verizon had a big announcement to that effect in the last year, which was actually a shell game that Google played and won. Outside of the US, u can (and have been able to) get a mobile phone and switch SIM cards at will. In addition, the feature set (3way calling, online banking, access to vending machines) of a mobile phone is a product of the service provider, rarely the phone. If a phone is unlocked, you can switch to a provider that offers the best feature set at the best price.
Not so much here.