Friday, June 06, 2008

Broadband: FIOS and the Need for Speed

"For soothe!", say I. When will Comcast finally get FIOS working in my neighborhood?

My colleagues Brean (uh, I mean Bo in Boston) and Joe (in Seattle) already have it and it is sooooooo much better knowing you've got that much bandwidth to play with, particularly given that my day to day tasks require large file transfers.

Right here in Comcast land we're fettered with the best they can come up with at 16-Mbps but thats just the published rate and reality shows that it does vary from 8-Mbps to 12-Mbps (and the only reason I'm getting that is because I pay the monthly $10 premium to get the higher bandwidth tier!).

There's nothing more I can think of to increase my network speed as the really best to wish for is to get true LAN speed via 100-Mbps -- not happening yet. Best I've done as already mentioned is to increase traffic quality via my gigabit network and combine that with a switch. Thats been, and I say it again, miraculous relief for me to get some real work done.

Anyway, that speed bottleneck still appears to be true even if you're using Verizon FIOS as the Actiontec M1424WR router that they bundle now has markings attesting to only 10/100 -- thats not 1000 or Gigabit. Whats going on here?

Truly the M1424WR is a very nice piece of hardware with virtually the same if not more functions than my own setup of a Motorola SBV5220 (Comcast branded that gives me TriplePlay functionality) and D-Link DIR-655 combined. What i still missing is gigabit ethernet connectivity from the pipe instead of "to" the pipe.

A solution seems to be to virtually split the FIOS channels to its components, unbundling it which will of course breaks TriplePlay functionality but may fix many of the network congestion woes. In effect making the M1424WR a network bridge to your own gigabit enabled hardware (and here I still say the DIR-655 rocks but I may settle for having my own Darth Vader Tie Fighter as an alternative in terms of looks).

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