Thursday, July 28, 2016

Acceptable Internet Speeds in 2016

Subject: How fast is fast enough?

Why are Internet Speeds Important?
Because in 2016, apart from my surfing, and Internet research.  I use the internet for:

- Program/ Application Downloads
- Media Downloads
- All our Television and Radio
- Banking and Finance
- All our Telephone connections
- All Social Media and Video Calls
- All our Mail Order
- Deliver at home Food shopping

Quite simply, without a sufficiently strong Internet connection our quality of life is diminished.  It is a necessary but not sufficient condition of living in 2016 and beyond.

We always check!
Marcus is currently soul searching looking for a new place to live.  The above is one potential candidate.  It needs a bit of work!

But no amount of work will improve the Mobile Internet or that provided (in the UK) by BT, which in some cases is less than 0.5 Megabits/second.  In 2016

At the above property

 A property in Lostwithiel

At a Motorhome campsite in Fareham!!

Really Boasting
We do not often boast, but for over 12 months now, at home in Switzerland, we have one of the fastest Internet connections on the planet. I can't disclose the actual speed, but let us just say that even our upload Bandwidth is a 4 digit number, in Megabits/second, and that is bloody fast.  Even our backup Internet is 80 MegaBits/second :-)

The famous comparison
Marcus used to work in Eastern Europe in a Manufacturing environment.  Though only about 10 years ago I've just calculated that the entire factory Internet connect, which served a factory with over 1000 people,  was over 500 times slower than our current Swiss Internet connection.  Absolutely bonkers don't you think!

Realistically, if Marcus and Agata move back to the UK or choose a more rural setting we think we may never again, or certainly not within the next 10 years have as fast a home Internet connection as we do today [in Switzerland]

UK Comparison
Yesterday whilst out cycling in England I spied a BT (British Telecom) Engineer wiring a Telecoms cabinet.  I learnt:

- In England,  Fibre Internet only reaches the street wiring cabinet
- There is NO,  repeat NO fibre to the door
- Rather the last leg from the wiring cabinet to your home is over Copper  (not Fibre)
- So the Max speed you can expect is about 80 Mb/sec  Megabits/second
- By comparison, In Switzerland, Lausanne, I can reliably get 80 Mb/second over 4G mobile and upto 100 Mb/sec on a good day
- So moving back to England would mean a reduction of over 10 times in Internet speed.   So depressing.

So how fast is fast enough?
To be able to comfortably surf, download GB sized files of code and media, in say less than 1 hour,  concurrently run a web server, and say a work VPN connection.  I'd say

30 Megabits per second speed down
10 MegaBits per second up
<100ms latency to a Backbone Internet Connection
1TB per month or greater download and upload allowance  (ideally unlimited)