Telco Switcheroo

I shake up the Telco providers for my various services every few years. For purposes which should be obvious, this is done to ensure you’re receiving up-to-date equipment & saving money with promotional deals.

Most recently I’d received a new promotion from Comcast which keeps the rate constant at 99 USD for Preferred TV w HBO and Extreme Internet (currently 105 Mbps Down) for two years. Add two receivers and 11 percent Communications tax in Miami-Dade County and that’s around $130.

Ultimately, the concern here is that the single RG6 line which runs from Comcast’s neighborhood node to my house will be overloaded once HDTV begins transmitting over it. RG6 has a theoretical throughput of up to 10 Gbps. However, because the lines are split, spliced, and coupled multiple times, that throughput to the house isn’t guaranteed. Every setup is unique including the neighborhood and municipal layout of fiber lines. It seems there exists the potential for there to be noticeably increased latency due to a bottleneck. Again this would depend on how much throughput the line to house is carrying.

How would loading up both internet and digital TV on the same coaxial RG-6 affect performance?

My prior setup comprised a Comcast line directly for internet, and Dish TV over other lines. The Internet bill has been remained consistently low due primarily to repeated talks with Comcast retention agents at the expiration of the “promotional” rate. The truth is Comcast is still making a hefty profit on accounts that are paying reduced rates. Regular rates just produce more wads of telecom profit. Maintenance costs on their main fiber optical lines are minimal and consumer setups and repairs are frequently subcontracted out. Even with record growth and profits, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to get these promotional rates. It is becoming more of hassle than it’s worth.

Regarding the bandwidth on the copper running to the house, I could call and ask. Regardless of what any consumer-facing Comcast representative would have spewed, the question remains. How would they possibly know?

ONE WEEK IN: INFRASTRUCTURE WOES

The copper seems able to perform as adveryised while handling the additional load. I’m rather unimpressed with the speed and quality of the processors on the companion TV boxes, but that is the case across all TV providers. My main concern was internet quality and while the neighborhood copper can handle the additional load, it seems as though other infrastructure needs to be upgraded. Specifically, my two routers are unable to push 100 Mbps despite being advertised as such. They max out at 70 Mbps down, wired, and 40 Mbps down over wireless .11n, 5 gHZ. Band. An unanticipated event, albeit unsurprising. What I’m internally debating right now is which type of system to put in. Should I just add Gigabit switches before each router? .11ac routers on both ends? Campus access points?

Campus access points are the ideal as they allow for one unified network. Putting routers in repeating mode cuts the speed in half. The options get more and more expensive as the ideal layout is formulated. Sighs…

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

Definitely a decent option which saves about $1K over two years. The unburdening of several rate negotiations with Comcast reps is also a huge plus.

Advertisements