The Internet Myth: Connection Quality and Speed (Europe vs US) *spawn*

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by joker454, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. joker454

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    Are you sure this is still the case? Look at what happened when xb1's drm came to light, we suddenly found out that most people in Europe don't have reliable internet, forums got flooded with people saying that. Maybe our peak internet speeds here in the USA aren't as fast as the peaks in Europe, but judging from peoples endless posts about internet breakdowns it seems that European internet isn't very reliable at all. Maybe our internet here in the USA is better than people give it credit for, heck I've been using broadband here since 1996 and it's been very reliable.
     
  2. 3dilettante

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    Broadband service isn't uniform across Europe, there are a number of markets with tales of woe that sound like they could come from an American location.

    The reverse interpretation is that Europe's average service is better relative to the US, but in many places still objectively poor.
    The US as a whole does not set a very high bar, so saying a bat to the shin is better than a crowbar to the genitals doesn't make it a good thing.
     
  3. joker454

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    Is that the case though? Common perception has been Europe good, USA bad when it comes to internet. If Europe on average was better relative to the USA then it certainly didn't reflect itself in forum postings which seemed to have Europeans en masse complaining about poor internet. Didn't you find that very surprising? I sure did, as I always thought Europeans had good internet and now I come to find it may be worse that what we have here. To add to that pile were the additional constant posts of limited bandwidth on European internet, with people wondering if their monthly limits would get overwhelmed. I've never had any such limits here in the USA in over 20 years. That kind of makes me wonder, what's the point of "faster" internet in Europe if you can't use it?


    I dunno, it seems like the big cities here in the USA do well for internet, I don't remember ever being in one and not having access to it. There is much rural land here though that has limited internet and/or no internet at all, that may be what skews the data to make the country as a whole look weak.
     
  4. 3dilettante

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    My perception is that the richer parts Europe is better than the US.
    Most of the gripes I've seen contrast the connectivity with the likes of South Korea as being the gold standard.

    The line of argumentation was that Xbox One's connection-constrained functionality might be acceptable if the whole world were like South Korea, if that. I saw a fair number of negative anecdotes about parts of the UK and poorer countries in the EU.
    That they aren't good enough for connection-constrained consoles doesn't mean they can't be better than the US.

    You may have also been in a market where the local monopoly or duopoly wasn't ripping people off, skimping on data trunks or traffic shaping, or cared about uptime. A lot of localities have a choice between unacceptable connectivity and a broadband provider that knows they have no choice, with service and services that match that understanding.
     
  5. joker454

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    I'm talking more specifically about reports of frequent outages and/or bandwidth limits. You didn't hear as many complaints USA side about how their internet goes down every few hours or that they can only download 10GB/mt, etc. That's what I found starting, and where it made me wonder if perception matched reality. If it's only the rich areas in Europe that don't have those issues then I don't see why their internet is perceived to be better than ours. That's not the case here, I don't live in a rich area yet I have 300mbps internet available to me if I wanted it, and it works day in day out with no monthly bandwidth limits.


    It was a monopoly in the 90s when I was in Austin Texas, and likewise when I was in Bellevue Washington in the early 00's. Pricing was fine in both areas. In LA I have more than one option but it's a much larger city so I guess that's no surprise there, plus there's more competition now as well. Ultimately I don't have to live in a rich area to get good internet here, but if you have to live in a rich area in Europe to get good internet then I don't see that as being better than what we have here. It would also explain why xb1's required internet was viewed with such hostility there, if you have to be rich to have reliable internet then I can see why people would be pissed.
     
  6. 3dilettante

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    It could also be that there's some geographic tunnel vision involved. The popular consciousness of Europe in the US tends to focus on the more prominent members of Western Europe, although as before I have heard some localized complaints about some pretty bad setup in parts of the UK.

    It is also possible that the perception that Microsoft was thinking along those lines when it outlined the European countries that would get the Xbox One at launch fed into regional or national resentments.
     
  7. Shifty Geezer

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    Have you any metrics to back that up, or are you basing your evaluation on the world's internet on a vocal forum population? Did you note down every person who complained and where they're from, so you actually have a record of the population breakdown and whether it's lots of different people or just the same people posting lots? And have you compared that to the breakdown of forum population by territory to see if the number of complainants exceeds the relative proportion of EU members? What about how many from a territory complained about poor internet and downtime versus members from that same territory who claimed no such issues?
     
  8. joker454

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    I'm basing one internet perception against another, nothing more. Simply put the common internet perception is that internet in Europe is far ahead of what he have here in the USA. If true then that does not jive with the other internet perception that of people not having reliable internet connections and/or bandwidth restrictions in Europe. So which is it? Both cannot be "accepted facts". If the perceived "fact" of Europe's superior internet keeps coming up in threads as it often does, then I have to ask why then is it perceived as so superior when it's unreliable and bandwidth limited as is also lately coming up as perceived "fact".
     
  9. BoardBonobo

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    You can download the Akamai state of the internet report. It makes for pretty grim reading and I don't understand how any company believes that trying to tie a product to a digital only stream is a good or workable idea. At least in this decade or so.
     
  10. Shifty Geezer

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    Which is illogical (not least because, unless you measured that population, you're going by a subjective observation). You aren't performing any actual analysis on that information. You're going by, "people grumbled about unreliable internet when MS wanted always online," without actually looking at who said what when and whether that was accurate or not. Then you sample 'common internet perception' without sources and without corroborating how that relates to the voices of the complainers. Or in simple terms, you are grumbling about those who protested about lack of internet quality, calling them 'liars' effectively, and treating Europe as a single, contingent market with a uniform infrastructure that is measurably superior/inferior to the USA to form your argument.

    How's about those people that complained were the vocal minority from some parts of Europe where infrastructure isn't great who had legitimate concerns, but continental Europe on average has greater average internet BW and uptime than the US?

    If you want to know whether the European internet infrastructure is in a better state than the US's, you should be reading up real investigations on actual internet data, rather than going by 'what people say on the internet' - I'm honestly surprised you of all people need reminding of this! ;)
     
  11. joker454

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    ...which would counter what is said here on this very forum, which is exactly my point! Stuff gets said here that is countered by official reports/data, so those kinds of "We All Know" type comments are what I wish would get eviscerated.

    I know the state of the internet, there's a million reports on it out there. What I'd like to know is why that data doesn't filter through to this forum and/or why that data doesn't get accounted for here. Yes I was partly playing devils advocate, and no I don't believe that Europeans don't have reliable internet as is so often claimed here by others to make a point. Nor do I believe that Europe's internet is far beyond what is available in the USA. Most of the articles that claim USA is behind always point to South Korea to make their example, not Europe. Depending on the article you read, typical data points to ~70% of Americans having broadband compared to 72% of Europeans, the difference is not that huge (South Korea is in the ~90% range). Going further, only ~2% or so of Europeans have ultra fast broadband and growth is slow there, compared to USA where that segment is growing faster.

    So when someone says blah blah I hate drm because internet in Europe is unreliable, sorry I don't believe it. Likewise if someone says blah blah internet in Europe is far superior to internet in the USA, likewise I don't believe it. Yet you will find those types of comments all over this forum go largely unchallenged.
     
  12. wco81

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    You can Google the OECD surveys.

    Also in one of these threads, I think info by one of the CDNs -- might have been Akamai -- was posted.
     
  13. Gubbi

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    What do you consider grim ?

    Over a billion users on Akamai with an average connection speed of 2.9Mbps in 2012 Q4.

    Cheers
     
  14. Cyan

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    I live in a rural area in Europe -the village I live has 40 inhabitants in a regular basis, a lot more during the summer- and while the speed isn't that great -6MB- I used this Internet connection for a few years without inherent problems in the line on a rolling average, and very occasional brief down times. My options aren't limited as far as Internet goes.

    It is semi average although slightly slow for upload. I could paid more due to better speeds if I wanted to, but I am moving relatively soon, so what's the point.

    What bothers me the most about the Internet connection here is the occasional storm.

    The problem for me would be having an "always online" only console, and I think this feeling of insecurity is going to die with me til the day the power lines can be used to provide internet services too. :eek:

    At least for me then, the always online gadgets would become 100% acceptable.

    I'd love to try satellite, which they say is not dependable in stormy weather and the only problem is that it can have the rare brief down time.

    Personally I can tell you that it's a small price to pay for the freedom of not living in the city.
     
  15. dagamer

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    Microsoft set up their entire product system around the fact that Internet sucks in most places. Why do you think they were still going to have disc distribution? I'd say most places have occasional Internet access, and no one has every proposed a required constantly connected system.
     
  16. Billy Idol

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    One of the B3D posters (can't remember his name atm, sorry) was angry about the DRM change because he could not use discs anymore to feed the digital library. When asked about why not just download the game, he said that he has a monthly bandwidth cap and downloading just 1-2 big games could be to much. He also said, that this is the norm in the US.

    So I am just curious and have a question to our fellow US-B3Ders: is this really common? Do you have bandwidth caps for you high speed internet? To be honest, I can't really believe it.
     
  17. dagamer

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    Comcast has a download cap which has been temporarily suspended. It used to be 250GB, I regularly download more than 1.5TB a month from various TV shows.
     
  18. Rangers

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    Sometimes caps exist, but ask yourself, did netflix and YT become ubiquitous?

    There's your answer whether it matters.

    Mine was 250GB (maybe more now). That would only become an issue after downloading, if we assume average of 20GB each next gen, maybe 8 or so full size games a month. I think that'll hold me.

    Somebody will bring up Uncharted 3 here, but that strikes me as terribly optimized, downright lazy. Crysis games that look way better take like 9GB on PC. Google tells me Crysis 3 (next gen level graphics) takes as little as 10GB. I think as digital gets bigger, devs will optimize out some low hanging fruit too, and average game sizes may get even smaller.

    I've seen in the past caps down to 80GB, but it's generally the lower your speed the lower the cap. 80GB was probably slow DSL. Gamers wont likely have that connection to begin with.

    Even the caps are soft. In my case, if you go over (Ive never come close, but I remember reading the policy) they just send you stern warning letters, for who knows how long :lol: And it might also be like on my phone plan, where if you exceed you get charged a quite reasonable amount for each excess bandwidth, which strikes me as reasonable. It is not like they ever stop your connection (at least in regards to my phone cap)

    What shocks me is how behind Europe was getting 4G.
     
  19. Shifty Geezer

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    This thread is business discussion, not 'what's wrong with some posters'.

    You can't argue against personal experience. If someone reports downtimes, either they're lying or its true, but there's little way to prove it. All one can and should do is present hard evidence, real data, showing the state of the internet to prove a point (either way). eg. Average downtime in Europe is 3 hours a year according to report xxx. That's then indisputable, but won't be enough to change some people's view.
     
  20. tcrews

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    No bandwidth caps on Time Warner Cable's service. 30 Mbps down, 2 Mbps up, South East (coast) US.

    Choices of DSL, Cable and some areas FIOS.
     
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