Originally Posted by Mikef5
If you have a problem with cable and what they provide
It is this sort of ignorant and short-sighted reading that is precisely the problem. Nowhere did I suggest this was the case.
I have a problem with cable users not understanding fundamental technologies and with people predicting failure without any sort of coherent support for such a claim. It's ignorant, stupid, baseless FUD and propaganda.
You are not willing to listen to anything that I or anyone else will say, it's obvious to me that you have already made up your mind.
On the contrary, in your obvious zeal to knock yourself down defending cable, you simply failed to notice the content of the discussion and that no type of service, nor any single provider, was highlighted by myself as being superior to the others.
You claim that you perceive an obvious bias, but this is simply not the case. Responding to a claim with counterexamples does not mean that anyone is advocating the other side; saying "you're wrong" does not imply that the other side is "right".
Read what your responses were and tell me you are unbiased and don't have an agenda.
I do not. It's called equalization--no type of service is so clearly superior to the others that it can be defended above all others. It's your own bias you're responding to and nothing else. Cable providers are facing enormous problems, just as DSS and IPTV likewise have deficiencies. What cable advocates like you have, however, is a demonstrated lack of understanding of the technology behind the others and a bizarre tendency to get your feathers ruffled over nothing.
My original post on the subject quite simply and plainly suggested that predicting the doom of a relatively new service with unsubstantiated criticisms when the very cause
of creation and the ongoing momentum
behind them is deficiency in cable providers is mistaken. Then some high profile cable zealots decided to get all riled up and roll out the FUD machine.
Originally Posted by raghu1111
What is the cheapest AT&T Internet plans that gives above 1Mbps upstream and minimum 6Mbps down, without requiring a phone line?
You'll have to check with AT&T for that. None of the U-verse services requires a phone line. Visiting their website, it appears that they offer such a service for $35 in my area.
Does bandwidth still depend on 'distance from the exchange' or is it guaranteed for all?
Service depends on distance as with all systems (copper, cable, fiber), but Internet bandwidth without TV service is available to a minimum of 18Mbps wherever VDSL service is offered, since the absolute minimum sync rate offered by AT&T is 19Mbps, and up to ~90Mbps on copper single pair. FTTP installations, where available, including some AT&T and most Verizon service areas, offer at least an order of magnitude better capacity on the physical layer (but for now and the near future, no service provider is going past about 75Mbps sync rates, so the key benefit to fiber is not its available capacity per se, but rather the benefit of only having to upgrade once instead of incrementally as with AT&T).
Coax, in comparison, offers 38-150 Mbps for data (out of 1.2-1.8Gbps total on RG6) depending on whether DOCSIS 2 or 3 is deployed. Future capacity could be extended to 300+, at the expense of QAM and analog slots. But this all traces back to a hub shared by 200-1000 customers, so even with a 150Mbps DOCSIS 3.0 connection, if 150 users try to use their connections simultaneously, only 1Mbps is available to them, regardless of their account type (though obviously this is a rare occurrence). The only way to improve this performance is to reduce the number of customers sharing a single node. That's why cable companies want to squeeze out their analog channels--that way, they can reduce data load without spending money on replacing TV infrastructure and physical plant. This is also why they are so concerned about "campers"--using the service nearly 24/7, which effectively reduces total available bandwidth and makes congestion events much more common than they used to be.
The way the system is designed, if dedicated bandwidth were offered, it would sync up at 10Mbps on a light node--barely enough for broadband, let alone television. So while it's true that copper twisted pair is pretty limited, so is coax thanks to cable oversubscription and hence why cable companies can't simply switch to packet-based television delivery without running a huge amount of new wire. But they also can't allocate any additional space to television, so cable can't go all-HD. This is why all Comcast HD channel additions come at the expense of picture quality and why they have a bigger on demand selection than other delivery types--there's simply no more room for broadcast channels and they have no choice but to try to get people watching on demand programming (but not too many people at once, because there's a finite number of on demand slots in each node, too).
They're boxed in, in other words, by being a shared service. 30 years ago, it was a huge advantage for TV delivery because of signal quality. They could offer up to 600 analog channels. 15 years ago, they had a huge advantage in Internet delivery, since they had unused space to deliver a fat pipe when ADSL was a new technology. Both of those advantages are now limitations.
AT&T is boxed in, too, since it can only reach customers in a limited distance, but they have a more flexible infrastructure because they were forced to invest in one. U-verse in particular is quite flexible. Installed over fiber or copper to the home, it links up to a fiber backbone offering massive bandwidth (and typically fairly high percentages of "dark" fiber in the bundle for future expansion). Copper pair to the premises can be replaced by homeowners and communities with fiber, or they can employ pair bonding to extend some combination of range and sync rates (by using two sets of phone pairs, they can nearly double the service distance or nearly double the sync rates). Most current customers have 25Mbps dedicated lines with max possible rates from 40 to 75Mbps available for future expansion on POTS.
Verizon's approach is a little different. They take fiber all the way to the premises in nearly all cases, which means they don't have to worry about any incremental upgrades to the last segment. However, fiber is not currently necessary to carry their existing and planned services, so it imposes higher rollout costs and a different kind of range limiting compared to AT&T.
The simple fact remains, though, that it's cable's infrastructure that is least future-ready, because it is a community asset with limited bandwidth shared by too many users to deliver future increases in HD and high-bandwidth broadband applications without massive overhaul. DOCSIS 3.0 is a stopgap for the Internet side, and eliminating the analog tier is a stopgap for TV service, but that's the end of the line without something radical and truly innovative.
To say AT&T's cardinal sin was not investing in FTTP is to highlight cable's more egregious problem with its physical plant. To say AT&T will fail because of it necessarily implies that cable will, too--and neither is true.