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German Cable ISP First To Deliver 4700Mbps Internet Connection 121

Mark.JUK writes "It's enough to make grown IT workers cry. German cable operator Kabel Deutschland claims to have become the first provider to successfully achieve a real-world internet connection speed of 4700Mbps (Megabits per second) after they hooked up to a local school's test account in the city of Schwerin. The ISP, which usually delivers more modest speeds of up to 100Mbps to home subscribers, used its upgraded 862MHz network, channel bonding, and the EuroDocsis 3.0 standard to achieve the stated performance. But don't expect to get this kind of speed tomorrow; right now there's no demand for it among home users, and you probably couldn't afford the bandwidth anyway." ("No demand at its current price," at least.)
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German Cable ISP First To Deliver 4700Mbps Internet Connection

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  • by ( 2589739 ) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @08:57AM (#40165487)

    They used 12 modems and thus 12 seperate channels which means in reality, they only transmitted about 400mbit per "subscriber" (cable).

    While this is nifty, Kabel Deutschland subscribers' bandwith is often shared, which means at peak time you don't even get 30 of the promised 100mbit. In addition to that, they slow you down after a 10gb quota/day. And in addition to that, they often throttle certain protocols, namely torrent.

    This is one of the worst ISP in Germany who just made a totally useless world record.

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @09:12AM (#40165601) Journal
      These 'ISP record' attempts are doubly pointless(in addition to the fact that they never indicate the slightest enthusiasm to actually offer something even approaching that speed, at any reasonable price, to any of their customers) because they typically are markedly slower than the already-standard high-speed interconnects that tie more central sites together.

      If you are going to play pure speed-racer games, it really makes more sense to just have a set of categories based on medium(eg. 1km legacy POTS copper, 1km legacy coax, 1km single-mode fiber, 10km of each, etc.) There are real engineering challenges, and nontrivial advances, in the ability to shove more data over a link of a given nastiness; but 'records' based on unrealistic location stunts are just pointless(Telco B could just pull some fiber to a convenient school tomorrow and pull off a 'first-to-deliver 10,000mbps internet connection! and Telco C could just pull a few more strands and deliver twice that, and so on).

      If you want to boast about how cool an ISP you are, you need speed, breadth, and price. If you want to boast about your super-sneaky transmission methods, just tell us about the medium, the distance, and the bitrate; but this nonsense is a pure stunt.
    • Unfortunately, this is true worldwide
      For example I pay 1399 INR for a 4mbps ADSL connection in India (25$ approx).
      However, monthly quota is 30GB, after which you get throttled to 256kbps

      Some countries have 200-300GB quotas as the norm, while people like us are at 30GB.

      The 20$ plan from the same ISP gives you around 10GB/month quota.
      I expect the problem to get worse in the future.

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        Prices here in Norway:
        Uncapped 5 Mbps ADSL: Around $50
        Uncapped 60/60 fiber: Around $90

        Okay quite a bit more than you're paying but Norway is in general an extremely expensive country overall, an average full time salary is $75k so by our standards it's cheap. And I once downloaded a 500GB torrent, it really is uncapped. And this country has a population density of 13/km^2 as opposed to India with 368/km^2, delivering broadband there should be much much cheaper. I honestly wouldn't worry it seems mostly like

      • I get 500gig here in Australia, but I am paying 3 times the amount you are.

    • Even if it had been one modem and line, being able to use multiple channels for downstream and upstream traffic was pretty much the point of DOCSIS 3.0. Assuming the network itself has the bandwidth, getting higher speeds is really just a matter of using more lanes - for 4700 Mbps down, I think that'd be around 90. It'd be cool and all, but raising the max bandwidth of a DOCSIS 3.0 device doesn't really take much other than network capacity and a modem that will use that many channels - channel bonding isn'
    • by Bengie ( 1121981 ) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @09:19AM (#40165655)

      subscribers' bandwith is often shared

      All ISPs are shared at some level. I'm assuming you mean the node bandwidth is shared/over-subscribed?

      They used 12 modems and thus 12 seperate channels

      Many modems can bond up to 8 virtual channels on the down stream. As far as we know, it could have been anywhere from 1-8 8mhz channels per modem. Even with a single 8mhz channel, DOCSIS3 can bond 8 virtual CDMA channels for a combined bandwidth of 8X50Mb/s=~400Mb/s (EuroDocsis). DOCSIS3 has no limitation on how many channels may be bonded, but I'm not sure of any modem that supports more than 8 right now.

      Still cheaper/simpler to use fiber, but cable can manage some crazy high speeds if you throw enough tech/money at it.

    • by AngryDeuce ( 2205124 ) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @09:40AM (#40165821)

      While this is nifty, Kabel Deutschland subscribers' bandwith is often shared, which means at peak time you don't even get 30 of the promised 100mbit.

      Still better than what I am pulling down during peak times here in Wisconsin. I pay for 25 Mbit and the only time I ever seem to be able to get it is when I'm running Charter's speed test on their web site at the behest of the CS people when I call to complain (how convenient, am I right?). Any other time, my 25 Mbit connection tops out at 12, and that's off-peak. Between 5PM-9PM, I'm lucky to pull down 3 Mbit and usually have

      The last Charter tech that came out to my house (and I have them out at least once a year for service issues) told me to my face that my node was way over-saturated (due to the high volume of apartment communities in this area, there are 300 units in my complex alone and there are a dozen complexes along this street) but Charter doesn't upgrade their shit until enough people start dropping the service to make it worth their while. I guess QoS means jack shit to them...I know, surprise, surprise. Still, it's irritating because my only other choice is shit-tier DSL and from what other residents have told me, the phone lines in this building are piss-poor, too.

      God what I would give for some real competition in this area. I imagine our Charter issues would evaporate virtually overnight...

      • I lived in an apartment with shitty wiring, makes for some very frustrating DSL experience. Since I was at the perimeter of the complex and near the junction box the tech was able to work some voodoo magic and get my 3Mbps connection to work at at least 2...
        I have always wondered why an apartment wouldn't pay for a fast connection then resell to the residents (or use it as a perk). Mine had close to 300 units, they could have made a killing by just slightly undercutting DSL/Cable internet fees.

        • I actually lived in a new apartment building for a while. I moved in on the first day it was available to move in. They actually wired the apartments specifically for internet. Fiber to each apartment, nice switch panel that allowed a router in one room to provide internet to the entire apt etc. It was pretty nice. I moved... mostly because it was in New Jersey and living in Manhattan is so much cooler.
      • That sounds like the sort of thing you'd forward along to the town hall. The utilities might not care about you, but they do care about upsetting the government.

      • That is capitalism for you; everything is margins, and margins are dependent on costs. Aside from well known premium brands that can charge high price (e.g. Apple) everyone makes money by trying to provide the absolute worst serivce that won't make you jump ship and take another supplier.
      • by negge ( 1392513 )

        While I'm in no way surprised, I'm sorry to hear about the state of over-saturation in your area. I Just wanted to share a recent experience regarding these things.

        I'm currently on a 200/10 Mbit/s cable connection. Previously it would max out at around 10.5Mbit/s pretty constantly, so I had set my QoS settings to regard that as the maximum upstream bitrate. Suddenly a few weeks ago I noticed the packet queue grew way out of size and started dropping packets. I kept raising the max bitrate until I reached 12

    • 4700mbps = 587.5MBps
      10GB = 10240MB

      10240MB / 587.5MBps = 17.4s

      17.4 seconds a day. you could use that magical connection for seventeen seconds a day.

      sounds like the worst superpower on earth. can you imagine if the flash could run really fast for 17 seconds per day? superman could fly for seventeen seconds per day? it's like the megalixer you never use in a video game cause "what if i need it for the next fight?!"

      • I'd love to run as fast as the Flash for 17 seconds a day. Doesn't sound like a lot, but if you can move that fast, it's plenty of time.
    • I don't get quota but 10gb a day and then slow is better than some.

      Personally it should be 2-3gb an hour and then slow for an hour. That will cut on torrents but still allow multiple streaming movies.

      Of course torrents can handle the slow downs.

  • by Camaro ( 13996 ) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @09:00AM (#40165511)

    It brings a tear to my eye to see the "modest" and "100Mbit" used in the same sentence. Yes, I realize that compared to 4700Mbit it is but I just got upgraded to 5Mbit so I still think you're insensitive clods!

    And yeah, I'm sure I could find a use for 4700Mbit.

    • Hell I'd be happy with 100Mbps. I'm in on e of the better connected cities in the US and I can only affordably get 12/6 ADSL. I could get 20/10, DOCIS but the cable company is known to be not good (Comcast).
      What I want shouldn't be hard to do:
      no BW caps, 20/20, metered usage on bulk BW rates. My Colo ISP provides this to me, and I pay $0.04/TB of BW. For residential I'd happily pay 25% more... Hell I'd be willing to bay several times that more, say $1.00/TB. Now, to be fair I also pay for a peering po

      • by Creepy ( 93888 )

        yeah - Comcast is OK if you get Cable and internet, and I can get 20/10 DOCIS as well but I had issues with their fees - for instance, if you just want internet they tack on a $10 fee, and I refuse to get their cable service ever again. I had a lot of issues with their network being oversaturated between about 3PM and 9PM at night and getting horrible ping and data rates, as well, but that was before they added a significant fiber upgrade to the area. When I switched they also wanted $10 more for basic TV H

      • 12/6? Luxury! I have 10/0.7. The upstream is so anemic that it can barely acknowledge the data coming in. One machine seeding at 50 KB/s cuts everybody else's download speed in half.
  • by Max Romantschuk ( 132276 ) <> on Thursday May 31, 2012 @09:01AM (#40165517) Homepage

    I have a 200Mbps connection at home, and for now it's fine for, well, everything. But it's really hard to tell what kind of speeds will be useful in the future. Let's imagine a virtual tailor service... Assume that you could go online, image yourself with a high res 3D webcam, and order custom clothes, complete with a virtual mirror to try them on. I'm guessing my 200Mbps connection would fall short at that point.

    This is the kind of chicken and egg problem we have with broadband right now. The next generation of online services can't be profitable because the infrastructure isn't there, and at the same time there is "no demand" for really high speed connections, since there are no services that need them.

    But at least one can stay positive and hope for cool sci-fi tech, right? ;)

    • I'll re-iterate the AC on this one.
      Where do you live?

      I am (possibly) looking to move in the future, and my choice of location is dictated by the following criteria:
      *Sane legal system (I'm in the US now, so we'll use the due process portion as our comparison of sane).
      *Reasonable weather.
      *Cheap and fast BW to the home.
      *English as a recognized language (Let's face it, I'm a [stereotypical] Yank, and never did well learning a foreign language) .

      I've actually been looking at the Isle of Man or Iceland, the latte

      • Like some pointed out, Finland.

        Unfortunately moving here is not a trivial process, and the language is a huge hurdle. But I do love it, personally. Still, there are a lot of other good options too. :)

    • Let's imagine a virtual tailor service... Assume that you could go online, image yourself with a high res 3D webcam, and order custom clothes, complete with a virtual mirror to try them on. I'm guessing my 200Mbps connection would fall short at that point.

      Bad example: in the future, when 200Mbps connections are affordable for everyone, no one would require a tailor since everybody will pass their time in their basement, in underwear, enjoying their connection...

    • I'm pretty sure the virtual tailor service thing could be done quite easily with less than 200 Mbps.

      Take lots of photos from different angles but in the standard "relaxed standing" pose used when doing 3D modeling. Use this data to create a 3D model of the user and to create and map textures. Take a few extra shots/some extra video in certain poses or with certain movements to determine rigging data. Send the data to the tailor.

      The bandwidth needed wouldn't be very much at all, in total I'm guessing you cou

      • I'm pretty sure the virtual tailor service thing could be done quite easily with less than 200 Mbps.

        For a simple implementation: Definitely. For photo-realistic real time images mirroring you posing in real time? Maybe, maybe not.

        I don't claim to be an expert on these things. :)

  • by i_ate_god ( 899684 ) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @09:02AM (#40165531)

    What's the point if all they are going to do is cap your usage.

    • So you can reach that cap faster. Zoom!
    • "Well, we got our 2 minutes of browsing time today, but at least it was fast!"

    • It really is getting ridiculous. The speed is pretty much the least important number.

      And real home consumer lever plans are already getting so bad such that you can use up your cap in an hour or 2 if you actually use the speed advertised.

  • Wait, what? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @09:09AM (#40165589) Homepage

    4700 Mbit/s = 4.7 Gbit/s, how's that a record? The Gathering here in Norway had a 200 Gbit/s Internet Connection, topping Dreamhack in Sweden's 120 Gbit/s. Maybe it's some silly 4.7 Gbit over cable, but that's like the wold's fastest subcompact. And for all of us that have fiber to the home, yeah we know it's just what equipment you put on both ends. The cable itself could probably pull 100 Gbit/s with the right equipment.

    • With the assumption that they are using single-mode fiber, you will cap out at roughly 40Gbps to the home. If it's multimode, you could pull 100, but the max lengths are so much shorter, I'm not sure that is what they are using. Also, I suspect that FTTH uses the same link aggregation that DSL uses. A block's worth of homes all wire to a cabinet, from there to a switch, and a single (hopefully with redundant pairs) link back to the CO. That last link is important because it represents the maximum all th

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        With the assumption that they are using single-mode fiber, you will cap out at roughly 40Gbps to the home.

        They've done 111 Gbps on a single channel in the lab, but yes "only" 40 Gbps is more likely but I can live with that. Normally I can reach 5-6 MB/s actual transfer rates on my 60 Mbps fiber so it can't be that oversubscribed, I suspect the backbone hookup is far more than a OC-12. I could get 400 Mbps for about $1000/month, 1000 Mbps is available at "call us" prices so it's technically possible to get something ridiculously fast already.

        • 60Mbps Fiber == 6MBps ethernet. (Fiber uses 10bit encoding, not 8 bit) You are not oversubscribed at all, I envy you.

      • by Shinobi ( 19308 )

        The area I live in currently, has 21 apartment buildings, with several hundred apartments(the house my apartment is in has 60 apartments). The structure here is a VLAN'd ethernet in every building, with the switches down in a strongroom in the maintenance section of the basement. From there, it's multimode fiber pairs to the nearest CO, that runs redundant links to the router(s), 10GigE if the router(s) is in the same hall, fiber if it's remote. The ISP recently upgraded switches etc in the buildings and ar

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Here in the 3rd world (UK) I'm currently getting about 1-2 Mb/s. I live close to Canary Wharf but somehow, the infrastructure is stuck in the past century.
    Meanwhile, I can get a much better bandwidth in my house in Zambia. And if I have problems with the ISP in Zambia, I can just switch to 4G, which is publicly available at a humane price.
    In contrast, in the UK, they haven't even rolled out 4 G.
    I'm stunned by how much a country like the UK lags in infrastructure - truly pathetic.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by networkBoy ( 774728 )

      Which infrastructure?
      I'm in the US and we routinely bash our countries' performance on internet infrastructure. But if you look at it as a whole:
      We have:
      *reliable power service
      *reliable road service
      *reliable rail service (commercial, not passenger)
      *reliable POTS service
      *reliable medical transport and care (I didn't say good, just reliable)
      *reliable garbage service
      *reliable food delivery
      *reliable fuel
      *reliable government (to a point, and again, not good always, bur reliable, there are no coups every other w

      • Re:depressing .. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Catbeller ( 118204 ) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @10:48AM (#40166543) Homepage

        Well, almost all of the things your listed were built by our grandparents. Since our grandparents didn't build fiber-to-the-house infrastructure, apparently it is not possible for us to even attempt to do so.

        And a lot of those things, such as roads, garbage service, water supply, rail, and power, were built by our governments using tax money - which is absolutely forbidden in today's climate of economic religious fundamentalism which demands that all infrastructure creation and related services must be done by entrepreneurs - who have shown they cannot do what the governments of our grandparents did for less than an infinitely growing multiple of what the grandparents paid. Governments build and maintain for the lowest possible cost for the maximum possible return, while our new privatization model demands lowest tolerable service levels for a maximum, and ever-growing per quarter, return on investment. We will never have fiber to the house - with the exception of the very wealthy, of course.

        • by ehlo ( 578765 )

          Wish I had mod points to mod you up. What is going on in this country?!

          • Economic fundamentalism. Refusal to believe government can do anything right, simultaneously believing that business and markets can solve all problems for ever-growing profit. Non-profit operation by government vs. profit model. Without brakes put on by regulation, we are being drained by vampire gods of finance. That giant sucking sound your hear is our money going up and out, not stopping to build or fix anything before it disappears into the Caymans.
            Example: Social Security administion costs are somethi

        • The gradual migration from workers to lawmakers and the subsequent legislation of their greed has left us in a terrible state... Whatever happened to doing a job because you knew it needed to be done???

  • I'd like to see 10Mbps at my house, to be honest. Charter makes all kinds of claims but we had to give them up due to down-time and horrible network performance. So we're stuck with Verizon DSL, which is at best 3Mbps. 100Mbps, I dunno what I'd DO with that bandwidth. Well, I guess I'd find something.

  • I am currently with Shaw Cable in Canada and have a 250 Mbps connection with 1TB of download cap per month for $110 CAD.

    • I am currently with Shaw Cable in Canada and have a 250 Mbps connection with 1TB of download cap per month for $110 CAD.

      Man, would I enjoy using a time machine for the purpose of reading sentences like this to geeks 20 years ago...

  • With that type of connection, data should go straight to memory without hard disk buffering for may types of hard disk drives. []

  • Most sites will throttle data to a single user anyway.

    It is useful for torrents and other aggregated downloads, but not from a single site usage.

    • It's not just throttling, chances are their servers don't have something that can handle 4Gbps reliably since their connection likely isn't that large, if they are only serving webpages there is little need (say even a 1MB page) you'd need to get ~500 hits per second to need that bandwidth (43M a day) chances are you don't. People that would go nuts for this: distributed nightly backups, HD content uncompressed I think is pretty close to this size (not talking BR but straight from the cameera streaming) one

  • Of course, the average home hard drive can't write that fast, nor can any home wireless connection or a 1 gigabit ethernet. It definitely sounds business only.
  • If things go wrong with the connection, will they send Karl Hungus to fix it?

    That's why they send him. He's an expert.

  • Make it $50-100 and you'll see some demand :-)

  • We have a lot of issues with crappy connections to remote offices that would pay mega bucks for this kind of bandwidth. The main office in the big city has a nice fat 100 mbps connection, but their remote offices are stuck on 6 mpbs down and a measly 1.5 up - which means any time the try to transmit data back to the mothership, they're waiting 10 minutes for a single record to update. It sucks.

The world is coming to an end--save your buffers!