symmetric vs. asymmetric [was: Verizon Policy Statement on Net Neutrality]

Owen DeLong owen at
Tue Mar 3 00:32:04 UTC 2015

> On Mar 2, 2015, at 15:40 , Lamar Owen <lowen at> wrote:
> On 03/02/2015 03:31 PM, Owen DeLong wrote:
>>> On Mar 2, 2015, at 08:28 , Lamar Owen <lowen at> wrote:
>>> would be really nice to have 7Mb/s up for just a minute or ten so I can shut the machine down and go to bed. 
>> How much of your downstream bandwidth are you willing to give up in order to get that?
>> Let’s say your current service is 10Mbps/512Kbps. Would you be willing to switch to 3Mbps/7Mbps in order to achieve what you want?
>> What about 5.25Mbps/5.25Mbps? (same total bandwidth, but split symmetrically)?
> Any of those would be nice.  Nicer would be something adaptive, but that's a pipe dream, I know.  I'm aware of the technological limitations of ADSL, especially the crosstalk and power limitations, how the spectrum is divided, etc.
> The difference between 10/.5 and 5.25/5.25 on the download would be minimal (half as fast); on the upload, not so minimal (ten times faster).  But even a 'less asymmetrical' connection would be better than a 20:1 ratio.  4:1 (with 10Mb/s aggregate) would be better than 20:1.

If you would see that as a win, I can personally guarantee you that you are in the minority among consumers.

I, even as an advanced user know that overall, my usage pattern would suffer greatly if my 30/7 were converted to 18.5/18.5. (I’m on CMTS instead of ADSL, as all ADSL will do in my neighborhood is 1536/384 (on a good day)).

Sure, my uploads would be faster, but that’s less than 1% of what I do and I’m almost never sitting there waiting for my upload to complete. When I upload something large, I pretty much do it as a fire-and-forget. I get notified if it fails and I use software/protocols for large files that are capable of resuming where they left off or recovering from failure with relatively minimal retransmission of previously transferred data.

As such, while I’d much rather have 30Mbps of upstream data than 7, if I were given the choice between 30/30 vs. 53/7, I’s probably still choose 53/7.

I agree that adaptive is a nice pipedream, but in the realm of reality, fixed is what is currently implemented and due to where the incentives currently reside, likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future.


More information about the NANOG mailing list