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

Dave Taht dave.taht at
Wed Mar 4 16:28:03 UTC 2015

On Tue, Mar 3, 2015 at 5:07 AM, Scott Helms <khelms at> wrote:
>> I don't know many schools that are open at midnight to accept thumb
>> drives.
> I think he was trying to point out that most school libraries, and their
> computer labs, open before classes start.  Ice never heard of a school
> deadline that was actually in the middle of the night, so if you're working
> on a paper at night it's because it's due the next day.
>> Well kids will be kids.
> Very true :)
>> Yep.  The assumption that because you are sending from home it is
>> not time critical is absolutely bogus.  Upstream speeds really are
>> just as important as downstream speeds.  It just that it is not
>> normally needed as much of the time.
> This assertion is counter to the choices that consumers are making.  Forget
> about the access technology and it's symmetry or asymmetry for a moment and
> consider the growth of WiFi in the home, which is highly asymmetrical
> because clients have much lower power output and most often 0 dB gain
> antennas at 2.4 and 5.8.  The point is that a great percentage of the
> traffic we see is from asymmetric sources even on symmetrical broadband
> connections.
> The other thing to consider is that LTE is asymmetrical and for the same
> reasons as WiFi.
> For consumers to care about symmetrical upload speeds as much as you're
> saying why have they been choosing to use technologies that don't deliver
> that in WiFi and LTE?  In the WiFi case they're taking a symmetrical
> connection to their home and making it asymmetrical.  I can make a home
> WiFi network operate more symmetrically by putting in multiple APs but very
> few consumers take that step.
> I'm not done collecting all of our data yet, but just looking at what we
> have right now (~17,000 APs) over half of the clients connected have an
> upload rate of 5mbps or less.  A just over 20% have an average upload rate
> of 1mbps.
> BTW, the reason we're working on the WiFi data is that we think this is a
> huge problem, because consumers don't separate the performance of the in
> home WiFi from their overall broadband experience and we need to
> dramatically improve the in home WiFi experience to increase customer
> satisfaction.

+10! If you would like to talk to other researchers poking deeply into
these fronts, also equipped with large data sets and some rapidly
evolving analysis tools, please talk to me offlist.
>> Mark
>> --
>> Mark Andrews, ISC
>> 1 Seymour St., Dundas Valley, NSW 2117, Australia
>> PHONE: +61 2 9871 4742                 INTERNET: marka at

Dave Täht
Let's make wifi fast, less jittery and reliable again!

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