Dec 10, 2012


A user named CynicalMisanthrope posted
their speed test result to Reddit 

Frequently a post about connection speeds on Reddit will make it to the front page which results in  an unscientific poll of world wide speed tests for group comparison. In their post, I am the 1%, CynicalMisanthrope posted an agonizingly slow result that some identified with and others laughed at. A couple of the 1871 comments posted are screenshots of connection speeds even slower than the original poster's:

Is it any surprise these are rural connections?

I was pleased to scroll through the links and find some pretty strong numbers, though, and a few prices as well. mx_reddit posted this result for $37 a month:

Reddit user mx_reddit pays $37 for this connection

In the US, results like these seem to come from locations in or near large cities like San Francisco (where they keep the servers). The slow connections above show they were captured from a computer up to 100 miles from the server, but distances under 50 miles were are drastically faster. 

In Europe, meanwhile, there are suggestions in the thread that good speeds are more widespread. User MaziarShahi wrote "Dude, how the hell did you find the slowest connection in Sweden? It's hard to find broadband under 10mb here. 100mb is almost standard nowadays." Several other posted speed tests seem to support the idea that Swedes have access to good connections. In fact, according to the country has the fastest connection in the world:

Sigbritt Löthberg, from Karlstad in central Sweden, enjoys a massive 40Gbps connection - many thousand times faster than the average connection speed delivered to homes. It's the first time such a high speed has ever been delivered to a home user anywhere in the world.  
"I want to show that there are other methods than the old fashioned ways such as copper wires and radio, which lack the possibilities that fibre has," said Peter Löthberg, who works at Cisco. 

I've never connected to fiber before, so the thought of 1 Gbps let alone 40 is eye opening. In the States there are at least two highly publicized fiber connections you can chose from if you're lucky to live in the small regions they cover. One is Verizon FiOS and the other is the new Google Fiber. In the same Reddit thread a user posted a speed test on the later:

Result posted by Reddit user 5th_Best_Username

I'm sure there's much more comprehensive and conclusive data to be had about network speeds around the globe, but a forum can be a great place to gauge the human response. Here's a quick exchange from that Reddit thread between users:  

sophierawrs: We pay £40 for our internet and mine was exactly like that. Til about last week it suddenly sped up to [.89Mbps/.18Mbps] everyone with 30mb download speed+ must be so jealous right now. 
Glorious-G: I pay less than you for [172.51Mbps/11.34Mbps] Thats crazy... 
Esplodies: I pay 40USD for [30.64Mbps/5.08Mbps] 
omgisthatyou: I pay 60USD for a fifth of [Esplodies's connection]. And it slows down/cuts off after midnight. Pretty much kills my Friday night online gaming binges.
Not to instigate the fastest/slowest internet pissing contest going on in this thread. Just adding my general hate for local ISP monopolies. :(

So that's just some food for thought. When moving around the country I often feel like I'm dowsing  for a good connection. Clearly internet speeds are far from homogenous, but desire for a strong dependable connection is universal. 

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