Mark uses Verizon 4G Wireless service and runs through 40GB in an afternoon with video conferencing. He also ends up roaming, so he's paying for that as well as overages. Verizon told him that FIOS would be coming, but Leo says that'll never happen now because they've stopped growing that out. It all has to do with a tug of war with the FCC over net neutrality.
President Obama this week came out in favor of Net Neutrality by regulating Internet Service Providers as common carriers, giving the FCC the power to prevent paid prioritization. This means Internet Service Providers would not be allowed to charge extra for faster access to customers.
Net Neutrality: President Obama's Plan for a Free and Open Internet (WhiteHouse.gov)…
Julian wants to upgrade his internet with fiber. Does it work like Cable or DSL?
Leo says it's more like DSL. But it's likely that they are piggybacking on AT&Ts fiber. Leo says that DSL Extreme is a great service and if they're moving into Fiber, it'll be a good move. He won't be burdened by sharing bandwidth like with cable, either. It's actually better than DSL because it has better range from the central office. Leo also suspects that the Fiber doesn't go straight to his house, but to a head end that then transfers it to copper. That's not going to be as fast.
Wi-Fi can be a difficult thing to get right, especially when there are numerous Wi-Fi hotspots all around. Even at its best, Wi-Fi won't ever be as fast and reliable as a hardwired connection, and will occasionally suffer drop-outs. But there is a way to optimize your Wi-Fi network so it has less trouble keeping your devices connected.
Johnny says that when he's traveling, he tries really hard to rely on public transportation and avoid using a cab or rent a car. but when he has no choice, he goes to BiddingForTravel.com and check the message boards for rentals and look at the cities. Then go to priceline and put bids based on what people are getting their bids for.
Travel deal ... $1500 for business class to Europe from the west coast. Check out JohnnyJet.com for details.
Henry says that HAM Radios are becoming a lost art. Leo says that one way people can get the next generation into HAM Radio is through the Internet, where they can connect to more powerful antenna arrays and data networks. That's appealing to the younger set. HAM will die out if it doesn't evolve.
Lee now has 100Mbps through Time Warner Cable and he's excited. Leo says that's in direct response to Google wiring up communities with Gigabit internet access. Time Warner calls it "GigaPower." But when Lee connects with his Apple devices, they can't keep up with it.
Dustin's network connection goes out several times a day. Leo says that he's been experiencing the same thing on his Mac. Leo suggests checking for firmware updates. That could make his router more stable. Most people rarely update the firmware in their router. There's also something that Verizon can do since their switches tend to be cheap and break often. He should also start at the plug and check all connections to the wall.
Vance says that when uploading data, it completely hogs his bandwidth. Leo says that's usually true. If he saturates the upstream bandwidth with videos, the connection can't do any other internet activity as a result. Can he split the bandwidth to prevent that interruption? Leo says that's why bittorrent works better. There really isn't a way to do it unless his router supports it. Leo says it may be more practical to set the videos to upload as he gets ready to go to bed and let it run through the night.
There isn't much competition among broadband providers in the United States. Most people only have a choice between a cable company and a phone company, and both act like monopolies; both have poor customer service. We know that the answer to protect net neutrality isn't government intervention, which carries potential risks, but in competition. If there were several internet service providers, there would be better prices and better service.