[CalFiber] This is a new one from Comcast

Dane Jasper dane.jasper at sonic.com
Wed Nov 18 17:55:27 PST 2020

I can provide some insight into how people with symmetrical services use
their access. We've got tens of thousands of asymmetrically connected DSL
customers, and tens of thousands of symmetric gigabit fiber customers.

And in this case, Comcast's claim is not incorrect: regardless of having a
symmetrical connection, usage is predominantly asymmetric. That's why xDSL
and DOCSIS were designed the way they were, allocating more spectrum to
downstream than up. And it makes sense: anyone can flip on a 4K TV and use
12Mbps all night long, while producing that amount of content in the home
and uploading it is a niche activity.

What isn't niche anymore is Zoom et al. And with the onset of COVID and the
SF Bay Area SIP orders, Sonic so a huge uptick in usage - and this increase
was greater in the outbound, because consumers were not producers of
content in ways that were not common before, participating in video
conferencing all day long. So while inbound/download usage increased by
30%-35%, outbound went up by more, nearly 45%. See:

But while outbound did go up by more due to this change, it remains a small
fraction as compared to inbound usage by consumers. You can get a rough
view of the ratio of inbound to outbound here:
https://twitter.com/dane/status/1247646654490017793/photo/1  The green is
inbound usage toward customer homes, downloads, while the purple is their
outbound utilitization.

That said, you still want a symmetric connection. And fiber enables that,
so why not? An abundance of outbound for a majority of consumers should
allow for new applications, and we could expect this ratio to shift
somewhat toward outbound over time as a result.


On Wed, Nov 18, 2020 at 11:22 AM Ernesto Falcon <ernesto at eff.org> wrote:

> One of Comcast's lobbyist on this California Broadband Council meeting
> made the standard cable argument that people use the Internet
> asymetrically because look at what our Comcast customers do.
> I suggested that perhaps people with symmetrical services use the
> Internet differently and that data would provide a bigger picture.
> Comcast's person responds. I am unaware of any ISPs that offer
> symmetrical services.
> I just left it that at.
> --
> Ernesto Omar Falcon
> Senior Legislative Counsel
> Electronic Frontier Foundation
> Office: 415 436 9333 ext. 182
> Cell: 202 716 0770
> _______________________________________________
> CalFiber mailing list
> CalFiber at lists.eff.org
> https://lists.eff.org/mailman/listinfo/calfiber

Dane Jasper
dane.jasper at sonic.com
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