How Would Fiber Bandwidth Compare to DSL?

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Subscribers to the Matrix Design Group solution can expect Internet speeds of between 30 and 50 Mbps, which is a significant speed increase over other alternatives in town (basic Ayacht is ~1Mbps, DSL is between 1-3 Mbps, 4G/LTE in town ranges from 2-18 Mbps) . These Matrix fiber speeds will be able to fully accommodate “streaming” services such as Netflix and Hulu.



  1. Tim T.

    30-50 Mbps? I know it’s a huge jump from the DSL service in town, but I was honestly expecting much, much faster speeds in 2015 with fiber broadband offerings. Is this limited by the cost the town is willing to invest? Are these the fastest speeds the infrastructure in town supports?

    Having lived in a couple of different areas over the last few years, one with fiber and one with cable broadband, these speeds seem low. Basic options for either of those in 2013 started at 60Mbps for around $40-$50 and speeds of 100Mbps up to 1Gbps speeds were available for only a $15-$20 upgrade. Google Fiber is offering “basic” 200Mbps speeds in their test markets for only $70. Their premium tier at $120 includes Gigabit speeds and 150 channels of TV service. Granted, it IS Google trying to set an affordable standard, but many other nationwide fibers providers are offering similar packages now, or are close to being able to offer Gbps speeds in the near future.

    Before I come across as being overly negative, I appreciate the work being done to bring high speed internet to the town. I know I’ll be counting the days until our pipe is hooked up and we can get back to using more than one device online at the same time… I guess I’m concerned about “future proofing” something like this giving the timeline the town will be paying down the start up costs. In fifteen years, will we be thinking our “fiber upgrade” of today is the outdated DSL of tomorrow?

    • richwagner

      Tim, appreciate your comments. The 30-50 Mbps estimate is a conservative number that is being used by Matrix at this time. However, rest assured, the fiber optic network that would be laid is perfectly capable of reaching the 200+ Mbps speeds that Google Fiber touts. Fiber is fiber. In the end, the actual speed will depend on the ISP that operates the network. To be clear, Princeton Broadband MLP, with support from the Princeton Broadband Committee, will have a competitive bidding process for the Internet Service Provider. As you might guess, we are all biased towards higher speeds, and will work to guide higher speed as a favorable item in the bid responses. We will know the final answer when the bids are received, target date of late spring.

      [Update: See third reply for some clarifications on this issue.]

    • richwagner

      One other note I wanted to be clear upon. Building a fiber optic network is “future proofing”. Because you can’t go faster than the speed of light, a fiber network is not going to become obsolete, even 20+ years down the line. As mentioned above, speed on a fiber network is really only limited by the capacity of the ISP pipe from our fiber network to the rest of the interwebs. And that is always upgradable.

  2. richwagner

    Some additional clarification on this issue. The GPON fiber and the expected equipment would be capable of 2Gbps(down)/1Gbps(up) using brand name commodity stuff. What limits the speeds and the guaranteed speeds are COSTs of service. The economies of the MBI backbone and middle mile is offset by the high costs of transit at the center in Springfield. We are looking into ways to improve our connection costs.

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