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Question about how an ISP sets your speeds...

by Silt524 / May 12, 2009 7:38 AM PDT

I live in a student apartment complex that provides internet service for us. It was incredibly slow when I first moved in but they had all these advertisements promising a new internet service with faster speeds. Originally it was less than a 1Mb connection. Then came the switch and while some friends of mine in different building less than 100ft away immediately got a steady 5mb connection my roommate and I got speeds of 1-1.5mb. I called the number the office gave me for the technicians and they told me they were still working out the kinks. This was in January. Sometime in February out of nowhere for two days my room had a 5mb connection, then it went back to 1-1.5mb. I kept waiting and waiting for them to fix it. Then a couple weeks ago my speeds dramatically dropped to less than half of 1mb. I called again and this time a tech told me that 1-3 was average and there was nothing he could do. When I told him my friends in the building next to us have had 5mb for a few months he told me "that is just a fluke". So I talked to the manager here and she said she would get on them about it. That was on Friday. Yesterday I woke up and sure enough I had about a 5mb connection....for a few hours. After that it dropped back to around 1-1.5mb. Now I just feel like the techs are messing with me even though I have been nothing but polite and patient with them. I understand internet speeds and all that but here is my question. How does a ISP set your speeds? I was thinking about this and realized I have absolutely no idea. Do they just punch a set number into the computer and thats it? I think its kind of a weird that I would get the exact speeds I am asking for for just a couple hours and then bam, back down to where it was. This has nothing to do with peak times btw, almost everyone is gone since classes ended last week and since it went back last night it has stayed down.

I have used both speakeasy.net and speedtest.net to do my tests.

Sorry for such a long story. I'm just trying to figure out what they are up to since they refuse to tell me.

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First of all, I don't know how ISP set their speed limits,
by ahtoi / May 13, 2009 1:39 AM PDT

but I would be very upset too if I subscribe to a 5 mbps and only gets 1-1.5; 1 to 1.5 isn't that slow for school work or unless you do lots of BIG file download or streaming video. But even streaming video at 1mbps should be good enough though. Maybe you just want to know why your neighbor get better connection then you? But sorry..no answer.

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Well I am not actually "Signed up" for any particular speed.
by Silt524 / May 14, 2009 9:18 AM PDT

They just advertise that "high speed Internet" is included in the cost of rent. Therefore if they told me that 1-1.5 was all I was going to get and that was what everyone else was getting then I would just have to deal with it. However since they upgraded the service friends of mine in another building have had a 5mb connection. That is what I am upset about since I actually am paying more for rent than they are and I have slower speeds. I am constantly online doing all kinds of things and I really miss playing online games on my PS3 which is downright impossible on a 1mb connection without serious lag. Also hulu.com which I really enjoy has to pause and buffer every few minutes with those kinds of speeds. I have talked to the manager here again and she is going to talk to them again. Hopefully I can get something worked out. I just wish I knew more about what they

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