Remember dial-up? The squawking, buzzing, staticky refrain that led to an agonizingly slow connection?
In the early days of the internet, home users primarily were receiving content -- browsing web pages and watching as text loaded quickly while images rendered line by line. A high-resolution picture could easily take several minutes just to appear on the screen.
To help accelerate this process, providers split the limited bandwidth they had unevenly, dedicating more of the 'pipe' to incoming data and less to outgoing. After all, what were people sending? Emails and instant messages were just text, and digital photography was still years away from ubiquity.
As the decades have progressed, many internet providers still maintain this type of asymmetrical connection, with download speeds anywhere from six to ten times slower than uploads. This level of service may suffice for households or businesses that don't do much uploading beyond text, but it may not be ideal for today's connected families.
In a recent CNET article, senior reporter Marguerite Reardon puts it this way:
Older cable broadband networks and DSL networks use infrastructure that was primarily designed to send information in one direction -- downstream. As a result, the broadband service offered is asynchronous, which means that the download speed is much faster than the upload speeds. This may be fine for watching a movie or sending a tweet, but it is likely to be problematic for households using multiple video conferencing applications... which need a lot of capacity upstream as well as downstream.
For an internet experience to be truly next-level, the download and upload paths must be symmetrical, that is, equally fast and equally wide. Students and home-office professionals are spending hours on video chats and sharing files and presentations that routinely top 50MB -- all of which would be less than optimal on an asymmetrical connection. Even common activities like posting photos and high-definition videos on social media benefit from fast upload speeds. As work-from-home and distance learning become likely prospects for many individuals, fast upload speeds ensure a smooth and productive experience.
Unlike older internet technologies, fiber-optic service provides a symmetrical connection, with minimal performance differential between download and upload connections. CNET's Justin Jaffe explains:
Fiber-optic internet service delivers the fastest and most reliable internet connection, with download speeds and upload speeds... that [are] orders of magnitude faster than the typical cable or DSL connection. Fiber-optic broadband offers everything you want in an internet connection... Whether you're streaming video, uploading large files to the cloud, or playing the newest online games.
1 GIG Internet with AT&T Fiber is the reliable, powerful choice for families that upload as enthusiastically as they download. With a consistent and reliable 1,000 Mbps connection, AT&T Fiber1Â powers strong, whole-home Wi-Fi2 and ensures that everyone can make the most of their online activities at the same time.
Compared to cable services, AT&T Fiber delivers 20x faster upload speeds.3 This kind of power enables you to:
AT&T Fiber offers Unlimited Internet Data Included, with no need to worry about data limits or overages. In fact, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) found that AT&T Fiber is rated number-one in customer satisfaction over all major internet providers.6
Experts and 'ordinary' users alike agree that fiber-optic internet provides reliable network service and consistent speeds. 1 GIG Internet with AT&T Fiber is a superlative choice for today's digital households. Discover more at www.att.com/getfiber.Â
1. Internet speed claims represent maximum network service capabilities and based on wired connection to gateway. Actual customer speeds may vary based on a number of factors and are not guaranteed. Download speeds for Internet 1000 are typically up to 940Mbps due to overhead capacity reserved to deliver the data. For more information, go to www.att.com/speed101.
2. Whole home Wi-Fi connectivity may require AT&T Smart Wi-Fi Extender(s) sold separately.
3. Comparison of Internet 1000 wired upload connection speed to major cable providers: Xfinity, Spectrum & COX 1Gig cable service with uploads of 35 Mbps. For more information, go to www.att.com/speed101.
4. Speed/time examples are estimates and based on wired connection to gateway.
5. Number of devices depends on screen size/resolution.
6. Compared to the publicly measured internet service providers in the ACSI. Claim based on 2020 ACSI survey of customers rating their own internet service providerâs performance.