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AT&T’s Cable Bandwidth Test


Cynthia Brumfield picked up a story this morning on a field study AT&T did showing cable subscribers’ Internet speeds averaging well below the promised six to eight Mbps throughput. According to AT&T executive John Stankey, in a test of 150 residential homes, average cable Internet speeds ranged between 300 and 400 kbps.

I don’t know the details of the AT&T experiment, but I found one of Stankey’s points very interesting. He said, “the way you manage performance is by having a complete set of skills that you manage across the network.” I don’t know exactly what he was referring to, but it is true that the DSL world (including AT&T) has more remote management capabilities built into its ecosystem, at least at the customer premise equipment level, than the cable world does. Are cable subscribers suffering because of it? And will there be a significant change when new remote management technologies are deployed in new cable modems?