Internet Speed: A Quick Read

A year ago, alert “06880” reader — and Westport MakerFaire mastermind Mark Mathias — emailed us about Altice/Optimum’s latest offer: fiber for the home, with 1 GB internet access.

Mathias had it installed. He dropped all other services — including broadcast and cable TV channels — to buy only internet service.

He got 1 GB symmetric (the same upload and download speeds) for $79 a month. That introductory pricing included equipment, taxes and more.

His speeds are “generally very fast.” here’s a test from the other morning:

Typical cable speeds are 300 Mbps down and 50 Mbps up, Mathias says.

“Why does this matter?” he asks.

He answers his own question: “Most people use Netflix, Disney+ or similar services. Higher resolutions, such as 4K, require more bits to make an image. If multiple people in a home or office are consuming this high-bandwidth digital content, fast Internet speeds are needed.

“But what I like is the increased upload speeds. Whereas it used to take hours to backup to a cloud service like Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive, they now take minutes. Posting video content to YouTube, Vimeo or something similar is also much faster.”

Yet Mathias thinks $79 a month is too high. He’s found 2 other companies “claiming to offer fiber internet service to the home.”

GoNetSpeed is new to the area, and deploying fiber in neighboring towns.

Frontier also advertises fiber internet speeds up to 2 Gbps. However, Mathias says,, they can’t give him dates for when it will be available.

“The good news is that truly high-speed internet is currently available in Westport,” he says.

“Hopefully, competition for our business won’t be far behind.”

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