In addition to being a TDS TV tester, I also get a chance to pilot out some of our other products from time to time. Sometimes the ideas can be really innovative and exciting. In this case, there is discussion about getting residential customers incredible data speeds over a fiber connection. Since I am a fiber customer today with a 100Mbps connection, I don’t have much to complain about. Those types of speeds are enough to handle all of my home networking needs and then some.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERASo you can imagine my surprise when TDS asked me and a few other people to test out the unthinkable—300Mbps Internet speed, to my house. This means now I’m just another home on the block, capable of getting similar speeds as the business park nearby. While I’ll fully admit, I don’t have any actual need for that sort of capacity–it’s pretty darn cool. In a world where the location of your house can mean the difference of getting 50Mbps or dial-up speeds, this is something that can definitely make your friends jealous.

All the set up for trying out the blazing speed was done on the back end of the network—meaning no one had to come to my home for any installation. I got an email saying I was cranked up, and ready to go. For testing purposes, they asked to have a direct wired connection to the Internet gateway. This can be done by either connecting your PC directly to the gateway, or, you can connect the gateway through any Cat 5 cable in your home, and then connect your PC to a wall jack. In my case, my home computer is an HP All-In-One Touchsmart PC, so I can take it just about anywhere in my house. I connected it to the modem directly, and starting surfing. My Internet was fast enough before I didn’t notice an incredible difference with web browsing. Downloading media, however, was a different story. Songs, movies, and anything else I wanted to stream or actually transfer, were so fast the progress bar couldn’t keep up.

I ran some speed tests and couldn’t believe my eyes. I got numbers that I’ve never seen, even using a high-end business connection in the office. Not even when I had a dedicated dorm Internet connection in college. And this was my house! I decided to disconnect from the gateway and see what I could do over the wireless. That was a slight caveat, as the most speed I ever pulled was around 90Mbps. Still ridiculously quick, but not the 300-ish I was getting hard wired. I know that’s an incredibly complicated series of things on getting top speeds wirelessly, so I wasn’t too surprised. Although, I’m hoping with all the new technologies coming available, achieving that will soon be reality.

Here is a screenshot I took of one of my tests:

Austin screen shot

Not the fastest one I took, but I ran so many I stopped taking screenshots of each one after a while. It should be noted that we are very early in the testing stages for these speeds. Speeds from customer to customer even on regular Internet can vary and if the product does roll out, the screen shot may not represent what the actual product is like.

I might start having download parties just because I can!


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