Om is not in a good mood these days. His broadband from Comcast is acting up, his phone calls to the family over regular land lines sound like mud and he's pulling out the history book to point out the broken promises from telco 1.0 era firms like Sprint and AT&T.
His experience with broadband is similar to what we all are beginning to have with heavier and heavier usage of the broadband pipes growing every day. The cable guys and DSL folks built their networks for the web and email and, not for voice and video and compared to what the French have from FREE.tv, the major disruptor in the Gallic land, that forced the French telcos to build things right, we have second rate offerings at best because the big telcos don't care about Om, or you. What we have today is high speed Internet access, but not really High Speed Internet.
We have no QOS. We have no guarantees and we have no real understanding of just how much data we are really consuming or pushing through our so called "fat pipe" to our homes. As Mr. T said on the "A-Team," regularly, "I pity the fool" who gets nabbed by the cable bandwidth police for downloading or uploading too much. That person is like someone who gets pulled over by the police for speeding on a bicycle. They don't have a speedometer, they just know they were moving fast. None of the consumer services offer users a way to check their consumption that I know of.
But back to the experience..of late I've had the good fortune to use a Covad supplied T1 as part of the blogger relations program we're developing for them. The experience from install to usage has been perfect, and what's more even at real T1 speeds (1.5 megabit) my voice and video conferencing experiences have been nothing less than perfect. About the only issue I have seen is when I have a sync up from being away from the network between my Exchange server and the laptops. Of course I've also moved my heavy video downloading over to the cable modem, where 11 megs of download means 8 minutes for an iTunes one hour TV show. When you look at the network topography that we have in place today both inside home and outside of homes, it's not built for business grade communications, unless everyone has a T1 or better where that quality is assured.
Sadly here in the USA, I don't see that coming from the cable or telco folks anytime soon.