Does your Broadstripe service meet expectations (yet)?

(A) Broadstripe (representative) speaks up in the comments of a previous item:

We have been taking steps to improve High Speed Data services to your area. We have been systematically troubleshooting and repairing our nodes to provide exceptional service to our subscribers. Please contact us directly at earningourstripes@broadstripe.com so we can confirm if you’re (sic) concerns have been resolved with our recent upgrades or if we can do anything further to assist in resolving any on-going service concerns.

We’ve been pretty lucky here; we have not experienced the lengthy periods of complete internet outages many of you have reported and have repeatedly gone back and forth with Broadstripe over (many to the point of giving up on cable broadband entirely).

In my recent experience, I have seen some improvement: speeds during peak usage periods (evenings) are not nearly as horrible as I’d seen in September, but they’re usually only a tenth of the advertised speed of 15 megabits per second. At off-peak times, I have seen very brief peaks above 10 megabits near the beginning of a single download, but after a megabyte or two, the speeds appear to be throttled down to an average somewhere around 3 megabits, one fifth of the advertised rate.

As a rule-of-thumb, downloading one megabyte (1,048,576 bytes or 1024 kilobytes) should take:

  • about 15 seconds at 500 kilobits per second (500Kbps).
  • about 8 seconds at one megabit per second (1Mbps).
  • less than one second at ten megabits per second (10Mbps).

I encourage you to run your own tests — real-world tests like downloading software updates or loading large web pages as well as speed tests performed through sites like speedtest.net and Broadband Reports — and report your findings in the comments.

Those of you who have experienced general outages: have they become shorter or less frequent? Has their support staff become more responsive and solved your issues?

Please also send your experiences back to Broadstripe.

26 thoughts on “Does your Broadstripe service meet expectations (yet)?”

  1. All-

    I just checked my service speed at speedmatters.org, here are the results (I have Comcast, live on the NE slope of the BH)

    11948KBPS Download speed at 4:55 pm

    80KBPS Upload speed at 4:55 pm

    A couple minutes later it went to

    13000kbps download

    420kbps upload.

    I’d like to see more numbers, including folks with Qwest, Clearwire or other services.

    David

  2. North Beacon Hill, Broadstripe
    Speedtest.net
    download .65 Mb/s
    upload .21 Mb/s

    DSLreports.com
    download 513 Kb/s
    upload 265 Kb/s

    6:48pm

  3. On NE Beacon Hill, with Qwest DSL, from speedmatters.org :

    283 kbps Download
    196 kbps Upload

    7;17 PM on Friday.

  4. North Beacon Hill, Broadstripe
    Speedtest.net
    ping 153ms
    download 1.06 Mb/s
    upload 0.32 Mb/s

    This is actually worse than my test results were a couple of months ago.

    On the plus side, I was able to finally stream Netflix at 3 bars of quality (out of 4) the other night, but that was later, after 10pm.

  5. Just retested with a different test server on speedtest.net, as the Seattle one (Speakeasy) seems to have issues. Using the Lynnwood one:
    North Beacon Hill, Broadstripe
    Speedtest.net
    ping 10ms
    download 6.63 Mb/s
    upload 0.41 Mb/s

    Much better, but still not great.

  6. I will admit I have been at least slightly impressed with Broadstripe since the end of summer. At that time it was down all the time–several times per day, and I was calling daily to complain. Finally they did something, who knows what, and it seems to have at least improved the reliability. The speed seems about the same it’s always been. I just did the speedmatters test and got 4888 kbps download, 406 kbps upload.

  7. I agree with what Steve said. I have had an identical experience. Here are the results from speedtest.net:
    Download: .54 mb/s
    Upload: .35 Mb/s

    It is fine for surfing but I don’t stream anything…it doesn’t work for that.

  8. I was worried that my test was off because I was doing it at prime internet usage time. So I just re ran it at 4:40 AM on speedtest.net

    download .51 Mp/s
    upload .24 Mp/s

    So it looks about the same no matter when I try it. Maybe I should switch to dial-up?

  9. Sunday evening

    Speedtest:
    upload – .34 mb/s
    download 3.4 mb/s

    Broadband (SFO):
    upload – .4 mb/s
    download 3.9 mb/s

  10. I am really surprised that my internet with Broadstripe is going a lot faster now. Before I would get .75 Mbs during peak times. Now I have an average of 7 Mbs. I don’t know what they did but its sooooo much better now. I can watch streaming video now!

  11. I switched from Clearwire to Broadstripe about two months ago, and overall its been a definite improvement. Not great, but at least I generally get between 1 and 3mb/s (I’ve got 1.78 mb/s on Speedtest.net just now).

    It does slow noticably during peak TV hours, but I work from home and try to step away from the computer after 5pm, so its not a big concern.

    As I said though, better than Clearwire… where I was happy if I got 0.75mb/s.

  12. Oh great, I am just about to move to the home of the worlds largest computer software giant and it seems the city that hosts it can’t provide decent internet for it’s residents!

    I am wading through pages and pages of nothing but complaints about every company that provides “service” in the Seattle area, except for Verizon and their FiOS service (but their coverage is still low and not in the Belltown area where I am moving to).

    Has anyone found an objective, neutral site that assesses the quality of services across all providers using the same parameters at all? I acknowledge that this is somewhat difficult, when they all seem to have particular territories.

    I currently seem to have the choice of:

    Qwest
    Clearwire
    Broadstripe

    I only need internet (and only locally available TV, no cable TV subscription and no phone line), but the internet has to be good, with a minimum download bandwidth of about 10 Mbps.

    Advice?

    Thanks,

    CW

    p.s. Despite this concern I am still excited about moving to one of the most beautiful parts of the planet! :-)

  13. Okay, after reading all the complaints about Broadstripe and knowing that I’d be paying a lot for a potentially bad service, I am taking a gamble with Qwest; and I acknowledge that it IS a gamble, but there seems little choice. At least with Qwest, I have a 30 day trial period, during which I can cancel at any time. So, wish me luck.

    I am hoping for a consistent DSLine giving me 7Mbps, as opposed to the Broadstripe so-called 16Mbps cable line (which really seems to be 16Mbps shared among a number of different residences, resulting in less than 1Mbps if you’re lucky!)

    If I am back on here, ranting, within 30 days you’ll know why. If not, you’ll know I am happy with Qwest.

    And now I am off to pack more boxes for the move; time to brush the dust off those hike boots!

    CW

  14. Unfortunately, we can’t get DSL at all at our house. (We used to be able to, but Qwest made a change that broke it for us and now we are “too far from the CO” to get it.)

  15. I have Qwest DSL, not 7M speed and not stable. My VPN went down about 3 times over the course of a work day timeframe. Probably bordering too far from the CO, a common explanation given from a variety of providers. Clear/Clearwire 4G modems are hitting the streets, doubt that that would help me as I’m in the middle of two hills and above the jungle to the west. Just for grins, any of you Clear(wire) folks notice a difference with the 4G network?

  16. T, I haven’t tries the 4G network, but if possible I’d check to see where the closest Clearwire towers are to you. The biggest problem I encountered with my Clearwire was that my house was apparently on the edge of the signal range for the closest tower, so my connection was spotty and slow. It sounds like I’m a bit South of you, so you might have better luck, but its something to look into.

  17. Hey Tyler….I was told that there are two towers to the northeast and southeast of me – I think the south one was 23rd & McClellan. When I started with Clearwire, it was great and then it got to the point where dial up was better for work than Clearwire. I just don’t think it would work for my home, but it is portable and I’ve heard of coworkers who travel with their modem.

  18. Location- Mid Beacon Hill

    So far, my experience with Broadstripe has been unacceptable.

    The speeds vary wildly, and while I’m on average at the .5-2Mb range, on service call days my speed seems to take a radical jump up to the 16Mb/s range that they promise. Conspiracy theory much?

    I’ve documented my speed tests and trace routes with them and it appears the 7th hop always bugs out. On their end thy report that my modem is fine, and that everything is working. On my end, I can’t get a consistent internet speed to save my life.

    I really wish they’d just fold and go away. I’d take Comcast over them any day.

  19. Just had the service tech come out again, he was unable to resolve the issue (surprise/sarcasm). BUT, I was able to make headway with him as far as the problem being their network and not our setup.

    I’m thinking if the customers began tracking the data (as I have) we might be able to mount some serious empirical evidence of Broadstripe not providing the service that we all pay for.

    Here’s what I did- I did several speedtests to the Lynnwood Netriver server as well as the Vancouver Metrobridge server (Broadstripe’s recommended servers) and I took screen captures of them and dated them with the time visible. I also ran traceroutes from the command prompt and copied them into a text file with the time and date.

    My data shows that Broadstripe’s network can provide pretty solid speeds (16Mb/s this morning around 9AM) but routinely drops down below 1Mb/s. It also shows that the 7th hop on the traceroute consistently times out.

    I’d be interested in what others’ tests come up with. As it stands now, at least the tech admitted he didn’t know what was wrong, nor did he know how to fix it. He said he’d pass my printed data on, but I don’t have a lot of hope for that actually solving the problem. Still, if enough of us can show that their network really is garbage, perhaps we can start seeing some credits/change.

    It’s worth a shot.

  20. One other thing- I started tracking data in November, and will continue to do so daily for the rest of this month.

  21. I had Broadstripe for about 3 months in late 2009 and had the same exact problems as everyone else here stated. I had a horrible connection that timed out consistently so the first thing I did every morning without even checking to see if my service was working was power cycle. I power cycled the modem religiously and did it more than I brushed my teeth. They also charged me for 4 movies I watched through their on-demand service that never worked once for me. I want to vent about their customer service but my post is getting long.

    Through Broadstripe
    My down speeds were around 0.5-3mb/s
    My up speeds were around 150-300kb/s

    Through Qwest
    My down speeds are 3-3.3mb/s
    My up speeds are 500-800kb/s

    Qwest is not the fastest but definitely reliable and recommended if you cannot get Comcast which I think is available in some parts of Beacon Hill area. I’ve confirmed with them that service is available with 15mb/s down and 3mb/s up in my area (x street Orcas and Beacon Ave). Please post some numbers and cross street if you already have the Comcast service.

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