Upload Speeds

Did you know that your broadband connection to the Internet is two-way? We often don’t consider the importance of upload speeds but it can be very important.

In the early days of computer communications we most likely used a dial-up modem to connect via a telephone line. The modem converted the digital data into an analog signal that was compatible with telephone communications. This was a single line that is referred to as a point to point connection, however you could not send and receive at the same time and you were not always connected. Speeds were very slow so new technologies were needed to enhance the scalability of data networks.

DSL or digital subscriber line uses the telephone company’s existing twisted pair copper wiring. It is a dedicated line between the home and the phone company’s central office so bandwidth is not shared with neighbors. The most common type is called ADSL or asymmetric digital subscriber line. ADSL can download data at rates from 5 up to 100 Mbps but can only upload at around 10% of that.

Cable Internet uses a cable modem to connect via the existing coaxial copper cable TV wiring. It has larger bandwidth than DSL but the connection is shared with your neighbors so speeds can be affected during peak hours. Download speeds can range from 5 up to 120 Mbps with upload speeds typically 5 to 10% of that.

When comparing the Internet plans of both these types of connection you have to watch out for the caveat “up to.” Speeds are not guaranteed and can vary dramatically depending on the time of day.

Fibre is a completely different technology that uses laser light to transmit data. Because of this it has almost unlimited bandwidth and can run long distances. There are two main types of fibre networks, point-to-point (or P2P) and passive optical network (PON).

With a PON network the laser signal from the central office is sent through a multistrand fibre to a passive optical splitter that splits the light between a number of fibre cables. These cables may also run to another splitter so that anywhere up to a 1:64 (1 fibre shared with 64 customers) ratio can be achieved. Because bandwidth is shared, overall speed is lower and upload speeds are reduced. These networks are less expensive to install than P2P, as there is much less fibre cabling used.  The incumbent Telecom company deliver this type of technology to save money. 

With a P2P network individual strands of fiber run from each customer to the central interconnection point. There is no sharing of bandwidth so the maximum speed of the network is attainable and upload speeds are not sacrificed. This is the type of network we design and implement at Axia.

Why do you need fast upload speeds? It’s true that in the past most of the reason to have a broadband connection was to just download data from the Internet but that has changed. Video conferencing depends on two-way communication and becomes more of an issue with high definition video. Peer-to-peer file and social media sharing, in addition to all iterations of cloud computing all depend on high bandwidth and short latency time to augment a seamless customer experience.


Type Download Speed Upload Speed Monthly Data
ADSL - Telus Up to 15 Mbps Up to 2 Mbps 500 GB
Cable - Shaw Up to 120 Mbps Up to 6 Mbps 800 GB
Optik - Telus Up to 100 Mbps 20 Mbps 500 GB
Fibre - Axia (P2P) 1 Gbps 1 Gbps No Data Caps


Insterested in Axia Fibre Internet? Express your interest and we'll bring fibre Internet to your community. Visit www.axia.com/Alberta

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