1Mbps is inadequate

So there I am, playing along in League of Legends, a tense game but we might win yet if I just position Annie right and time her stuns (an exercise in counting to 4). It’s exciting and fun. Suddenly the game lags out; characters freeze, skills don’t respond, things start sliding around and teleporting. Basically unplayable, 10 seconds later suddenly I get the packet that says “you died”.

Curse and swear. Switch to the bandwidth monitor, some random IP address is taking all my bandwidth. All 1 megabit. Go to the router status page, do the OUI identification of the Mac address, see it as an iPhone. That narrows it down to 3 iPhones. During death timers I find all three and put them in airplane mode, but by then it’s too late.

1 Megabit internet is just not adequate anymore. Seems crazy to say it, but there it is. The direct cause this time is some random iPhone deciding that right then was a good time to download a software update. At full speed, of course, because throttling is not a concept that’s well implemented in TCP/IP. In San Francisco I have a 100 Mbit link that’s either faster than the server or else the download completes so quickly I don’t notice. In Grass Valley, with the 1Mbps fixed wireless (the best I can buy), nope.

The underlying problem here is the US broadband infrastructure and the FCC’s collusion with the cable/telco duopoly ensuring no investment in the captive market. Fuck them.