Hopefully this is on topic for this site.

While researching synchronous carrier service, so called EDIA or Ethernet Dedicated Internet Access, to a rural location in New Hampshire, USA, I came across a cable HFC provider who was advertising 1Gb "dedicated" service to every address nationwide. How is this possible? Is this false advertising?

  • "Offer" sure, "provide" is questionable. And almost no one has the capacity to provide 1G to everything at the same time. I can't do that in my own office. (1G switches with 10G uplink, and 10G with 40G uplink) My "dedicated" 1G link can't push 1G 24/7; the carrier network doesn't have the capacity.
    – Ricky
    Dec 4, 2018 at 5:50
  • Both fiber and cable (DOCSIS 3.1) are capable of multi-gigabit data rates. So why couldn't they provide a 1 Gb dedicated service? All that means is you have connection at your address capable of 1 Gbps. It doesn't mean you get actual 1 Gbps of real throughput.
    – YLearn
    Dec 4, 2018 at 5:52
  • @YLearn and if you have 1000 "dedicated" service addresses in say, one small town, that's 1Tb of bandwidth. Dec 4, 2018 at 6:08
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    @ThomasMcLeod That's where the marketing speak hair splitting starts. "1Gbps dedicated? Why, yes!" - "Really?" - "Only from your home to the switch at the nearest PoP/FTTx-Box, of course..." sigh. "Bandwidth" is like horsepower figures for cars - they help to sell, nothing more. Races however are won by torque, according to motoring legend C.Shelby. That'd be "achievable throughput" in our context. Dec 4, 2018 at 11:35
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    @ThomasMcLeod, if those 1000 service addresses each got 1 Gbps of actual dedicated throughput, but nothing in saying a "dedicated 1 Gbps service" to your home indicates that you will get anywhere near that amount of real throughput. You would just have the "capability" to do so. Just because you are sold a car that is "capable" of driving at 200+ miles per hour doesn't mean you will be able to do so in a large city during rush hour, or that if you try to do so at any point that it would end well.
    – YLearn
    Dec 4, 2018 at 19:26

2 Answers 2


Can large ISPs really offer 1Gb “dedicated” service to every home and business?

Yes, of course they can, much the same way a business can give every PC user in the company a dedicated 1 Gbps connection to its network, but not the total of all the user bandwidth to the another LAN or the WAN. Remember that the Internet is really just the ISPs peering with one or more other ISPs. The connections between an ISP and any other ISPs with which it peers are almost certainly not up to the total bandwidth it offers to its customers.

This is called oversubscription, and it has been around ever since there was telephone service. The telcos, and now the ISPs, count on not every customer using the full network capacity at the same time. Based on studies, the telcos came up with formulae that determine the proper amount of oversubscription. You would rarely get an "All circuits are busy" message, but it still happened. Good ISPs do something similar, and crappy ISPs will be too oversubscribed. This is where the Net Neutrality debate comes in.

The ISPs are selling you bandwidth to their networks, but, unless you are a business with specific contractual agreements, they make no guarantees about the available bandwidth beyond that.


The word "dedicated" isn't really meaningful; providers can provide gigabit service from the subscriber to the first provider equipment, and call that dedicated gigabit even though it can't get to any content at gigabit speed.

cable HFC provider who was advertising 1Gb "dedicated" service to every address nationwide.

This is marketing hyperbole at best. They can provide services over their own facilities or resell others. There is no service other than those provided by the telco Universal Service rules that's available at every address in the US. You could pay staggering engineering fees to the telco to get say an ATM OC-12 installed at your address to their network, but in remote locations it will be a LOT of zeroes on the buildout charge.

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