Really fast Internet: First impressions of Optimum Online Ultra


I now have Cablevision’s Optimum Online Ultra (OOLU), the fastest Internet service in the United States of America. Cablevision, which is a cable company that primarily serves the suburbs of New York City (I’m about an hour north of the city), rates the service at 101 megabits/s down, and 15 megabits/s up—plenty fast, to be sure. The purpose of this here post is to brag a little, yes, but also to explain my experience thus far. Does OOLU live up to the hype, is it worth $100 per month? Big, broad strokes and sweeping generalizations. All this and more, today on CrunchGear!

It would be helpful to start at the beginning: who can get OOLU? Let’s make this clear: if you’re currently an Optimum Online subscriber you can get OOLU. You simply call up Cablevision—this commercial was actually helpful!—and inquire about Ultra. They then check your address and schedule an appointment. I called last Thursday and had the appointment set up for Tuesday, May 19. That’s still today, last I checked.

The familiar Cablevision van pulled up to Deleon HQ mid-morning on Tuesday. The technicians (there were two guys, one a supervisor and one who my brother described as “the muscle,” that is, the guy running around with the tool belt) then swapped out my old modem for a shiny, new one. It’s a Cisco DPC300, for the record. Yes, that’s it up there.

We ran into a bit of a snafu when the supervisor said, “Yeah, the wire you have going from your basement to your modem is too old for Internet service. How your old modem worked at all is beyond me.” So they had to replace the wire, which took quite a while. All told, installation, including the wire replacement, took just over two hours.

Now the fun!

Here’s the first speed test. It’s a Windows PC (with gigabit Ethernet) plugged into a D-Link DIR-825, our new router of choice:


Now my old, pre-unibody MacBook (with a plain ol’ megabit Ethernet), plugged into the same router:


This is plenty fast, thank you.

My opinion, after having used OOLU for one day? Well, I’m a heavy downloader, so the 101 megabits/s down is terrific; OOLU makes seeding my innumerable torrents a lot easier, too. So, speaking as a “power user,” or whatever you want to call me, I’d say yeah, OOLU is fantastic. Now, I don’t see why the average person would need speeds like that right now, so there’s probably no need to spring for OOLU if all you do it Twitter all day long. But, for those of you who would benefit from that type of speed—you know who you are—then yeah, OOLU is really, really good.

Any questions y’all might have, leave a comment. Or not! Your call. And I’ll do more posts as the days go on, after I properly configure Vuze and/or uTorrent, etc.

This is how fast the Internet is now: