As the pandemic has forced most people in the US to work from home rather than the office, having fast Internet connectivity has become critical. An Internet provider in some parts of the US called Optimum has announced a move that doesn’t seem to make sense. The Internet carrier has announced that starting on July 12, it will be reducing upload speeds for all of its plans regardless of speed.
A chart on the carrier’s website shows that the basic Optimum Online package offering 100 Mbps download that currently offers 35 Mbps uploads will see its upload speed reduced to a scant 5 Mbps. Other plans currently featuring 35 Mbps uploads, but 200 Mbps and 300 Mbps downloads will see their upload speeds reduced to 10 Mbps and 20 Mbps, respectively.
The company’s fastest plan is its 1 Gig package that does not offer gigabit speeds, capping out at 940 Mbps download maximum, offered a 50 Mbps upload speed, but after July 12, that speed will be chopped to 35 Mbps. Users who are on Optimum’s fiber network will continue to maintain upload speeds that are synchronous with their download speed.
So why is the carrier reducing its upload speeds? If you think it’s because of some sort of problem with network performance, that’s not the case at all. Optimum told Ars Technica in an emailed statement that it was reducing its upload speeds to be more on par with its competition. It’s taking way speeds it offered to customers who are paying because it’s faster than the competition?
The company went so far as to say in the statement that its network was operating just fine despite the significant increase in data usage during the pandemic. One of the biggest challenges that consumers around the United States face today is that in many areas, there is no or very limited competition leaving users unable to change providers if they’re unhappy with policy like this. Claiming that its network is performing well but reducing upload speeds to be on par with the competition makes no sense.