Understanding Upload Speeds

Document created by shaw-jamesp on Feb 24, 2017Last modified by shaw-jamesp on Mar 3, 2017
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Learn more about upload speeds with our frequently asked questions about download and upload speeds.

 

 

Did You Know

 

Starting March 1st, we will be making improvements to upload speeds for select Internet tiers.

 

Learn More: Upload Speed Increases for Select Internet Plans

                                          

 

Overview

With the launch of Shaw WideOpen Internet 150, we’re now able to provide our Internet customers with top-tier speeds across 98% of our footprint, at a price nearly everyone can afford.

 

Our Internet packages provide download and upload speeds that exceed the minimum requirements for the vast majority of popular online services and activities.


Our goal as a company is to connect customers to the world and everything in it, and our Internet packages do just that.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are download and upload speeds?

  • Download speed is the rate that data can transfer from the Internet to a connected device in your home.
  • Upload speed is the rate that data can transfer from a connected device in your home to the Internet.

 

Why are upload speeds lower than download speeds?

  • We have set our upload speeds in our plans at rates that exceed the minimum requirements for the needs of the vast majority of popular online services and activities.
  • Offering the packages we do grants us the advantage of being able to provide customers across 98% of our footprint with amazing downloadsspeeds

 

What online activities require fast upload speeds?

  • Any activity that requires sending information from your device to the Internet uses upload.
    • Examples include: attaching and sending files via email, publishing media to a website, video chat, saving to cloud storage, audio or video broadcasts and video gaming
  • While a faster upload speed will mean that you can send larger files or sets of files faster, most online services that have a minimum upload speed requirement will keep it low to cater to the largest possible audience.

 

Do I need faster upload speeds?

  • While a faster upload speed will mean that you can send larger files or sets of files faster, most online services that have a minimum upload speed requirement will keep it low to cater to the largest possible audience.
  • If you feel like faster upload speeds is something you want, we have a selection of Internet packages available that provide multiple levels of upload speeds that cater to a wide range of Internet users

 

What is the standard download and upload speeds required by popular online services?

  • Skype (Source: Skype Support)

    Standard Upload Speeds

    Call TypeRecommended Upload Speed
    Calling0.1 Mbps (megabits per second)
    Video Calling / Screen Sharing0.3 Mbps
    Video Calling (High Quality)0.5 Mbps
    Video Calling (HD)1.5 Mbps
    Group Video (3 People)0.5 Mbps
    Group Video (5 People)0.5 Mbps
    Group Video (7+ People)0.5 Mbps

    • Netflix (Source: Netflix Help)
      • 0.5 Mbps download - Required broadband connection speed
      • 1.5 Mbps download - Recommended broadband connection speed
      • 3.0 Mbps download - Recommended for SD quality
      • 5.0 Mbps download - Recommended for HD quality
      • 25 Mbps download - Recommended for Ultra HD (4K) quality
    • Youtube (Source: Youtube Help)
      • Video streaming - Recommended: at least 0.5 Mbps download
      • YouTube offers several quality levels for videos. The lower numbers (360p) indicate that the video is smaller and uses less bandwidth, but is also less detailed. The more detailed the video (480p, 720p, or 1080p), the more bandwidth it takes to stream.
      • Some premium content on YouTube -- like movies, TV shows, and live events -- require a faster connection and greater processing power to ensure optimal streaming speeds. Here's what you'll need:
        • Internet connection with 1+ Mbps
      • The time required to post a video on YouTube will vary based on your upload speed and the length of your video
    • Amazon Video (Source: Amazon Help)
      • Standard Definition (SD) videos: 0.9 Mbps Download
      • High Definition (HD) videos: 3.5 Mbps Download
    • Online Video Games
      • Typically, anywhere from 0.1 - 1.5Mbps Upload
      • What really makes the difference is whether or not you have a low latency or ping (less than 100 ms (milliseconds) recommended)
        • For playing video games online, download and upload speeds don't matter as much as ping, which measures how responsive your connection is to sending and receiving information. The lower the ping to servers and other players, the less lag you will have in your game.
        • To lower ping, connect your computer to the router using Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi, and avoid downloading/uploading files while playing games.
      • Download and upload requirements vary from game to game based on a variety of factors, including: graphics, scale, gameplay and the number of players

     

    What are examples of activities that require high upload speeds?

    • High upload speeds would be required if you need to quickly upload large files or large sets of files to the Internet, such as high resolution or professional quality photographs or video.
    • Live streaming also requires a high and stable upload speed to ensure a clear broadcast and clear reception.
    • Our data shows that on average, our customers use 15 to 20 times more downstream than upstream at peak hours—so the packages we offer  provide download and upload speeds at a ration that mirrors our customers' average consumption rates to best meet their needs.
      • Most customers are using the internet at a 10:1 ratio of download vs upload traffic— meaning that our customers' experiences are very rarely limited because of our upload speeds
    • Although there may be some businesses or home contractors and hobbyists that require a fast upload speed, most activities typically don’t need symmetrical upload speeds to have an enjoyable online experience.

     

    How do I know how much upload I use?

    • You can check your Internet usage by logging into MyAccount

     

    What is the average upload speed for Canadian Internet customers?

    • 5.67 Mbps. The global average is 7.6 Mbps (source)


    How does Shaw’s top speeds compare against other Canadian Internet providers?

    • We currently offer upload speeds of 15 Mbps with WideOpen Internet 150
    • Upload speeds offered by Canadian providers range from 0.5 Mbps to 1000 Mbps. 1000 Mbps upload speeds are typically from fibre Internet service providers as part of a symmetrical Internet plan. The vast majority of Canadians do not have access to fibre Internet services.

     

    I heard you just announced increases to your upload speeds for your Internet packages. Is that true?

    • Starting March 1st, we will begin improving upload speeds for a variety of our current and grandfathered Internet plans. Both new and existing Shaw customers will benefit from the updates listed below:  

      New vs. Old Upload Speeds

      TierCurrent UploadNew Upload as of March 1st, 2017
      Internet 50.512 Mbps 1.0 Mbps
      High Speed 7.50.512 Mbps 1.0 Mbps
      High Speed 100.512 Mbps 1.0 Mbps
      Internet 150.512 Mbps1.5 Mbps
      High Speed 200.512 Mbps2.0 Mbps
      See shaw.ca for available Internet packages

    • A new customer signing up for Internet 5 or 15 on or after March 1st will receive these updated speeds immediately. Existing Internet customers subscribing to the plans listed above will receive increased upload speeds as we roll out updates on a regional basis starting in March through to mid-April. A reset of your modem will also activate the new speeds for existing customers.

     

    Why are you upgrading these packages now?

    • Through the work we completed as part of our digital network upgrade across our Cable footprint, we were able to clear up network congestion and increase our available bandwidth so we could introduce plans such as  Shaw WideOpen Internet 150, our fastest Internet package. We’re now passing on the benefits of our upgraded network, including higher upload speeds, to our Internet customers who subscribe to other plans.

     

    If I’m getting an upgrade, will it affect my other existing services?

    • By delivering our services over a hybrid fibre coax network, we’re able to dedicate enough bandwidth to each of your services to ensure that you get the best value and best experience.

Related: Mar 1 | Upload Speed Increases for Select Internet Plans 

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