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Why do internet providers advertise in bits and not bytes?

#1Grunt40Posted 8/7/2014 1:06:11 PM
I just got a free internet upgrade that went from 15Mb/s down to 50Mb/s down, which I know is about 1.5~ MB/s down to 5.0~ MB/s down, but why advertise it in megabits if the average consumer will probably get the two mixed up?
The obvious answer here is money, but that really can't be the ONLY reason why, right?
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#2GoldninjaPosted 8/7/2014 1:07:36 PM
50 sounds better than 5.
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#3DmanTeePosted 8/7/2014 1:08:22 PM
It's a psychological numbers game. That is also why some companies advertise their sales as $19.99 instead of $20.00.
#4SinisterSlayPosted 8/7/2014 1:15:59 PM
Because they get away with it.

It doesn't matter anyways because to get the advertised speed there would have to be no congestion.
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#5Worknofun370Posted 8/7/2014 1:18:42 PM
Everyone uses bits when talking about network speeds in the network world. I'm sure part of it is marketing, but i'm sure a big other part is simply sticking with standards.
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#6kingoffpsPosted 8/7/2014 1:18:53 PM
It's a factor of 8 buddy, not a factor of 10.

But yeah presumably in the very early dial-up days the numbers were too small to seem impressive. When you had a 14.4k modem, that's better than saying 1.8KB/s. Then as speeds increased obviously they had to stick with it.
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#7nonexistingheroPosted 8/7/2014 1:20:48 PM(edited)
DmanTee posted...
It's a psychological numbers game. That is also why some companies advertise their sales as $19.99 instead of $20.00.


It is a bit different though. For the pricing it's just a psychological barrier. But for internet providers... I'd say it's misleading advertising. When downloading things on your computer it's displayed in megabytes. But when internet providers brag about speed, they talk about megabits. And there's a lot of people who don't know there's a difference between MB and Mb. Many people get a contract under the assumption that the advertised speed is MB and not Mb. Rather than advertise with Mbit, they use Mb which is very easy to confuse with MB.
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#8Worknofun370Posted 8/7/2014 1:20:40 PM
nonexistinghero posted...
But for internet providers... I'd say it's false advertising.


Correctly advertising something != false advertising.
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#9nonexistingheroPosted 8/7/2014 1:21:34 PM
I meant misleading and I already fixed it. And well, there's no way you can claim it's not misleading.
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#10Worknofun370Posted 8/7/2014 1:22:16 PM
nonexistinghero posted...
I meant misleading and I already fixed it. And well, there's no way you can claim it's not misleading.


I absolutely can. It's not misleading either. They advertise it as megabits, consumer ignorance doesn't make that misleading.
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