Originally Posted by mecha
To clarify, what I'm asking is this...
Lets say I have Plan B from my cable service which says speeds up to 28Mbps.
My neighbor has Plan C which says it delivers up to 18Mbps.
Based on what I've heard, the advertised speed is insignificant because all cable internet runs off the same line in the neighborhood. Also, the sites' download speeds is limited to their servers which is well under these advertised speeds. Therefore, both my neighbor and I will essentially have the same internet speed. Maybe my understanding is off here, but this is what I have been told.
That is incorrect. Generally the line coming into a neighborhood/house is capable of much higher speeds than the cable company is offering you. It is normally limited by the cable modem, which pulls its configuration down from the pipes. There have been methods in the past for hacking cable modems to install alternative configuration to remove restrictions on speed, but violators are normally caught and life-banned by the ISP.