The tech support people know what is in their scripts and what they can find in thier database of solutions.
Hosting a dedicated game uses nowhere near the bandwidth you described. The locations of players and objects takes little bandwidth. The only thing that is forwarded over to others logged onto your server is locations of those objects, text chat, etc and they all are very low bandwifth. If you are running a server heavy on models and mods that need to be downloaded by new players joining the server then a good upload bandwidth helps.
You were asking about the download speed however. At the speeds you said you were getting it still wouldn't matter. You could host 32+ on that with the right machine with no problems.
The connection test shows the download performance between your PS3 and specific PSN servers. The speed of any Internet connection between two servers is limited by the slowest link between the two servers. In this case, link refers not only to the capacity of the wires or fibers and the network equipment connecting them, but also any bandwidth limits that are imposed on each connection at any point in the network.
When the ISP tests the performance of the connection, they test it between your LAN and their computers or networking equipment. That is a relatively short trip in networking terms, that covers only equipment that they own and control. Under those conditions, you will see something reasonable close to your rated bandwidth. Sony's PSN servers are a lot further away, and reaching them requires sending data across networking equipment that your ISP doesn't own, and can't control. That equipment is not going to allow any one IP connection to consume dozens of Mbps of bandwidth, because you aren't paying them $200 per month. That includes the network that the PSN servers are attached to. The bottom line is that 17Mbps is all the bandwidth that at least one of the routers or switches between your ISP, and Sony's PSN servers, is willing to let you use. There is absolutely nothing that you can do about that.
All you bought for your $200 per month is assurance that the connection between your home and your ISP won't be the limiting factor for your download speed. There are still thousands of other things that can be limiting factors, so unless you are downloading something from your ISP's servers; not only is there no guarantee that you will be able to download at anywhere near 105Mbps; but it is going to be very, very, rare that you will see anything like that kind of download performance from web sites and Internet services that you use in general.
Amsterdam has a public Internet infrastructure that can deliver 1Gbps download speeds to the home, but none of the city's Internet providers sells more than 200Mbps. The reason is that higher speeds are just a waste of money. There are virtually no servers on the Internet that you could actually download from at more than 200Mbps, even if your ISP provided you a higher speed. Most of the time, even 105Mbps will be a waste of money, particularly if you are downloading from PSN.
To answer your specific question, the PS3's Ethernet port supports 1000Base-T networking, so it is not the limiting factor in your download speed. The PS3 could download at 700-800Mbps, if there were no other limiting factors. The PS3 is a media server client, so Sony built it to be able to take advantage of gigabit networking speeds in order to stream high-definition video from other computers on the local network. Sony didn't expect to be downloading from the Internet at those speeds anytime soon. Assuming that you have a gigabit Ethernet router, and your broadband modem also supports gigabit Ethernet networking, then there would be nothing in your home or at your ISP that would stop you from downloading at 80Mbps+. There are plenty of things on the Internet past your ISP that can, and generally will, limit your downloads to much lower speeds.
THANK YOU! that was a well written and very informative response. I really appreciate you taking the time to write all that for me. However, I must add that using the ps3's browser I went to speedtest.net and tested the connection on a location that I previously tested on 2 different computers. That server gave me a speed of 94 to 112 on the computers.. but the ps3 topped at 17. It was not a sony server that was being pinged and that same server delivered my full speed to my computers. So I am still unsure what would cause the ps3 to not communicate to that particular server as fast as my computer did.
There is one other limiting factor. The software on the PS3. Network performance tests don't do any real work, so they tend to be affected by the overhead in the TCP/IP stack, and even the browser's performance running applets; more than a real application would. The PS3 browser doesn't perform nearly as well as a PC browser in any respect. Also, PCs, especially desktops, usually have chipsets that have special processors that off-lead a lot of the TCP/IP packet processing from the CPU. The PS3 probably doesn't have hardware in the same performance class, because it is mostly designed to process small-packets or streaming data. Software performance could account for the difference that you are seeing between the PC and the PS3 in synthetic performance tests. It may be that the PS3 just won't run the test application fast enough to get a number higher than 17Mbps, where a PC could easily do so.
Did you ever find a solution? I have many friends that have 30 Mbs download speeds and they get in the high 20's when the do the PS3 Internet Connection Test. I've had 12 Mbs, 18 Mbs, 30 Mbs, and 100 Mbs download speeds. 12 and 18 were different ISP than the 30 and 100. Either way, I've always gotten between 11-12 Mbs when I did the PS3 Internet Connection Test.
Just thought I'd see if you learned anything new that helped.
The PS3 Internet Connection Test uses the PSN server for its testing. Often, the server is very far away and somewhat sluggish. It's normal to get a much lower result on the PS3 compared to a bandwidth test on a PC from a nearby testing server.
For instance, my connection is 15 Mbps down, 1 Mbps up. On my PS3, I get 2.5 Mbps down, 0.6 Mbps up. This is normal, and is not indicative of connections to other players. If you are having connection problems, ensure your wireless connection is consistent if you are using WiFi, your NAT Type is 2, and UPnP is enabled.
Whew I was thinking of getting 100MBPS for 60 dollars but i'm sticking to 15MBPS/19.99 cause it all about ping and I gotta figured out how to get a good ping with what I have I don't really get too much problems but with GT5 i get the most problems that is the only game I have that use both the green light and orange light on the PS3 Slim and I occasionally get black screen and freezes
The OP paying $200/month is a bit ridiculous but that was 2 years ago. It probably was about that much back then. In my area, you can get 100 Mbps for around $60. But, 15 Mbps is enough most of the time and 30 Mbps should be plenty for the more serious gamers trying to minimize lag. You are correct, Ping is very important, but so is upload, especially if you are host. Many ISP's offer a ridiculously high Download but much slower uploads. For me, I have 30 Mbps but only 4 Mbps upload. I'm hoping that in the coming months my ISP ups the Upload speeds to at least 10 Mbps. THey are currently increasing these upload speeds. Just not sure how much. My guess is many ISP's will be doing the same in the next year or two so that the upload speeds match the download speeds.