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WinMX World :: Forum  |  Discussion  |  WinMx World News  |  Broadband's broken promises

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Offline DaBees-Knees

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Broadband's broken promises
« on: August 13, 2010, 06:31:47 am »

This is a UK story, but much of what is said will probably apply to those in many countries.

• The advertising of broadband speeds in Britain is scandalously misleading
• BT's copper is incapable of delivering decent speeds
• Virgin Media is showing that fibre is the future
• The digital divide between town and country is bound to get wider

Ofcom's boss Ed Richards did not put it in those terms. In fact, he resisted pressure from journalists to be a little more black and white, but that was certainly the regulator's message as he took us through the latest study of the broadband speeds consumers are actually getting.

The survey shows there has been a small increase in average speeds but nearly all of that is due to a doubling of what cable customers are getting. Customers still getting their broadband down a copper wire from BT or one of the firms using its Openreach network have seen their average speeds nudge up just a tad from 3.7Mbps to 4.0Mbps. But even those customers who have moved on to faster copper connections using the ADSL2+ technology do not seem to be getting what they've paid for.

The most striking slide in Mr Richards' presentation showed the average download speeds for people on "up to" 20Mbps copper deals. 65% were getting less than 8Mbps, 32% between 8 and 14Mbps, with just 2% getting 14-20Mbps.

Virgin Media, whose cable network was shown to deliver real speeds much closer to those advertised, will no doubt be buying advertising space to trumpet the results of Ofcom's research, while BT will be hoping that nobody notices it.

Ofcom was keen to promote a new voluntary code which should come into force over the next year, allowing consumers to get out of their contracts if they are not getting what they were promised.  To be fair, most broadband firms do try to give prospective customers an idea of a realistic speed for their location, though some DSL suppliers seem to promise more than others, even when they are using the same infrastructure.

The burning issue seems to be the way broadband is advertised, and Ofcom was keen to stress that was the responsibility of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

But Mr Richards offered the opinion that if ISPs advertised speeds of up to 20Mbps, then at least some of their customers - maybe 10% - ought to be able to get those speeds.

The ASA told the advertising watchdog was currently reviewing this topic, and hoped to have something to say over the next few months - though a spokesman said they hadn't been bombarded with complaints about broadband speeds.

But the other message emanating from Ofcom was that while fibre is the future for broadband, that means the digital divide between town and country is bound to grow. Its figures show that townies are already getting twice the average speed delivered to country dwellers, and as they start taking advantage of the fibre networks spreading through towns, the gap will widen.

With the government's deadline for delivering a minimum 2Mbps service to all homes extended from 2012 to 2015, a few places in rural Britain may feel that they're being left far behind in the fast broadband revolution.

Ed Richards was not going to get involved in the debate about how we pay for a next-generation network; all he would say was that it was beginning to make a difference. "There's an investment process taking place and this research illustrates why this needs to happen."

Broadband in Britain is getting faster, slowly. But consumers may feel that the gap between the industry's promises and what it actually delivers is getting wider.

"If ISPs advertised speeds of up to 20Mbps, then at least some of their customers - maybe 10% - ought to be able to get those speeds"

Those living outside of towns look as though they are going to get a raw deal for some time to come, but if it's any consolation us townies are not always getting what we pay for. The internet providing industry has still got a long way to go to clean up it's act.   8)

Offline Max™

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Re: Broadband's broken promises
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2010, 07:49:08 am »
Im lucky, i already have fibre optic cable, its great,
but my sister has been waiting over 5years for it, she has been on dial-up all this time,
the reason is, her local council repeatedly refused to allow Virgin to dig up the roads to lay cables.

Try Connecting, the attacks may let you

Offline White Stripes

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Re: Broadband's broken promises
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2010, 09:52:40 am »
in the US the country has been completely forgotten... if you can even get broadband you're lucky... if not... dont expect to get it any time in the future....

at least britan has the 2mb plan....

Offline shamil

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Re: Broadband's broken promises
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2010, 08:33:28 am »
Stripes i know what you mean.

Up here in alaska it's absolutely horrible. We only have 3 big names up here, and 2 of them are local. GCI, ACS, and AT&T (AT&T has some wierd deal with cellular phones up here, you only get internet from them if it's through the usb cellular wireless adapter). Anywhere there's a phone line you can get at least dialup here basically anywhere, but for $57 a month. Provided by ACS. ACS does also offer 1mbit dsl for $90 a month.

You get bloated prices for what is otherwise shit.

If you live in a big city like fairbanks or anchorage, you get access to much cheaper and faster 4mbit GCI cable which was $50 a month, and you get channels with that.

Let's just say i don't live within range of GCI cable, and fuck i'm never upgrading to dsl with it being that much, and honestly...ACS dialup i think should be at least $20 cheaper.

Alaska is pretty remote being 1/5 the size of the continental US and with a population of only 1 million; you tend to have telecommunications having there way with you. It's sort of like living in those areas where you get stuck with only comcast and that's all there is. At least ACS does provide solid internet service, but...could be $20 cheaper and it would still be considered quite expensive for dialup.

I'm considering getting a usb cellular wireless adapter for my computer and plug it into the house hold server/router so everyone can have internet. But, then that would mean i'd have to enter into a cellular contract deal which just might be more expensive than my dialup, and posssibly get screwed on a promotional deal a year later.

Offline White Stripes

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Re: Broadband's broken promises
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2010, 09:10:51 pm »
AT&T still offers dialup for a price thats actually reasonable... ...its kinda hard to get to now that they shut down their worldnet service...

i know that url seems strange but... it gets even weirder when you find out that the isp you are using isnt even att .. or prodigy.. .. lol..

and yes you need to signup through yahoo....

another site; (note: read the disclaimer!)

not only is broadband leaving country folk in the US behind... dialup itself is slowly disappearing...

dont do the cellphone usb dongle... at least if you want to keep using winmx and other p2p ... esp bittorrent...

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