MSE News: Broadband speeds not up to advertising claims

This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

"Internet speeds are getting faster but the gap has widened between advertised and real rates, a report reveals ..."

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  • kwikbreakskwikbreaks Forumite
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    The ASA is toothless.
    The public in general is usually clueless.
    Ofcom can't change the rules of physics.
    So apart from being given a more realistic estimate of how abysmally your ancient phone line will perform when you sign up nothing is going to change.

    Average speeds going up but gap between maximum possible and delivered speed widening is an obvious consequence of the rollout of ADSL2+.

    IMO this is an example of Ofcom belatedly trying to seem relevant as they fear the Tory axing of useless quangos (of which Ofcom is an excellent example).
  • Paul_HerringPaul_Herring Forumite
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    This is news?
    but the gap has widened between download speeds and advertised rates
    "Speeds of up to 2Mbs" do include speeds of 0.5Mbs. I thought the general public had caught onto this bit of 'mis-'information. Seems OFCOM/ASA haven't, still, yet; otherwise they would have stopped them advertising in this fashion ages ago.

    They still haven't stopped them advertising "unlimited," packages - which are anything but unlimited.
    Ofcom found advertised DSL speeds of 20-24Mbit/second provided an average speed of just 6.5Mbit/second.
    So, it's conceivable that there were some customers with speeds of 20Mbs? Just that those furthest away from exchanges brought the average down?

    And the report (here) seems all over the place using the words "advertised" and "estimated" almost interchangeably when they shouldn't be.
    Therefore, Ofcom wants ISPs to publish a "typical speed range" alongside the headline figure to give potential customers a better real world understanding of the service on offer.
    So this is going to be neither an 'advertised maximum' nor a 'real estimate' but yet another meaningless number. Where's that rolleyes gif...?
    Ofcom's report also reveals average urban broadband services were twice as fast as those in rural areas; 5.8Mbit/second compared with just 2.7Mbit/second.
    As kwikbreaks points out - there is little any of the telecoms companies can do about the laws of physics, since it's going to be patently uneconomical to do what needs to be done to increase those rates, which is to build more 'exchanges' where the companies won't realistically actually get any ROI from it this side of the sun burning out.
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  • Eric_PischEric_Pisch Forumite
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    i love BE, said i would get 15mb got 16mb, randomly test it and over the last 3 years it has always been 16mb :D time of day makes no difference

    some things are worth paying for

    oh and i live in the middle of nowhere
  • Old_WrinklyOld_Wrinkly Forumite
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    From the article :
    "If consumers pay for a Ferrari-style internet service"
    then they should realise they are dealing with a bunch of cheats? ;)
  • moonrakerzmoonrakerz Forumite
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    kwikbreaks wrote: »
    The ASA is toothless.
    The public in general is usually clueless.
    Ofcom can't change the rules of physics.
    So apart from being given a more realistic estimate of how abysmally your ancient phone line will perform when you sign up nothing is going to change.

    Average speeds going up but gap between maximum possible and delivered speed widening is an obvious consequence of the rollout of ADSL2+.

    IMO this is an example of Ofcom belatedly trying to seem relevant as they fear the Tory axing of useless quangos (of which Ofcom is an excellent example).

    Could this post be reprinted in letters a foot high and sent to all those people who say that they are "paying for" 8mbs and are only getting 2.

    Also to those ignorant idiots in the media who follow this stupid line of argument - Yes , I do include John Humphrys on the Today programme this morning !!

    (PS: I am "paying for" 16mbs and am only getting 14 - who should I complain to ?)
  • kwikbreakskwikbreaks Forumite
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    The real scandal as Paul Herring mentioned is the "Unlimited" one. An ISP gains nothing from their customer being unable to sync at full speed which is in any event entirely outside of their control and simply a result of the length of the phone line. It isn't headline speeds which cost the ISP it is the amount of downloading going on which determines how much bandwidth they need to provide and with BTw resellers that bandwidth is very expensive indeed.

    The customer themselves could often improve those speeds by improving the way that their equipment is connected to the phone line but you have to know the possibility exists in the first place to search out how and most would regard it as far too geeky anyhow.

    I moved to cable a few months ago due to the abject failure of BT to fix a line fault so this issue doesn't affect me any more but those moaning about low speed should consider themselves lucky in one respect - BT don't charge extra for their longer lines which must cost more to install and maintain...
  • karatedragonkaratedragon Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    Not only should the true speeds be more accurate also the crime of advertising "Unlimited" use when there is actually a "fair use ploicy" in the small print should be totally outlawed.

    It is either unlimited or it isnt.
  • oldagetravelleroldagetraveller Forumite
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    "MSE News: Broadband speeds not up to advertising claims"

    What?! OFCOM and MSE have just realised this?:rotfl:
  • Paul_HerringPaul_Herring Forumite
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    What?! OFCOM and MSE have just realised this?

    It would appear so.

    Judging from the last weekly email, however, MSE have still, yet, to catch onto how the word 'unlimited' is (ab)used in broadband advertising:
    Unlimited Broadband £6 - £9/mth: Until this Sat 31 July, O2's* offering 3 mths free on its unlimited download deal. This costs £7.50/mth for existing O2 mobile customers[...]
    Conjugating the verb 'to be":
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  • kwikbreakskwikbreaks Forumite
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    Then after that of course come the realisation that syncing even at full tilt won't guarantee decent download speeds.

    If a sparrow farting on the phoneline doesn't upset the abysmal BTw Dynamic Line Management routines so they drag your maximum down to a few kbps for days on end then the cheapskate ISP cramming far too many customers on their network to be able to deliver anything like your potential speed during the times you may want to use it will get you instead.

    Apart from a few notable exceptions most UK broadband products are pretty abysmal. The reason isn't hard to see - a virtual monopoly doesn't need to deliver a good product or competitive pricing and that is what BT Wholesale have along with a regulator that isn't fit for purpose.
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