Our last poll looked at what changes people would like to see to the speeds of service on ADSL products has closed and its results are available to view here, as well as previously closed polls.
The poll shows, that 31.6% of the voters, were chasing higher speed downstream products, with 37.7% of these looking for BT to relax the limits and allow ADSL modems to train to the best achievable speed using rate adaption on the upstream (and downstream by implication). This suggests that there is demand both for higher downstream and upstream products and not merely an incremental rise to 384kbps upstream, but a significant change.
Adopting rate adaption to offer the best upstream and downstream speeds would seem the most popular solution all around. Until the release of CBC and UBC pricing this would have been a nightmare to price for the UK market, but since the move by a lot of ISPs to launch metered products, it would be easier to administer.
Critics of those calling for higher speeds constantly, will cite the relatively low take-up of the existing 2Mbps services. One very good reason for the low take-up has been the variable reputations that the Datastream 2Mbps service providers have developed, and a reluctance for people to change service provider. With IPStream Home 2000 on the way we may see a much higher take-up. One problem with ADSL is that as you boost the downstream speeds beyond 2Mbps the number of people on each exchange who can receive a service decreases, but even if 6Mbps were only available on 40% of the BT phone lines, this is a large potential market.
One area hardly explored is that of higher upstream speeds in the UK, SDSL is over priced for the early adopter market, even LLU barely offers more to users at present. The upstream suffers from similar range limitations to the downstream, but we suspect that there is plenty of scope for higher upstream speeds on the line limits currently used for the 2Mbps services. Perhaps IPStream Home 2000 Adaptive should be launched, with the upstream running at the best it can achieve, i.e. a maximum of 1Mbps, dropping to 256kbps in the worst case.
We hope BT Wholesale and the LLU providers will take note. BT Wholesale should be widening its product portfolio to fully exploit the hardware it has in the exchanges. Additionally LLU providers need to roll-out products that are not just re-runs of the existing ADSL products. The big question is what sort of price premium would people pay for a rate adaptive product.
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