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A chance to air your broadband speed hassles
Thursday 26 February 2009 11:10:35 by Andrew Ferguson

While all of us here at thinkbroadband are pretty aware of what the various issues that arise due to confusion, errors, mis-information on broadband speed we are looking for people willing to be quoted on their issue in the media (press and TV).

If you would like your voice to be heard, or if you feel perhaps there is an area relating to broadband speed that we fail and other places fail to mention then email andrew@thinkbroadband.com with a short synopsis of your issue. The issue does not have to be complex, it can range from having to explain the difference between bits and Bytes, how you figured out what your providers usage limits were on an unlimited service, through to long battles to get work done on a line to get it to perform as expected.

We will sift through the various emails, and may well email you back ourselves, and if its an ongoing problem we may even be able to help fix something where you feel like you are talking to a brickwall with your broadband provider.

Once we have emailed people back, we may ask for your permission to pass on your contact details to the media outlet that is looking for real world stories, this may result in comments being used or possibly a chance to appear on TV. We will only forward those emails where we have written back to confirm this is what we will do, and the address will not be used for any marketing purposes. If you just want to voice a gripe feel free to do so, but make it clear you just want to make a comment in your email.

Comments

Posted by collinc over 8 years ago
At last! Hope I get my chance!
Posted by Bryan-Tansley over 8 years ago
I don't mind if the connection is 'Slow' due to distance from the exchange etc. but I do object to being quoted and charged for the 'Max' speed. If I can only get 2-4-6 speed let me pay for that, and not be billed for an 8-16 speed connection.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
If you missed it, he said email andrew@thinkbroadband.com with a short synopsis of your issue....
Posted by isae001 over 8 years ago
I have BT up to 8 MB. The max speed to my home address is 4.4 but the most I have had is 3.7 but it only lasts about a week then drops back to 0.1mb Another series of calls and someone following a check list eventually agrees there is problem an engineer calls and shortly afterwards the speed increases. Then is back to <1mb. And so it goes on x2 in Feb alone.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Bryan - Bear in mind you'd get maybe a few quid off, and the ISP would cap your speed slower, so wiring or general speed updates would mean you'd need to pay to switch to a quicker service...
Posted by Groovehound over 8 years ago
@ isae001 - if the engineer is doing something, it would be better to let us know what that is (and ask him to tell you specifically). Then we can help, the support can often be better than the ISPs, (at least we like to think so)!
Posted by john-fraser over 8 years ago
Living in the country in Moray (not the back of beyond!)the distance from the exchange is about 3 miles and is a mix of under- and over- ground copper wire with a lot of joints. Tiscali always shows my speed as 1.2mbs but a quick run around this website and speedtest.net and broadband watchdog show 0.4mbs 5 mins ago.
Posted by meldrew over 8 years ago
I don't have a problem with speed. A check a few seconds ago showed 6.1Mbs. It did however strike me that if ADSL is a contended service then surely the faster the speed the less the contention. Instead of capping speed all ISPs (and BT) should automatically give the user the fastest speed possible and if anything cap data volume. Despite being at home all day (retired) and spending a lot of it online I barely use 5Gb per month.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
meldrew: "surely the faster the speed the less the contention."
no, speed has nothing to do with it - it is 'bandwidth' VS number of users..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contention_ratio

Please note 'bandwidth' is NOT speed! It is 'capability'...
Consider a car - Would you say 'people per second' when you know it will travel at the same speed, whether it has 5 or 2 people on board?? 5 people/sec or 2 people/sec traveling at the same speed!!
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
'Actual speed' is the 'data rate' or ping - how fast a single bit takes to get there..
'effective speed' is the above plus data errors - 50% errors, gets 50% speed, but each 'good packet' will STILL go at FULL(actual) speed...

this 'effective speed' can be further reduced by website managers etc, by only allowing data in to a schedule, eg 5 allowed, next 5 refused..

Use Tbbmeter to show how the data flows - download from the Tbbmeter section, you will see a solid graph.. but many others will show 'gaps'..
Posted by nigelmclelland over 8 years ago
I have a 20Mb Connection over cable and its nevr reached 20Mb yet! Wired not wireless!! Dont think 50mb is gonna go down well.

Nigel CH63 Wirral
Posted by meldrew over 8 years ago
Comnut - TVM for clarification. Maybe some lateral thinking is needed for future development!
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
thanks :) but the damage has already been done... Bad marketing strategies, due to over-hopeful info on the capabilities of the product, companies believing salesmen's 'off their head' sales campaigns....

And when everyone signs up,(believing all this over-expectant nonsense) everything goes well - until both the companies AND the users start getting greedy, start pushing the boundaries..
But the network is at capacity, due to various mismanagements and buyouts.. and BT's lackadaisical approach does not help!
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
Then the customers turn 'litigious', critiquing the companies 'loose terminology' and the fact that ancient wiring and overcrowding has started to have damaging effect on the quality of the service...

All the companies seem to do is change the wording of things, to stop frightening away customers, and trying to manage throughput of some customers...

The only real solution I can see is to bill it like the electric company does.. NO fixed price deals, but you pay for all the downloads per Gb..
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Comnut - "greedy"? Oh, you mean using it as-advertised. You're making excuses for misselling. If they cannot offer a service, they should not offer it.

And forcing a business model where you'll pay per GB would kill off the vast majority of internet usage, and do a great deal of harm to UK business.

That'd "solve" the issue, sure. I'd see if I could get ISDN again, or if not I'd be implimenting extremely harsh rate controls at the router. 5kb/s max for web browsers.
Posted by Bryan-Tansley over 8 years ago
No dawn I don't think I missed the point, if I go into a restraint and pay for roast pork, I would certainly have grounds for complaint if I was served a pork chop.

My ISP I am happy with, they said I could never reach the highest speeds and sold me a discounted lower speed package, yet other providers are still trying to sell me a 'Hi-Speed' connection, that they can not possible hope to deliver.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
Mis-selling is only PART of it - what about the mis-buying??
Are you one of these people that goes into a charity shop, picks a coat marked £1, and says "I'm not buying this for less than 50 pence!" and return it due to a hole in the pocket, but are then surprised to find it closed down???
You then have no sense of value, have not checked the goods before sale, and have no idea of the expense of running a business!

You buy a very cheap airline ticket, and then find that due to popularity, the flight has been overbooked - what happens??
Do you have a childish tantrum??
Posted by Bryan-Tansley over 8 years ago
Sorry 'Restaurant' (never trust a spell Checker).
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
Just like the airline, most ISPs have been 'backed into a corner' by the salesmen and excessive demand, to say nothing about bad treatment by unprincipled customers...

As I said it is not just their fault... If BT had kept up its maintenance, treated its workers a lot better, put more money in it instead of just 'keeping the shareholders happy' and taking days instead of weeks to do stuff...

what do people in south Europe, Holland & USA say???

"forcing a business model where you'll pay per GB would kill off the majority of internet" is most likely why they are dubious to do it...
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
But just look at the majority here, who 'want their GB'... Electric & gas are charged for the amount you use, and they have schemes in place for minimal & excessive users - I'm sure these could be applied so that everyone gets what they want...

Fairly new in UK is water meters... A lot hate them before even using them, but once they are installed, find that they don't really use a massive amount(even with 7 baths a week!), and it works out cheaper than the previous fixed charge!
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
I say we should get away from the obsession with speed etc, and just sell a 'service'.. If your electric fails, you of course do not pay for the stuff you cannot use!

But I'll leave you to argue about 'level of service' charges... quite common on a T3 line, before the internet got so big...
Posted by zaxtroth over 8 years ago
Slow Broadband. Companies who are only interested in selling, why is it that Ofcom do not take direct action against all these lying and cheating ISP's. I am with Tiscali and never have I come across a more crooked and downright thieving organisation who make promises they cant keep and deliver their service from a call centre in India, manned by people who have a 3 year olds grasp of the English Language. Ofcom "DO SOMETHING, ANYTHING!!!
Posted by Gzero over 8 years ago
@comnut, you scare me. Paying for the GB? No thanks, not my fault my line isn't perfect, and my modem asks for more data than someone with a better condition line. Is it really upto me to pay for that? If a download drops (include lots of examples here :p) is it really upto me to pay for that? If I'm updating wow using the blizzard downloader, should I have to pay for the extra traffic that I have no real control over? I don't think you can compare data with electric and gas services.
Posted by Gzero over 8 years ago
Also, some might increase their lockdown on what their browser does. Addons such as Adblock do stop most ads, but what if I decided that I didn't want any images or js or flash in order to save the amount I download? Surely free sites would lose funding since I have effectively gotten rid of the adverts on the site. Killing the internet?
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
zaxtroth: check my comment about BT above... Ofcom seems to be their lapdog...

You will note that tiscali being sold off, and no-one seems to want it... fair enough...
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
Gzero: As said, when people were told to pay water charges **per gallon** a lot freaked!! :) UK pays a fixed amount, some areas quite expensive..

But when they actually calculated it, they realized it would almost HALF their bills!!! :D

I dont see why your modem 'asks for more data due to errors'.. unless you are just continually refreshing the page, due to missing content..
If have blocked graphics and flash, they wont be requested, so you get less data, so you pay less!
If your blocker actually downloads them, but just does not display them, you need to look at a better solution..
Posted by Gzero over 8 years ago
CRC errors...

Also comnut don't you realise my point that some sites rely on advertising to fund some of the cost of the website? Blocking them = no funding = no website?
Posted by Gzero over 8 years ago
And some ISP's already offer usage blocks, were you pay for a set amount a month. If it was cheaper surely they would be booming with business and getting high recommendations?
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago

You need to check out your system with TBBmeter or similar, and then take it up with your ISP, or go elsewhere to get a service to match your situation... look at samknows.com..

website funding is a different issue, *nothing* to do with ISPs..

Usage blocks? almost all have them as a FUP...
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
How much do you pay your ISP? £10 a month? now let's suppose you d/l 5 Gb a month, going up to 10Gb in one week, that only happens every 3 months, if that..

If they offered you £1 per Gb, that would mean you only pay £5 per month.. :)
AND almost *nothing* if you go on holiday for a month,

and the few time you d/l 10gb, £10 one-off.. and if you only gaming, that is very little data, so your average bill would be much less than your normal £10...
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
Telephone bills may be a closer example, But I only know the USA, where it has been denationalised.. Like electric, it is monitored in at least 3 points... at home, on a meter.. at the station, and you can also monitor it online.. in case of a bad reading you can protest using that evidence...

My point is, if it is monitored as closely as this, you CAN sue them for falsification.... :)
Posted by Gzero over 8 years ago
"My point is, if it is monitored as closely as this, you CAN sue them for falsification.... :)"

Strange how BBC watchdog didn't bother to point that out?
Posted by Gzero over 8 years ago
"and the few time you d/l 10gb, £10 one-off.. and if you only gaming, that is very little data, so your average bill would be much less than your normal £10..."

Sorry steam would blow your budget well off. Direct downloads are heavy now. 10gb per game. For example Orange box.

So it wouldn't be so rosie for PC Gamers.
I'm happy with my £7 per month with O2 LLU. I don't think it could come any cheaper than that.
Posted by Gzero over 8 years ago
Although I agree with you that I do think it's important that the marketing of companies services were sorted out.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
"Strange how BBC watchdog didn't bother to point that out?" because it is NOT monitored for how much you d/l (until you start hitting the FUP), it is only monitored for speed, that is proved to be not their fault, but due to line quality, etc...
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
steam?? not possible....
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
and how much DO you pay for this??
Posted by Kempy over 8 years ago
Can I comment from an ISP's point of view?
KeConnect - been in business for 12 years as an ISP, started with 128k leased line , 20 Courier modems from the garage - now located in 4 resilient data centres in London) we try to get everyone to understand that bandwidth, like other commodities, has to be paid for.
Bryan reflects what will happen in the long run, i.e. in order to give customers the performance they need, we the ISP have to buy this capacity, and then pass on this cost at a profit.
Oversell capacity - cheap but sloooowww. Too cheap - make no profit - out of business.
Posted by Kempy over 8 years ago
If ISP's over-sell their capacity they can make it cheaper for the customer (bit like overbooking hotel rooms to ensure full capacity). Trouble is, just like when you turn up at the hotel in Tenerife and your holiday rep tells you your dream holiday is actually a bunk bed in the basement, not managing this over-contention often leaves insufficient capacity to go round and lots of disgruntled customers.
The moral of this is if you don't fancy this arrangement, go to an ISP with no traffic shaping and no ‘fair use policy’, but be prepared to pay for it.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Kempy - There's a difference between overselling to a reasonable degree and using complex traffic management systems because you're selling four or five times the speed your network can sustain under average load.

Comnut - Try "you put £10 on your mobile, but only get £2 because "talk time is contended"."
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
Gzero: check the specs for steam - 64 MB RAM, 400 Mhz processor, 1GB HD space... hardly big, and yes, it WILL work on 56k dialup!
bottom of this page..
https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=6966-IADH-1503

So your figure is just idiotic..


Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
dawn, look back to where I was talking about ISPs 'backed into a corner', by crazed salesmen, and customers believing you can get something out of almost nothing...


Posted by Gzero over 8 years ago
@commut I was talking about using Steam as a platform for buying and playing games through. It will eat up your bandwidth easily if you buy a lot of games through it. Yes it works on dial up, but you won't be downloading any game patches through it never mind downloading full games.
You clearly don't use it and make silly comments instead...
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
well it was you that claimed 10Gb... tell me HOW LONG it took to download that...
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Comnut - "crazed ISP employed salesmen!"

No sympathy. None at all.
Posted by Gzero over 8 years ago
4 hours, give or take, it lets you resume.
Another game that you can get through steam GTA 4, want to guess how big that is?
http://store.steampowered.com/app/12210/
Don't look it might break your bank :P

What I'm trying to say is that taking the route of charging per the amount you use, will destroy the digital download shops. iTunes and Steam would probably go out of business very quickly since they don't send you a physical media with the data on it.

And how many people have backed up data online?

Posted by mishminx over 8 years ago
We had exactly the same thing with dialup... Once the pernicious marketeers had effectively eaten their own tails. Suddenly it was all the fault of the consumers and their overtly unreasonable expectations. So the self-flagellating elites took it upon themselves to edumacate the public at large.
Posted by mishminx over 8 years ago
Perhaps we should have a mental business act, so that businesses posing a danger to themselves could be sectioned and prevented from trading.

Or maybe one day we shall have Internet service advisor's. Who will guide us through the minefield of Fagan like contract wavers, snake oil merchants and Arthur Daley's galore.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
bank, forgeddit.. most do not 'direct d/l' these days, they let the torrent take the strain... 10M connection, 700M file, takes about 2 mins... direct normally takes 10- 15, IF their server is not crowded...

My current stats..
http://www.speedtest.net/result/420196141.png
or this one at a better time..
http://www.speedtest.net/result/331285779.png

cable is great for me in london...:)
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
um my next Q would be, why pay that much for a download (??) when you can get it on amazon for £16???
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_ss_w_h_?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Grand+Theft+Auto+IV&x=9&y=24
Posted by Gzero over 8 years ago
I asked the same question tooo lol. But apparently the bonus is for pre release games and weekends or just plain minimal wait times.

Pay a few pounds more so you can play it tonight rather than 2 days from now?
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
Ok.. :)
Posted by cyberdoyle over 8 years ago
I will email, can't fit it in to 600 characters LOL
Posted by pcoventry76 over 8 years ago
Most ISPs do a per GB charging system. True PAYG as per the MB didnt work. thats why metronet couldnt survive and was bought out.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
No, they do an 'excess Gb' charging system AFAIK...
Posted by Kempy over 8 years ago
Dawn reasonable contention of the capacity of their back-haul is how all ISP's arrive at a price that it feels it can sell at a profit. The gentle point I'm trying to make is that ISP's are being forced to over-contend their network in order to meet a price point in the market place.

Bottom line is when the cost of backhaul is added to the wholesale monthly cost per customer each 1GB cost approximately £1.

It follows that most ISP's are therefore forced to traffic shape because their price points don't allow them the profits required to reinvest in more capacity
Posted by Kempy over 8 years ago
Even a 2Mbps connection used semi-regularly will generate an average of 40-50Kbps over the course of a month. If you do the maths it equates to around 15GB data transfer per month -ergo at least £15 cost - then add on staff wages then add on light heat etc...

I suspect there will be a few people in the discussion who will question this - but trust me - these figures are accurate. The upshot is - if you use 200GB through your connection your fellow subscribers are subsidising you big time.
Posted by Gzero over 8 years ago
@Kempy, I feel you are being a little vague.
"If you do the maths it equates to around 15GB data transfer per month -ergo at least £15 cost"
Is that based on IPstream? Is that only relevant to BT based products? If so, then the issue is with BT and not the customers (reasoning: Airline comapnies use bigger planes when the route is frequently oversubscribed and don't usually increase costs)?
Posted by oomingmak over 8 years ago
Comnut said: "The only real solution I can see is to bill it like the electric company does. NO fixed price deals, but you pay for all the downloads per Gb."

Well that's all well and good if you are absolutely assured of getting the speed that your line is capable of.

When you pay your metered electricity bill, you don't find that you can barely warm up your dinner because it's evening time and everyone else has their cookers on as well (thereby diminishing your electricity supply).
Posted by oomingmak over 8 years ago
.... cont.

Whether you want to power a single 10w bedside lamp or five separate electric bar heaters, you get whatever amount of electricity that you require, without restriction.

I can't see that happening with broadband, even if you were paying per GB.
Posted by collinc over 8 years ago
isae001 I am suffering the same problem, time after time engineers have been out to fault find at the line remains good for a week or less, however, alas I've been with BT for a number of years, so how we will ever get BT to finally fix their dodgy infastructure beats me!
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
oomingmak: you are forgetting... you do NOT pay a standard amount for electric, you pay for what you use!! If you leave that oven on all night you will be 'rewarded' with a very expensive bill...

And let me remind of what **actually happened** a few years back in 'silicon valley'...
They said they did not want more power stations, it would ruin the scenery... and sure enough, a while after that, random power-outages happened, due to excess demand.. :) :)
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
Let me ask though, would you like to pay only 4 pence per GByte??
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
collinc: yes, THAT is the main problem affecting line quality, and hence *effective* speed!

please read the previous posts for explanation... :)
Posted by Kempy over 8 years ago
Gzero I'm trying to be very clear actually, but within 600 characters per post.

Across our customer base current usage equates to average stream of 45-50Kbps per user. Some WAY more some somewhat less dividing this into an STM1 (155Mbps) will give you the number of users this will handle. The only question after that is how much do you over contend to make money.
Posted by Kempy over 8 years ago
Ok here's another analogy - a water company owns a reservoir. This reservoir is capable of being replenished at 622 million pints per second. Studies establish that households use 45k -50k pints per second - if water company supplies 1 million homes each home can get 622 pints before the reservoir is at a critical point i.e. any more use and the reservoir will not fast enough.

The solution is buy more water to replenish the users, but the users don't want to pay more for their water. The other solution is to limit the number of pints the user can flush away.
Posted by Kempy over 8 years ago
Those on water meters tend to find they only use what they need - those on fixed water rates tend to pay over the odds, and many, many users on fixed water rates use their next door neighbours share as well, cause it doesn't cost them any more, sound familiar?
Posted by Kempy over 8 years ago
Also Gzero - re the airline analogy once you get to the point where you have more travellers than the plane can hold you have to lay on more flights and buy more planes, or risk safety by overflying the existing aircraft and this has to increase costs, or charge passengers to use the loos ....
Posted by Kempy over 8 years ago
Also Gzero - re the airline analogy once you get to the point where you have more travellers than the plane can hold you have to lay on more flights and buy more planes, or risk safety by overflying the existing aircraft and this has to increase costs, or charge passengers to use the loos ....
Posted by Kempy over 8 years ago
Sorry monopolising this a bit now - but I'm trying to get us to be realistic. Whoever the ISP is - whether LLU, wireless or cable if they have more users than their bandwidth can cope with, customers will get delays, packet loss, and poor end user experience. If they don't recover their costs, when they finally get enough customers to pay for the backhaul, they will then have to over-contend, at which point they either get grief from lots of disillusioned customers - suffer churn and/or go bust. Then those customers 'air their broadband speed hassles'.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
"Bottom line is when the cost of backhaul is added to the wholesale monthly cost per customer each 1GB cost approximately £1. "

Rubbish. Absolute rubbish.

And once more, there is a difference between reasonable contention, which dosn't materially effect your users and what, say, VM does (which is NOT bandwidth-price limited)
Posted by Bryan-Tansley over 8 years ago
Could I remind you all the the topic here is NOT 'cost', but 'speed' as I said in a previous post I do not care about cost, if I can afford it I buy it, if I can not I do not. The issue here is that many companies have sold us a package, that does NOT do what was advertised. If a company can not deliver at that price point why did they sell it?
Posted by Kempy over 8 years ago
'Rubbish. Absolute rubbish.'
Dawn, I review this every month in Board meetings, so please accept that these costings are accurate. We buy from BT wholesale as they are the only *nationwide* game in town, although we do have localised LLU offering, but the same applies if you have a LLU provider you have to backhaul it back to telehouse or wherever and that is where the cost model breaks down.
Posted by Kempy over 8 years ago
Bryan - good point - I am trying to get the point over that speed, consistency of performance and reliability(all the things that attract ratings from users and are measured on this very site) rely on the ISP being able to build a robust network that is not over-contended. That costs money (heh heh about a £1 per Gigabyte per month, per user actually) KeConnect will soon launch its 21CN ADSL2+ offering. We could not possibly have made this significant investment unless we had recovered our costs in previous years.
Posted by Kempy over 8 years ago
I'll leave it at that - but I hope this view from the ISP has been of interest
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
Interesting comments and emails so far.

What do people have to say on the issue of comparison sites, good way to compare providers, or just a modern marketing dream?
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Kempy - That's nice. I've worked for an ISP too. Don't try and tinsel me like you tinsel other people. (Thanks for the heads up on avoiding your ISP, though!)
Posted by DrewR over 8 years ago
In regard to Andrew's post: Our exchange and many like it seem to only contain BT kit. They do not hold much attraction to ISPs to set up their own, so what does this mean for comparisons? I also wonder if the margins present at opportunity for LLUs based on community cooperation agreements... Drew
Posted by Bryan-Tansley over 8 years ago
Comparison sites?

No I can't say that they have influenced me at all, what has been the most helpful was visiting various forums and seeing what the customers have to say. Then talking to suppliers until I got an honest answer, when someone said the fastest I would ever get would be 4Mbps and offered sell me that package and not a 'super-fast' package. So now I am quite happy with my ISP as I regularly get 4-5Mbps and am not tearing my hair out at not getting 16Mbps.
Posted by Dogberto over 8 years ago
I pay for a modest 2 meg package from Orange. The average speed (thanks here to thinkbroadband for their excellent facilities) tests at around 0.8 ! Upload is even worse at 0.4 !
Posted by ian72 over 8 years ago
@Dogberto : Upload will not get more than 0.4 because that is about the max for the package you are on - 2Mbps is download speed.
As far as comparison sites go, don't use them - only use TBB forums. But I have a strong understanding of what to expect and get what I pay for which I'm happy with. Problem is people get told they will get more than can physically be provided.
Posted by OldGerry over 8 years ago
Here's a very simple solution to (at least part of) the problem. Outlaw the expression 'up to' in all advertising. Ban it, make it illegal, with substantial fines. Insist that they use 'at least' when quoting speeds, volumes etc. Suppliers could then be held to account legally. This could usefully be applied to all advertising, not just broadband.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
OldGerry - So now you want to legislate against how ADSL works? All you'll create is a situation where they cannot use any speed (since you cannot guarantee that everyone is within range of the exchange).

So now you have to use ADSL2+ or various marketing terms which are less clear than numbers. How does this help, again?
Posted by OldGerry over 8 years ago
Dawn_Falcon - the distance was measured in my case, and BT said my line was capable of 2.3Mbps download. Initially the Zen 'Up to 8Mbps' service ran at 2.0Mbps - OK. Soon it dropped to 1.0 - 1.8. When it gets down to 0.8 - 1.2 I complain, and up it goes to 1.6 or better - until the next time.

The speed offered (and paid for) should reflect the distance. If the supplier then allows it to deteriorate (by, for example, selling it to more customers than they can support) there should be penalties.
Posted by OldGerry over 8 years ago
If it is impossible for a supplier to guarantee any particular speed, he should not quote speeds - they are meaningless. Consider slimming products - no more 'lose up to 16 pounds of fat'. They could say 'lose at least 2 pounds of fat, if used in accordance with instructions' or they could quote no numbers at all.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
The advertising covers connection speeds, are people mixing connection speed and throughput that they experience?

The two are very different, and while the latter forms the maximum, are people aware that it is impossible to guarantee speeds. Even leased lines only carry speed SLA's that cover to a certain point in a providers network.
Posted by Mr_Fluffy over 8 years ago
Surely if the technology allows for "up to" a certain speed it is sensible for an ISP to advertise that? The fact that some people's "last mile" is in fact three miles of waterlogged aluminium wire in a duct that is connected to an Edwardian mess of house phone wiring should not redound on the ISP!
Posted by Mr_Fluffy over 8 years ago
Be, the ISP I happily moved to from PlusNet, as far as I can remember has always referred to "up to 24Mb/s" with the provisos about dependence on line conditions never being tucked more than one layer below the home page, but you always get some fool moaning about getting much less than 24Mb/s when the connection between their home and the exchange is dire.
Posted by Mr_Fluffy over 8 years ago
I get around 15-16 Mb/s synch, and have been known to get around 1.4MB/s on a linux update - more frequently D/Ls from sites like Rapidshare are much slower at 100-200 KB/s typically so my 15-16 Mb/s synch rate is hardly necessary, let alone 24 Mb/s, it's just that markedly higher bandwidth could well be of value in 5-10 years time when several channels of streaming HDTV or online films might be of interest
Posted by Gzero over 8 years ago
"Rapidshare are much slower at 100-200 KB/s" they throttle it for the free users, and on premium it's not that much better (yes maxing out a Uni connection can be fun for a bit :p).
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
OldGerry - As I've said before, I'm all for people who want to save a few quid (and that's all it'd be) have their connections capped. I'm also entirely for ISP's charging a fee and requiring a new contract for the cap's removal (and the cap being cross-ISP).

And yea, Mr Fluffy is right on the last mile.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
Mr Fluffy neglects to mention who is responsible for that waterlogged aluminium wire, BuT most of us know... >:(

and for a proper test of your speed,use a netmeter of your choice, and download from here, for a reliable source... :)

http://www.thinkbroadband.com/videos/iplate-installation.html
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
more here..
http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/3889-the-most-common-broadband-questions.html
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
Gzero: almost all sites throttle output - it helps keep bandwidth costs down, and prevents overloading...
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
comnut - That'd be the pre-BT PTO, yes.
Posted by oomingmak over 8 years ago
@comnut: "you are forgetting... you do NOT pay a standard amount for electric"

I am not "forgetting" any such thing. I am perfectly well aware of how electricity is billed.

The point that I was making (which you totally failed to understand) is that there is no restriction on the *SUPPLY* of electricity. Sure, you have to pay for whatever amounts you use, but as long as you you pay for it then you can have as much electricity as you want, whenever you want it, and your power supply is unaffected by any neighbour's electricity consumption.
Posted by oomingmak over 8 years ago
... cont


There is no such thing as "contention" with electricity supply, whereas there may well still be contention in effect on broadband (despite the fact that the user is being charged per GB).

It's all well and good saying ISPs should meter like electricity, but if they are going to do that they they need to be sure that the user can actually buy the bandwidth that they want whenever they want it (rather than having to wait until a time that suits the ISP's congested network).
Posted by oomingmak over 8 years ago
Of course the above applies to normal domestic usage. No doubt if someone decided to set up a particle accelerator or something, then that may have adverse effects on other people's supply.
Posted by Kempy over 8 years ago
OK Dawn - sorry to hear you would not consider us - I accept we can't please everybody, but as we regularly get between 25 and 30% of all of our new signups from migrations from other ISPs (Feb. was and march already is looking like a record month for us) while this continues I have to assume that we have a proposition in the marketplace that satisfies a demand. And its not through advertising or marketing BS - we haven't paid for advertising in 12 years.
Posted by denis101 over 8 years ago

Can we get Supanet shut down and cheats of their ilk shut down. Some internet service providers are an absolute joke and a step above con men I've found
Posted by silverwolf over 8 years ago
you should be given what you pay for. FULL STOP. if you pay for a full pint of lager you should get it. trade descriptions act etc etc. not "up to " and then get "less than what you where getting dureing the first 6 weeks"
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Silverwolf - so, how are you going to change the laws of physics to allow ADSL speeds to be guaranteed?
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
As I said the only way to get it 'fairer' is to TOTALLY change the way it is handled...

MANY 'habits' will have to be changed, like 'need for speed' - Businesses pay for service, not speed..

If you are ONLY charged for amount downloaded per month, the lower speed line will of course be cheaper..

But no, I think everyone is too stuck in their ways...
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Stuck? Companies tried billing from the first MB. It failed miserably, not only here but arround the world. People don't like or want it.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote ANDREW "What do people have to say on the issue of comparison sites, good way to compare providers, or just a modern marketing dream?"

That depends, sites like this its a great way to compare, real comparissons based on real peoples votes.
Certain other sites i could mention but wont its nothing but marketting... I live in an area that can get Virgin Cable, LLU and BT MAX based products, this certain un-named site when i fill in all the spiel they want to know ends up recommending The likes of BT thereself Plusnet and Tiscali..... CONT
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Some would say they are not bad companies, and im not going to argue for or against them (thats a waste so nobody even bother) but when you fill in questions like "How long a contract do your want" and you put less than 3 months and the next question is how much do you want to use per month and you whack in 75gig you have to wonder how this so called recommendation site thinks the likes of BT, Plusnet and Tiscali are your best choices!!
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