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Superfast broadband should be 25Mbps or faster
Thursday 22 September 2011 10:23:18 by Andrew Ferguson

We highlighted what appeared to be a mistake or a change of policy with regard to what is considered superfast broadband by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), when covering news that superfast broadband might be extended to all the country, rather than the current 90% target. BDUK has now talked to ISPreview who had spotted this mistake also a couple of weeks ago, who were told that the glossary would be corrected, and it has been, listing at least 24 Mbps as the lowest connection speed for a superfast service.

Superfast Broadband – BDUK has defined Superfast Broadband as having a potential headline access speed of at least 20Mbps, with no upper limit. Typically, at a wholesale level, the underlying capability can be measured in gigabits. The retail market then takes this capability and delivers affordable propositions.

Extract from BDUK glossary prior to 22nd September

Superfast Broadband – BDUK has defined Superfast Broadband as having a potential headline access speed of at least 24Mbps, with no upper limit. Typically, at a wholesale level, the underlying capability can be measured in gigabits. The retail market then takes this capability and delivers affordable propositions.

Current BDUK glossary

The change may seem relatively minor, particular to people who are making do with connections of half a meg, but the crucial element is that it excludes ADSL2+ as a solution, since its maximum speed is 24 Mbps (although bonded ADSL2+ could still be used). For those living close to the exchange in cities, towns and villages around the UK with a direct exchange line this is a blessing, since with no street cabinet, FTTC is not possible, so some other solution will have to be sought.

The issue of superfast broadband for all is intrinsically linked to the rumours that the Treasury might undertake a £5bn capital spending programme, covering areas like roads, rail and broadband. At least with this clarification from the BDUK we know what the connection speeds of superfast broadband should be.

Comments

Posted by dogbark over 5 years ago
24 Mbps is not 25 Mbps, so ADSL2+ is STILL an option.
Posted by herdwick over 5 years ago
indeed, "at least 24M" as a *headline speed* includes ADSL2+

they really need to recruit a pedant for intellactual QA
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Hmm if this can be covered by ADSL2 its a bit farcical because you could put ADSL2 into any exchange, doesn't mean you'll get 24Mbps as we all know
Posted by herdwick over 5 years ago
taken literally it covers ADSL2+

"Superfast broadband will deliver an actual downstream link speed of 25 Mbits/s or higher, with no upper limit, measured at the TCP/IP or ethernet layer".

perhaps ?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
The number who would sync with ADSl2+ at the absolute full rate is very small, probably not even all direct exchange lines.

As a technology that can be bonded, e.g. 2 x 16 Meg lines to give 32Mbps fine.

Posted by camieabz over 5 years ago
It would be simplified if the writer stated:

"BDUK has defined Superfast Broadband as having a potential headline access speed in excess of theoretical maximum ADSL2+ speeds (over 24Mbps)."

As you say Andrew, the change is meaningless to anyone who can't get ADSL2+ or FTTx, the figure might as well be 100Mbps and 1000Mbps, since many are not on the VM, FTTx or ADSL2+ horizon.
Posted by herdwick over 5 years ago
Ought to say something about upload speed too really.
Posted by mervl over 5 years ago
Is there such a thing as a broadband technology "with no upper limit", even theoretically?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
...---... was once the highest data rate over wireless, now look at whats possible.

Fibre is still young and has a long way to go
Posted by prlzx over 5 years ago
@herdwick agreed. Also, I'll guess fibre connections may be sold at a wide range of "speeds" and corresponding price points - 10Mbps symmetrical then 20M,50M,100M,200M,1G. Point being that a 20M symmetrical connection will overall be faster than a headline 24M ADSL2+ connection with perhaps only 1.2M or 2.5M upstream.

Also if fibre-based or -backed products are being sold as letting you transfer photos/music/video at much higher speeds it's contradictory to then set poor upload or low monthly caps on these products.
Posted by prlzx over 5 years ago
Is it still the case with any asymmetric product that if you are uploading at near the maximum rate, your downstream will suffer unless your router has QoS that can at the very least prioritise the upstream ACKs (or reserve some bandwidth for them)?
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