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What is your opinion of the new ASA speed rules?
Sunday 01 April 2012 09:39:26 by Andrew Ferguson

Tell us what you think of the new advertising rules, that require broadband providers to display a speed that at least 10% of the target customers for a product can be shown to receive. We have a short poll with three questions running on our front page, it has a few more days left to run, so be sure to get your vote in.

Before any one asks, no this is not an elaborate April Fool's joke.


Posted by grahammm over 5 years ago
Although I filled in your poll, I do not like any of the options. For the most part, the sync speed is outside the ISP's control. What is within the ISP's control is the consistency of the data transfer rate - eg. does it slow down during peak periods. This is the sort of information which the prospective customer could use to select an ISP.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 5 years ago
I was just going to ask if it was an April fools joke! No ISP can guarantee a speed, because it depends so much on what everyone else is using. They only buy the barest minimum off the expensive wholesale monopoly they can get away with, they are all working with a scarcity model. IE they buy thin pipes, because its all they can afford if they want to make a profit.
Posted by awoodland over 5 years ago
This really doesn't fix the problem. Anyone can sync at the upper limits of a particular technology but even if the backhaul capacity to saturate this is only available at 4am it still ticks the boxes. Headline speeds are not a proxy for quality.
Posted by Somerset over 5 years ago
cyberdoyle - there is a difference between connection speed and throughput. ISPs buy connectivity from a number of telcos, not just BT.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
At everyone, no where in the new notes does it talk of sync speed.

It is 10% of users experience the speed advertised, thus is a throughput measurement.

So ISP A using ADSL may have to show 6Mbps, ISP B using ADSL may show 7Mbps.
Posted by Somerset over 5 years ago
So VM can claim the connection speed eg 50M is the throughput?
Posted by herdwick over 5 years ago
"no where in the new notes does it talk of sync speed." - so they failed at the first hurdle - defining terms clearly.

I wonder what B4RN will advertise their "up to 1 Gig" service as when it arrives.
Posted by herdwick over 5 years ago
VM can only claim 50M if at least 10% of users on that product can measure 50 Mbits/s of data throughput, if I read Andrew correctly.
Posted by westli1 over 5 years ago
The fact that the ASA didn't issue us with any useful alternatives to the use of 'Up to' shows how tricky this subject is.

The reality is, the *technology* supports up to 24mb (for example) so I've never had a problem with its use to differentiate between services, as long as the normal caveats about line length, etc are clarified.

I don't believe the new rules will help the average, uninformed broadband user, who these changes are presumably aimed at.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
VM 50Meg connects at over 50Meg so if they can show that 10% get 50, then can use it.

e.g. on 30Meg service, the 10% figure is 31Meg. Strange but true.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
@westli1 Alas technical accuracy it seems is not of concern.

CAP/ASA saying that speeds should be Mbps and NOT MB or Mb in terms of lettering would have helped.

I think the new rules might lead to more complaints on speed to providers, particularly on premium products where consumer feels they have a right to be in the 10%.
Posted by Joppy over 5 years ago
Why only 10% and not 90%?

From a customer perspective, the ASA and Ofcom do very little for us. Also let some companies such as VM get away with way too much.
Posted by herdwick over 5 years ago
The 10% is to ensure that the headline maximum speed is deliverable and measurable by consumers.

It's to help those that can't get their heads round difficult concepts like rate adaptive services and multi-layer networking models with protocol overheads.

Quoting a very low speed would be misleading as many would get far better in practice.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
@herdwick If the intent was purely to reflect IP throughput for a service, then would not be needing each provider to run tests, as one ADSL provider would be the same as another.

Contention is something they are attempting to show too.
Posted by Michael_Chare over 5 years ago
What matters to me is what speed my line connects at.(1.5mbps) I just need to be told this before I sign up. Whether the line is adverised at 7, 8, 13 or 20/24 mbps is irrelevant.
Posted by Essex over 5 years ago
Tend to agree that the 10% indicator is a waste of time and is a model to suite the industry / government. and not the customer / consumer.
If 10% of drivers are speeding. Does that mean that the other 90% are likely too as well. Or another view. Do the remaining 90% believe they should have the right to speed like the 10%?
If the doom gloomers, nandy pandies and techy trolls,get their way. We will all be driving at 20mph and have 'average broadband' of 2mb.

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