Broadband News

Bulldog about to appear with 20Mbps broadband?

The PR battle appears to have commenced. Be this morning announced its ADSL2+ service, and it seems Bulldog are close to bringing out their own 20 Meg offering. More detail on The Register.

It is interesting the comments were made at a time when an ISP was attempting to retain a customer, so how accurate it is, is not clear. There is a danger if the PR machines get carried away in the next few months with talk of 8, 10, 18, 20 and 24Mbps broadband services that people may be disappointed, by delays in a service arriving in their area and the actual throughput once they have a service.

ADSL2+ which can give up to 24Mbps, is not going to magically overcome the physics that result in signal attenuation over the copper local loop. In fact the fall off in speed as you get further from the exchanges is more rapid with ADSL2+, with performance roughly matching that of standard ADSL once the line length is roughly 3km. Therefore the only people likely to see much benefit are those who have a line that can support 2Mbps currently.

One marketing trick to watch out for, is that ADSL providers are promoting up to 8Mbps ADSL services, this applies equally to LLU and BT Wholesale up to 8Mbps services. The 8Mbps normally refers to a connection that syncs with the exchange at up to 8192 kilo bits per second. Once you allow for the traffic overheads between the exchange and your ADSL modem, the maximum TCP/IP throughput will be around 7300 kilo bits per second. Obviously this is still a lot faster than the currently popular 2Mbps connections, but if comparing a service with a 10Mbps cable connection, it is one issue worth bearing in mind.


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