What does 'up to' mean?
Is the phrase 'up to' in broadband advertising being missed or not understood by the consumer? Or are parts of the press embarking on a witch hunt?
When broadband providers advertise a product as 'up to 8Mbps' what they mean is:
- For ADSL/ADSL2+ based products your actual connection speed will vary based on factors including length of telephone line, state of wiring in the property and even time of day.
- For broadband products sold to consumers the networks beyond the local exchange/node are shared and as such you are not guaranteed to see downloads that hit the maximum speed, particularly during the busy times of the night.
- Most products sold as up to 2Mbps are actually a fixed speed connection, so it is a case of you get a 2Mbps connection or nothing. The speed variation is just down to the shared nature of consumer broadband.
This fairly simple message appears to have been lost and some sites are giving figures showing large percentages are not getting their promised speeds. It is not clear what this promise is though - at sign-up was the customer promised a speed of 8Mbps with no qualification?