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Are you getting the Broadband speed you are paying for?

Discussion in 'Internet, Connectivity and Communications' started by nicklaw, Dec 21, 2007.

  1. nicklaw

    nicklaw New Member

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    Hi

    I'm a consumer journalist working for the BBC and am currently looking into the issue of people not getting what they are paying for with their download speeds.

    You can either post here or email me and I'll get back to you....

    Thanks.
     
  2. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    They're getting exactly what they paid for... a shared-bandwidth service that provides anywhere from 0 Mbps up to the maximum rated speed.

    In other words, there's a maximum, but no minimum.

    Sure, it sucks that some companies oversubscribe so much that users get very little bandwidth. In those cases, consumers should speak with their wallets: change to a different provider.
     
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  3. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Before I say anything - I should mention that I work for a well-known ISP.

    Most ISP ads are quite clear - they usualy have some statement like 'up to 8Mbps'. This means what it says. It is hard to know what form of words could be used to make it any plainer that the technology has its limitations, like any technology.

    I also run a help-desk at a computer fair. I find it interesting that most people who come up with questions about broadband speed accept that they won't get the top figure.

    Obviously there will always be a highly vocal minority who shout loudly that they aren't satisfied!


    Harry.
     
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  4. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    What they said

    It depends on how far you are from the local exchange and how many users are on the same pipe, I am on 2mb broadband and get just under 2mb its about 1.95mb I get I am a mile from my local exchange and there is a few people I know of where I live who use the same ISP.
     
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  5. rax

    rax Megabyte Poster

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    I agree with the above however, in some cases you could argue this "up to 8mb" term.

    If for e.g. you cannot obtain anything over 2mb, you should be lowered to a 2mb contract and not forced to pay for something that they cannot provide you with.

    Likewise, I had an issue with the wholesaler ISP, my ping time to UK from UK was never lower than 45 and could be as high as 300, usually around 60-120. This to me was not acceptable and I had a read through some legal documentation (my gf is a law student which helps) and found that I could get out of my contract on the basis that it "wasn't fit for the purpose it was being supplied for" and wasn't "to a good enough standard to the reasonable person".

    Dave
     
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  6. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    I'm not picking on you Harry, but that kind of wording is usually a cover for overselling bandwidth so badly that it ends up with the customer basically being deceived as to what they are getting vs what they are paying for.

    That being said, I don't know why more ISP's don't do what my ISP does. They aren't cheap, but they give clearly defined lower and upper limits as to what bandwidth a customer should be getting. They give a lower limit of about 1/2 of the advertised rate, and do a pretty good job of never delivering performance that's below that level.

    I'd say that on average I rarely, if ever, get down to the lower limits of my account. Most of the time, 90% or better, if I use speed test centers less than a 1000 miles away from me, I'm actually getting about 105% of the speed I pay for...
     
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  7. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    I'd agree with you personaly. And I would have thought that most reasonable ISPs would as well.

    What happens is that a line-test is done, and the speed estimated from that. A good ISP will take note of the result, and not attempt to oversell..

    What frequently happens though is that that line test seems OK, but the speed achieved is well below similar connections in that area. This is often an indicator that there is something wrong with the customers premises wiring, or he is not using enough (or good) filters.


    There are a lot of reasons why DSL doesn't perform as expected, not all of them under either the ISP's control or BT's control. I sometimes feel that it is amazing that it works at all, given the ancient technology, i.e. copper cable, being used! :biggrin

    Harry.
     
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  8. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    I know. It used to be the case that the phrase 'up to' wasn't often used in advertising in the UK. But after a number of high-profile cases and journalistic investigations most ISPs now use the phrase as a matter of course.
    The key here is your phrase "They aren't cheap". The market in the UK has been one of continualy lowering prices, as the customers go chasing the latest deal. There *are* higher priced ISPs here offering a better service, but they tend not to get much exposure, so people don't know about them. And often when they do hear about them they are rejected on price.

    The press tends to mention just the four or so biggest ISPs, which doesn't help either.

    Harry.
     
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  9. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    I understand what you're saying, Harry, but my ISP is the only game in town when it comes to real broadband. Nobody else advertises anything over 1500/200k. So, it's not like they are unknown. In fact, they advertise their services far more heavily than anyone else in town.

    Also, my usage of "not cheap" probably misled you to some extent. I think they are expensive, but compared to all their "competition" they are cheaper per kbps than the rest. They are bigger--multi-state vs multi-town--than all but one of their competitors, and that competitor charges a lot more. They sell a 1.5 mbs connection for $60/month that can vary in speed a lot, and my ISP charges $39.95 for a 3mbs connection that's far more reliable, both in keeping a connection and speed-wise.
     
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