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UK Still Looking To Kill 'Up To' Broadband Marketing Lingo
While In U.S. Some ISPs Have Already Done So Voluntarily
by Karl Bode 02:24PM Wednesday Mar 02 2011
Every year like clockwork (2009, 2010) European regulator Ofcom issues a study noting that UK customers get about half the broadband speeds advertised, and that they're looking to crack down on the dubious "up to" marketing lingo used in most broadband advertisements. Right on cue for 2011, The Guardian cites a new Ofcom report that, surprise, surprise, claims UK residents get average broadband speed of 6.2 Mbps, less than half average advertised speed of 13.8 Mbps. And how is that effort to get UK companies to improve the way they market broadband speeds? It's still apparently underway, and wouldn't you know it, Ofcom hopes to kill the "up to" lingo someday soon:
quote:
Click for full size
Ofcom is pushing for a change in the way internet providers, including BT, Sky and O2, advertise "up to" broadband speeds, which most customers are unable to receive. Its findings will feed into a consultation now underway by the Advertising Standards Authority's committee of advertising practice (CAP) and broadcast committee of adverting practice (BCAP) into how broadband speeds are advertised. That is expected to report in the next three months.
We eargerly look forward to next year's Ofcom study indicating users get half of what they pay for and that Ofcom is planning to crack down on "up to" marketing. Here in the States the FCC has claimed users also only get a fraction of their advertised speeds. The FCC proposed requiring ISPs to advertise speed tiers based on average connection performance estimates for peak and off peak speeds, though that push appears to have disappeared. Anticipating regulatory action on this front, some ISPs here in the States like Verizon have voluntarily eliminated the "up to" phrase and list possible service speed ranges instead.

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toby
Troy Mcclure

join:2001-11-13
Portland, OR

DSL likes the word 'overhead' too

Qwest offers 1.5 Mbps DSL, but because of the overhead you get 1.3 Mbps.

They should sell 1.3 MBps DSL. (or 0.1 MBps weeknights of course)
thedragonmas

join:2007-12-28
Albany, GA
kudos:1

Re: DSL likes the word 'overhead' too

said by toby:

Qwest offers 1.5 Mbps DSL, but because of the overhead you get 1.3 Mbps.

They should sell 1.3 MBps DSL. (or 0.1 MBps weeknights of course)

yeah, i love the people that defend it, saying well you sync at 1.5..... funny thing is, when i had bellsouth dsl before the att merger, they over syncd the lines so if you paid for 1.5 you got 1.5 you paid for 3 you got 3.

there really is no excuse for it. i mean i could see if you where getting a 1Gbps connection, then ofcourse youd have to cover the over head since your nic cant go faster than 1Gbps. but as long as those speeds are under the max ability of a nic, there really is no excuse not to over sync.

pnjunction
Teksavvy Extreme
Premium
join:2008-01-24
Toronto, ON
kudos:1
Was going the same (obvious) thing. It's not even technically 'up to 5mbps' if even at max sync you still only get 4.3 mbps.

Even Bell here has tacitly acknowledged this now, probably as people become more aware and compare speeds to cable. Their fib(e) tiers are 'oversynced' so that the advertised rates are possible.
patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1
said by toby:

Qwest offers 1.5 Mbps DSL, but because of the overhead you get 1.3 Mbps.

They should sell 1.3 MBps DSL. (or 0.1 MBps weeknights of course)

Then they will sell internet plans, with NO numerical speeds attached at all. Kindda like this page, »www.timewarnercable.com/nynj/lea···ing.html

Smith6612
Premium,MVM
join:2008-02-01
North Tonawanda, NY
kudos:24
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL
·Frontier Communi..

Re: DSL likes the word 'overhead' too

Combines speeds up to 15 Mbps/768 kbps with PowerBoost
That is the only mention I see on that page, and it's for Roadrunner Turbo only. The Time Warner Wideband pages do have speed labels on them. Standard, Light and Basic don't even have speeds mention on them out in the open.
genzoulv

join:2004-10-05
Las Vegas, NV

Ditch DSL

People still haven't learned yet that DSL is crap (or "rubbish" as you Brits would say)? Stick with the good tech and you wont have to worry about BS like "is my house too far from the telco to get this speed?" and "what, you're raising the price of my landline this month again?". Questions like that make it feel like the 90's all over again. :P

Pashune
Caps stifle innovation
Premium
join:2006-04-14
Gautier, MS
Reviews:
·Vonage
·CableOne

Re: Ditch DSL

I think DSL is a good, pretty reliable technology but as far as faster speeds go (Beyond 3 mbps anyway), it's not a good idea to use unless you know for a fact you're on a clean line with a very short distance to the RT.

The whole distance thing is definitely troublesome though, I agree.

The thing that's nice about cable broadband is as long as you can get TV, you can get internet (unless your area is extremely rural), distance means nothing because amps have to be placed in line every several hundred feet or so; repairs can also be easier (and cheaper) to diagnose at times.

Slow speeds with cable internet? Check the splitters, check the tap, check the coax, check the ground, check the modem, adjust the node or split it (unless your area deliberately throttles you slower than DSL)

Slow speeds with DSL? Check at the NID, check the drop, check the tap, check the CC box(es), check the DSLAM/CO, search for interference, or if it really is a distance limitation, setup and install a new DSLAM nearby ($$$ Costly)

Then again, I may just be saying all of this because I've had nothing but hellish luck with DSL. I remember all the memories of having 7 or 8 techs come out to try to fix my line (1.5 mbit disconnected sometimes, 3 mbit was even worse), then a few of them left my line disconnected at the NID after they left. Unprofessional. In the end, little was accomplished to fix my line. Know what the problem was? No nearby DSLAM; distance limitation.

So I went to drop $15-25 more on 10 meg cable internet.. and my speeds are ALWAYS up to that. Downtime is minimal, especially compared to DSL in my area.

I DID need a few cable techs out before, but they came by and fixed the problem the same day, under an hour I might add. I had to wait almost a week for the phone techies to come to my house.

And as of recent, a V-RAD unit has been installed in my area, but it's not active.. and I'm not going back with those guys anyway.
--
TV: It's like the Internet only you can visit only 30-100 different sites, ever, and there's no adblock. -dwai
patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1

Re: Ditch DSL

Thats my experience of CLEC DSL in NYC. Verizon DSL goes to an RT at 5000 feet. CLEC goes 12000 feet to CO, and never ever works, except from 9am to 2pm every day. Looses sync around 2-3PM and regains it at 6-7 AM the next day. No CLEC or VZ tech every caught it malfunctioning during their 15 appointments, even though CLEC tech support said they saw DSLAM reported 25000 resyncs per month. Went to cable internet, it was like a miracle.

dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
Premium
join:2001-04-27
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4
said by Pashune:

I think DSL is a good, pretty reliable technology

Anything that is distance sensitive like DSL isn't good. good as a stopgap for better tech but DSL is being milked way longer than it should be.
-
DSL is the new "dialup"
--
The shortest distance between 2 points adds 1.5 stars to T. want $25? solve »coord.info/GC20A37 for me

printscreen

join:2003-11-01
Juana Diaz, PR
Reviews:
·Choice Cable TV
·Coqui/PRTC

Re: Ditch DSL

said by dvd536:

said by Pashune:

I think DSL is a good, pretty reliable technology

Anything that is distance sensitive like DSL isn't good. good as a stopgap for better tech but DSL is being milked way longer than it should be.
-
DSL is the new "dialup"

Everything is distance sensitive, including cable. It's the network architecture what makes the difference. You have to put line amplifiers in the cable network every so often.

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
said by genzoulv:

People still haven't learned yet that DSL is crap (or "rubbish" as you Brits would say)? Stick with the good tech and you wont have to worry about BS like "is my house too far from the telco to get this speed?" and "what, you're raising the price of my landline this month again?". Questions like that make it feel like the 90's all over again. :P

Remember not too long ago here on BBR when the front page was loaded with profuse praise for DSL and how it was going to totally eclipse Cable internet. Well no longer - coax and fiber are the new more reliable technologies and DSL gets slammed all the time. How times have changed in the last 3 or 4 years.

annonymiss

@comcast.net

If this report is as "good" as the FCC one...

Then it's full of it.

The FCC report AVERAGED an average, then averaged some more to come up with that "people only get half the advertised "up to" speed.

In reality, you do get that "up to" speed with most of what you do. Checking mail, surfing web pages.. All very "bursty" traffic which is E X A C T L Y the kind of traffic the Internet was designed for.

It was NOT and the protocals used on it are NOT designed to replace sending packets in a perfect stream over long times to any one client.

People have butchered "the internet" and made it was it was NEVER designed to do.

So all this crying about not getting the "up to" speed is just that, crying about nothing.

It's like crying in the "summer" on a day it rains and there's no sun in the sky. "

"Boo Hoo, it's "summer", where's my sun?"

Only the tech blog pie-in-the-sky people believe you can and should be able to sustain that "up to" speed. Everyone else on the planet with half a brain realizes there's almost nothing in the world that you get "as advertised".
BlueC

join:2009-11-26
Minneapolis, MN
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
·Integra Telecom

Re: If this report is as "good" as the FCC one...

You fail to acknowledge that usage changes over time, and the only reason why some of these new uses are not "bursty", is because the connection doesn't allow it to be.

For me at home (using a 100mbps/100mbps connection), most things are "bursty". Maybe not when I try to download a 720p/1080p movie, but simple things like MP3s and software updates tend to be bursty. I bet those items are not bursty on a slower 6mbps DSL connection.

The up to language simply needs to change. There will always be a range of speeds on a residential connection, only way to keep the prices low, but there needs to be a clear definition of what users "should" be seeing.

I think intended/maximum oversubscription should be published by ISPs. That would clear up a lot of confusion.
bt

join:2009-02-26
canada
kudos:1

Re: If this report is as "good" as the FCC one...

Sorry, but many (many) people can't even burst to their advertised "up to" speed. Never mind sustaining. We aren't talking congestion - we're talking line capability.

If I can't handshake (about as "bursty" as it gets) to the ISP's own equipment at the "up to" speed, my usage pattern has absolutely nothing to do with the problem.
pinjas

join:2011-01-31
River Falls, WI

Speeds

Say what you will about comcast, but I seem to get pretty consistent speeds and I don't think I've ever experienced a time where I didn't get more speed than what I paid for. I am paying for 12/2 but I get 30/3.