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ISP still mislead on broadband speeds

rongtw
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 6,337
Thanks: 1,156
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Registered: 01-12-2010

ISP still mislead on broadband speeds

have just been reading this on the BBC  news page  thought it may be of interest to some here
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14295046
makes ineresting reading
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17 REPLIES
R1chard
Grafter
Posts: 27
Registered: 12-03-2010

Re: ISP still mislead on broadband speeds

So it's business as usual for UK ISPs.
No surprises there then.
I would say that in general company directors all over this country need to go to school and learn what CUSTOMER SERVICE means.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,251
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: ISP still mislead on broadband speeds

As this is neither feedback to Plusnet nor a support question I have moved it to Chit Chat
R1chard
Grafter
Posts: 27
Registered: 12-03-2010

Re: ISP still mislead on broadband speeds

If I log into the Member Centre and go to 'Connection Settings', then 'High-speed Broadband', it says:
Estimated line speed: 7Mb [sic] (This may vary between 6Mb and 8Mb) - Checked on 2011-07-27 17:14:34
Current line speed: 17 Mb [sic]
Actual speed achieved on Speedtest.net this afternoon: 14.16 Mbit/s.
In other words, I believe that estimated line speeds should not be treated with any degree of seriousness. See the first and second paragraphs of the following topic for a prime example from last year:
http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,84585.0.html
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: ISP still mislead on broadband speeds

my one comment
the speed were measured at a time when anyone who is not an idiot knows the whole internet slows down
R1chard
Grafter
Posts: 27
Registered: 12-03-2010

Re: ISP still mislead on broadband speeds

So true pierre_pierre.
At 17:58 today I'm still achieving a download speed of 12.78 Mbit/s, which is satisfactory for that time of day.
To be fair to Plusnet, my Pro service has been very reliable for the last year.
wisty
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 434
Thanks: 53
Fixes: 3
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: ISP still mislead on broadband speeds

I don't think ISP's mislead anyone. The issue is (in my view) a symptom of assuming that retail rules apply to providing a complex (and technically marginal) product to a technologically illiterate consumer base.
The retail model assumes a standardised product  that can be sold in a consistent way.
Given the theoretical variation in ADSL speeds with distance from the exchange, combined with the unpredictability of an ageing infrastructure (Openreach copper) and the unpredictability of the customers capability ( in premises wiring). This is never going to be a valid model for ADSL. It may be for FTTP. I would like all the critics to say what they would like ISP's to advertise.
My current (Plusnet) profile reads "Estimated line speed:  2.5Mb (This may vary between 1.5Mb and 5Mb). Current line speed: 6 Mb"
But then I understand what these figures mean and why the discrepancies exist. My neighbours typically get 4-4.5Mb. I have a tweaked router that holds a 4-5db noise margin for weeks (700 hours and counting) at a time.
mikeyriot
Grafter
Posts: 116
Registered: 20-12-2010

Re: ISP still mislead on broadband speeds

^ Couldnt agree more. When ISPs are using the same or similar technology it makes the above list irrelevant. The problem is that (and I was guilty of this as well a few years back) your average customer has no idea that speeds arent necessarily down to the ISP, but in most cases down to the end users equipment or distance from exchange/quality of cable. They tend to believe "well I payed for 20Mb so I better get 20Mb".
So if they dont see the speed advertised, they automatically assume they're being duped or their ISP is rubbish. I dont see a problem with the "upto X Mb" form of marketing, I do however think people need educating on the matter, and for gods sake read the small print!
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: ISP still mislead on broadband speeds

I thought you said up to 20M, and your old speed test is just 40 Crazy Crazy Cheesy
wisty
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 434
Thanks: 53
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: ISP still mislead on broadband speeds

Just a follow up.
I was in town today and saw a significant number of signs in shop windows reading
SALEup to75%OFF
If ISP's have to stop doing it so should the shops.
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,928
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: ISP still mislead on broadband speeds

Even if just one item is 75% off then technically the shops can legally say that BUT does any ISP advertise up to 20MB/s (or whatever maximum speed) with one single customer ever getting the maximum speed, I guess not so the ISPs are different to the shops.
I would be interested to know why consumers living in the same street and using different ISP's get a range of different speeds, is this down to the ISP's provider ?
Community Veteran
Posts: 13,929
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: ISP still mislead on broadband speeds

Doesn't really bother me to be honest. I can survive on a 3G dongle with 3.2Mb speed and 1Gb bandwidth for a whole month. Oddly though, PN emailed us a few days ago saying they'd be upgrading us FOC to upto 20Mb BB as they've been tinkering in the local exchange. While we've never used our 15GB allowance I have to wonder what the point is when it just makes it quicker for someone to use their allowance up?
We also don't have any hardware capable of operating at that speed either so its all rather pointless really.
At the end of the day, anything is better than dialup so a 3G dongle to me is lightening speed. A wired connection is great but PN have been a bit troublesome in the past. Still better the devil you know..
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gswindale
Grafter
Posts: 942
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: ISP still mislead on broadband speeds

Indeed - I don't see what the issue is.
I am told what the theoretical maximum is.
I have an usage allowance.
That last point is more important than the speed.
Yes it's nicer to get my hands on stuff a little quicker; but that means I can spend longer using it rather than downloading more.
I wish people would stop getting wound up about something that is not important.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,322
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Registered: 21-03-2011

Re: ISP still mislead on broadband speeds

Ah it's all a bit misleading really. I help to design/build trading floors. As part of that process I'm often involved in ordering the data/voice comms links. What we normally arrange is to have resilient fibre to the premises. This normally means that the telecoms provider installs a Point of Presence in the building and then distributes, by fibre, to the other businesses in the building when they decide to order. We usually specify 100 mbs capacity on the link (more if really required) and then contract for a fractional portion to start off. Subsequent upgrades if required are usually just the press of a key in a remote control centre. The internet service is low latency symmetric un-contended Internet fibre connection.
The responsiveness of such a service feels very much faster than domestic broadband even when it is nominally the same speed.
I had one set up a couple of years back where 40 traders were sharing a 10 meg link for the Internet when they moved on to the new trading floor. They were ecstatic about the increased performance. Previously in their older building there were 22 traders sharing a 4 meg symmetric ADSL link. In fact the Chief Exec moaned at me for being extravagant with the provision of bandwidth because his traders had mentioned it!
Maybe it it is something to do with the way ADSL is shared in the backbone connection at the local exchange, I'm not sure why but a dedicated business fiber optic link to the premises seems a lot faster than the "equivalent" broadband link.It would be interesting to compare a BT Infinity link side by side with a dedicated link
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Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: ISP still mislead on broadband speeds

Which raises a similar point. Ethernet has always been specified as 10/100 or gigabit or whatever, but can't reach the theoretical maximum in practice. Nobody complains about that, because everybody knows it is just a standard way of describing it.