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Advertised Download speeds are STILL misleading.

ddsabre2011
Grafter
Posts: 27
Registered: 20-11-2011

Advertised Download speeds are STILL misleading.

Dear Plusnet, when are you going to make download speeds more obvious to the general public. What I mean is that you state upto 78Mb on fibre which is correct but it's not Mega Bytes is it Plusnet, It's Megabits which is 8 times more. To the unitiated they would read that as Megabytes which can be abbreviated to MB (note both letters in capitals.)
I honestly believe that if this was made clearer to the customers then it would solve a lot of why am I not getting my advertised download speeds.
So just to recap one MEGABYTE (MB) = 8 MEGABITS (Mb) therefore 78 Mb = 9.75MB.  Doesn't sound quite as fast now...and that's exactly how the majority of customers get misled.
regards Richard.
18 REPLIES
x47c
Grafter
Posts: 878
Registered: 14-08-2009

Re: Advertised Download speeds are STILL misleading.

.....but that is the way EVERY ISP advertises speed  - in Megabits and not Megabytes.
Even the FTTP suppliers do the same
So why is Plusnet any different?
Why should Plusnet advertise in MBps rather than in Mbps and put it at an immediate disadvantage when 99% of the population will not understand that it is the same thing expressed differently - they will just think Plusnet is rubbish.
If you want to change the way the industry advertises such things then you have a real task on your hands and need to start with OFCOM and the ASA.
Mind you they have OK's BT/Plusnet and the rest of them to advertise FTTC as "fibre broadband" when in reality it not - it is FTTC and copper from then on.
Companies such as Hyperoptic and Gigaclear supply what should be called fibre broadband  - true FTTP to the building
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,313
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Registered: 08-01-2008

Re: Advertised Download speeds are STILL misleading.

Pretty much ALL networking (and any other serial communication / data transfer) is measured in Kilobits/Megabits/Gigabits per second (or something closely based on Xbits per second) and not XBytes per second.
What speed are your Ethernet ports rated at?  What's the transfer rate on your USB ports?
Do you want all computer manufacturers and networking manufacturers to start advertising Gigabit Ethernet as 125MB/s?  Should old 56kb/s modems be re-defined as 7kB/s?
The problem happens when software reports transfer rates in <non-standard> MegaBytes per second.
Call me 'w23'
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ddsabre2011
Grafter
Posts: 27
Registered: 20-11-2011

Re: Advertised Download speeds are STILL misleading.

No, I don't want the whole industry to change how they describe data transfer, what it was saying was that to the majority of people when talking about data speeds their understanding is that it is megabytes not megabits. I feel that it should be made more obvious to people and it may just stop some of the " why am I not getting the correct download speeds" questions. Makes no odds to me either way. Regards, Richard
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,894
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Registered: 20-10-2012

Re: Advertised Download speeds are STILL misleading.

Data transmission speeds have always been measured in bits, ever since the ole 'baud' rate!
Perhaps it's because until recently, there was no home speeds that could be measured in (mega) bytes.
Gordon Bennet, my first trips online (long before the internet) were at 300 bits per second, i.e. 30 characters per second. Eight bits for the data; 1 bit for parity and 1 bit for the stop bit (used to signify new character coming)!
Geoff,
York.
PeeGee
Aspiring Pro
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Re: Advertised Download speeds are STILL misleading.

Quote from: NedLudd
Gordon Bennet, my first trips online (long before the internet) were at 300 bits per second, i.e. 30 characters per second. Eight bits for the data; 1 bit for parity and 1 bit for the stop bit (used to signify new character coming)!

Don't remember that Shocked However, I do remember 1start [8 data | 7 data 1 parity] and [1 | 2] stop - the start bit "high" and the stop bit "low" being the quiescent state. Roll eyes
........ as well as 1200/75, half-duplex, 80v full duplex signalling ....... {drifts away...}
Phil
Plusnet Fibre (Sep 2014), Essentials (Feb 2013); ADSL (Apr 2009); Customer since Jan 2004 (on 28kb dial-up)
Using a TP-Link TD-W9980 modem-router.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 6,346
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Registered: 26-11-2011

Re: Advertised Download speeds are STILL misleading.

Thanks for posting, ddsabre2011.
The speeds that we advertise aren't download speeds but speeds that you can expect up to when running a speed test. Not every customer uses their connection to download files, I think that stating the download speeds is likely to confuse more people.
Chris Pettitt
Cloud Environments Engineer
ddsabre2011
Grafter
Posts: 27
Registered: 20-11-2011

Re: Advertised Download speeds are STILL misleading.

running a speedtest is still downloading in my book...
Superuser
Superuser
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Advertised Download speeds are STILL misleading.

It clearly isn't when testing upload speed. For most people a speedtest is probably a speedtest.
David
ddsabre2011
Grafter
Posts: 27
Registered: 20-11-2011

Re: Advertised Download speeds are STILL misleading.

You are quite correct Chris but every user does download data of some sorts and yes I am aware that advertised speeds are only a guide because of multiple variables. The point I was attempting to put across was that to the laymen , lets just say for arguments sake a advertised download speed of 64Mb is as we know only 8MB. If the laymen is understanding that he/she should be able to download data upto and including 64MB then maybe just maybe thats where some of the data transfer speeds are getting confused.
I am currently running a poll on this very issue over in broadband and routers and so far only a few people have voted. Out of a handful of votes, already it is showing signs that some people don't understand the difference.
regards , Richard.
Superuser
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Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Advertised Download speeds are STILL misleading.

You cannot blame the industry for the public not understanding numbers / units of measurement.  It is just like knowing that the speed of sound in air is around 1116 feet / second and then complaining when measured its only 761 miles / hour.
You've got as much chance of getting communication speeds measured in BYTES instead of BITS as you have of getting gallons, pounds and ounces back on the petrol forecourts and green grocers despite the fact that those measures mean far more to the general public than do the units foisted upon us by foreign powers.
Back to measurement of communication speeds: in the not so distant past, these were measured as BAUD rates, that is the rate of state change.  Depending on the modulation technology, thus could be 1, 2 or 4 bits per state change.  Getting the undos try to quote bps as BIT as opposed to BAUD rate is a major achievement removing what gas been a major ambiguity.
Edited to correct far too many typos!
Community Veteran
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Registered: 20-10-2012

Re: Advertised Download speeds are STILL misleading.

I fail to see the purpose of this thread!
Geoff,
York.
rongtw
Seasoned Hero
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Re: Advertised Download speeds are STILL misleading.

think this explains it , 2 tests same speed but most people would prefer to see the Biggest number , and ISP ,s its better to advertise BIG


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pwatson
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Re: Advertised Download speeds are STILL misleading.

Quote from: NedLudd
I fail to see the purpose of this thread!

Likewise - It's not as if this, or other BB forums, are awash with complaints along the line of "My PC is reporting a download of 8MB/s when my ISP promised me 64!!"
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
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Registered: 26-11-2011

Re: Advertised Download speeds are STILL misleading.

I think Broadband/Dial-up speeds (going quite far back!) have always been advertised in the same way.
Chris Pettitt
Cloud Environments Engineer