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Speed and OFCOM

danludlow
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Registered: 03-12-2014

Speed and OFCOM

A recent Press release from OFCOM has highlighted issues that consumers have with differences between speed expectations and those delivered.
As with anything sold, or bought, its praises are sung, whilst its flaws are avoided within a trades description framework. Nothing new there, but the reductions in delivered speeds over time should have had more emphasis than "speeds may vary", certainly where variation really means slowing down. Obviously OFCOM are getting complaints about this to the extent that they announced changes yesterday to allow cancelling contracts and changing ISP without penalty if you are not getting the expected speeds.
Not much of a solution if your supplier has only BTW available, is it.
Hopefully it will focus minds and emphasise the need for reliable and increasing speed over the network. I note that after an engineer reset, my connection can exceed 50mbps out here, in the sticks, and some way from the cabinet, but that soon slows as DLM takes over. DLM is very active throttling back, interleaving, etc. A couple of Power cuts are enough, and out here, two related power cuts are far from unknown, one to re-route for maintenance, another to restore or further re-route. Thus speed slows with DLM, but as for returning, that can take literally weeks it seems.
So if Suppliers are to be held to account for falling speeds, they will need to develop strategies that keep speeds up and reliable in the future. More cabinets maybe (in our village there are fewer spread out than in one street in the local town), line boosters, Vectoring, and what about revisiting DLM's settings?
Having got the Superfast system largely in place throughout the UK, the next step must be getting reliability and speeds up, I reckon. Now may be the time to start moving away from the copper phone system towards one better designed to suit broadband?
8 REPLIES
newagetraveller
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Registered: 03-08-2012

Re: Speed and OFCOM

I think you will only be able to cancel withing the first three months of signing up to an i.s.p. which is not much use if the expected/advised speeds drop after three months. Embarrassed
OFCOM being it's usual useless self. Roll eyes They very vague on what constitutes an acceptable speed too.
Three mobile, 1,2,3, PAYG. https://www.three.co.uk/Store/SIM/Pay_As_You_Go
happysnapper
Grafter
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Registered: 24-09-2007

Re: Speed and OFCOM

Quote from: newagetraveller
I think you will only be able to cancel withing the first three months of signing up to an i.s.p.

The Supply of Goods and Services Act (1982) still applies.
Superuser
Superuser
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Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Speed and OFCOM

This is clearly an announcement by someone who simply does not have clue how things work.
Given that the major cause of slow and degrading synch speeds is BT's local access copper network (notably the d-side circuits) being released from an ISP's contract to go to another ISP using the same defective copper network archives zero, other than commercially penalising ISP retailers for BTOR failures.
To make OFCOM really work for the consumer, it needs to be lead by someone with an engineering background who understands the real issues and their commercial consequences.  BTOR need to be made to do far better than they are at present.
An aspiring politically correct appointee is not the answer.
Kremmen
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Registered: 13-04-2013

Re: Speed and OFCOM

What copper network?
I'm in urban West London only a few miles from Heathrow but my fibre speed is under 20 because my 1980's estate is aluminium and I'm the opposite side of the estate from the cabinet.
As the crow flies I'm 200 metres away but the physical line is 800 metres.
I consider myself to not be in the superfast network.
Let's be careful out there !
Community Veteran
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Registered: 11-12-2013

Re: Speed and OFCOM

I can say ofcom are not at all happy that no isp's have passed on the one month min term, and this move is not a surprise one bit.
There is more to come. As lately they have not been happy with the retail isps at all. (The big one is isp's cannot pass on engineer charges without disclosing the modules ordered).
The idea behind this move is to "encourage" the isp's to stop saying "tough luck" to customers, and instead make them push openreach for performance fixes, or at least to make the estimates more in line with whats expected.  Estimates are no good if they too high and then nothing is done when its not met.
Superuser
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Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Speed and OFCOM

Quote from: Kremmen
What copper network?
...my 1980's estate is aluminium

You make the point well - BTOR's infrastructure is simply not fit for current day purpose - so what is the point of OFCOM placing sanctions on ISPs for poor speed?
Superuser
Superuser
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Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Speed and OFCOM

Quote from: chrcoluk
one month min term

Do you have a reference for one month minimum terms please?  I know BTW were required to reduce FIBRE contracts to 12 months and many ISPs are still pushing 18 month minimums.
Given OFCOM rules about 10 day switching delays to prevent spamming and the problems of doing SIM provides, 30 day minimums would be completely barking mad.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Speed and OFCOM

The one month minimum term refers to a fibre to fibre migration and would apply from the point where the service goes live with the new provider as that is the BT Openreach term as opposed to 12 months for an ADSL to fibre upgrade