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Rural or Urban ? Fast or Slow Broadband ?

WebDude
Grafter
Posts: 115
Registered: 11-03-2010

Rural or Urban ? Fast or Slow Broadband ?

Whether you are living in an urban environment or somewhere more rural, do you feel that 2 Mbps, 8 Mbps or something under 20 Mbps will be fine for your needs, at least for the next 3 to 5 years, or do you want at least 20 Mbps, maybe 50 Mbps, or even faster ?  I'm curious to know just what users think is a 'reasonable speed' for internet access.
The different political parties have expressed their views, with various speeds (or none) being clearly quoted, and timescales as far away as 2020 for widespread high speed services.  BT Infinity (the fibre optic service) is being promoted on TV and the web as being "super fast" (now to me, that, if radio terms were applied, would be "very fast" as "super fast" and "ultra fast" would be in a different league!  I guess it is just the marketing hype to be able to match Virgin Media.
Anyway, I'm interested to see how people feel about broadband, especially about whether faster speeds would benefit them.  Right now I'm connected with a download speed of 250 kbps (ie half the speed I had in 2002) and while I'd like it to be much faster, it seems OK for my immediate needs {12+ GB downloaded over the past 2 weeks or so} but I'd prefer 20+ Mbps, and if there was Fibre to the Cabinet, that would be possible).
18 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Re: Rural or Urban ? Fast or Slow Broadband ?

As a rural dweller currently getting 3000kbps IP profile I don't see much need for faster speeds unless I could go LLU (Be or O2) who would give me an unthrottled connection at a reasonable price as the only area where extra speed would be nice is for downloading.
Given this I haven't voted as non of the options really apply
scootie
Grafter
Posts: 4,799
Registered: 03-11-2007

Re: Rural or Urban ? Fast or Slow Broadband ?

urban, ip profile in sig below under post office connection, my PN line a semi rural/ urban line is just about right for todays needs
(typical oldjim i whack interleaving on that 21cn line when i moved out and checked it the other day and its kept a stable 3500kbps profile).
the fttc is nice but only as long latency and contention and usage limits is ok, other wise shed loads of bandwidth is no use to me as its how quick and with no lose that packets get from a to b thats most improtant to me.
where this PO line is pants on the bandwidth front even on interleaving my ping to bbc is 29-30 ms thoe because of the 448 upsync and low download bandwidth using the connection for gaming and anything more than a tiny (and i mean tiny) bit web browsing at same time  is a no go.
i voted Urban dweller, under 2 Mbps, want 50 Mbps or faster. But i would be happy with 10-20mb with a couple of meg on the upsync
WebDude
Grafter
Posts: 115
Registered: 11-03-2010

Re: Rural or Urban ? Fast or Slow Broadband ?

Quote from: Donald
I voted Urban dweller, under 2 Mbps, want 50 Mbps or faster. But I would be happy with 10-20mb ...

Yes, I had debated whether to put lower figures on there for urban users, but based on there being a fair proportion of alternatives (VM, Sky, Be/O2) offering 24 Mbps or 50 Mbps at present. 
Not everyone would be able to get VM or want it (so ADSL style alternatives would need to match on speeds VM offer).
WebDude
Grafter
Posts: 115
Registered: 11-03-2010

Re: Rural or Urban ? Fast or Slow Broadband ?

Quote from: Oldjim
As a rural dweller currently getting 3000kbps IP profile I don't see much need for faster speeds unless I could go LLU (Be or O2) who would give me an unthrottled connection at a reasonable price as the only area where extra speed would be nice is for downloading.
Given this I haven't voted as non of the options really apply

Re none of the options apply (Oldjim)
Sorry Jim, I'm puzzled.  I've read and re-read your post but don't understand how you (on the one hand) say you would go for LLU because of price, and that you'd like extra speed for downloading, but (on the other hand) none of the options apply.
If I had put 40 Mbps instead of 20 Mbps for rural users (as I understand it, FTTC should offer 25 to 40 Mbps depending on the number of users at that particular cabinet), would that have made a difference?
I chose to put 20 Mbps and 50 Mbps as realistic lower speeds - someone closer to the exchange may get faster speeds but I think it would be unrealistic to suggest 50 Mbps for rural users if that's not possible with current FTTC kit.  In urban areas FTTH is more feasible, so higher speeds may be achieved - 50 to 100 Mbps.
Community Veteran
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Re: Rural or Urban ? Fast or Slow Broadband ?

Because I don't want or need 20Mb or faster - a nice little boost to 8Mb would be all I could ever need. This would allow streaming of iPlayer in HD
Faster download speeds for straight downloading would be of no advantage given the throttling (sorry traffic shaping) which happens on my present product.
Now if I could get Be Value up to 8Mb with 40GB usage limit and no traffic shaping and no IP profile for £7.50 - I would move immediately
WebDude
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Posts: 115
Registered: 11-03-2010

Re: Rural or Urban ? Fast or Slow Broadband ?

Ah, OK, so just wider availability of alternative ISPs without significant 'loading' of fees by BT for network links could be more signficant to you.
Sounds like BT wholesale for data links is going to remain the big problem - there's no way that BT could be forced to provide equal access to fibre (unless there was direct funding by Government for example, where they (Gov't) effectively owned the fibre to every cabinet and in return, LLU-style access to BT kit was provided to competitor ISPs). 
Would that (equal access) seem to 'do the trick' if you had the choice of any ISP without surcharges made by BT ?
I see you would like a greater allowance, without throttling, at a low cost, and therefore the speed aspect would not be as attractive /needed but perhaps others where you live would be happy with a lower allowance and higher speed (or same allowance, higher speed, at a slight extra cost) ?
Community Veteran
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Re: Rural or Urban ? Fast or Slow Broadband ?

I wasn't clear - 10GB is enough at present although for iPlayer HD a bit more would be needed (15GB total maybe).
My present product (Value in Market 3) meets my needs fairly well (8-9GB usage) but if my usage goes up to 11 or 12GB (not outside the bounds of possibility) it will become much less attractive with the £5 charge for any extra usage
The other advantage of LLU is that I may be able to get iPlayer HD streaming with my present sync speed of 3776kbps but the IP profile restricts me to 3000kbps
pierre_pierre
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Rural or Urban ? Fast or Slow Broadband ?

I am Urban and get a steady 8128 Synch, plus using Value which doesnt allow faster, could have it now as my Exchange is ADSL2, but it would cost me more an a different package, and like Jim, my line is fast enough with two of us using it at the same time, so not voted as none apply.
WebDude
Grafter
Posts: 115
Registered: 11-03-2010

Re: Rural or Urban ? Fast or Slow Broadband ?

I'm also on a Market 3 exchange but with no Sky, no Be/O2 (presumably like you) while another town about 10 miles away (Mold, N Wales) with a third (or less) in terms of lines/population has Be.  I'm possibly going to move before FTTC gets here.  However I did put a petition online a while ago (end date is 25.04.10) requesting Government fund FTTC in rural areas first.   (I don't know if it'd make sense to add a link - I will happily accept advice)
When I wrote it, the Digital Britain report was either "just out" or due out (and I had studied the interim report, partly because of FM vs DAB and some daft ideas being put forward).  Anyway, I had to word the petition so it would not be rejected on grounds of duplication, so for anyone who does go and look (when I later add a link) they will see the initial comments concern regional data centres (there's a block on new ones within the London area because there's a shortage of new electrical supply until after the Olympics) with the economic and other benefits (new jobs, easy access, new enterprises with very fast internet links, more teleworking and more e-commerce opportunities) while the second part is on the subject of FTTC being funded by Government.
I did make efforts to get organisations like the CLA (Country Business and Landowners Assoc) and Nat. Union of Farmers, to get some wider knowledge of the petition, but one responded in a negative way and the other didn't even bother with a response.  I put comments on a number of news websites, and have some signatures, but it really needs rural users en masse to sign up to get the message across...
Whichever of the parties ends up in government in a month or so, it would be quite difficult to ignore a petition if it had a few million supporters.  I'd therefore urge anyone who feels it may benefit them and their community (schools, local businesses, shops) to make them aware of it.  I might do something so a sheet could be printed off and torn up into small business-card size pieces so keen people can pass the message on to their neighbours / shops!
WebDude
Grafter
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Registered: 11-03-2010

Re: Rural or Urban ? Fast or Slow Broadband ?

" not voted as none apply. " - not even "Rural dweller, any speed, no wish for faster speeds" (or Urban, as appropriate) ?

{ Rats...  I was getting around 2 Mbps but dial tone has gone away and speed shows as 416 / 192 - wish I could 'download' on the 'upstream' as that is staying at a nice 400+ kbps! }
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Re: Rural or Urban ? Fast or Slow Broadband ?

I would like a bit faster speed - say 5-6Mb - but certainly nor 20Mb plus
WebDude
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Registered: 11-03-2010

Re: Rural or Urban ? Fast or Slow Broadband ?

"certainly not 20Mb plus" - not even if that became the norm?
I have in the past questioned the need for 100 Mbps being "needed". 
I still question that to some degree, as the backbone infrastructure would need massive investment which only a tiny minority would be using yet we'd all pay for one way or another.  In Hong Kong, I believe, they have 100 Mbps cable service, but (as seems incredibly reasonable to me) the international links are capped at less than half that speed for users. 
I know academic research (eg from astronomic or other real-time experiments) can need massive quantities of data, either passed rapidly for storage near the experiment being carried out (and then transferred to some big data centre for storage, or simply send direct for storage) but for the most part, short of duplicating DVDs (probably illegally) can see limited need or potential need for such speeds from user to user over some prolonged period, and most servers would be hard pressed to feed many users at such speeds.  Live video conferencing (or similar, 'adult' services) might well make use of such speeds, but again, cannot see many such links being sustained across the UK or attempted from the UK to other countries, unless the 'backbone' was a few hundred times current speeds, or traffic very cleverly routed to limit bottlenecks.
What I see becoming more 'usual' could be streaming of TV and radio, catch-up TV etc, and while I can understand you have no desire (esp if it would cost you more) to have a higher speed, would you not see some benefit from something downloading in a quarter of the time it would take at 8 Mbps ?
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Re: Rural or Urban ? Fast or Slow Broadband ?

You should add another option: Rural, would just like to get what I pay for.
Then I could vote for that
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Re: Rural or Urban ? Fast or Slow Broadband ?

Quote from: WebDude
What I see becoming more 'usual' could be streaming of TV and radio, catch-up TV etc, and while I can understand you have no desire (esp if it would cost you more) to have a higher speed, would you not see some benefit from something downloading in a quarter of the time it would take at 8 Mbps ?
It might be nice but certainly not essential specially if it will cost me more money.