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TalkTalk UK Raise Advertised Standard Broadband Speed up to 16Mbps

Friday, Sep 6th, 2013 (6:03 pm) - Score 1,154

Budget Internet provider TalkTalk has today followed the other big broadband ISPs by increasing the advertised download speed (“typical speed“) of their standard (ADSL2+) based packages “up to” 16Mbps (Megabits per second) from 14Mbps. But don’t expect to get faster speeds.

The operator claims that this “improvement” has only been possible because of the £100 million investment into their network and services, although it’s perhaps more about being able to advertise the same performance as everybody else.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) requires that ISPs be able to demonstrate that their advertised speeds are achievable by at least 10% of users, which is better known as a “typical speed” (here). This is why some providers promote speeds of up to 12-18Mbps for ADSL2+ connections that can theoretically deliver up to 20-24Mbps.

The guidance was designed to make it more difficult for ISPs to advertise unachievable broadband speeds and this is especially relevant to the slower and more variable 8Mbps ADSL or 20-24Mbps ADSL2+ connections, which often deliver significantly slower performance than advertised (i.e. due to poor home wiring, network congestion, traffic management and many other factors).

Unfortunately this rule is not properly tested or checked and Ofcom’s most recent speed testing results suggest that there may still be a big difference between what ADSL2+ based ISP packages promise and what they can actually deliver (here). Suffice to say that this is perhaps less about network improvement and more about advertising; the underlying ADSL2+ technology remains unchanged.

In fairness network capacity boosts can help and so do improvements to your home wiring but even this can only do so much.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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