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UK ISP Primus Saver Raises Typical ADSL2 Broadband Speed up to 16Mbps

Saturday, September 28th, 2013 (7:28 am) - Score 983

Primus Saver has quietly followed the other big broadband ISPs by raising the advertised download speed (“typical speed“) of their standard copper line (ADSL2+) based packages from ‘up to’ 15Mbps to 16Mbps (Megabits per second). But don’t expect your connections to actually get any faster.

The move is predominantly all about advertising. In particular, the Advertising Standards Authority requires ISPs 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, which could otherwise theoretically be delivering up to 20-24Mbps.

But by now most of the markets ISPs have worked out that nobody is really checking their figures and so over the past few months most of the main providers have quietly adopted a general speed of ‘up to’ 16Mbps. Meanwhile Ofcom’s most recent speed testing results suggest that there’s still be a very big difference between what the latest packages promise and what they can actually deliver (here).

So sadly Primus Saver hasn’t figured out a magical way of pushing more speed down your physical ADSL2+ line, they’re just bringing themselves into line with everybody else. At the same time it should be said that many smaller ISPs continue to completely ignore the rules and the ASA has paid no attention to them (see our ISP List for examples).

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15 Responses
  1. Avatar chris says:

    Until we have a decent regulator this is always going to happen. This is why people are so confused and dissatisfied with their connections. Ofcom should also stop telcos and ISPs calling it fibre broadband too. All exchanges have fibre and dial up is fed by fibre, as is adsl, adsl2 and now some cabinets too. It is copper broadband if it comes through a landline phone.

    1. Avatar FibreFred says:

      “Ofcom should also stop telcos and ISPs calling it fibre broadband too. All exchanges have fibre and dial up is fed by fibre, as is adsl, adsl2 and now some cabinets too. It is copper broadband if it comes through a landline phone.”

      Its something I see you keep repeating on twitter which is slightly embarrassing.

      1) Ofcom use that term themselves so they are unlikely to want it changed
      2) FTTC (BT) & FTTN (Virgin) are part of the FTTX family, same family as FTTP/H http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiber_to_the_x

      “Fiber to the x (FTTX) is a generic term for any broadband network architecture using optical fiber to provide all or part of the local loop used for last mile telecommunications. The term is a generalization for several configurations of fiber deployment”

      Does dial-up replace any of the local loop with fibre? No
      Does ADSL replace any of the local loop fibre? No

      So is it acceptable to refer to FTTX deployments as fibre broadband? Yes, Ofcom and the ASA are fine with the term.

      I know you can’t bear it but anything FTTX is a fibre product

    2. Avatar GNewton says:

      @FibreFred: You are really wasting your time here, VDSL never is and never will be fibre-broadband, people are gradually finding out the truth abouyt this fraud despite ASA or folks like you propagating FTTC as fibre-broadband when it isn’t.

    3. Avatar DTMark says:

      So 3G is fibre-optic broadband…?

      And since it’s “up to 42Mbps”, it’s actually “superfast fibre-optic broadband”.

      We only see 20Mbps largely because we’re 2.7km from the cell, but I reckon a house nearer to it than we are will see superfast speeds at least some of the time.

      It’s not really fibre-optic broadband, though, is it… 😉

    4. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Is 3G fttx?

    5. Avatar DTMark says:

      For Three, there are three “towers” which cover the area, they might be connected via point to point radio based links (but there are hills in between them so line of sight would be an issue), or fibre links.

      Fibre to the neighbourhood, last mile “over the air” (as opposed to co-ax, or copper/aluminium).

      Superfast because some of the people connected to the service can see 25Mbps+ some of the time, though ours seems to top out at about 21Mbps.

      Does that qualify? If so, we have, er, superfast fibre-optic broadband (cough) already from two infra providers.

    6. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Don’t think so 🙂

      Fiber to the node

      Fiber to the node or neighborhood (FTTN), sometimes identified with and sometimes distinguished from fiber to the cabinet (FTTC),[8] is a telecommunication architecture based on fiber-optic cables run to a cabinet serving a neighborhood. Customers typically connect to this cabinet using traditional coaxial cable or twisted pair wiring. The area served by the cabinet is usually less than one mile in radius and can contain several hundred customers. (If the cabinet serves an area of less than 1,000 ft (300 m) in radius, the architecture is typically called FTTC/FTTK.)[9]

      FTTN allows delivery of broadband services such as highspeed internet. Highspeed communications protocols such as broadband cable access (typically DOCSIS) or some form of digital subscriber line (DSL) are used between the cabinet and the customers. The data rates vary according to the exact protocol used and according to how close the customer is to the cabinet.

      Unlike FTTP, FTTN often uses existing coaxial or twisted-pair infrastructure to provide last mile service and is thus less costly to deploy. In the long term, however, its bandwidth potential is limited relative to implementations that bring the fiber still closer to the subscriber.

      A variant of this technique for cable television providers is used in a hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) system. It is sometimes given the acronym FTTLA (fiber-to-the-last-amplifier) when it replaces analog amplifiers up to the last one before the customer (or neighborhood of customers).

    7. Avatar DanielM says:


      Once again defending liars. we all know FTTC is not Fibre optic. but its a type of DSL Copper/Fibre Hybrid. so at most you could call it a hybrid connection. And a fibre connection would not be “Up to”.

      One could also call 3G/LTE Fibre since most towers are now Fibre’ed
      One Could also ADSL/ADSL2+ Fibre since its backhaul is fibre (Most of the time)

      But to me it looks exactly the same as LTE. meaning LTE is not 4g and fttc is not fibre. yet due to operator moaning etc ofcom/asa let them away with it.

    8. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Obviously you didn’t read my earlier posts on FTTX – sigh

    9. Avatar FibreFred says:

      And of course fibre connections can be “up to” they are contended products


      Full FTTP… “up to 500/100Mbps”


      ” Gigabit Internet

      All Community Connections will be equipped with a symmetric gigabit Internet connection (up to 1 Gbps upload and 1 Gbps download) over Google Fiber’s network. Google will provide a free connection and service for 10 years from the start of our contract with your city. “

    10. Avatar DTMark says:

      Ah, so 3G isn’t fibre-optic broadband after all.

      Not because, actually, it isn’t fibre-optic broadband.

      It’s because it doesn’t come from a cabinet.

      Three need to place a “cabinet” somewhere en-route, and they too can sell fibre-optic broadband.

      To be fair to Fibre Fred, this appears to be a definition from that rather useless regulator which not happy with rendering the words “broadband”, “unlimited” and “superfast” meaningless has elected to render the term “fibre” meaningless too.

    11. Avatar FibreFred says:

      That’s the thing though DTMark , fttx fttc FTTP is ‘defined’ but fibre broadband isn’t its just a marketing term afaik

    12. Avatar DanielM says:

      Exactly the point. the silly thing about naming it fibre. we could call other things that have fibre connected. like fibre to a cell site.

      And when i was refering to the “up to” part i ment about what the line is capable of. i know it suffers contention/congestion, however they can actually reach the speeds. unlike bt’s hybrid service (distance related)

  2. Avatar DanielM says:

    speeds really do differ alot per isp. mostly because of the way line settings are setup.

    For example currently one of my lines with plusnet gets around 20.7Mbps sync With a 18.4Mbps Throughput (Line attenuation of 21.8 and a SNR of 3).

    When i was with tesco, max i had was 13Mbps with 11Mbps Throughput. (Line attenuation of 20 and a SNR of 14 (Which they refuse to change) they also force interleaving.

    Under trained staff and silly default settings are partially to blame.

  3. Avatar DTMark says:

    The impression I get, rightly or wrongly, is that a fair number of people would think that “up to 20Meg ADSL” would be comparable with “up to 20Meg cable” (when it was 20Meg for the sake of example)

    e.g. both connections can do 20Meg, but you may not see it all the time, maybe because it might be, er, “busy” (contended).

    After all if it couldn’t manage 20Meg then it wouldn’t be sold as “up to 20Meg” in the first place, would it.

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