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"Gigabit Fibre" misleading as the fastest package is 0.9 Gigabit

tomclewes

Casual Member
The current advertising of fibre speeds is misleading.

Boris is calling for a gigabit Britain and Openreach are claiming to have deployed gigabit broadband to 4.5m homes yet the fastest package is capped to 900Mbps or 0.9 gigabit.

The 100Mbps difference is despite what some may argue quite a lot of lost speed, its more than the fastest FTTC package. I am fully aware of overheads but wouldn't expect an overhead of 100Mbps. I'm also aware that some Gbit network cards cap out in the mid 950Mbps region.

Really surprised the advertising authority haven't cottoned onto this yet. Happy to be corrected if I'm wrong.
 

Green Meanie

Pro Member
It’s gigabit capable (it can do much more but there’s no requirement for a residential circuit), it’s down to the providers if/when they decide to sell a service above that.
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
Really surprised the advertising authority haven't cottoned onto this yet. Happy to be corrected if I'm wrong.

The whole reason ISPs advertise 1Gbps packages with an average speed of c.900Mbps is precisely because of the ASA's rules. The watchdog requires them to only advertise the average speeds that are delivered at peak times, and this must be a median and not a mean average.

The LAN port overheads you mention are also largely irrelevant to advertising, since it's about the broadband speed that an ISP delivers to your router (remember you can harness this via more than a single LAN port at the same time).

At least in this country we do actually have some advertising rules for broadband performance, but in many others they don't.
 

Phil2021

Casual Member
The current advertising of fibre speeds is misleading.

Boris is calling for a gigabit Britain and Openreach are claiming to have deployed gigabit broadband to 4.5m homes yet the fastest package is capped to 900Mbps or 0.9 gigabit.

The 100Mbps difference is despite what some may argue quite a lot of lost speed, its more than the fastest FTTC package. I am fully aware of overheads but wouldn't expect an overhead of 100Mbps. I'm also aware that some Gbit network cards cap out in the mid 950Mbps region.

Really surprised the advertising authority haven't cottoned onto this yet. Happy to be corrected if I'm wrong.

As others have pointed out that limit is only over one LAN socket. If you have 2 devices plugged into the router then they are capable of each pulling double the bandwidth, or think of it another way, a single device can saturate a LAN port by downloading at top speed from the Internet on a 1Gig package, but there is some naturally left over to serve Wi-Fi devices something as the LAN port can't pull down the maximum 1Gig.

At around 500Meg or greater speeds the service is really there to serve multiple devices and not really to give one device the headline top speed. It's a bit like mains electricity, whilst you might have 100 amps of power available to your home and stencilled on the consumer unit, the most you can draw from any one socket is 13 amps.
 

Meatball

Top Member
It is inevitable that either the general or specific technology terms will always be exaggerated by marketeers. Politicians always want to look to good particularly if most of it is happening anyway.

All we can do is ensure awareness as best as possible that:
  • Only full fibre to the home (FTTH) infrastructure has the longevity required
  • The government is including relevant VM legacy areas within their Giga objective.
  • Not all FTTP is the same
  • Broadband is a shared service with contention at different points of the Network Provider and ISP networks depending on their approach.
  • The current level of investment while being "Giga Capable" technically is based on an assumption that most consumers requiring a broadband service will want Ultrafast speeds for the foreseeable.
  • It is far to early to know whether (and in what timescales) Network Providers and ISPs will respond if the overall take up of their service exceeds design or disproportionally higher speed products are requested. Use of say XGS-PON and spare fibres allow them more scope but the issue will be present in many areas as it is now with FTTC and HFC.
  • Not all rollouts are 100% for an area and even within a road that is covered isolated premises can be missed out (possibly due to desk planning)
 
Last edited:

Buggerlugz

ULTIMATE Member
Just because its advertised as gigabit, don't make it so, take "superfast" as a prime example of what BT can get away with currently, not to mention selling FTTC like its a FTTP product.
 

alexatkin

Casual Member
The current advertising of fibre speeds is misleading.

Boris is calling for a gigabit Britain and Openreach are claiming to have deployed gigabit broadband to 4.5m homes yet the fastest package is capped to 900Mbps or 0.9 gigabit.

The 100Mbps difference is despite what some may argue quite a lot of lost speed, its more than the fastest FTTC package. I am fully aware of overheads but wouldn't expect an overhead of 100Mbps. I'm also aware that some Gbit network cards cap out in the mid 950Mbps region.

Really surprised the advertising authority haven't cottoned onto this yet. Happy to be corrected if I'm wrong.

Except they aren't capped at 900Mbit.


The actual network is running at 2.4Gbit and the cap depends on how your ISP decides to do so. This is similar to Virgin who also typically perform slightly higher than the advertised package speed.

Also, ALL Gigabit network cards cap out under "real world" throughput, because Gigabit is the raw link rate before protocol overheads. Typically Intel branded will go higher than things like Realtek, which is likely another reason 900Mbit is chosen as the headline figure.

Having a Gigabit port in your PC/laptop goes not guarantee you can actually do the same speed as another person with a better Gigabit chipset.
 

Dassa

Casual Member
BT Openreach doesn't sell a 900M product, if you look at SIN506 (google "BT FTTP SIN") then you will see that they offer downstream speeds of 0.5, 40, 55, 80, 110, 115, 120, 160, 220, 330, 500, 550 and 1000Mbits / sec.

You will also notice that the 1Gbits/sec product is limited to 987Mbits/sec due to the use of 1G ethernet on the ONT.

Your ISP may choose to sell the 1000MBits/sec product as 900Mbits/sec (probably due to advertising rules as mentioned by others) but if you're getting the top speed Openreach supplied connection then you are getting a 1G (well, 987M) product.

All of the above are supplied by via a fibre with a 2.4Gbits/sec downstream speed, split up to 32 ways. You will notice in the SIN that the "prioritised" rate is significantly lower (e.g. the 1000Mbits/sec peak product has a prioritised rate of 330Mbits/sec). There is no guarantee that the peak rate will be achieved at peak times but you should always (subject to the capacity of your ISP) be able to achieve the prioritised rate.

Note that all the above is talking about Openreach's network, your ISP may or may not be capable of delivering an internet connection that will saturate you connection. Other network operators (e.g. Cityfibre) may have a different approach.
 

ADW

Casual Member
How are you measuring speeds?.....Speedtest.net or equivilient?

If so, these sites are only measuring the payload in a packet, not all the encapsulation around it which adds up to a lot more than 900Mb/s
 
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