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Slow broadband speed? BBC Consumer Affairs Show Investigating.

Are you satisfied with your broadband speed?

  • Yes

    Votes: 8 72.7%
  • No

    Votes: 3 27.3%

  • Total voters
    11
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Swifty_G

ISP Rep
[ADMIN NOTE: The BBC has asked us to remove/close this survey while they change the wording of both the
thread and the poll. It should be back shortly once we know what they want to do.]
 
Last edited by a moderator:

aquiss

ISP Rep
Glenn,

As an ISP ourselves, can I ask, is your BBC team unlike your BBC News team going to explain exactly why not everyone can get upto 8Mbps or 24Mbps?

Recent reporting clearly shows that BBC themselves don't understand how technology works, with the perceptions been put into peoples minds that if you live miles from an exchange a customer will still get serviced at 8Mbps.

Do feel free to contact me if the BBC requires technical understanding, so that as an industry we can get a balanced voice.
 

Vivaciti

ISP Rep
Come on Martin, since when did any journalist really care about the entire facts, if that was the case then no one would really be interested in watching, listening or reading about it.
I have yet to see one that give the facts about how ADSL broadband works, all they are interested in is getting people on there saying "I was sold 8MB, but I am only getting 1MB" (of course leaving out the bit about them being 5KM from the exchange) It is correct that there are still a large number of ISP's only running with the headline figure, and not working in the spirit of the code in letting customers know what sort of "sync" speeds they may get, but also letting them know that other things may effect the sync speeds they get.
Now if they looked at people who say got sync speeds of say 8MB but throughput of 1MB when their profile is 7150, then that would be the correct thing to report on.
 

sentup.custard

ULTIMATE Member
Now, now, chaps - admit it, it's all your fault. ;)

After all, if yourselves and other ISPs had not refused to pay the tuition fees for all those potential customers who need to go to evening classes for a month, so that they can be taught the meaning of the words "up to", the problem would not exist.

(I'm glad I don't have television these days.)
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
I'm going to stay impartial on this but will vote "no" on behalf of my mother instead :) .

She subscribed to an 8Mbps package and her lined was estimated to support around 4Mbps, yet despite having all the right filters, a noise free line, a BT iPlate installed and the area clear of any "obvious" electrical interference (well the editor of ISPr is her son so what do you expect hehe), the connection rarely struggles to get much above 1Mbps.

This is not her fault, it is the ISPs. The previous service provider managed to deliver around 2.5 to 3.5Mbps but on the same line with the same kit the new one appears incapable of getting even close to that. Naturally, despite the line and router stats being about as good as you can get, the ISP prefers to blame everybody else except themselves.

Sadly this is a common issue and to be fair it can be just as difficult for the ISP to identify the cause as it can be for the consumer, there are many both practical and technical variables that affect speed. Likewise ISPs operate on a “best efforts” policy, which makes it difficult to meet any kind of quality expectation or identify responsibility – that must be awfully convenient at times, though it is perhaps also “the nature of the best”.

I expect when she moves ISP again this month then the speed will magically improve and suddenly it won’t be BT or the lines fault, as her current ISP likes to claim, without even having investigated. Well the customer support guy was in a third world country and didn't appear to know what ADSL was when I called and tried to explain it :) .
 

Bob2002

ULTIMATE Member
Have you ever achieved the maximum broadband speed that was sold to you?
What a loaded question, but perhaps what I might expect from a programme with a sensationalist title like "Rip Off Britain". As others have pointed out companies use the term "up to" because of the well known technical constraints of DSL technology. I suppose another angle worth exploring is traffic shaping where the ISP deliberately limits the speed of certain protocols e.g. PlusNet

I will watch the broadcast, if only to see if it's as misleading as the notorious Panorama WiFi disaster. :rolleyes:
 

pod

Casual Member
Pod

I'm with Zen. The service is indeed advertised as 'up to 8Mb' but it was made clear that I would get only about 1.5Mb on my line. In fact I get between 2.5 and 3Mb. BT confirmed that given the distance to the exchange, this was the maximum obtainable on a good line. However, there is hope of faster to come when the exchange is uprated and Zen promises the faster rate at the same price as now. I haven't been ripped off.
 

onephat

ULTIMATE Member
I'm agreeing with the two ISP chaps. What do people really expect with a network that was originally designed to take voice and built countless years ago. Lets face it, the media are the ones that are driving this demand for faster and faster speeds. I sit on a 10mb cable line and to be honest i could probably live with a lot lot less.

The UK's obsession with getting something for nothing rings true in this example as well. How can the ISP's and the likes of BT invest heavily in bringing their networks into the 21st century when people are insisting on paying less and less and often even nothing for their broadband. The networks need investment and realistically who's got to pay for that ... ME AND YOU !!. Broadband is hardly a rip-off in fact you could argue at the moment its almost a bargain. Just what the industry and broadband in general needs, another hot shot wannabe journalist/programme thats pandering to the Daily Mail readership bleating about how their being ripped off. GET REAL BBC !!

Anyway rant over :p
 

Doctor_Wibble

Top Member
Have I ever achieved the maximum speed?
I have to give a definite 'Yes' to this, so long as we are talking about broadband speed 'as sold'. Throughput is another matter of course.

Context is always useful, and I dare say my experiences as below are probably not unique. The 512K, 2M, 8M lines were all single-speed, not 'up to'. [Added after thought : I can't shake the feeling that the 8Mbit was in fact an 'up to', but it always connected at the same speed.

512Kbit - got the speed, on the whole nearly-maximum throughput as well, relatively few exceptions. This was the one I originally signed up for (i.e. the only one actually 'sold' to me), the only disappointment being DirectPlay games which didn't work through NAT (thanks a bunch, Microsoft).
[Edit: though even this originated as a test line from VIP/Affinity which I later moved to my preferred ISP]

2Mbit (auto free upgrade) - got the speed, occasionally nearly-maximum throughput, though by then a high proportion of sites were getting wise to bandwidth issues and limiting download speeds (something we had been doing for and/or recommending to numerous customers who didn't want their sites to effectively 'die' at peak times)

8Mbit (auto free upgrade) - as per 2Mbit - site download limits becoming more apparent since end-users were getting free line upgrades as part of their service, but many websites were sticking with what they had (increases generally not being free). Occasional line hiccups, a couple caused by blown fuses at the exchange.

24Mbit (ADSL2+) (auto free upgrade) - ecch - horribly prone to interference even when 'stable' (currently trying to collect evidence as to who to blame). My line will theoretically support around 11Mbit but isn't stable at much over 9.5Mbit. Rare to get near-maximum throughput but this appears to be due to the general increase in traffic levels 'out there' rather than specific line or ISP problems.
This one was clearly described as 'up to', and had a (not too far off) 'reasonable expectation' statement as well though TBH I'd rather have kept the old stable speed until the technology was better.

None of this was mis-sold to me. Like Bob says, the issue (these days at least) is of people comprehending "up to". It's the various definitions of "unlimited" that might warrant more attention, and remembering of course the original one which was the lack of understanding (and/or clear explanation) of the meaning, effect, and consequences of "contention ratio".

Now all we have to do is hope that the OP comes back and reads the thread.
Do I get points for verbosity? :p
 

Robert Naylor

ULTIMATE Member
I'm another lucky one who gets the best speed. We did go through a period where it was unreliable, but thanks to an obvious crackle on the line that was sorted relatively quickly.

I have noticed that at peak times speed can suffer, but as I don't tend to stream videos etc it doesn't effect me too much.

I also wonder with some many people using wireless, how many are actually having problems with poor connectivity to their router, rather than suffering from poor speeds from the ISP.
 

aquiss

ISP Rep
I think it's interesting that the poll on the front page, is a complete reverse of the percentages from the poll that was started on here.

Is this an example of lack of misunderstanding for "up to" means, with most people thinking they can actually get 8Mbps or 24Mbps speeds?
 

sentup.custard

ULTIMATE Member
There is a difference in the wording of the question in the two polls - and I have to say that I do *not* like the wording of the one on the front page - my bold:
"Have you ever achieved the maximum broadband speed that was sold to you?"

I think that 99% of the country would have to answer "No" to that - if you were sold "up to 8Mb", then the theoretical maximum is 8Mb, and, of course, you've probably never achieved that!

That doesn't mean that they are not satisfied with their speed, because unless they live on top of the exchange, only an idiot expects to get the maximum. Take my 2Mb line, for example. I'm two telegraph poles up the hill from the exchange, I get what I regard as very good speeds, usually around 1950 or a bit over during the day, dropping to around 1850, sometimes as low as 1800, in the evening - but I have, of course, never actually had the full 2Mb from it, so I would have to say "No" if I voted in that one, which I refuse to do because I think it's a damned silly question which will give completely the wrong impression in the results.
 

sentup.custard

ULTIMATE Member
I notice that the poll in this thread has been closed, with an insertion in the first post:

"[ADMIN NOTE: Please vote in the poll on our front page, the above forum poll has been disabled as it is a duplicate]"

No, it is NOT a duplicate - as above, it's a completely different question!

Are you working for the BBC, Mark? The revised poll wording is the sort of nonsense I'd expect from them, not from you!
 

Unregistered

Guest
Having been a Blueyonder/Virgin customer on cable for a few years now I've always been happy with the speeds I achieve, services like Rapidshare nicely max out my connection to the speeds I would expect.
 

PeeJay

Top Member
I think the question should be clarified by adding "given the limits/constraints of broadband". And, as a supplementary question "You do understand the limits/constraints of broadband, don't you?" :D
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
The BBC agree, they asked me to take it down and temporarily close this thread while they get a new approach signed off. Sorry about this, I am just helping them out.
 
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