Location Location Location!

3:15 PM -- Ever wondered how you might actually achieve the broadband speeds you see advertised by the DSL-based ISPs? Well, it's all about being on top of the situation -- literally, according to one BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) staffer quoted today by the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) .

Responding to questions about why U.K. consumers buying a service advertised as 8 Mbit/s broadband averaged only 2.7 Mbit/s, the BT man conceded that achieving speeds of 8 Mbit/s is pretty much impossible.

"Virtually no-one will get it. The laws of physics start applying as soon as it leaves the exchange and you would have to live on top of the exchange to get the full 8 megabits," he said.

So there we have it -- even living next door to a local exchange isn't going to give you the full enchilada. You actually need to be on the roof.

To read the whole article, check out Britain 'failing' net speed tests.

In the meantime, expect sales of ladders and climbing gear to increase in the U.K. as the bandwidth-hungry British population prepares to check out the BT spokesman's theory...

— Ray Le Maistre, Cable Broadband User, Light Reading

digits 12/5/2012 | 3:04:22 PM
re: Location Location Location! Well, to be fair, the adverts do say 'up to X Megabits per second' -- none of them guarantee a speed.

But it seems the 'up to...' isn't enough to tell customers that there's zip chance of getting the full speed. It should be made clearer that's for sure - each operator should be forced to print an 'average speed attained' in large type on all their ads. Maybe that's what will happen.

Michael Poole 12/5/2012 | 3:04:22 PM
re: Location Location Location! When I left Blighty yonks ages ago, there used to be a law that said in effect that if it is claimed to be a meat pie, it can't be a gravy pie, or anything else with less than a majority of solid meat in it.

The UK Advertising Standards Authority says "Advertisements are not allowed to mislead consumers. This means that advertisers must hold evidence to prove the claims they make about their products or services before an ad appears."

So, isn't advertising an 8 Mb/s service that will only get to 8 Mb/s if you're sat right on top of the exchange misleading in terms of the Act? How do they get away with it?

Ah, I know, perhaps they bill it as an 8 mb/s service - even hand-keyed morse code is heaps faster than that.


[email protected] 12/5/2012 | 3:01:55 PM
re: Location Location Location! Today's Financial Times may give further insight into the UK's curious approach to broadband. The FT quotes Ed Richards, CEO of UK regulator Ofcom, as saying "Today's access networks at some point in the future will run out of steam."

So perhaps we should have plenty of coal and water up on those exchange roofs? At least the water won't be difficult to arrange in this country.
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