Its not an easy thing to get right no 2 lines are the same next door may do 1/2 or 2x your speed
and up to is no great problem as any ISP will inform you of what you can expect prior to joining
Where I do agree is when it says up to 20 and the exchange is only adsl 8 Meg max
also ofcom seem to think if only 5% get the claimed rate that's ok ?
Obviously they arent going far enough, but its a start.
If companies are being forced to give a true average, then the better companies will stand out, as their average speed will be higher than the poorly behaving companies.
That should push the likes of BT to actually give a toss about customers, and make sure the network is performing properly, not just do what they do at the moment... If you have a problem, lie to you, down grade you, then say your line is fixed, even though it isnt, and in reality what they have done is down grade you from 21cn to 20cn, but not attempted to rectify the problem, because its easier/cheaper.
And yes, I'm talking from experiance!!
Its a kick up the backside that some ISP's need badly.
I agree with the editor of ThinkBroadband; having to provide an average speed will encourage mediocrity.
Why is that?
Its about time these companies were brought into line.
How can they sell upto 20meg services to people that have no hope in **bleep** of getting half that?
It is preying on the vulnerable, and naive.
People like my parents, who struggle with switching on a pc let alone sorting a broadband connection.
VIRGIN claim to be the fastest
but some of it ends up on a bt copper wire line, strange.
our UK broad band/cable/fibre optics/copper wire system does seem a bit chaotic.
As someone with a bit of technical knowledge I've always found the descriptions of broadband speed to be appropriate. I've understood that it's a description of the technology as an ideal not average case. Up To 8Mbps means it's referring to "Max" ADSL. Then ADSL2 came along delivering a new theoretical max described by the Up To 20Mbps. Now FTTC is here and is described as Up To 40Mbps.
ADSL2 I think has disappointed people the most. Many see very little improvement in speed when they were expecting their speed to more than double. However, as BT don't charge any extra to have it I don't see why some people feel the need to complain so much. ADSL2 has other advantages that are simply invisible for most users - quicker connection time, lower power consumption and better diagnostic capabilities so that the noise levels can be managed better to increase the reliabilty of your connection.
Perhaps, for ADSL2 BT shouldn't use the Up To 20Mbps phrase. Or at least they should state Up To a Theoretical Maximum of 20Mbps. But I think it's wrong to have to say the average speed as we want BT to reach as many rural customers as possible without worrying that it's making their product uncompetitive.
I think as long as before signing up to a deal a customer is given an estimate of the speed that they are likely to achieve and they have right to cancel free of charge if the delivered service falls well short of that, then there should be no need to stop using the Up To phrase.
I think with the use of the word 'theoretical' you have more or less hit the nail on the head, minusdot. Perhaps it would not be beyond the wit of man (sorry, person is what I meant) to include a small table or even a rough graph in advertising showing very approximately the expected speed against distance from the exchange. (I do know that geographical distance can be quite different from cable distance.) That might give potential subscribers less to moan about when they get only a quarter of the max theoretical speed. I suppose for FTTC it would be more problematic as it is more or less distance to the cabinet that dictates speed.
Personally I think this forum is the wrong place to 'debate' this issue.
There are to many old school BT supporters with louder voices that always shout down any arguement that could actually reveal BT to be the poor performing, arrogant company that it really is.
If I would have known even half that I do now about BT before joining, I wouldn't have even considered it.