When is fast broadband not so fast?

2 08 2007

U.K. consumer magazine Which? expresses shock and awe at the revelation that consumer broadband speeds may not be as fast as they purport to be. Welcome to the internet business.

The Which research reported on suggests, horror of horrors, that consumers might be getting swizzed by ruthless ISPs which advertise certain connection speeds, but then deliver something less.

Now that online access is reduced to mere commodity, isn’t it about time we all wised-up on the fact that:

  1. The U.K. internet backbone remains somewhat wanting (BT’s 21st Century Network has yet to deliver)
  2. ISPs, irrespective of geography, turn the tap up and down to manage demand on their networks
  3. Some ISPs are better at doing it, others aren’t

As a point of interest, the survey revealed that larger ISPs were the worst offenders [related, perhaps to the size of their customer base?], whilst smaller ones delivered greater satisfaction from those polled.

The quoted Which? editor does speak some logic when it comes to calling on ISPs to be more transparent about the practices employed. How long is it, I can’t help wondering, ’til we have a Which? report on BBC iPlayer’s lack of support for Mac and Linux operating systems?