It seems we are a nation of shop-keeper avoiders
I don't own a coat as I never leave the house!
UK shoppers order more stuff online than their European neighbours - and worry the least about how their personal data is used on social networking sites even though seven out of ten Brits admit having concerns about privacy. That's according to Ofcom's latest International Communications Market study, which also determined …
"That's according to Ofcom's latest International Communications Market study, which also determined that take-up in Blighty of broadband services with speeds of at least 25Mbit/s is lagging far behind other countries."
I'd love to have the choice of signing up to a 25Mb service. In fact, I'd even be happy with 2.5Mb (and I live in a city, not some back-of-beyond village- I'd probably get a better chance in the sticks...).
But while toothless Ofcom is busy carrying out Market Studies, BT and Virgin can pretty much get away with what they want, with the market essentially wrapped up between them (at least on the infrastructure/wholesale side)
Its a pretty meaningless figure. What percentage of UK households can realistically get 25mbps? Hell, what percentage can actually get 20mbps on plain old boring ADSL2+? Maybe we'd get those magic 40% uptake figures when everyone who wants super fast internet connections can actually get one.
Maybe I'm just bitter because I live in what is allegedly one of the tech business centres of the UK and am lucky to get 6mbps. Maybe things will pick up in 2013 once FTTC becomes available, but availability dates have a funny habit of receding into the future every time they get close.
I realised recently that, of about 8 things I needed to buy over the past month, 1 was found trailing around the shops, and I live in London close to Oxford Street. Basics like certain types of fairly ordinary light bulbs. The department stores have cut back or have signed up to sell only one manufacturer's product. Rather than waste my time in shops with poor stock, queuing, dealing with unhelpful staff who don't seem to correlate helpign customers with sales with wages, I now find I'm turning to the web for ordinary stuff I would not, at one time, have dreamed of having delivered. I sometimes pay a little more, ading in postage, but sometimes not, and I gain in having my time freed up.
...I don't charge the delivery lorry a toll for the use of my road, or a charge for parking in front of my house to deliver the goods. If I take my car to go shopping, I invariably get charged for parking now....I have to give the woman at the till my phone number, email address, inside leg measurment 'because the till asks for it'....I'll probably get caught in a traffic jam of irrate xmas shoppers who seem to think armageddon is'a'comin. Is it any wonder?
Paris, because I bought her on the internet too.
"UK shoppers order more stuff online than their European neighbours - ...
That's according to Ofcom's latest International Communications Market study, which also determined that take-up in Blighty of broadband services with speeds of at least 25Mbit/s is lagging far behind other countries."
Uh-huh... I've never yet needed 25Mb/s a do online shopping so "buying more stuff online" doesn't really mean "must have faster connection".
It's when you game online or own a PS3 and suddenly find you've got to download 100s of MBs worth of patches that you need a faster connection; not web surfing, or shopping, or even streaming music/video (as they're usually heavily compressed).
What, pray-tell, do we NEED 25M for?
That's a dual-layer Blu-ray every 30mins. Seriously, I'm a net junkie, online all but 10 hrs a day, and I cannot IMAGINE a use for that. At 2M I'm doing ok for almost all my tasks, 6M I'm happy as a clam for anything (that's a DL-DVD every 30 min).
There really comes a point where is a this type of technomasterbation is just silly.
When you have many devices, all bitching about updates, you have a half-meg connection and (if the download doesn't time out), the patches takes hours, then you'll understand the value of speed.
Or when you have kids who want to stream video and play online like their mates but can't.
2mb is fine if you're a little old lady, online shopping and picking up mail. Ofcom's demographic.
...to anyone who's tried shopping on the UK high street in the last 10 years.
Customer service is an oxymoron - sales staff don't have a clue about the products they're selling but can tell you all the options available for taking out extended warranty. If you ask them a question that can't be answered by looking at the back of the box or on the info card then you'll get one of two reactions; hurr derp or passive agressiveness as they simply repeat one of the few selling points they know like a politician asked a straight yes/no question.
It isn't always about price, sometimes I'll pay the same or slightly more online and wait for a delivery when I've had a particularly bad experience with the sales staff in some shops that are less preferable to a kick in the nuts. Currys/PC World, Best Buy, the worst offenders, I'm looking at you.
OTOH online retailers must compete on after-sales service. I'll similarly avoid cheaper online price where I've had delivery problems and poor communication. eBay/Paypal anyone?
So online or offline is not so important to me, service is. I'll recommend any online or offline shop where I've had good service even if the price is slightly higher. I'll go back too because I know I can count on the staff.
Retail managers take note!
As a computer support person, I visit many peoples homes and experience many different connections. It is the ISP that determines how much data you can download and your connection speed is hardly relevant.
I was downloading updates at a clients home with BT infinity the download speed was 7.2 kbps. I logged in to my PC at home with 3.9Mbps SKY connection and started the same download to my PC the speed was 401kbps. I then logged on to a friends PC with 6.1Mbps Talktalk connection the speed was 590kbps.
This was the same update from the Adobe.com website in each case.
Is BT infinity a fraud?
Thats all they can do. Being the obedient poodles of BT. (rascals, themselves).
The least they can do is ensure we get decent advertised speeds. Rather than moan about lack of high speed uptake, and faff around with figures and percentages.
How about cracking a whip at all the ISPs ?
A poll of actual speeds we get will conifrm that all of UK gets only about one-third of the advertised speeds (under ADSL).
WHAT A CON!