back to article Up yours, Europe! Our 100% prime British broadband is cheaper than yours... but also slower and a bit of a rip-off

Good news: the UK enjoys cheaper broadband compared to its European neighbours. Bad news: it is slower and poor value for money. A report published today by price comparison outfit Cable.co.uk looking at fixed-line deals at the end of 2020 has found that Brits were paying, on average, £26/month for their broadband and getting …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One of the things I noticed living on mainland Europe, compared to friends and family in the UK is that my broad band speed is pretty consistent 24 hours a day. Whereas it seems the UK is more prone to over sell which means that there are times in the day when my friends in the UK seem to really struggle for bandwidth. I've worked in a few northern European countries and found that by and large they all had fairly consistent bandwidth throughout the day.

    I also had the pleasure of holidaying in Cornwall in 2019 and experiencing, what were in effect, dial up speeds :-) Devon wasn't much better, I can only hope things are better in the large towns!

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Connecting individual properties is one thing, making the whole chain fast enough (DSLASM, backhaul, interconnects, etc.) quite another. It's the sort of thing that requires relatively expensive investments of the sort that the UK, with its preponderance for short term fixes, generally doesn't like.

      My German LTE backup is faster and cheaper than the UK standard, albeit limited in volume.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        My German LTE backup is faster and cheaper than the UK standard, albeit limited in volume.

        Lucky you. I am on Vodafone Deutschland. It is supposed to be "up to 500mbps"... I get around 0.001mbps at work and 5mbps at home. Switching back to congstar, that is "only" 50mbps, but at least I get 10mbps at work and 45mbps at home.

        My ISP at home is Osnatel and I get 50mbps for 39€ a month, including a landline and mobile flat rate. And I get 52mbps most days.

        But I can confirm what the OP said, I get the 50mbps all day. I've never seen the speed drop off - apart from the time the builder down in the town dug through the fibre trunk into the town! 2 days of no bandwidth, then 1 week at 2mbps until full service was restored. Given how much damage the builders caused, I was surprised how quickly we got emergency coverage and how quickly full service was restored.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          I used to be with Unitymedia (now Vodafone) but switched earlier this year back to DSL, because it just kept having problems almost inherent in coax, with some numpty on the line sticking something on that buggers the RF up for everyone.

          1 & 1 has been pretty reliable since and faster (100 Mb/s ~ 12 MB/s) for the same price. Interestingly, the LTE backup is one of the Vodafone Gigacubes so depends a lot on where the nearest tower is, but I know that they do still have a very good mobile network.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          > I am on Vodafone

          That's where you've gone wrong.

      2. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge

        Using average rates can be deceiving. For each FTTP customer with 1Gbps service I could have 20 customers getting 10Mbps or less and still achieve a 50Mbps average. It is likely cheaper for service providers to increase the rates in areas that are already well served rather than to improve the service in areas with poor infrastructure.

    2. Danny 14 Silver badge

      I think it depends who you are with. Im with zen internet and whilst not the cheapest I get what I pay for. We have the up to 80 package and we get just over 70Mb, this doesnt really change when called upon in the real world.

      The router will give stats and graphs over time if you want it to, when the whole house is "doing stuff" simultaneously (xbox games, HD netflix, PC games, spotify streaming, work) it ticks over at about 20Mbs, spikes for downloads but unless there is a new game going to steam or xbox then it never hits the top. But at least it can hit the 70Mbs at any time and we havent had many outages of note.

      1. ICL1900-G3 Bronze badge

        Me too, and I get 80-90 in the depths of rural Cornwall.

    3. AndrueC Silver badge
      Happy

      One of the things I noticed living on mainland Europe, compared to friends and family in the UK is that my broad band speed is pretty consistent 24 hours a day. Whereas it seems the UK is more prone to over sell which means that there are times in the day when my friends in the UK seem to really struggle for bandwidth

      That just means your friends are tightwads and are signing up with the cheaper providers :)

      I use IDNet. It costs a bit more but this is what I get in the evening. My sync speed isn't quite the full 80Mb/s but I get the same throughput 24/7. Oh and IPv6 since they rolled out dual-stack on their network many, many years ago.

    4. SkippyBing

      My parent's who live in a village in Cornwall have ~80Mbps so I don't think you can take your single data point as representative of the whole county, never mind country.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Not a single data point, I've stayed in at least ten places in Cornwall where the connection speed was so bad it felt like dial up on a bad day. These places are holiday lets spread across both the north and south coast but never in any town larger than Bude.

        I haven't done a rigorous examination of all connections in the county but I heard a lot of complaints from locals and family who live in the county. I always feel Cornwall is ignored by Westminster.. which is a shame.

        1. ICL1900-G3 Bronze badge

          Westminster

          To be honest, the more Westminster ignores us, the happier I feel.

        2. David Webb

          Cornwall was funded by the EU from 2011, 95% are able to get speeds > 30Mb, 55% speeds over 100Mb and 18% are FTTH/P. I know this as I live in Cornwall and currently get 300Mb but can get 1Gb if I decided I wanted to pay (which I don't).

          Obviously Cornwall voted to leave the EU and are down almost £700m in funding over the next 10 years.

    5. low_resolution_foxxes Silver badge

      Virgin media perhaps?

      Virgin always seem to over promise and throttle around 5-9pm.

      Bt are slow but consistent.

  2. Boothy Silver badge

    New builds

    Doesn't help that new housing doesn't seem to automatically get new broadband options when constructed, at least not in all cases.

    I live in a new build from ~6 years ago, on a new estate that has about 85 houses. Rather than dropping a new cabinet into the estate, they ran all the copper cables down to a cabinet on the nearby main road, that was apparently undersubscribed. This was an older model cabinet, so not even FTTC, let alone a FTTP options.

    My broadband dropped from around 40Mbps in the old house (which also had no FTTC or FTTP options), to ~30Mbps at the new house.

    Took another 3 years before they finally updated the old cabinet to the FTTC version, so I can at least get 80Mbps now (the max available).

    As far as I can see BT wholesale basically do everything reactively. They didn't automatically upgrade the local cabinet, despite all the new houses being connected to it, but instead waited for enough people connected to the old cabinet, to register their interest in FTTC, and once a threshold is met, it gets added to a list somewhere and eventually gets the upgrade.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: New builds

      In an ideal world, for any new build, Virgin, OpenReach, CommunityFibre and others would have their cables all share the same ducting at the time of being laid, and a suitably competent contractor could be employed to do so, the cost of which would be soaked up by the cost of the houses. There'd be a requirement that it was FTTP at least.

      Of course, it would take a government that actually understood technology: Hancock, for example, I deem least likely to be able to set his own house alarm at night. Johnson, well.... And Rhys Mogg is most likely to be still using Quill and Parchment

      (I've omitted Patel as she's just plainly as dumb as dry toast)

      1. teebie

        Re: New builds

        Hancock is the one most likely to have bought a really expensive alarm system that is completely inappropriate for his needs.

        He thinks technology is wonderful, but doesn't know what it is.

    2. unbender

      Re: New builds

      The developer only installs ducting if they get paid to do it, they charge Transco and the local water board to run in the utilities. Yes it would make sense to have ducts and a DP for the estate, but in practice the developer is too busy squeezing in another bedroom or parking space.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: New builds

        openreach will install to new builds over 10 properties providing the cabinet can support it. This has been the case for quite some time. It does take the developer giving a damn though.

    3. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: New builds

      Blame the developer.

      Try often want stupid amounts off money of the comms companies to make their houses more saleable.

      Much if the housing "crisis" is down to money grabbing developers, estate agents, solicitors in fact, most people involved in the process.

    4. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: New builds

      Plenty of plans are dependent upon the developer paying for new infrastructure. If they're being forced to install eco-boilers, no reason they can't be forced to pay for fibre.

  3. Jason Bloomberg

    Value for money

    I'm not sure how one measures that. I consider I get VFM because the price I pay is fair enough for the service I get while paying more for higher speed wouldn't really be any gain for me. But I know others who would judge it differently.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Value for money

      It depends. If you get your 30mbps for 38 quid, that maybe the cheapest. But if you get 100mbps for 45 quid, that is "more expensive", but better value for money.

      I agree, if it was markedly more expensive, then it isn't necessarily better value for money, if you don't need the extra speed. But the prices, here in Germany aren't generally much higher than in the UK.

      1&1 are currently offering 100mbps for 0€ a month for the first 10 months, then 39.99€ a month thereafter (2 year minimum).

      1. Commswonk

        Re: Value for money

        If you get your 30mbps for 38 quid, that maybe the cheapest. But if you get 100mbps for 45 quid, that is "more expensive", but better value for money.

        That's too close to the major food retailers' "BOGOF" technique for my liking; it may be better VFM but it can result in increased food waste which ultimately can mean the the retail customer doesn't get increased VMF at all.

        I (well we actually; there's two of us) get typically 53.1 / 18.6 Mbps (tested 5 minutes ago) and that is more than sufficient for our needs. Any further increase in speed - however it was achieved - would not be "VFM" in our case (assuming that it came with a cost increase) because it would be a speed that we didn't need.

        I'm not going to be so silly as to suggest that nobody needs faster speeds, but IMHO comparisons such as those made in the report are too simplistic by far.

      2. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: Value for money

        "It depends. If you get your 30mbps for 38 quid, that maybe the cheapest. But if you get 100mbps for 45 quid, that is "more expensive", but better value for money."

        But if you don't need 100mbps, it isn't though. It's only if you occasionally need that sort of speed that it becomes an issue.

        So VFM is a bit of a nonsense. And averaging out cost and speed is a nonsense. Oh, and these people still use mean speed rather than median speed.

        Better ignore this report overall, I guess.

        (I said the same thing last time these people did this exercise, and they haven't got any better at it.)

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Value for money

          "But if you don't need 100mbps, it isn't though. It's only if you occasionally need that sort of speed that it becomes an issue."

          That's how I see it. My speed gets boosted a couple of time a year and more frequently my monthly bill goes up. It's just me and while it can be handy to have a dozen DL's going full steam, that's a pretty rare thing. Most of the time the sending side is limiting the speed one way or the other.

          It's like arguing 0-100kph acceleration on cars. Oh but mine's 4.8s and you are a snail's pace 5s! It hardly matters on a country lane with wet pavement. Past a certain point, it makes no difference at all. My bandwidth could be cut in half and chances are that I would not notice. I would happily notice my bill being chopped in two.

    2. Danny 14 Silver badge

      Re: Value for money

      we moved from VM to Zen due to service level. VM at 100Mb would fluctuate quite a lot, drop out at random times and need "rebooting" quite a bit. Zen has been rock steady at a slower speed and about £5 more per month.

    3. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Value for money

      It's a difficult thing to evaluate. I'm currently on a volcanic rock in the Atlantic (I'd like to think that one day I will be hollowing it out for nefarious purposes), but can get a 100Mbit/sec connection for €27,99 a month - provided I take a contract for 2 years. ADSL has roughly the same monthly price, but because of fixed costs is significantly cheaper for a shorter contract (note that they load significant "installation costs" into the fibre product but not into the ADSL product). However, you can't get any sort of service without going through a person to person sale (in a shop or by telephone) and that of course has to be paid for by vigorous upselling. The great thing about the UK market is the relative ease of sign-up and switching.

    4. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: Value for money

      Simply listing a price per bit also misses out the various less easily measurable and/or comparable factors. Is a 1 Gb/s service that drops out for a few hours every week better value than a 50 Mb/s service that works perfectly all the time? How about a fast service with lots of congestion and throttling preventing you from ever getting the headline number, compared to a slow one that always gives what you pay for or more? What about a service with worse reliability but great customer support, compared to one that is much more reliable but hopeless when something does go wrong?

      Of course, I'd be reasonably surprised if the UK isn't lagging on most of these aspects as well. But it would be nice to see some efforts to actually evaluate them. A simplistic price per bit comparison really isn't that useful if you value things like reliability or support more highly than just headline speed.

  4. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I do live in an area where I can get VM up to 516Mb broadband but its more than twice as expensive as my current Plusnet VDSL 36Mb package, and I just don't find myself needing more download speed than what I am currently getting. I have no problem with streaming from BBC Iplayer, Youtube or Amazon and using the internet on my laptop or phone at the same time.

    I do hope that the push to get everyone onto FTTP doesn't mean that the low cost packages for sub £20 a month are going to disappear to pay for it, as I am sure I am not the only one who can get by with VDSL or even ASDL speeds

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      I've found my current EE FTTC 40/10mbps service to be sufficient for a household of two adults and two teenagers concurrently on Zoom/Teams, Xbox, Prime etc.

      So whilst I can upgrade to 80/20 FTTC or 900/110 Mbps FTTP, I don't see a need at the present time.

      About the only time I've noticed the value of a line with a higher capacity is when I'm downloading big files and things complete quicker. Whilst this is nice, I've decided it isn't worth an extra £10 or £40 pcm.

      1. Martin an gof Silver badge

        At the risk of one-downmanship á la Four Yorkshiremen, for the last few weeks I've had two or three children and often one adult on "remote working", usually with at least two of them on video calls (though the schools mandate cameras off, so upload speed isn't a problem) and the only time I've had complaints was when the line dropped. All this on ADSL2+ that syncs at around 8Mbit/s down, 1Mbit/s up.

        And I'd pre-empted this issue by installing a 4G modem on my router only to discover two very annoying problems. Firstly, the MVNO I have it with (Smarty - i.e. Three) won't allow my on-site email server to send (not expecting receive as DNS points to the fixed line), and secondly, Teams wouldn't allow a re-connection. Or at least, when the backup was running, clicking "re connect to meeting" in Teams came back with a message along the lines of "you are not authorised to join this meeting".

        To be fair, it's the first time the line has dropped during working hours this year, and it was back up within about 15 minutes, but boy did I get it in the ear from those family whose work had been interrupted!

        At some point I will upgrade to FTTC so that when three people are all remote-working the rest of us don't have to limit our use of iPlayer or make sure that the computer doesn't suddenly try to download 500MB of updates, but I have been amazed at how few problems 8Mbit/s has actually caused and a 50% hike in the broadband part of my broadband-and-calls package isn't actually terribly appealing.

        M.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          >only to discover two very annoying problems. Firstly, the MVNO I have it with (Smarty - i.e. Three) won't allow my on-site email server to send (not expecting receive as DNS points to the fixed line), and secondly, Teams wouldn't allow a re-connection.

          1. Deal with Three directly and get a Mobile Broadband SIM that uses the 3Internet APN(*). This has always given me a public IPv4 address, however, with 4G many networks don't give out public IP addresses or use CGNAT services to effectively block stuff. The simple solution is to subscribe to A&A's L2TP service - full online provisioning so you can be up and running in a few hours (only £10pcm for domestic usage), but you will need a router that supports outbound L2TP (A&A provide some options, but I used a Draytek 28xx series router).

          (*) If you have some time, it is worth getting an EE 4G PAYG SIM and giving that a spin. In my case this gave a significantly improved performance but also a better data pack topup deal.

          2. You will need to reconfigure your email server to use an authenticated SSL encrypted connection (that doesn't use port 25) to your fixed line ISP who are acting as an email relay.

          I had similar problems when I fell over a Zen fixed line to EE/Three 3G/4G mobile broadband, quick change of the Exchange mail transfer connection configuration from 'default' to authenticated and all was up and running again.

          1. Martin an gof Silver badge

            Thanks for those thoughts. It has to be said that one of my main concerns for the backup service was cost considering this thing will - under normal circumstances - sit in a USB port completely unused, and at a base cost of £5pcm, Smarty was the best I could find at the time.

            However, I also use a Draytek 28-series router and already have a couple of L2L VPN's set up, so maybe I could peer with one of those and use that IP as a backup. Will have to work out how to make this happen as a failover though.

            And it still doesn't solve the Teams problem..

            Things to play with after sorting all the house-related stuff which is probably more important right now.

            M.

  5. alain williams Silver badge

    Speed is not the whole story

    but they should also compare the data cap (ie how many GB/month) you get for the monthly fee.

    1. MiguelC Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Speed is not the whole story

      Is that still a thing for fixed broadband in western countries?

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Speed is not the whole story

        I have never had a domestic broadband contract that has had caps. Not even VM had a limit for us.

      2. Jaybus

        Re: Speed is not the whole story

        There are a few that do have caps in the US, AT&T and Xfinity (Comcast), but their cap is 1 TB and they also have unlimited plans that cost more. But most do not. I have Spectrum cable at 400 Mbps for $70 / month and it is unlimited.

        The internet divide is very real here. In most (all?) cities 1 Gbps is available and 100 Mbps is the cheap level, usually around $50 and discounted to $30 or so if getting TV and landline with it. If you live in a rural area your options are severely limited, slow, and very expensive or even non-existent. The mean for the US is down around 70 Mbps due to the slow speeds in rural areas where only satellite service is available.

        1. hayzoos

          Re: Speed is not the whole story

          My ISP is Comcast at their 25Mbps service $55/mo. Next level up is $80/mo. which I think is 50Mbps which is what they tell me I need because it's an improvement to their revenues. There is a subsidized service at $25/mo. at 20Mbps but you have to qualify with a low income and cannot have been a customer for three months immediately prior.

          All my other "options" according to the FCC are less bang for the buck. I cannot recall specific details, but none are fast, no fibre, DSL over neglected copper, satellite, and fixed wireless, (no 5G yet in case you are wondering). I just tried to check DSL availability, Verizon no longer seems to offer it, nor FIOS, nor LTE, nor 5G, but the FCC says they offer internet service here. When DSL was available it was same or only slightly less cost than Comcast but only 768Kbps. I had also checked landline phone service then and found it went from $25/mo. the last I had it to $40/mo. for no better, probably worse service, but they were happy to provide links to wireless service. Fixed wireless was twice the cost per bit, satellite was even more and still advertises 25Mbps for my location.

          1. Jaybus

            Re: Speed is not the whole story

            Most of the broadband technologies will never make it to rural areas. The FCC still regards DSL as broadband in many areas where it exists for grandfathered customers but is not actually available. The only technology that might make a difference in rural areas is LEO satellite such as the Starlink service that is now in public beta in the Northern US and Canada. They are launching 120 satellites per month, even during COVID.

            No providers actually still support DSL, or even copper POTS. Ancient, failing copper lines are too expensive to maintain. They only still have them because state and federal laws make it part of their licensing requirements (for 911 service, etc.). In fact, in most states they are petitioning the government to be allowed to abandon their copper, arguing that they can meet the state's requirements with LTE or 5G. So far, I don't think any states have believed them.

      3. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Speed is not the whole story

        >Is that still a thing for fixed broadband in western countries?

        Last time I looked there were several UK ISP's operating a "fair usage cap" of 1TB pcm on their domestic offerings, after which some usage constraints would be applied.

        I suspect the decision to set a fair usage cap is predicated on deciding that usage over a certain threshold is really business usage and thus you should really have a business service contract. The fun-and-games with this is providers don't like signing up private individuals to business contracts...

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Speed is not the whole story

      I've never had caps applied in Germany. In the mid 2000s, I was using around 250GB a month (I did a lot of testing for SUSE back then and was downloading beta DVDs every few days), now it is over 1TB a month. I've not had my connection throttled and I've never been warned about my data usage.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Data cap ?

        I'm sorry, I'm paying for a connection at a given speed. The ISP's job is to support that connection 24/7/365. If I choose to download during 365 days, then that's my choice and I'm just using my bandwidth.

        The only companies that impose a data cap are the cheap bastards that oversell their lines and underdeliver their bandwidth.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Data cap ?

          As RevK says, the internet is a shared, limited resource. It is your own selfish ilk that ruin it for everybody else.

          1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

            Re: your own selfish ilk

            Funny, I don't remember saying that I do download 365 days a year.

        2. Down not across Silver badge

          Re: Data cap ?

          Not quite. For normal residential service you are paying for up to certain speed, which is likely to be that most of the time. The only way ISP can offer that service at that price, is with contention ratio. Transit charges have come down a lot, but still not that much. And the backhaul capacity is not infinite either.

          Hate to break it to you, but every residential service is "oversold" (has contention ratio) to some extent. How so, does vary between ISPs and service they are selling.

          If you really want to get certain speed 24/7/365 you will need dedicated fibre/leased line which will be considerably more expensive.

          In reality usually most people have reasonable chance to get the advertised speed most of the time.

          1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

            I do have a dedicated fiber line. 1Gbps up and down. It costs me €53/month for Internet, phone and TV.

            Not that expensive for the performance.

            1. Spiz

              No you don't have a dedicated line in the sense of bandwidth.

              That's like saying your £80 a year car tax (or equivalent) pays for you to have exclusive use of the road in front of your house. It's just not true.

              You might get 1Gbps up/down most of the time but your ISP is under no obligation to provide you with that bandwidth 24/7/365 else they'd go out of business.

            2. Down not across Silver badge

              dedicated fibre

              Ah, thats not quite what I meant with dedicated fibre. Yours is likely to be PON via optical splitters (and shared with number of other customers).Downstream is broadcast and upstream is TDMA.

              In fact AFAIK the UK FTTP is split multiple times, up to 12 properties connected to a "manifold" which in turn is connected to a splitter node serving up to 32 manifolds which are then futher aggregated at an aggregation point. Aggregation point then connects to a NG access handover node. In short, its nothing but dedicated.

              With dedicated I meant your own fibre (akin to a leased line) and even if you had that you'd still have to connect somewhere (LINX if not earlier) at substantially higher cost that your current, not quite dedicated, fibre.

              1. Martin an gof Silver badge

                Re: dedicated fibre

                In fact AFAIK the UK FTTP is split multiple times, up to 12 properties connected to a "manifold" which in turn is connected to a splitter node serving up to 32 manifolds which are then futher aggregated at an aggregation point.

                I think most of us understand this part, it's been the case ever since xDSL came in and you no longer had exclusive access to one particular modem in a bank of modems at the ISP.

                The key missing information is what are the capacities of those aggregated links?

                For example, if the speed at the consumer's terminal is a nominal 1Gbps but the aggregated link out of that 12-connection manifold is 10Gbps then while you couldn't have all 12 customers maxing out their connections simultaneously, you could get pretty close to that pretty much all of the time.

                If, however, that uplink is only 1Gbps itself then you have a 12:1 contention ratio and particularly at peak times, the speed you get is going to depend on how many people are streaming the latest must-see cat video at the same time.

                Then again, didn't someone say "optical splitter"? Does this imply FDM? In other words, is the manifold exactly that, and converts 12x1Gbps inputs at different frequencies on a single fibre into 12x1Gbps "baseband" outputs on 12 fibres, no electronics involved?

                In any case, there will definitely be contention at some point along the line because it makes no sense to provision 384Gbps of connection for 384 domestic or small business customers who can be guaranteed not to require a constant 1Gbps 24 hours a day, 365 days a year*.

                M.

                *why is it always "24/7/365" and not "24/365"? Or /366 this year?

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              No, you don’t have a dedicated line. That will cost you in the region of £400 a month minimum for a gigabit at t to be low end - if you live somewhere rural, triple it.

  6. Danny 2 Silver badge

    County lines

    If we legalised drugs then we could retrain all the young drug dealers sent to rural areas to install fibre.

    1. knelmes

      Re: County lines

      They don't even need to rename it.

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: County lines

        They could certainly soon get them wired.

  7. anthonyhegedus

    Disingenuous advertising

    Part of the problem at least lies with the adverts describing broadband as 'Fibre' when it's just FTTC. That's copper, using an electronic signals down a copper wire! It's prone to all the limitations copper always had - namely dropouts, attenuation, high resistance and low resistance faults etc.

    It's not just the download speed either, it's increasingly the upload speed. Just this week I spoke to someone who had 5Mbps down / 0.5 Mbps up, which he said was "fine" for his needs. Except it isn't. He's now working more at home and he's wondering why his Word documents and Excel sheets take a long time to sync to sharepoint for the others in his office to see.

    It's high time this country entered the 21st century and aimed for full 1Gbps / 1Gbps internet as a default. It might not matter now, but in 20 years it will. And those people who are on ADSL with a 1Mbps upload speed are using the very same tech that was introduced around 20 years ago now!

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Disingenuous advertising

      @anthonyhegedus

      "Just this week I spoke to someone who had 5Mbps down / 0.5 Mbps up, which he said was "fine" for his needs."

      It probably is fine for his needs. This lockdown for an unexpected and rare occurrence will catch people off guard, but what is the point of billing everyone in tax or subscription costs for faster speeds people either dont want or dont care about. I would care and I am sure you would, but a lot of people are happy with slow connections or look for fast areas and move/pay for it.

      "It's high time this country entered the 21st century and aimed for full 1Gbps / 1Gbps internet as a default."

      Why? For who? Why are the people who want it not paying for it? What about people living in the middle of nowhere? Or with so few customers it is wildly uneconomical? Who coughs up for it? Those who dont use a computer? Those who dont need nor wish to pay for such speeds?

      Moving into the 21st century it would be nice if people stopped asking for their toys to be paid for by others, and thats the only way such huge expense would be made.

      1. anthonyhegedus

        Re: Disingenuous advertising

        We don't all have to use broadband, but those that want it should be able to have it, and those that don't have it will see all the disadvantages and upgrade. The problem is having it. When I can get 80/20 (sometimes) but a customer of mine ten minutes away can literally get 0.5/0.2 if he's lucky, but people up the road can get 330/30 (and not 1000/1000 because BT's equipment can't deal with it), it literally makes no sense at all.

        I said 'aim' - there will always be properties that just aren't worth connecting. The point is that to prepare for the next 20 years, there's no point in leaving people on slow ADSL connections. We'll all pay for it, because we all will need a connection.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Disingenuous advertising

          @anthonyhegedus

          "We don't all have to use broadband, but those that want it should be able to have it"

          And they can. They just have to pay for it. Via a cable or data contract or whatever. But the cost is on the person and where they choose to be.

          "When I can get 80/20 (sometimes) but a customer of mine ten minutes away can literally get 0.5/0.2 if he's lucky, but people up the road can get 330/30 (and not 1000/1000 because BT's equipment can't deal with it), it literally makes no sense at all."

          I get that. But it doesnt need to make sense. We can check how fast the internet is before we move somewhere and have to be responsible in our choices.

          "I said 'aim' - there will always be properties that just aren't worth connecting."

          But how do we aim for it? I know governments approach is to make 'aim' the target and throw money at it (missing the target and throwing more money) but how do we do it if not through customer demand?

          "The point is that to prepare for the next 20 years, there's no point in leaving people on slow ADSL connections"

          With the speed of technological change why would it last 20 years and in some places wont even pay for itself in that amount of time. Hell we may all be on some 10G wireless data connections by then.

          "We'll all pay for it, because we all will need a connection."

          And this is where I have an issue with it. Me and you might need a connection, maybe even a fast connection. But I worked with people who never owned a computer and didnt have one at home. One friend I still have uses an old capped out computer (makes me wanna cry) and I am not sure if he uses a modem still.

          Some people have no interest in it whatsoever and have no need nor desire a connection. Even more people will be happy with the connection speed they have as it does what they want. And of course a few will want faster. So those few should cough up for what they want. As I said-

          "Moving into the 21st century it would be nice if people stopped asking for their toys to be paid for by others, and thats the only way such huge expense would be made."

          *no idea who downvoted you. I can see the reason of your argument even if I am not convinced

          1. Danny 14 Silver badge

            Re: Disingenuous advertising

            I moved into this house with a 512Mb ADSL with Claranet. Since then ive had speeds of 2Mb ADSL, 6Mb ADSL Max, VM 10Mb/20Mb/30Mb FttC 38Mb, VM 100Mb, FttC 70Mb

            My parents had no option other than 512Mb then 1Mb then 4Mb and its stayed there with no VM nor FttC. They have lived there for over 20 years. No 4G but they do get 3G at least. The village has enough people to probably get together and get an openreach cable in but there are not enough people to care about getting the parish council galvanised.

            1. Terry Barnes

              Re: Disingenuous advertising

              512Mb is pretty fast. Are you sure you typed that right?

          2. Dr_N Silver badge

            Re: Disingenuous advertising

            codejunky>And they can. They just have to pay for it. Via a cable or data contract or whatever. But the cost is on the person and where they choose to be.

            Really? You were cheering on N.I.'s UK government backed, Magic Money Forest financed fibre just the other day. Changed your tune? (Again.)

            UK broadband broadly sucks compared to continental Europe. I wonder why that is ... ?

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Disingenuous advertising

              @Dr_N

              "Really? You were cheering on N.I.'s UK government backed, Magic Money Forest financed fibre just the other day. Changed your tune? (Again.)"

              I havnt changed any tune. All I said was good for them. If you consider that cheering I hope you dont have kids. God help them on sports day for whatever little you might say.

              "UK broadband broadly sucks compared to continental Europe. I wonder why that is ... ?"

              Because we get what we are willing to stump up for plus having a massive legacy system in place from the last time we were pretty advanced. And as some mentioned, we have good distances of unhelpful terrain between populations.

              1. Dr_N Silver badge

                Re: Disingenuous advertising

                Codejunky> I hope you dont have kids

                Douché

                Codejunky> Because we get what we are willing to stump up for plus having a massive legacy system in place from the last time we were pretty advanced. And as some mentioned, we have good distances of unhelpful terrain between populations.

                Sounds like that's just lifted from BTOpenreach's big book of rubbish excuses.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: Disingenuous advertising

                  @Dr_N

                  "Douché"

                  I will assume you now realise how far from what I was saying you believed and dont feel too bad even though I do consider you one as well.

                  "Sounds like that's just lifted from BTOpenreach's big book of rubbish excuses."

                  I am sure they probably have one. What does that have to do with the truth? Or you just trolling again?

                  1. Dr_N Silver badge

                    Re: Disingenuous advertising

                    You've still not explained how on one hand government stumping up for a service (in N.I.) is good, whilst for everyone else in the (Barely)United Kingdom they need to pay through the nose. Or, if I infer from your pronouncements, move to get better broadband.

                    Just interested in your thought and infallible solutions to this and every subject. The mental gymnastics are a marvel to behold. (If you could also keep it under 3000 words it'd be a blessing.)

                    1. Dr_N Silver badge
                      Coat

                      Re: Disingenuous advertising

                      OK ignore that. Apparently we don't need broadband:

                      https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/11/08/high-speed-broadband-doesnt-matter-a-darn/

                      My bad.

                    2. codejunky Silver badge

                      Re: Disingenuous advertising

                      @Dr_N

                      "You've still not explained how on one hand government stumping up for a service (in N.I.) is good, whilst for everyone else in the (Barely)United Kingdom they need to pay through the nose"

                      I didnt say so thats fine. First I dont say government stumping up for the service (N.I.) is good. I am guessing you are taking more meaning from 'good for them' than intended. Its fairly near equivalent being approximately but not quite 'whatever'. It doesnt affect me so I dont care.

                      Also wow that article is an old one and I have never seen it before. Thanks for the link I will have a read.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Disingenuous advertising

                  > Douché

                  I hope you didn't leave the water running while shampooing.

              2. Down not across Silver badge

                Re: Disingenuous advertising

                Because we get what we are willing to stump up for plus having a massive legacy system in place from the last time we were pretty advanced. And as some mentioned, we have good distances of unhelpful terrain between populations.

                .

                You think terrain in mainland Europe (including Scandinavia) is somehow more helpful. You don't get out (of the country) much do you?

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: Disingenuous advertising

                  @Down not across

                  "You think terrain in mainland Europe (including Scandinavia) is somehow more helpful. You don't get out (of the country) much do you?"

                  In some countries yes it is easier. Others less so. That would be one reason of the few I mentioned and there are probably plenty more.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Disingenuous advertising

              UK broadband broadly sucks compared to continental Europe.

              No, it doesn't, and only people who've never lived outside the UK make such nonsensical claims.

              1. Dr_N Silver badge

                Re: Disingenuous advertising

                As someone who lives outside the UK, I'll just have to disagree, AC.

                Of all the countries I visit the UK has to rank well near the bottom for mobile, WiFi hotspots and broadband.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Disingenuous advertising

                  > Of all the countries I visit the UK has to rank well near the bottom for mobile, WiFi hotspots and broadband.

                  I see you haven't been to France.

                  1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
                    Trollface

                    Re: Disingenuous advertising

                    I suppose that you are speaking of rural France?

                    The French government made a solemn promise to provide high speed broadband to everyone by the end of 2025, don't you trust it?

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Disingenuous advertising

                      Yes and no, respectively.

                2. itzman

                  Re: Disingenuous advertising

                  Germany is way worse than UK and always has been.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Disingenuous advertising

                    Depends where

          3. IGotOut Silver badge

            Re: Disingenuous advertising

            @codejunky.

            You make out like people can just move to get a better connection. So you you propose a farmer moves a 5000 acre farm and a few thousand cattle into the centre of the city?

            Or the person that has owned a house for 50 years just sell up, just so they can get 1mbs?

            What about the kids of these people? You do know a HUGE amount of school / college work has to be done online?

            Personally I don't use ANY trains or buses, so I think those that do should pay for them. Oh and can I pay for roads I use? Oh can't remember the last time I used a library, or a public toilet, or a youth club, tourist information, cycle paths, swimming baths, park bench, homeless shelter, and, and, and...so can we make those that want to use them pay for them rather than me?

            Thanks.

            1. Dr_N Silver badge

              Re: Disingenuous advertising

              IGotOut> You make out like people can just move to get a better connection.

              But one can. If one is part of an elite. That's the whole point. If you only consider the top 5% of the population, by wealth then these views make perfect sense.

              The idea that one sits on one's pile of money and lord it over the rest of one's compatriots is a compelling idea for many:

              Only those who can afford an internet connection, education, healthcare etc. should be able to obtain it.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Disingenuous advertising

                @Dr_N

                "But one can. If one is part of an elite. That's the whole point. If you only consider the top 5% of the population, by wealth then these views make perfect sense."

                Are you trying to claim only the top 5% or as you call it 'elite' have a home? I say have as some people choose to rent but most choose to buy. Do you troll from under a bridge?

                1. Dr_N Silver badge

                  Re: Disingenuous advertising

                  codejunly> Are you trying to claim only the top 5% or as you call it 'elite' have a home?

                  Nope.

                  I'm saying that only a top 5%* elite can afford to move house to get better services like broadband, easy access to transport and education for their little darlings. Which seems to be the philosophy you push on here. Day in. Day out.

                  *Actual value may vary. Could be 5%, could be 1%. Could be 10%. The point being your average salary slave cannot

                  Have you not got any "poor friends" you can ask about this?

                  To go with your "foreign friends" and "racist remain voter friends".

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: Disingenuous advertising

                    @Dr_N

                    "I'm saying that only a top 5%* elite can afford to move house to get better services like broadband, easy access to transport and education for their little darlings."

                    And I think that is total bull crap. Some people dont want to move, some dont have the means and yet we are talking about them wanting super fast internet. Considering houses get sold and people move house it is surely common sense to look for the facilities you want when you move.

                    "*Actual value may vary. Could be 5%, could be 1%. Could be 10%. The point being your average salary slave cannot"

                    So your average worker on the average wage cannot afford to live in a house or flat? Even though I saved my deposit on less than average wage while supporting a student and renting at the time. And I also acknowledge that people dont always buy but do rent, and still the same applies about looking at where you are moving to.

                    If you are right the average person must be a freaking moron. I give them far more credit than that.

                    "Have you not got any "poor friends" you can ask about this?"

                    Absolute poverty or relative? As we are talking about super fast internet I assume you mean relative?

                    "To go with your "foreign friends" and "racist remain voter friends"."

                    You cant seriously be envious that I have friends? If you are I suggest less trolling in your life might help.

                    1. Dr_N Silver badge

                      Re: Disingenuous advertising

                      Your view is skewed because you are a rung up the ladder-to-neverland.

                      Codejunky, please try thinking about it from the majority of people's view: Moving to a more expensive area for better services is out-of-the-question for most people. Just buying a house is a pipedream for vast swathes of people. ( And the banks more-or-less have dibs on the home for the majority.)

                      (The "friends" jibe was to imply they are apocryphal.)

                      1. codejunky Silver badge

                        Re: Disingenuous advertising

                        @Dr_N

                        "Your view is skewed because you are a rung up the ladder-to-neverland."

                        Eh? God please dont tell me your fantasizing about me again.

                        "Codejunky, please try thinking about it from the majority of people's view"

                        That would be those not buying the full speed packages, not gagging for bleeding edge speeds and not caring about their internet speed (certainly not enough to want to pay more)?

                        "Moving to a more expensive area for better services is out-of-the-question for most people."

                        As a day to day thing I agree. But when people do move (as they do) it is surely something they look at if they care. The 'if they care' being the important bit.

                        "Just buying a house is a pipedream for vast swathes of people."

                        These being owner occupiers (the majority)-

                        https://tradingeconomics.com/united-kingdom/home-ownership-rate

                        Not including renters who are freer to move generally.

                        The moving aspect being a small tangent from the question of why everyone should be robbed to pay for super fast broadband almost everywhere which is yet to be shown necessary nor desired.

                        "(The "friends" jibe was to imply they are apocryphal.)"

                        I guessed. Which is why I threw back my own suggesting how you could possibly make friends yourself. I would hope you dont troll in real life and that you have at least someone close to you (general wish no ill on people, even when they seem disturbingly infatuated with me).

                        1. Dr_N Silver badge

                          Re: Disingenuous advertising

                          Ah well. I guess empathy is beyond you then. My bad. As you were. Safe in your castle away from the hardships of austerity, Covid measures and foodbanks,

                          1. codejunky Silver badge

                            Re: Disingenuous advertising

                            @Dr_N

                            "Ah well. I guess empathy is beyond you then. My bad. As you were. Safe in your castle away from the hardships of austerity, Covid measures and foodbanks,"

                            Hang on a sec. Are you now claiming anyone not part of the 5% elite are at foodbanks? Or are you now stretching to people at foodbanks as an argument for them to have superfast broadband cabled to their house even if they cant afford to subscribe to it? Surely they would prefer food over a cable they cant use?

                            1. Dr_N Silver badge

                              Re: Disingenuous advertising

                              Codejunky> Hang on a sec. Are you now claiming anyone not part of the 5% elite are at foodbanks?

                              No.

                              I'm claiming you are unable to empathise with other people who don't have a relatively cushy life in these dark times. Move to improve your internet connection? For heaven's sake.

                              1. codejunky Silver badge

                                Re: Disingenuous advertising

                                @Dr_N

                                "I'm claiming you are unable to empathise with other people who don't have a relatively cushy life in these dark times. Move to improve your internet connection? For heaven's sake."

                                So nothing to do with the discussion. At all.

                            2. Roland6 Silver badge

                              Re: Disingenuous advertising

                              >an argument for them to have superfast broadband cabled to their house even if they cant afford to subscribe to it?

                              This is where the confusion, and probably deliberate confusion on the part of providers, is arising.

                              Within the industry, it is known that the time has come to junk the copper/aluminium/wet string POTS network and replace it entirely with fibre. Resulting in a network requiring significantly lower maintenance costs and with lots of future-proofing (depending on your view of 'the future').

                              So we could justify the entire conversion to fibre as simply a network renewal, which can be performed at its own pace. However, we wish to accelerate the deployment of this new infrastructure so as to capitalise on the performance benefits; this carries an additional cost. Whilst this could be benignly funded from government, we are in a society that demands some form of measurable benefits and return on investment, so what better way to generate the additional monies than to talk up the (performance) benefits and get people to pay and to get the government to provide monies without strings attached (well without strings that do encumber the major players, but do encumber smaller players and anyone wishing to join in).

                              So yes, people at foodbanks should have superfast broadband fibre cabled to their house, but don't expect them to pay more than they are currently paying, or even use it more.

                              Interestingly, having for several years worked with UK Online, we've found that many people like being able to access the internet from "the foodbank" as that means the computer/tablet isn't at home where it could be pawned or taken by the balliffs. Also, some don't actually want others in their household being able to look over their shoulder while they do the online banking etc.

                              1. codejunky Silver badge

                                Re: Disingenuous advertising

                                @Roland6

                                "Within the industry, it is known that the time has come to junk the copper/aluminium/wet string POTS network and replace it entirely with fibre."

                                Why? Not the replacing the old and obsolete but why fibre?-

                                https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/the-bizarre-way-that-governments-spend-money

                                "So we could justify the entire conversion to fibre"

                                Many people can justify how they want to spend other peoples money. When it comes to spending their own the priorities change.

                                "However, we wish to accelerate the deployment of this new infrastructure so as to capitalise on the performance benefits"

                                But we dont. The uptake of current top speeds is lacklustre and those are in places deemed economically viable. If we can capitalise on performance benefits then people will stump up their own money for it.

                                "Whilst this could be benignly funded from government"

                                How? The government is already wasting money left right and centre without looking at the covid bailout costs. So far the gov has benignly funded various roll outs of broadband. Each time is criticized as a waste of money and causes local initiatives to collapse.

                                "So yes, people at foodbanks should have superfast broadband fibre cabled to their house, but don't expect them to pay more than they are currently paying, or even use it more."

                                Hence not worth it. The money could be better spent. Even reducing the tax burden on those at foodbanks.

                                "Interestingly, having for several years worked with UK Online, we've found that many people like being able to access the internet from "the foodbank""

                                I can believe that. Its a good idea.

                                1. Roland6 Silver badge

                                  Re: Disingenuous advertising

                                  @codejunky

                                  "But we dont. The uptake of current top speeds is lacklustre and those are in places deemed economically viable."

                                  Once again assuming fibre only means high speed - which some would like to set at 1Gbps, personally, given the experiences of people here, just reliably getting say 20/5Mbps to 90+% of homes would require significant amounts of fibre and deliver economic benefit (although I would prefer 40/10).

                                  The laugh is that those who keep on about 1Gbps etc., keep missing that what really matters isn't speed but reliable coverage; once you have fibre to the home, speed is all-about what people are prepared to live with and pay for; changing from say 20/5 to 1000/1000 (or anything between) should just be a software change (my NIC auto senses 10/100/1000, my WiFi adapter supports even more granularity).

                                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                                    Re: Disingenuous advertising

                                    @Roland6

                                    "Once again assuming fibre only means high speed"

                                    Ah ok. I didnt get what you ment. But what should the base speed be and who should decide? If the market (people) decide then 20/5Mbps only works if people are willing to pay for it. If they are unwilling to then its not really an issue.

                                    We have already got the easy fibre roll outs done, the gov's keep throwing money at it and only the easy ones get done. There is another article recently on the reg about the gov missing yet another target for its roll out of fibre.

                                    You can say there is economic benefit but that doesnt seem to be the case. If it was worth it you would expect companies to be wanting that extra money. Instead it seems to cost them and the tax payer to lay what they do.

                                    1. Roland6 Silver badge

                                      Re: Disingenuous advertising

                                      >But what should the base speed be and who should decide?

                                      Well that should be Ofcom's job, as is determining a price point for the base service...

                                      What is clear the factors that should go into determining the base/universal service are different now to what they were a year ago.

                                      >We have already got the easy fibre roll outs done

                                      Don't disagree, when the government baulked at the cost of universal fibre, the BDUK project deliberately chose a path that delivered the biggest bang quickly and at the lowest cost (to the government): FTTC. Plus it deliberated created a marketplace that was biased towards the pre-existing big player and then failed to properly oversee the rollout to prevent the dominant player from further skewing things in their favour...

                                      We are now paying the price for this shortsightedness...

                                      >You can say there is economic benefit but that doesnt seem to be the case.

                                      The economic benefit is there, just like all infrastructure it is very difficult to economically justify on its own, however, have a business need which depends on an improved infrastructure...

                                      Thus given the widespread business and social benefits, many of which we've had a glimpse of these past 9 months, it would seem natural for government to make the investment and reclaim it from enhanced tax revenues and reduced welfare payouts. Obviously, this doesn't directly gain us a slice of the savings a company may make from say closing its central London office and making all of its staff work from home, but having more money circulating in the local economy is probably a good thing.

                                      >If it was worth it you would expect companies to be wanting that extra money.

                                      From this and previous reports it is clear the broadband providers do want the revenues, just not the capital costs. Additionally, they don't want to be subsidised for providing say 20/5 and then upgrading at their own cost, but get fully subsided for providing 1Gbps from the outset (naturally, they also want to charge the same premiums as if they had made the capital investment out of their own pockets).

                                      As for cost to the taxpayer, well a universal fibre network will last significantly longer with significantly lower on-going costs to the public purse that many of the other projects the Government has been happily spaffing taxpayers monies on... (HS2 is an example of how politicians prefer vanity projects and will blindly fund them regardless of the facts, over ones with solid business/economic cases.)

                                      1. codejunky Silver badge

                                        Re: Disingenuous advertising

                                        @Roland6

                                        "Well that should be Ofcom's job"

                                        Why not the people using it? I dont know Ofcom's position on any of this but why should they decide what the base speed should be?

                                        "What is clear the factors that should go into determining the base/universal service are different now to what they were a year ago."

                                        True. Most people are not on modems although I did know someone who still had one little over a decade ago.

                                        "BDUK project deliberately chose a path that delivered the biggest bang quickly and at the lowest cost (to the government): FTTC. Plus it deliberated created a marketplace that was biased towards the pre-existing big player"

                                        Which is about as good as government gets. The government being the bottomless pit of money that can pay obscene amounts and write off the failure at our expense.

                                        "The economic benefit is there, just like all infrastructure it is very difficult to economically justify on its own"

                                        And this is the problem. We can spaff money up the wall but is it worth it? Economically having an internet connection is a benefit which can be justified as most stuff moving online and even online only. But speed can only really be economically identified by what people are willing to pay.

                                        "From this and previous reports it is clear the broadband providers do want the revenues, just not the capital costs"

                                        This is where capitalism works and the gov spaffing doesnt. If money is to be made the greedy sods will go out and spend the capital to get the revenue. And the uneconomical will fail while the economical succeed. Instead as you say it benefits the big player.

                                        "As for cost to the taxpayer, well a universal fibre network will last significantly longer"

                                        Personally I am not so sure but only at a guess. Satellite and 5G etc advancing and the gov even bought a satellite network already. Fibre may be a part of it but it doesnt take long to be out of date.

                                        "with significantly lower on-going costs to the public purse that many of the other projects the Government has been happily spaffing taxpayers monies on"

                                        I do wonder how low our tax bills could be if they would stop spaffing money on pet projects. One can dream

                                        1. Roland6 Silver badge

                                          Re: Disingenuous advertising

                                          >""Well that should be Ofcom's job"

                                          Why not the people using it?"

                                          @codejunky - are you really that dim?

                                          We the people have appointed through our elected (and sovereign) Parliament, Ofcom to represent our ("the people") interests. So if you contribute to their consultations, you are able to have your say on what the base speed should be...

                                          >Most people are not on modems although I did know someone who still had one little over a decade ago.

                                          I've still got some clients with modems, they are a second route into some key infrastructure systems - if Internet access is not available for whatever reason then the dial-up modem provides an alternative path to the Console port, which can often get things working again without a site visit...

                                          >But speed can only really be economically identified by what people are willing to pay.

                                          Thay's why you specify a minimum, which if you have been following Ofcom's guidance over the years, is exactly what they have been doing. It seems Ofcom's approach is annoying some who would prefer it to be set significantly higher, more for reasons of marketing than actual consumer need.

                                          >This is where capitalism works and the gov spaffing doesn't.

                                          Not been around long enough to realise that capitalism isn't all its cranked up to be. Suggest you go and live in the USA (or even Australia) for a while to get a better appreciation of how dysfunctional capitalism can be - remember GSM, 3G and 5G (which you seem to be a fan of) arose out of European concepts of mutual benefit capitalism, not the "survival of the fittest" neoliberal capitalism that some worship. Also what the 2008 financial crisis and the current pandemic have shown is that government action is a key and necessary player in the economy - without government intervention the UK economy would have died in 2008 and again in 2020.

                                          >Satellite and 5G etc advancing and the gov even bought a satellite network already. Fibre may be a part of it but it doesnt take long to be out of date.

                                          Having worked on point-to-point, VSAT and various other broadcast satellite links, I'm not particularly in awe of the various Internet/5G access satellite consellations getting media hype. Likewise the hype surrounding 5G - you only need to look at the hype around the launch of 3g, then 4G to see that reality was something totally different.

                                          As for fibre being out-of-date, well have yet to encounter anyone removing 1980's/1990's fibre and replacing it with 2020 fibre, people simply replace the transcievers - I'm just upgrading one such circuit to 10Gbps through the purchase of a pair of £50 SFP modules; which in some respects is exactly what we did with copper - replacing the 1200baud modems with 56bis modems, then 512kbps ADSL modems, which in turn got upgraded to 18Mbps ADSL2 modems, which in some situations can be replaced by VDSL and gFast modems... Personally, I expect to see vendors having another go at promoting LTE/5G home cells that utilise the FTTP connection to increase and expedite rollout of 5G coverage.

                                          >I do wonder how low our tax bills could be if they would stop spaffing money on pet projects.

                                          Not much, there have been various papers by economists about tax bills and percentage of GDP.

                                          However, a more level headed approach to matters might mean that projects got properly funded. For example, HS2, from the outset, has been about minimising cost, with corners cut at every opportunity to make it affordable - hence the reason for the dog's dinner 30mph interconnect between HS2 and HS1, the current project fails to satisfy many of the governments original mandatory requirements. Interestingly, lessons from HS1 clearly haven't been learnt and we can expect the bill to continue to rise as more of the thinking and penny-pinching assumptions prove to be wrong...

                                          1. codejunky Silver badge

                                            Re: Disingenuous advertising

                                            @Roland6

                                            "@codejunky - are you really that dim?"

                                            Yes. We have a regulator but somehow that seems to make it a smart idea for those few to dictate what internet speed people should have instead of the people using the internet. We have food regulators but I dont want them dictating only premium corn fed roaming wild chicken worshipped by beautiful women who tend their every need. If I want that I would have to pay.

                                            "I've still got some clients with modems"

                                            Sounds like a smart decision for them. The one I knew was a home user and just didnt want anything more because she barely turned the machine on (she taught basic computing classes!!! I dont get it).

                                            "Ofcom's guidance over the years"

                                            Which luckily includes looking at wireless options and if the cost of installation is above an amount the person must pay the excess. But ramping up the minimum should require an actual good reason to rob everyone to provide this better connection. One that has been cost/benefit analysed and absolutely certain to provide economic return.

                                            "Not been around long enough to realise that capitalism isn't all its cranked up to be"

                                            Looked at the alternatives and realised its the best we got.

                                            "Suggest you go and live in the USA"

                                            Been on holiday. Impressive place. I can see why large portions of the world try to get in there.

                                            "remember GSM, 3G and 5G (which you seem to be a fan of) arose out of European concepts of mutual benefit capitalism"

                                            Which is used to access US global platforms which the EU is wildly jealous of. Platforms that just dont conjure up in Europe but does in the US.

                                            "Also what the 2008 financial crisis and the current pandemic have shown is that government action is a key and necessary player in the economy"

                                            Absolutely. If the US banks wernt punished for not lending to sub prime they would not have had the housing crash. The banks then doing their best to make the bad loans as safe as possible which the gov regulators agreed as safe. The US and UK exerting government control during the pandemic being the major points of failure while Germany for example allowed private labs to do testing and were praised for it.

                                            "we can expect the bill to continue to rise as more of the thinking and penny-pinching assumptions prove to be wrong..."

                                            Very much how I see government action. They are happy to cut the tape on a new fancy toy but not to fund it.

                                            1. Roland6 Silver badge

                                              Re: Disingenuous advertising

                                              Yes. We have a regulator but somehow that seems to make it a smart idea for those few to dictate what internet speed people should have instead of the people using the internet. We have food regulators but I dont want them dictating only premium corn fed roaming wild chicken worshipped by beautiful women who tend their every need. If I want that I would have to pay.

                                              I think we are actually in agreement here.

                                              We want the food regulators to set Standards so that the chicken you buy is actually fit for human consumption and hasn't been plumped up with water etc. beyond that it is up to the consumer whether they buy an everyday 'value' chicken or something more fancy from M&S say.

                                              The same applies to broadband, the Ofcom baselines, only require operators to install lines that are capable of delivering at least the base (download) speed at the home, not at the exchange/cabinet as at present with xDSL services. Ofcom hasn't yet mandated that providers can only sell particular services (ie. speed combinations) over this infrastructure, so the customer is still free to choose a speed/price offer combination they are happy with. Obviously, Ofcom is setting these baseline requirements at a level that encourages the incumbents (mainly BT) to install fibre, but doesn't require them to ripe out copper where people are already getting service levels well in excess of the base line..

                                              For some reason, it seems there are people who are unhappy with joe public opting to use the lower speed and lower-priced services, rather than

                                2. Dr_N Silver badge

                                  Re: Disingenuous advertising

                                  codejunky> https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/the-bizarre-way-that-governments-spend-money

                                  The author seems to think you can deploy 5G without fibre. Who wrote this Add-A-Myth piece ... ?

                                  Ahh, T Worstall!

                                  HoHoHoHoHo! It's beyond parody now.

                                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                                    Re: Disingenuous advertising

                                    @Dr_N

                                    "The author seems to think you can deploy 5G without fibre. Who wrote this Add-A-Myth piece ... ?"

                                    Missed that bit. Where does it say that?

                                    1. Dr_N Silver badge

                                      Re: Disingenuous advertising

                                      @codejunky

                                      Did you not read it?

                                      "The industry itself is spending billions upon 5G, something which can produce broadband speeds over spectrum rather than fibre. All of which is what makes that fibre broadband pledge such a weird thing to be insisting upon."

                                      Missing some proper understanding of what 5G is and how it works. It's common that people don't understand it. Some people even think it helps spread Corona virus because they fundamentally do not understand 5G.

                                      1. codejunky Silver badge

                                        Re: Disingenuous advertising

                                        @Dr_N

                                        "Did you not read it?"

                                        Yes I did. You do realise you dont plug fibre into your phone if your using 5G? That you can service an area over spectrum? I cant know what Tim knows about it but his article doesnt seem to say what you claim it says. As is often your problem when responding to my comments.

                                        1. Dr_N Silver badge
                                          Pint

                                          Re: Disingenuous advertising

                                          Codejunky> You do realise you dont plug fibre into your phone if your using 5G?

                                          Oh dear. You don't understand 5G. Two points:

                                          1) How do you think the data gets to/from the base stations?

                                          2) You do realise that the ultrafast mmWave (short range) part of 5G will only be available in select mostly urban environments?

                                          Now, off down the pub with you.

                                          1. codejunky Silver badge

                                            Re: Disingenuous advertising

                                            @Dr_N

                                            "1) How do you think the data gets to/from the base stations?"

                                            You seem to think you won a victory by talking about something completely different. Yes the infrastructure behind the wireless has to be capable of transmitting data fast enough but as I literally stated you do not plug your phone into a fibre line to get 5G. Either you missed the point or purposefully missed the point.

                                            "2) You do realise that the ultrafast mmWave (short range) part of 5G will only be available in select mostly urban environments?"

                                            For the moment yes. And as I also point out the gov has already bought a satellite communications system. So laying cable may not be the limit as it has been.

                        2. Martin an gof Silver badge

                          Re: Disingenuous advertising

                          when people do move (as they do) it [good connectivity] is surely something they look at if they care. The 'if they care' being the important bit.

                          Oh I think that these days most people do "care", but they also care about a heck of a lot of other things, and I suspect that broadband speeds are pretty low on the list when compared to affordability, accessibility to places of employment, school catchment areas and other such things which are - essentially - "fixed" items, while broadband is "fixable" and it's theoretically possible that a house which ticks all the boxes except for broadband will soon have its cabinet upgraded to FTTC, or a cable company dig up the pavements or a 5G transmitter installed nearby, even if it has none of those things at present.

                          People often ask me why I commute 45 miles by road into work, why I haven't bought a house nearer. The answer is long and complicated:

                          • when we moved into the area, that is where the work was and where family was and we bought a house we could afford
                          • my wife got a job 45 miles East at around the same time I got a job 45 miles West, so it made no sense to move at that point as it could only have benefited one of us
                          • by the time we could afford to "upgrade" on moving, and my wife was working much closer to home, we had several children settled in good schools, with good friends and good extra-curricular activities almost every day of the week, and moving purely for the sake of a slightly shorter commute (for me, longer for her of course) would not have been worth the disruption to their lives

                          So I continue to spend up to two and a half hours getting to and from work in the car. It's tiring, it's not environmentally friendly, it certainly makes my disposable income significantly lower than a closer-living colleagues, and I know that if I moved nearer work I could get a vastly improved internet connection. But at the moment other things are more important. Do you get the point?

                          Or have I just fallen into a troll-trap?

                          M.

                          1. codejunky Silver badge

                            Re: Disingenuous advertising

                            @Martin an gof

                            Good comment I dont particularly disagree with. It seems to make my point actually.

                            Ignore the chat with my troll (Dr_N) and go back to the conversation I was having with anthonyhegedus, that had some value.

                          2. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            Re: Disingenuous advertising

                            >But at the moment other things are more important. Do you get the point?

                            Or have I just fallen into a troll-trap?

                            Suspect many of the trolls are still at the single (young male) stage...

            2. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Disingenuous advertising

              @IGotOut

              "You make out like people can just move to get a better connection."

              For the most part that is true. Again assuming they want or need such. Covid lockdown is an oddity so we should ignore that for the moment. The few people who need a super fast connection at home is pretty small out of the total population. The number gets bigger for those who want a super fast connection (e.g. playing games).

              If you are choosing where to live do you pick near the school for your kids or do you expect taxpayers to stump up to make a new school wherever you choose to go? Its not a perfect comparison but for those who care they check the connection offerings as well as transport links and schools, distance from mother in law, etc.

              "So you you propose a farmer moves a 5000 acre farm and a few thousand cattle into the centre of the city?"

              Why? Do the few thousand cattle need to stream multiple video sources in HD all day? Do they need a super fast connection? Do they want a super fast connection? If so why wont they pay to have the cable connected to them? Because its so stupidly expensive for 1 man (or family of whatever) on a farm with a few thousand cattle. They can of course use the connection they have through the already provided phone line, or mobile data plan if they wish.

              "Or the person that has owned a house for 50 years just sell up, just so they can get 1mbs?"

              If it matters so much to them. Or pay to get it cabled up. Hell they could be patient like my parents and register their interest to virgin and wait.

              "What about the kids of these people? You do know a HUGE amount of school / college work has to be done online?"

              Ok, so at what point does this need any kind of super fast connection? My kids try that one too. They need a high powered computer with beefy graphics card and blazing processor so they can do school work. Hence the shooting noises from their speakers.

              "Personally I don't use ANY trains or buses, so I think those that do should pay for them."

              Good. If we stuck to that mentality HS2 probably wouldnt come to existence and we would have less money pissed away on a train set which might not even be high speed in the end.

              I notice your amusing rant of other things public money goes on which sounds like you want everyone to pay for your toys. Waa. I have no sympathy for that. As I have said I can understand us techies caring and not understanding why someone wouldnt want super fast blazing speeds. But it is selfish to expect those who dont to pay for it and for those who actually need it, they are few.

              1. Dr_N Silver badge

                Re: Disingenuous advertising

                TD;DR

          4. Martin an gof Silver badge

            Re: Disingenuous advertising

            Some people have no interest in it whatsoever and have no need nor desire a connection. Even more people will be happy with the connection speed they have as it does what they want. And of course a few will want faster. So those few should cough up for what they want.

            This is probably the key question - has it now got to the stage where internet connectivity is a "key service", the cost of which should be spread evenly among the whole population, whether or not they choose to use it?

            In other words, is it now equivalent to schools, the NHS and suchlike? Where everyone pays tax towards providing these facilities, whether or not they use them themselves and - to take the comparison a little further - some people can choose to pay "extra" if the state-provided minimum isn't to their liking?

            If internet connectivity is a key service, then we need to start discussing what the "state-provided minimum" should be. At the moment I think it's 10Mbit/s down which does seem a bit out-of-date, but I'm wary of suggesting we should mandate (say) 100Mbit/s as a minimum when I know for a fact that huge areas of the country can't yet get a reliable 10Mbit/s and that unless a Universal Service Obligation is imposed, any such upgrade on the minimum won't improve the situation for those people as it'll end up being provided to the "easiest" or "most profitable" areas first.

            I think you are arguing that internet connectivity is not yet in key service category because if it were then you are dangerously close to saying "I don't have children, so I don't see why I should pay tax towards schools".

            Though I could quite easily agree with "I don't see why my taxes should send other people's children to Harrow or Eton" :-)

            M.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Disingenuous advertising

              @Martin an gof

              "This is probably the key question - has it now got to the stage where internet connectivity is a "key service", the cost of which should be spread evenly among the whole population, whether or not they choose to use it?"

              Ok. And we have that. Almost everywhere we live has an internet connection with only the very difficult not having one. But that doesnt make a case for 1Gbps / 1Gbps as anthonyhegedus was suggesting.

              "I think you are arguing that internet connectivity is not yet in key service category"

              I think 'key service category' means too many different things to too many people to be meaningful. If we accept the idea that everyone should be able to access the internet that is one thing. But the mission creep then moves it to in everyones home, high bandwidth, etc.

              "Though I could quite easily agree with "I don't see why my taxes should send other people's children to Harrow or Eton" :-)"

              Well said and that is the issue I have with these ideas.

        2. ThatOne Silver badge

          Re: Disingenuous advertising

          > there will always be properties that just aren't worth connecting

          "Worth connecting" is definitely not an objective criterion.

          For instance I know about an isolated private house in rural Germany, in the midst of fields, 2 km from the nearest village. One sunny day the lady who lives there saw workers starting to dig a trench in her garden: A fiber was laid, and ends now on a nice socket on her living room wall.

          Now the funny thing is she didn't want fiber, her old DSL covers all her (rather limited) needs. She neither asked nor paid for fiber, yet the fiber was laid to her house and is there, unused.

          Connecting her makes no commercial sense, as there is no way she will leave her cheap DSL to pay (IIRC) €50 for fiber. But apparently (I didn't really explore the why and how) the county decided that fiber was a commodity like electricity, and that they would connect everyone, no matter how commercially unwise it might seem.

          Just food for thought.

      2. sebbb

        Re: Disingenuous advertising

        Well... I didn't know that broadband was a toy... especially after 2020.

        In Italy in the last few years the growth has been enormous on FTTP, to enable small towns (which are the majority of where people live) to not die and stimulate innovation. They brought FTTP to my town of 350 people, 30€ gets you 1000/300 line. All of this with national but also EU funds, as it was part of european objectives. The UK could've done the same thing. Oh wait...

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Disingenuous advertising

          @sebbb

          "Well... I didn't know that broadband was a toy... especially after 2020."

          It really is. It is amazing to see (seriously) as I (and I guess you) are used to seeing people well connected with multiple devices and so on. I still find it strange but for some people the internet or even a computer is a toy. It is like a different world but plenty people live that way.

          "enable small towns (which are the majority of where people live) to not die and stimulate innovation."

          Cool. Good for them (Dr N is probably gonna have an aneurysm). In the UK we get what we are willing to pay for. That means instead of ripping off a load of people through tax or higher prices we get the service we want. It is a pretty good system of people parting with money willingly. Unfortunately not everything is like that and more people demand more of their toys at others expense which is a shame really.

          "All of this with national but also EU funds"

          As you brought up Italy I will mention they recently suggested a large portion of their debt be forgiven because they cannot pay. The recent covid bailout also caused budget issues for some who dont like to see their hard earned money pissed up a wall. This is after the EU decided to reframe its spending away from the more parasitical countries to those actually earning and paying the friggin bills.

          Not wanting to take this to an EU rant but you are only giving me more joy at the prospect of leaving. And I wouldnt consider us taking EU money (tax payer earned and taken money) to piss away on openreach etc. If we dont want to do it with out money why should someone else spend it for us?

  8. IHateWearingATie

    I guess I could help increase the average speed, but see little point

    Currently on a Virgin Media 200/20Mb package - I could upgrade to the 500/35Mb but really don't see the point.

    Early lockdown with both me and my wife working from home and the sprogs doing their schoolwork didn't tax it too much, so don't see the point in anything faster for me at the moment. I'm sure that will change in the future, but for now I'm not doing my best to help the overall average speed increase.

    1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

      Re: I guess I could help increase the average speed, but see little point

      I've got the 500/35 ( well, they upgraded it for free to 600/41 ).

      I can barely tell the difference from when I had 80mb with Sky.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: I guess I could help increase the average speed, but see little point

        The upload will be just as much a castration for home working. With a low amount you will be just as hamstrung as a business on a 50/50 anyway.

    2. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: I guess I could help increase the average speed, but see little point

      "Currently on a Virgin Media 200/20Mb package - I could upgrade to the 500/35Mb but really don't see the point."

      Currently on 108/10 here (just tested it) and the only time I ever use 100mbps is on speed test sites or downloading a big game.

      So I will be saving those few extra pounds a month thanks.

  9. teebie

    "more than 96 per cent of the UK can access superfast broadband services but more than 40 per cent currently choose not to"

    Maybe things would change if you actually sent the engineers out when you made a sodding appointment.

    (I could add more, but you get the gist)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >> the US remained one of the most expensive Western nations for broadband and stood at 131st place. The average package price of $59.99 was "a 20 per cent increase over prices measured at the end of 2019," observed Cable.

    Clearly it is because of too much regulation in an extremely competitive market. The Boeing thing was an exception, mistakes happen.

    FCC lobbying is a long-standing American tradition that isn't cheap. We know it's called bribing elsewhere, but we do it legally you see.

    And top talent like Ajit Pai ain't cheap.

    signed "We the people"

    1. Spanners Silver badge
      FAIL

      @AC

      Clearly it is because of too much regulation in an extremely competitive market.

      I assume that was meant to be sarcasm? There is little to no competition. Companies have their areas and customers have no alternative. If that is the "free enterprise capitalism" that they boast about, I am sticking to the supposedly socialist system where I could change my provider tomorrow.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @AC

        Free enterprise works except where there are de facto monopolies. That's why we have OFCOM.

        getting ideological over it is silly. There are times for government intervention pro bono publico, and there are times when the government should STFU.

        However this non binary more than one dimensional thinking is alien to the political class and the Left leaning liberals, who need things kept very simple. Two companies bad/ Nationalised company good etc.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @AC

          >> getting ideological over it is silly.

          >> this non binary more than one dimensional thinking is alien to ... Left leaning liberals

          So like right leaning ideologies get it right coz they be so multidimensional, innit.

          What's the label "liberals" uses for right leaning thinkers - "fascists"?

          Your use of "liberals" is as dumb as their use of "fascists", both exist and neither are suitable as binary labels.

          You can't see that your binary labelling of "liberals" is as bad. Your use of the "left-leaning" qualifier gives it away.

          Now where can I find me a right leaning liberal - they're the good ones!

          FFS.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @AC

          "the Left leaning liberals, who need things kept very simple"

          Thank God there are the Right leaning conservatives, who need things kept even simpler... :p

          You're a fine example of one-dimensional thinking yourself, trying to fit the world into your over-simplified, pre-existing friend/foe schema.

        3. Sam_B.

          Re: @AC

          Not sure why your sexuality is relevant (or is non-binary a reference to the analogue systems most of the network was built for ?) but, in the U.k. at least, he wiring/fibre to the house is the same for most of the companies you buy internet from: yes there are now a few companies actually putting new fibre in, but the bulk are still just selling you the same connection via the same equipment maintained by the same engineers, so the "free enterprise" is an entirely invented layer of profit making companies leaching off the customers. Had we not "Privatised" the GPO we would have had direct to house fibre, before there was even an internet to make use of it. And a lot cheaper as there wouldn't be multiple layers of companies who's only real role is to siphon money out to their investors.

      2. Sam_B.

        Re: @AC

        I'd prefer the fully socialist system where there is only one non profit (Govt.) provider as all utilities should be.

  11. PPCNI

    With ADSL wherer I live the best I could get was 2Mbps, along with having to get BT out approx once a month when my line went crackly and boradband became unusable.

    I have been using a Three Mobile 4G (previously what do you call the 3.5g - HDSPA or whatever) for more than 4 years I think now. Am currently getting

    Ping ms

    70

    Download Mbps

    58.75

    Upload Mbps

    18.80

    for £16/month. (Unlimited data).

    As the other poster stated tough in common with most broadband in the UK - it is not consitent. Somteimes you'll be watching netflix or whatver with no one else in the house using the connection and the quality of the video will drop off to barely wacthable for short periods (a much larger cace would be nice Netflix and other streaming service but that's another story).

    Also the last few months when they have been working (scheduled and unscheduled) on my local mast it has been up and down like a yo-yo. Toally unrealiable. I spent ages complaing and they gave me (wait for it) a £2.50 rebate! To be fair, before this it has been pretty reliable.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If only

    I pay £31/month here in France's answer to silicon valley. For 3.5Mbit/s down, 800kbit/s up ADSL. 4G on my phone is faster (but very variable, might be 16Mbit/s one minute, and 0.5Mbit/s the next) and capped. I can see the fibre exchange from my window, and could probably install the fibre myself over a weekend, but "sometime after 2021" is the current schedule. That is at least in part because they put a moratorium on all new sales at the beginning of the year, and ordered the installation company to redo all the lines installed between 2018 and 2019 to make them work properly, before they are allowed to sell any more. So far they've restored 48,000 out of 90,000. Out of the 280,000 potentially-available lines, 100,000 lines are supposedly ready, and they've only sold 14,000.

    It's bad when I wish I had Openreach doing the work...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If only

      > For 3.5Mbit/s down, 800kbit/s up ADSL

      You lucky bastard! My French ADSL is only half that on a good day.

      The /s stands for semester, right?

      1. Outer mongolian custard monster from outer space (honest)

        Re: If only

        I know France has equivalence and Free and other isp's claim not to cap or traffic shape, but I used to have a Free adsl line and on a good day it would manage 1Mb. And it used to have issues about 1-2 times a month, need the router power cycling every few days etc.

        We kept raising a case, with Free sending engineers out who never turned up etc etc and blamed it on our rural location. Then we switched to Orange, same line, same termination at the property instant 10Mb, no traffic shaping bull and super reliable. The very few times we've had issues, they have been quick to help and when they cant get you back on that day you get a free 4g data sim and a loaner 4g modem while they sort it.

    2. Potemkine! Silver badge

      Re: If only

      40 €/month for 1 Gbit/s + land line + 200 TV channels with Free. I would suggest you to change your ISP. Looking at the price you pay, you seems to be with SFR. And SFR "sait pas faire", as for Internet as for 4G. SFR is the worst provider I ever had.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If only

        you seems to be with SFR

        No, Orange.

        I was with Free at first, they were crap. 1Mbit/s was the best they could do and anything except port 80 traffic was heavily throttled when things got busy. They denied it, even threatening people who claimed it publicly, but it was obvious. A VPN connection on the default port (90) slowed down to 10-20kbit/s after 5pm (at that point, using dialup was faster) but non-VPN browsing was fine, and swapping the VPN to use port 80 brought it back to 'normal'. A dozen or so people in my office had the same experience with Free. My very variable-rate 4G mobile is with them.

        After a few years of that I gave up on Free and tried SFR. They might have been worse, except that for two months they did nothing. I called every week to get status, and was promised that someone would call back, they never did. Eventually they simply cancelled the order on the pretext that the installation wasn't possible.

        One visit to Orange the next morning, and I was connected by lunchtime. Speed isn't great, but it's solid and reliable, and when I have had to call their support line they have been prompt and effective. Not offshored, either (unlike Free & SFR).

  13. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Jersey and Litchenstein don't have the Yorkshire Moors with 40 miles of emptyness before you get to a telephone exchange.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      you could be living in a town and get bad internet, our town has aluminium cable so FttC is still shit even when the green box is at the end of the street. Luckily the green box is literally over the road from our house and I still only get 70Mb not the full 80Mb! Im not complaining about that though as its better than many others.

    2. IGotOut Silver badge

      I know from experience that parts of Leeds are ridfled with Aluminium wire. BT used to come out, swap the faulty one with a spare ok one. Repeat every six to 12 months.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      In Northern Norway you're lucky when you can see your neighbour's house the other side of the valley, so you're going to need a better excuse than that.

  14. Friar

    I don't see why broadband connections aren't 'metered' like other connections. You should pay for what you receive, not for some notional package which is unattainable. If I'm on a 300Mbps contract, but only get 100Mbps then I should pay the rate for 100Mbps.

    The ISP's get let off on the basis their service is "up to 300Mbps", but a gas supplier wouldn't get away with a service offering gas "up to 100 kWhs a month" at a fixed price and then only giving you half that. If we got charged on a consumption basis suppliers might then make more effort to see their connections were actually capable of delivering what they promised.

    1. CuChulainn Silver badge

      Many years ago, after going from a 300 baud self-build, through the various speed dial-up modems, then ISDN, and finally dual ISDN, I went with a company whose name I forget who offered a wireless service which required a small dish on the roof. They offered a grand 500kbps. And it worked perfectly.

      Then they offered a 1Mbps service, and I duly upgraded. But I could not get 1Mbps - it varied up to about 600-700kbps tops. It was much worse in summer.

      They were very good in terms of tech support, and we eventually discovered that the service required line-of-sight to the transmitter, and as luck would have it there was a row of trees in my line-of-sight. The system could manage 500kbps, but not 1Mbps with the trees - and the leaves in summer were the reason it was worse then.

      They let me have the 1Mbps service with the leaf factor for the price of the 500kbps one.

      I couldn't see that happening today.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > If I'm on a 300Mbps contract, but only get 100Mbps then I should pay the rate for 100Mbps.

      If you are consistently getting that speed throughout the day, then you definitely should bring this to the attention of the phone company.

      What may be happening is that you're only connecting at peak times, in which case an argument could be made both ways.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Because if that model was adopted, rural customers would see their price drop (further) below the cost of provision and ISPs would decline to serve them at all.

    4. itzman

      No, it doesnt work like that...

      Look at what costs money. The laying of the links to you and the cost of back-haul to handle, not average traffic, but PEAK traffic.,. is what needs income.

      Once the infrastructure is in place, only the central part of the ISP runs on aggregated traffic. the last 30 miles are all pretty peaky.

      You are paying for an empty road, not the petrol...

  15. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "but also slower and a bit of a rip-off"

    We just "upgraded" to FTTC in the UK and get a quite consistent 400kb/s average. Yes, that's kilobits. Judging by the number of TCP CRC errors and retries, it looks like there's massive noise on the copper last leg, but despite two visits by "engineers" the provider can't seem to find out why or get it fixed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "but also slower and a bit of a rip-off"

      I went FTTP - really to get decent upload speed (FTTC too far away). I am billed for 40 down 10 up. I get 30-38 down, 10.2 up... Very satisfied.

    2. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Re: "but also slower and a bit of a rip-off"

      despite two visits by "engineers"

      Keep banging on, or get your ISP - assuming they're half decent - to keep banging on. Eventually you'll get someone around who actually cares about the job.

      We were getting dropouts, speeds down below 512kbps and - a key factor this - crackly phone calls, on a line which had previously been as clear as a bell and a fairly solid 6Mbps sync. The first call came with the usual "if it's a fault in your premises we'll charge you" and an engineer who refused to look at anything external to our house, re-made the master socket (and made off with the splitter faceplate *I'd* bought) and managed to get 4Mbps once he'd sent a reset to the linecard and declared that was just fine. It wasn't.

      The second tried the same tricks, but did climb the pole and make some changes in there. Problem still not solved.

      The third one completely replaced the junction box on the pole - nine houses - checked things in the cabinet and traced the cable back through two underground DPs. Turns out he'd come at the right time and the last of these DPs was full of water and everything had corroded. He spent half a day reconnecting half the village, since when our line has been a pretty rock solid 8Mbps sync.

      Similar thing at my mother's, where it took three callouts before finding the engineer who wouldn't give up. He found an intermittent loose wire in a junction box on the wall of mum's house - a box none of the others had even opened.

      You'll get there eventually, but it might take a lot of pushing.

      M.

  16. IGotOut Silver badge

    Shall we not mention...

    ...Romania?

    No, best not.

  17. tclulow

    Well in rural France we get all of 6Mbps during the day, but 10kbps (yes kilo) in the evenings and weekends. Upload speeds remain constant at around 2Mbps so it's clearly a bottle-neck further upstream.

    1. Outer mongolian custard monster from outer space (honest)

      I used to get this nonsense when I used free as a provider, then switched to orange and now its consistent. And all the same line etc.

  18. CuChulainn Silver badge

    The Quoted Figures Always Seem A Bit Of A Joke

    On a purely personal level, I'm only concerned with what speed I'm getting. But I feel for others in the UK.

    I'm in a cable area, and although it is only FTTC I get a consistent 550Mbps (551.8 when I measured it just now). Occasionally there will be glitches, but they've usually short-lived - except for the time a local zit-face took his mum's car one morning without asking and spun it into the local main cabinet, which had to be re-built, and caused an outage of nearly a week. This is is the East Midlands, and the provider is Virgin.

    But during lockdown I've been having nightly Skype meetings with someone up in Leeds - a village just on the outskirts. He's with Sky and has a nominal 30Mbps connection. Except that we experience freezes and complete outages many days, and he points out that his home TV is frequently down as a result, along with security systems. When we're having problems, speeds are all over the place at his end - the other night, after several freezes, we got anything between 'can't measure it', through 2Mbps, up to under 20Mbps.

    And Sky say there's nothing wrong with his line.

    Correct answer: there is.

  19. Just an old bloke

    Waiting on Movistar Cañarías to install FTTP. 300Mb synchronous, 38€ month.

  20. itzman

    Lichtenstein and Jersey are both very small very rich countries.

    So it is not surprising they can give everyone fast broadband.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lichtenstein and Jersey are both very small very rich countries.

      Exactly. It doesn't really make sense to compare at country level. The speeds that you get in (I presume) London or Edinburgh are very different than what you might get in the Midlands. In France, Lyon has very decent connectivity (so I understand) whereas my village is stuck with RFC 1149 infrastructure.

      Austria, on the other hand, seems to have very decent and modern service regardless of whether you are in the plains or in the middle of the mountains. Not to mention Norway.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Lichtenstein and Jersey are both very small very rich countries.

        Don't know where your village is, but I'm pretty sure the Midlands would be easier/cheaper to connect than the vast, almost uninhabited spaces of Norway or the mountain ranges of Austria.

        Seems the principal factor is simply political will, to either modernize the country or to save that money for pet projects and handouts.

  21. Sam_B.

    Blame it all on Thatcher; As I understand it, the GPO were planning to roll out full fibre nationally back in the 80s and had the production facilities in place before Thatcher's govt. decided to sell off those facilities and privatise the phones, sticking us with the copper wiring that still limits most of our speeds. Not much point having superfast fibre at the exchange when you've got a mile of copper, with who knows how many junctions and repairs getting affected by atmospheric conditions before reaching your house.

    If it weren't for Thatcher, we'd have had Superfast broadband before there was even an internet to connect to it.

    1. tonkei

      An epitaph for the age

      This is a wholly different comment on Maggie (for me), perhaps it can be etched into the plinth once they finish installing her statue in Grantham?

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