back to article Progress towards 'Gigabit Europe' is slow, with UK also lagging

Very few households and businesses across Euope are getting Gigabit broadband speeds regardless of official claims, and the UK is trailing in key areas - especially FTTP coverage. This is according to analysis by network intelligence outfit Ookla, which largely focuses on the European Commission's Digital Decade policy program …

  1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    Wi-Fi in practice* is never going to be as fast as Gigabit ethernet. Also in my area of UK you get FTTP with a choice of speed/costs so in my case I went with "up to" 300Mbit rather than "up to" 900Mbit as more than enough and half the cost. So far I see close to max speeds most of the time, suggesting fairly low uptake of the contended segments.

    [*] As in through walls and with every other bugger in your (and neighbouring) block of flats also running Wi-Fi.

    1. Herring`

      Yes. I have most of my kit cabled up. What's in the wire is yours, the radio spectrum you have to share.

      I got the 900Mb/s although I don't need it. So I can download a Linux ISO in seconds - which I don't do very often. Also so I can run speed tests and feel smug.

      1. thondwe

        Yep - most of house on wifi - max speed 1GB/s to wired desktop (WFH, so wanted best upload speeds, downloads a bonus), 400Mb/s is the fastest I've seen on our newest iPad.

        Imagine it'll be a few years before Wifi 6/7 is omnipresent to make paying the premium for 1Gb/s is worth it for the average house - even then it's overkill?

        Once your link matches your wifi, you've sort of reached the situation we have with PCs - way faster than most people need for normal use (unless they have a I.T. Pro/Gamer in the house?)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Likewise

        The pricing is based on upto speeds, I've got gigabit, or 900Mbps or what ever it's officially rated as, I see file downloads of comfortably over 100MB/s, pretty similar to talking to local servers. I installed CAT6 into the kids rooms (tactical error, should be trying to get them to move out) before the FTTP was installed.

        ISO downloads in seconds.

        Mostly went for gig speed as my son sometimes needs to upload videos (he's a cameramen) and the faster uplink is useful, plus download bursts tend to be shorter if I'm teaching when they kids are doing things. If they weren't here I can't see much point in being able to go quite that quick.

        In terms of real available speed, I can download files at wire speed, so I'm confident I'm getting what I'm paying for, but it depends on the site. Alma downloads faster than Red Hat for example.

        Ookla speed tests, using the their app we see wire speed but few of the PCs in the house can get that speed using their website and they warn you of this, so client performance can be an issue as well.

        As for WiFi, again it seems to vary hugely with site you're visiting, but since I can point at servers inside the house I know it isn't always a WiFi issue and the RTTs to the ISP's test node or even Google DNS, or running speed test apps tend to imply it isn't the WiFi or the broadband connection.

  2. codejunky Silver badge

    Eh?

    Why should everyone upgrade their tech to the faster speeds? Why dont people get what they want and there are some people who choose to have nothing. Not everyone is interested in tech. Not everyone streams, games and wants blazing internet. Some people dont even like smart phones and associated technology.

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: Eh?

      For myself and my wife, VDSL is quite adequate at home. 80mbps is 40mbps each, which is plenty for our use cases. I can see that larger families would need faster connections; we don't.

      My view of technology is that it exists to fulfil a purpose. I simply don't see the use case for a smartphone for me personally; I drive, so I can't use the data on the go. If I spent several hours a day on public transport then i'd probably have a different opinion, but there we go.

      As I see it, I have a decent internet connection where I am at home or work. That leaves other use cases where i'm somewhere like a social event. My view is that in those cases my attention should be with the social company, not getting diverted by a phone pinging like a sonar system demanding my attention to attempt to entrap me into spending more time on social media than I choose to spend. Therefore, what's the point of the device?

      I can see the benefit many other people obtain via tracking my activities via various apps and selling my personal data, but I can't immediately see the benefit I'd get.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Eh?

      Don't worry. The UK data is only included as a post-Brexit artifact. No need to panic. We'll be languishing at the bottom for decades to come.

    3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Eh?

      Why should everyone upgrade their tech to the faster speeds?

      Indeed. A statement like "obstacles remain in convincing consumers to fully transition to fiber services" really means "we think people are too stupid to know what they want", but in reality people are intelligent enough to know when they have what they need, at an appropriate cost for them. I have FTTP and pay for 100Mbit/s which is more than sufficient for my needs. I could have 900, but don't need it and don't see any reason to pay the extra.

      1. 43300 Silver badge

        Re: Eh?

        What Openreach appear to be doing now is refusing to provide copper-based new connections to residential properties where they are pushing FTTP. I looked at a flat recently where this applied. The only option was FTTP, but the fibre cable into the premises wasn't actually in place. Trying to get clear answers out of Openreach was, as usual, like trying to grasp fog, Should be installed within a month. Providided no obstacles presented themselves. From many years of dealing with Openreach at work premises, I know that this means that any delays are entirely unpredictable, but can be long. The flat had no usable 4G signal (thick walls, built into a hillside). So that ruled it out - no internet for X months isn't an option as I need it for work!

        The only clear answer I got was that they would not procide copper-based internet, no matter what delays there might be with FTTP installation.

        1. I could be a dog really Bronze badge

          Re: Eh?

          It may be a case of "area is fibre enabled but there's nothing to your flat", which is no different to "area is wired but there's no wire you your flat" (which at one time used to be a real thing with the Post Office when you wanted a phone line but they c.b.a. to put in some more copper and the existing cables were full). But where fibre isn't currently available, they still provide copper to the premises - but it's now something called SOGEA (single order generic ethernet access) which means there's no copper back to the exchange, only a FTTC connection back to the green cabinet and you have to use a VoIP option for your phone. I know this as we've recently changed providers at church, and this came into play (no plans for fibre in the foreseeable future).

          1. 43300 Silver badge

            Re: Eh?

            Yeah, I know - I've been replacing various VDSL lines at work sites with SOGEA ones. But in the case of this flat, it's an area where they are prioritising FTTP and they were clear that they would not provide any new copper internet connections (of any type) under any circumstances - even if there were delays with getting the fibre optic into the building.

  3. heyrick Silver badge

    France is leading with 39.94 percent

    There's a coil of fibre on the pole near the property boundary (they're doing a massive program in Brittany to replace all the old copper, but most of it in the country will be strung on poles).

    When the fibre was being installed in the springtime, the time to begin switchover was August/September. Then it was October. Now it's "maybe next year". I'm guessing somebody might have slightly underestimated what's involved.

    I'm looking forward to it because after four and a half kilometres of copper, my speed was around 3.5Mbit. A poor patch job earlier in the year knocked off a megabit. And since the A in ADSL means asymmetrical, my upload rate is about 65K/sec. As you can imagine, uploading videos takes bloody forever.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: France is leading with 39.94 percent

      Yeah, where I lived just outside the "high tech" hub of Grenoble they spent months a few years ago burying fibre cables in the roadside verges. Then they built the main distribution hub just across the road from my house. FTTP availability was then "after 2021". Next they paused work while they redid all the failed installations they'd done the previous year, so that they functioned correctly. When I left two years ago, the area's status was listed as "after 2022", it's now at "work starts in 2024". I could probably pull a fibre from the hub to my house myself over a weekend.

      At least my original 1Mbit/s was up to around 3.5Mbit/s down, 500kbit/s up by the time I left, mostly due to the replacement of old overhead wire after a passing lorry snagged it and ripped 400m of it off the poles before they noticed. France Telecom wasn't happy. I was.

    2. Expat-Cat

      Re: France is leading with 39.94 percent

      I live in eastern France (region Grand Est), where FTTP has just about 100% coverage. I live in a small village, and had it for 3 years now, but just went with 400Mb up and down, guaranteed not "up to" . Doesn't cost much more for 2Gb.

      Talking to family in the UK, much cheaper for me; without a phone it's under €30 a month. And with a phone I get free calls in Europe and USA.

    3. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

      Re: France is leading with 39.94 percent

      The most difficult part when deploying cables (copper, fiber, ...) is that you need a few things:

      - the cable itself

      - if you plan to bury it, the machine and its operators

      - if you want poles, the poles and some people to put them in place and string the cable

      Of course government plans usually don't considers these details, and want everything to be do in a short time, so you get:

      - not enough cable for everybody

      - not enough machines and operators, when you get the cable

      - not enough people to put the poles in place, when you get the poles and the cable

  4. AndrueC Silver badge
    Meh

    one is the UK with 42.9 percent

    No it isn't. The UK went over 50% a couple of months ago, is currently just shy of 60% and predicted to reach over 90% within a couple of years.

    That figure of 42.9% is at least six months out of date, and possibly a year.

    One thing the article doesn't mention is customer choice. Most people don't want (or certainly don't need) high speeds. People in the UK aren't buying all that's currently available to them. In the past VM has shuttered its lower tier service and bumped people up for free in order to be able to show a higher average speed. 100% FTTP coverage will not mean that every house has a 1Gb/s connection. Most people will continue to buy the cheapest service available to them.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      UK uptake is slow

      Being locked into a 18/24 month deal is a big factor in many not moving right away.

      My local FTTH supplier (TOOB) wants to lock me in for 18 months at £25/month + £5/month for a fixed IP.

      My current deal includes a phone line and 76mb downloads for £32/month. I'm locked in for another 10 months. A single small up front charge for the fixed IP was paid years ago. £5/month is a bit steep in my opinion.

      Sooner or later, these small FTTH suppliers are going to have to open their networks up to competition or face being gobbled up by bigger players.

      I wish that this sort of articles took into consideration what people in the real world are experiencing rather than some marketing agency/other vested interest reports all the time.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: UK uptake is slow

        I currently have access to two FTTP providers - Gigaclear and Swish. Unfortunately for them I'm waiting for Openreach so that I can stay with my current ISP - IDNet.

        The problem I have with the above two providers is that neither supports IPv6. Now before anyone questions the current need for IPv6 I'll state that my problem here is a technical one. How can I have faith in an ISP that hasn't implemented it yet? Compounding my concern is that my current ISP has been providing a dual-stack IPv6/4 solution for nearly 20 years.

        When I was setting up my mail server to support IPv6 IDNet's technical support provided competent answers to my questions without delay or signs of stress. To them I was asking reasonable questions and they provided the information I needed and helped fill in my knowledge gaps. That was ten years ago. They even helped resolve some uncertainty I had when configuring my router despite it being a router that they didn't supply and don't offer to their customers.

        So another issue here is that we don't all want to through in our lot with Johnny-come-lately ISPs that can't even be bothered to support the prevalent standards of the day.

    2. crg the new one

      I don't believe UK is over 10%,

      Everywhere I look on openrent or rightmove, they have that internet checker and it's extremely rare to find a house for rent with access to fibre. In 90% of cases, it says ADSL or CATV.

      Why I believe the stats appear skewed and we get 60% coverage is because of the legal definition of "fibre broadband" in UK, which is something like "any lame connection, no matter how slow, if it employs fibre for one inch anywhere in it's whole length", this way basically any ADSL qualifying as fibre.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        FAIL

        I don't believe UK is over 10%

        And you are very, very wrong.

        FTTP means FTTP. Most commonly GPON so shared fibre but fibre all the way from the property to the exchange.

        ADSL and even FTTC do not qualify. The current situation is that nearly 60% of properties in the UK have fibre going past them and could have a fibre terminated at their property if they wished.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "That figure of 42.9% is at least six months out of date, and possibly a year."

      Yes, I think the article reported the stats were from 2022, the most current wide ranging stats across the EU+ region.

      "Most people will continue to buy the cheapest service available to them."

      Oh, absolutely. At least in the UK, I suspect the vast majority buy based on price, just like with most utilities, chopping and changing when they find a "better" deal. After all, when you change gas/leccy providers, what comes down the "pipe" is the same, no matter who you pay for it. That's how most customers think. Just because they use technology doesn't mean they understand it. And those of us who do understand what we are buying will buy as much as we need because we understand what our needs are, and often not always the latest "shiny" top end speeds. And cap all that off with the huge number of customers who have no wired devices and cheap nasty ISP provided wireless routers and can probably never get the headline speeds anyway. The cheap nasty ISP WiFi router might have a GigE port on it, but it probably struggles to share out that full Gig of bandwidth across multiple wireless devices.

  5. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    As usual, apples and oranges

    Geography, history and population density play a large role in any country's communication network. Some early adopters of one technology, such as coax in The Netherlands, initially for better TV reception, are at an initial disadvantage compared with other countries, generally ex-Warsaw pact ones, that went straight to fibre. Rolling out fibre to the kerb is okay in residential areas but not so good for high rise buildings because changing the internal cabling needs to be done by the landlord. Only after taking these things into consideration do government policy and market conditions start to figure. France was for years a laggard: huge country with low population density which meant most people were on copper at quite a distance from a cabinet. But the government took the decision for force France Telecom to role fibre out everywhere. But it's still a huge country and it will take its time. Germany went with coax at a time when it was clear fibre was the way to go; there were rumours of corruption. It went with fibre in East Germany after unification but had to step everyone down to DSL due to the lack of equipment. Competition drove DSL and cable services but only in the last few years has there been a concerted effort to roll fibre out. The dominant carrier wanted to be given exemption from common carrier status in order to maximise returns on cable connections…

    We've got 1 Gbit/s here but only because I got Gigabit ethernet put it when we moved in. It's still using cable for at least part of the routie so we occasionally get the usual problems with coax when people fuck up their connections. In reality we rarely exceed 200 MBit/s not least because there are few sites out there that want to serve at that speed, but the connection does run at the advertised speed. So, when everybody's here, they can all stream to their heart's content.

    1. crg the new one

      Re: As usual, apples and oranges

      Nope, no, that's a narrative big and corrupt ISPs are pushing.

      Take Romania, for example: year 2002, not in EU, very poor country, extremely poor people, not much disposable income but unregulated ISP market (read: no licenses, no artificial lock-in, anybody could provide internet by registering a LTD, operating the next day). Result: there were over 3000 small ISPs that covered not more than a few streets, maybe two neighbourhoods, everybody had several offers to choose from, internet was pennies because of competition.

      Over time, those ISPs bought one another, installed fibre by themselves, by 2008 major cities had 1Gbps, currently everybody can have 1Gbps for €9 per month, they choose not to get 1Gbps because 250Mbps is the lowest and good enough.

      No government subsidies, only private money, only small company money, 1Gbps by 2008 in a market where only 1% of population could afford the costs, now 98% coverage despite no government subsidies, despite the fact that over 50% of Romanians don't care for any form of internet.

      Same thing happened with mobile data and voice: Qualcomm bought an older network there to test their (future, at that time) VoLTE, they weren't interested in profits but wanted to test the tech, offered calls at 1c per call back in 2003-2004, automatically Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile of Romania had to offer the same, otherwise they would've been out of business.

      And guess what: they offered the same, they're still offering now, none of them went bankrupt, now unlimited voice and data over 5G with Vodafone is €7.

      Yes, that same Vodafone that's here in UK.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: As usual, apples and oranges

        You're not really saying anything I didn't: Romania had an advantage in being able to go straight to fibre. No regulation meant no need to ask permission to dig holes. The article also notes that very few (0.1 percent) Romanians actually get 1 Gbps, which makes the thing a bit Zen.

        Fixed networks elsewhere tend to have been moneypits, hence the genuine reluctance in some quarters to upgrade networks, though this has been masked by the massive sums spent on consolidation and chasing the "triple play" and "quadruple play" dreams. Scandinavia has led the way in state-funded infrastructure to ensure equal access across the country, because businesses would otherwise never bother with anything much further north of Oslo-Stockholm-Helsinki.

        America is famously deregulated and just as famously monopolistic with broadband speeds extremely variable across the country.

        In summary, the right kind of regulation and state support are essential if these kind of political goals are set.

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "42% of users stated their current internet was sufficient for their needs"

    Well yeah. I've got 1Gbps speeds and it is fine. I can have the TV working, my daughter on her laptop and mobile, my wife on her laptop and mobile, and me torrenting, downloading and on Youtube while gaming. Nobody is dragged down by anybody else, so what would I complain about ?

    Back when I had ADLS, if I turned on the TV nobody could download anything anymore. And if someone called the landline while watching TV, the image would stall and the sound would be the only thing running. ADSL was a tar pit. Gigabit fiber is a jet. What more could I want ? 10Gbps ? Don't see the need right now. Don't think I'll ever.

    1. Flak

      Re: "42% of users stated their current internet was sufficient for their needs"

      Ordinary users in a household with 2 or 3 people will quite happily make do on a VDSL service - We have 67Mbps down and 18Mbps up and that takes care of all our streaming and video chat / conferencing requirements.

      From December this year I will be able to get FTTP and I am tempted to get the full speed connection - not because I (first world) 'need' it - but because I 'want' it. Have worked in IT & Telecoms all my career and remember selling 34Mbps 'High' Speed Internet services for >£100k annual rental. Getting 30x that speed at my house for 1/200th of that cost is mind blowing.

      I don't see a mass migration to fibre, in the short to medium term, but in the long term people will appreciate and want it.

      For now, it is speed demons and geeks...

      1. blackcat Silver badge

        Re: "42% of users stated their current internet was sufficient for their needs"

        I'm out in the sticks and sufficiently far from the big green box that I get ~30Mbps down and ~5Mbps up.

        This is just about enough for the OH when she is WFH but if I'm also WFH it struggles. When you are forced to do everything over RDP things get slow.

        The village was hoping to make use of the gigabit broadband voucher scheme but due to something our county council has done we are no longer eligible. However we cannot get any info from the CC on what they are planning and when.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "42% of users stated their current internet was sufficient for their needs"

          What on earth are you doing as WFH that needs > 30Mbps? I used to manage fine, even with Zoom and a VPN running, on 3Mbps and my wife's use didn't impact it. Granted, I didn't do silly things like remote mounts over it. We used to have our entire 100-person office linked to our west coast US HQ at 256k, we learned to plan downloads but it was good when that improved to 768kbps, we could run NFS over that.

          1. blackcat Silver badge

            Re: "42% of users stated their current internet was sufficient for their needs"

            Multiple RDP sessions Nothing can be local. It is not a good setup.

          2. abend0c4

            Re: "42% of users stated their current internet was sufficient for their needs"

            I'd add that it's not just the bandwidth that matters. I have more than enough average bandwidth even via the 4G phone network and a ridiculous over-provision using other technologies, but it doesn't eliminate "buffering" for streaming media: I could imagine that higher access speeds in the "last mile" might even exacerbate congestion.

            1. AndrueC Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: "42% of users stated their current internet was sufficient for their needs"

              There's rarely (probably never) congestion in the last mile, especially with any kind of fibre-based service. Congestion usually occurs in the links between the head-end (exchange) and the CP's core network. Even then it's usually an artificial limit rather than a lack of actual bandwidth. Such congestion doesn't mean that more fibre needs to be put in the ground, it just means that someone needs to pay to light up some more of what's already in there.

              That can be expensive so this is where paying a bit extra can make a real difference. If you sign up with a cheap ISP you can expect to see a slowdown or even packet loss at peak time (the evenings). Pay a bit more and despite no physical change to your connection you can experience a better service.

            2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: "42% of users stated their current internet was sufficient for their needs"

              Congestion affects the traffic and your nose, not your network. Contention doesn't exist between you and your ISP or up to their CIX, but is very likely to exist when peering on inadequately dimensioned CDN arrangements. Though to be fair, global streaming services to billions of users with potentially millions of different streams is pretty hard to get right all the time! For example, stuff watched less often might have to come from a slower storage array to a delivery server or node and that could take a couple of seconds to spin up.

              1. Adam JC

                Re: "42% of users stated their current internet was sufficient for their needs"

                Contention definitely does exist on the Openreach FTTP network. They use GPON and splitters to deliver FTTP, so you're likely to be plopped onto a splitter with a 32:1 contention and the current GPON tech tops out at 2.5Gbps downstream and 1.24Gbps upstream. So in reality, all it takes is two/three properties connected to the same splitter to saturate the underlying GPON network and start to notice reductions in speed. This doesn't take into account what the OLT port is actually being fed at the head-end either (I don't know what Openreach feed each OLT with, presumably 10Gbps but could be lower).

                A lot of alt-nets use GPON as well, there's no XGS-GPON so 10G speeds via Openreach are out of the question currently but I think we can all agree that's mostly overkill for residential usage :-)

                1. AndrueC Silver badge
                  Happy

                  Re: "42% of users stated their current internet was sufficient for their needs"

                  So in reality, all it takes is two/three properties connected to the same splitter to saturate the underlying GPON network and start to notice reductions in speed.

                  The good news is that in reality that's quite unusual. It's very difficult to saturate such a high speed connection.

                  1. Adam JC

                    Re: "42% of users stated their current internet was sufficient for their needs"

                    Yeah, I have 1000/220 FTTP at home and I frequently upload/download huge VMDK's and VHD's to test stuff for hours on end and barely notice any drop on the upload or the download to be fair.

                    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
                      Thumb Up

                      Re: "42% of users stated their current internet was sufficient for their needs"

                      "Yeah, I have 1000/220 FTTP at home and I frequently upload/download huge VMDK's and VHD's to test stuff for hours on end and barely notice any drop on the upload or the download to be fair."

                      Your neighbours, on the other hand.... :-)

          3. David Hicklin Bronze badge

            Re: "42% of users stated their current internet was sufficient for their needs"

            Sounds like the shared 5Mbps upload is the problem here - not the download

            Still reading about the OpenReach discounts for FTTP explains why when I renewed my Sky package (stop laughing at the back) they were able to offer me FTTP at a lower cost that the previous FTTC, and 150/30 is more than enough for two of us WFH

            1. blackcat Silver badge

              Re: "42% of users stated their current internet was sufficient for their needs"

              Its deffo the upload as I can see it on my router. Outbound hits the end stop and everything starts to grind.

              Faster download would be nice too, just cos :)

        2. Mike Pellatt

          Re: "42% of users stated their current internet was sufficient for their needs"

          Not covered by the CDS (Connecting -sic- Devon and Somerset) disaster are you, by any chance?

          1. blackcat Silver badge

            Re: "42% of users stated their current internet was sufficient for their needs"

            No, Hampshire.

        3. Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

          Re: "42% of users stated their current internet was sufficient for their needs"

          I'm just outside the boundaries of one of the UK's supposedly technically advanced cities and get 14 Mbits on a good day. And that's as much as Openreach are prepared to do, besides attempts at slamming-by-incompetence. Admittedly I have VM as an option, but I also have flushing my own head in the toilet as an option and I'm not sure which one is preferable.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: "42% of users stated their current internet was sufficient for their needs"

            "Admittedly I have VM as an option, but I also have flushing my own head in the toilet as an option and I'm not sure which one is preferable."

            It depends where in the country you are with VM. It seems to be a "postcode lottery". Where I am, I've had very, very few issues with VM. I hear their support isn't all that great, but I've only ever rarely had to call them, maybe a half a dozen times in, oh, the last 10 years or so? (been with them a lot longer, since they were United Artists and through various buy-outs and re-brands) and that's because the connection has gone down completely and it;s usually been back up the same day or even an hour or two. No issues with speeds in general but I only pay for the cheapest 120Mb option. You should check with some locals if you know anyone using VM and see what their experience is before deciding to put your head down the toilet :-)

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: "42% of users stated their current internet was sufficient for their needs"

        I went from 100/2 (down/up) to 1000/50 (down/up) because if the upload saturates, download will suffers as well.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: "42% of users stated their current internet was sufficient for their needs"

          I was watching a YouTube video a little while ago by someone building a new high speed NAS. I forget the details, but I was kinda gobsmacked by the upload speed when he was benchmarking the file copy process. 40Mb/s on the upload while he was testing download. So, all those ACK packets just to tell the other end the download was proceeding was somewhat faster than what most of us could have even hoped for in total just a few years ago :-)

          So, 100/2 or 1000/50 sounds quite limiting if downloading at full throttle and maybe someone else needs to upload something. There's asymmetric and there's taking the piss :-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "42% of users stated their current internet was sufficient for their needs"

      I'm the same. I get 1.14Gbit. However I remember when we got up to 10-25mb and you could download an MP3 faster than listening to them and films didn't take that much longer due to file sizes and resolutions being smaller so it was enough. I can download a 4k HDR Atmos film in about 3-10 minutes now. We honestly don't know what's next. Maybe someone will get VR right. Maybe consoles/games will move completely away from physical copies or downloaded games. Having said that I can't see 8k taking off and I'm not sure how much more they can do to improve the current image quality. Who knows?

  7. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Leap

    By the time we roll out 1Gbps, the cool kids will already be bored with 10Gbps.

    Why do we keep following?

    1. Altrux

      Re: Leap

      Qatar is trialling a 50Gbps service. Madness, but someone has to maintain bragging rights...

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Leap

      One of the advantages of fibre is it means all that copper can be recovered and used for other services. Fibre should also be easier to maintain. The speed boost is incidental, really.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Leap

        BT has said that recovering the copper would cost more than its value. It'll likely be left in the ground to rot, unless recovery would allow them to free up duct space, which could be more valuable.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Leap

          I think this tells us more about BT's attitude than it does about the copper market which is due to be bullish for the next couple of decades and why thieves continue to steal cables. BT should, of course, be required to remove existing lines when they replace them.

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: Leap

            It was a while ago that I saw that statement, economics may have changed.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Leap

          "BT has said that recovering the copper would cost more than its value."

          If that's really the case, it surprises me. Copper is not cheap and they use contractors for most if not all of this work. At the very least, I'd expect the contractors to pull the copper and sell it as an extra profit margin if BT really don't care enough to want it for themselves. It's often how demolition companies eek out the profit margins. Sell everything you can to make an extra buck, eg stripping a building of all the pipework/ducting/cabling you can and when you pull down/blow up the building, break the rubble up, get the steel and rebar to sell, and then sell off the concrete as hardcore. Waste nothing, sell everything :-)

  8. Altrux

    Still waiting

    We're in a city of ~130k, and they've fibre'd half of it, but don't seem to be bothering with the other half. A couple of square miles of fibre desert, although we can get VM's coax service at up to 900Mbps, supposedly. CityFibre and Openreach both seem to be wondering when to do the rest.

    For now, we manage with FTTC on 70/20ish, from A&A, and it's perfectly adequate 98% of the time. When fibre comes (my router is ready!) I'll go for the cheapest FTTP tariff available, which will be the 160Mbps symmetric - and I'll actually save £8/month compared to now. Meanwhile, I've upgraded the internal network with some shiny UniFi kit, and my (new) laptop is reporting a raw bitrate of 1.2Gbps today, which is nice. It does have almost a perfect line-of-sight to the AP, approx 5 metres away, and I'm using 80MHz channels. At least the Wi-Fi won't be a bottleneck!

  9. munnoch Bronze badge

    Economic output?

    What are we trying to achieve by shoveling billions into FTTP? Over and above higher definition cat videos obviously?

    Are we even trying to facilitate some sort of economic output?

    Most of all I'd like my remote desktop session to be as non-laggy as possible and on the rare occasions I create something of economic value at home I'd like to be able to *upload* it in less than a few hours.

    We need low latency not high bandwidth and symmetrical connections not asymmetrical connections. Fibre is quite good at both of these, I suspect that its the medium of choice is pure coincidence however, xDSL is pretty rubbish by these metrics (but is still a modern miracle that it works as well as it does).

    Of course if domestic connections fitted these needs then that would kill the market for business-grade connections...

    So far as the rollout is concerned, here is some perspective. Moved into my rented house in Tokyo in 2006, ordered internet service, NTT guys turned up a few days later and fished a fibre into the building in a few minutes. Faceplate on the wall, dropped off the ONU and jobs a good 'un. Symmetrical 100 meg, sub millisecond ping times. That was 17 YEARS AGO!!!. And tis was a country that was mad into ISDN, they did a complete 180, ditched ISDN completely and went fibre everywhere, and I mean everywhere, every street in the city, every mountainside in the country. Looks like a dogs breakfast though with it all hanging off of poles.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Have a downvote

      for slagging off cat videos. The production of them is a multi billion dollar business. /s

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Have a downvote

        And how much of that do the cats see, eh?

        Bloody cat-exploiting capitalists!

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Have a downvote

          Cats rule. Have you noticed how all the biggest supervillains always seem to have a cat? Behind every supervillain/billionaire is a cat. Usually a white[*] one.

          [*] I'll leave any possible racist connotations of that for others to argue over :-)

    2. blackcat Silver badge

      Re: Economic output?

      In the UK certainly part of this is to allow the eons old and slowly rotting copper network to be retired. The POTS system is expensive to maintain and as more and more people have a mobile as their primary method of communication the old landlines are just not needed.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Economic output?

        Yup. Given the tight margins on internet connections and the tightness of customer wallets I doubt there was ever a business case based purely on sales. However as you say the cost of maintaining the old system is rising. Most suppliers have dropped out of the market and those that are left charge a premium to supply the necessary kit.

        For Openreach this is more about reducing spiralling costs not increasing profit margins.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Economic output?

        Some of the network is aluminium cable, if your house was built circa 60s/70s and you're wondering why your connection is slow....

        1. 43300 Silver badge

          Re: Economic output?

          Yes, awful stuff - especially now, when it might well be corroded too.

        2. blackcat Silver badge

          Re: Economic output?

          I found some alooominum T&E in my current house. 'Hmm, this wire feels rather light and is very flexible'. A check with a voltage sensor indicated it was dead and some investigations under the floor with a torch revealed that neither end was connected to anything. No idea what it was supposed to be connected to! The 'merkins love that stuff.

          But then this was a house where the previous owners had put up a ceiling light by the front door that I just could not make work... until I opened up the ceiling rose to discover there wasn't even a hole in the ceiling let along any wires....

        3. Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

          Re: Economic output?

          I live in a '70s house and I'm wondering why my connection is slow. Maybe it'll hurry up if I threaten it with a carrot.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I live in France I have wifi 6e in my home and I have download speeds of 1.2 Gbps on both my laptop and phone. I have the livebox 6 from orange with fiber, which has been available as the standard fiber offer for 2 years. It also comes with 2.5gbps Ethernet. So the commenters saying that wifi will never be fast enough for gigabit are obviously wrong. The technology exists and is available to regular consumers such as me.

  11. trueman

    happy in France with free as ISP

    hi,

    with free (https://www.free.fr) fiber to home it is simple and cheaper :

    download: 1Gb/s

    upload: 700Mb/s

    price: 33.97 EUR / month

    what else ?

    1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: happy in France with free as ISP

      A box with LAN ports that can support 10 Gb/s when you got the offer that says "up to 10 Gb download"?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    for testing your connection

    https://librespeed.org/

    of course it is between your computer and the selected server, so your local network will likely have an impact :-)

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      Re: for testing your connection

      Meh. This test performs and reports on both single and multi-threading. It also correctly identifies UK ISPs :)

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