Ofcom - broadband speeds shockingly slow, unsurprisingly
Nobody will be surprised to hear it - Ofcom has been testing the average speed of household broadband lines, and the reality is a million miles away from the promise sold by service providers. In the case of AOL and Tiscali, the line speeds advertised and those achieved are as different as chalk and Chichester.
And to be fair to Ofcom, they didn't just check a handful of times - in the six months to April this year, the regulators performed over 60 million separate tests in over 1600 homes. What was the result? Fewer than 9 per cent of customers who bought "up to 8Mbps" services received actual average speeds of over 6Mbps - and around one in five received, on average, less than 2Mbps.
Here's how the results stack up:
Apologists and the ISP providers themselves will no doubt claim the speeds are attainable for customers who live close to the exchanges - but then if that's such a key factor, why isn't addressed when a customer buys the service? "You live X miles from your local exchange, therefore you can expect an average speed of XMbps" - if the distance to an exchange can readily be used to defend the "up to" claims, then surely it can also be used to inform the customer? Otherwise it's a clear-cut case of mis-selling, surely?
Ofcom also cites two factors as responsible for these terrible performances - "the technology used to deliver broadband and the capacity of the provider's network". In other words, ISP providers are knowingly selling a service their technology and the network may not be able to provide.