'Up To' Marketing Strikes Again: UK Customers Get 45% Of Promised Broadband Speed

from the stuck-in-the-slow-lane-again dept

This probably won’t come as a surprise to pretty much anyone, but a new study by Ofcom in the UK found that, on average, customers received bandwidth at approximately 45% of the speed that was being advertised. Welcome to the world of “up to” marketing, where service providers get to promise “speeds up to x” and can then deliver a tiny fraction of that speed and still not be lying in their ads. However, it sounds as though Ofcom is going to get a lot more specific, and is demanding that ISPs start providing more accurate statements on what speeds customers should expect.

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Comments on “'Up To' Marketing Strikes Again: UK Customers Get 45% Of Promised Broadband Speed”

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Damien Sturdy says:

Re: Re:

I really agree with that. 45% of speed, 45% of the cost. Personally though, I moved to Cable about 10 years ago back when BlueYonder got 512k broadband out, and I’ve *NEVER* looked back. I have so much fun wasting sky representatives time by making them think they’ve talked me into a sale only to say at the last minute:

“Hang on…. UP TO? I get exactly 20mb right now, and you’re saying only UP TO. will I definitely be able to get the 20mb speed or not? No? Well then, goodbye ma’am.”

joe says:

someone said, “What a shame the customers can’t use the same “Up to” trick to determine how much they pay for the service. “

Actually, I’ve been doing that for years. I have a Linksys wireless adapter whose antenna hangs out the window next to the computer and it picks up all the open networks in the apartment building in the immediate neighborhood. I have been “paying” the cable and phone “up to” scammers exactly what I want.

james (profile) says:

I want a Job @ OFCOM

As they clearly don’t do anything at all, ever, in any way.
They must all get paid lots.

Hopefully will change when the person at the top of this government black hole of finances is one who grew up with computers and understands the tech & issues as compared to the 62 year old who runs it now. Who just writes “letters of concern” to the telecoms providers on issues, but hasn’t the bottle to DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

Oh well back to surfing on my Victorian copy wire internet.

Monarch says:

There is another advertising fallacy..,

Speed != Bandwidth
Speed = Latency

It doesn’t matter if you have a 1.5mbps, 3mbps or 1Gbps if the other end is uploading at only 1mbps, all your going to get is 1mbps, it has nothing to do with speed, but how much bandwidth is available for usage. The speed is the time it takes to go from one connection to the other (latency), which can be affected by bandwidth, but most often is not.

nasch says:

Re: Re:

It really depends on the application. Some things are much more sensitive to latency than others. Videoconferencing, streaming video, VOIP, things like that are killed by high latency. Web browsing, you don’t want your latency too high but a few hundred milliseconds here and there aren’t going to matter. Email and bittorrent, latency doesn’t matter in the least as long as it’s not measured in minutes (which it never is unless your connection is just plain broken).

Bandwidth, on the other hand, almost always matters. The cases where it doesn’t are sending just text – plain text email, text chat, things like that. I would not want to go to a super low latency 128kbps connection, for example.

Michael B (profile) says:

Same Old, Same Old

I recently made the mistake of switching (for a day or 2) to AT&T DSL Express, with a speed “up to” 1.5MBPS… got my wireless gateway (which they charged me $80 for, no rebate), hooked it up and got… 384KPBS! Their excuse… I was told I could get “up to” 1.5MBPS but it was not guaranteed. Canceled the service and returned the equipment (which AT&T has yet to credit me for, and can’t quite find the right department to handle the credit). It’s a joke!

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