What is impacting on broadband speeds in the UK?

What is impacting on broadband speeds in the UK?

Last Thursday the BSG held a seminar with SamKnows, who were the technical partner on Ofcom’s Broadband Speeds 2008 report.

The seminar produced an interesting debate, with discussions ranging from issues of methodology and technical concerns, to the policy implications of the results generated in the report (James Enck at EuroTelcoblog has given his views on the evening).

One area that was of particular interest was the scatter graph (reproduced in the event handout) plotting line length versus average throughput speed. Although using straight line length (the straight line distance from a home to the exchange) rather than the actual line length, the level of variance in performance between lines of comparable length is pronounced.

We have commented before on this blog how difficult broadband is as a service to market, given the fact that the customer experience is to an extent out of the hands of the service provider.

Getting behind the reasons for this variance should be a central concern of policymakers and the industry alike. The causes of the variance could have important implications for the development of public and regulatory policymaking in this area. We wait to see what Ofcom’s second report on broadband speeds is able to say on this.

Peter Shearman, Policy Manager, BSG

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Comments (2)

  • Andrew Ferguson

    Using a straight line distance is heavily flawed, as line lengths can vary greatly for properties the same radial distance from the exchange.

    Additionally there are issues such as ring wire effects (I-Plate fixes this), unfiltered devices etc to take into account.

    March 9, 2009 at 8:58 am
  • PhilT

    Crow flies distance is at least an available statistic from the postcode of the customer. Obviously it has its limitations but you have to start somewhere.

    March 10, 2009 at 9:18 am

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