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back to article EU watchdogs aim for broadband equality

EU competition regulators are preparing new rules that will aim to rein in the incumbent operators it says are stymying internet uptake and creating a two-speed Europe. In a statement, commissioner Viviane Reding said an unacceptable gap had developed between highly competitive broadband markets like the UK and those in newer …

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Unhappy

I don't care how many people can sell me access t'internet...

... if it's coming through BT's crappy infrastructure and I can barely get 512kbps.

I'm hardly in the middle of nowhere either, I'm in the centre of Cambridge - supposedly one of the UKs centres of high-tech goodness... (No, there is no cable on my street. The 19th century technology of copper wire is all I get).

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Agreed, if the providers are crap who cares?

I'm presently in an 8Mb contract with Toucan where I'm getting 3.5Mbps tops and am in a dispute with a provider that has some of the most appalling customer service and tech support I've ever seen.

Sadly many of their competitors are either other brands of Tiscali or Fast4 or have massive lock-in. Once I'm free of Toucan I'll have another look around. I'm told Be is quite good; even BT would be appealing, but an 18-month lock-in isn't.

Competition only means anything if consumer rights are protected and many of the contracts are written such that once you agree and get past the cooling off period you can have completely crap service, but as long as it meets the definition of broadband (I think that's still 512Kbps here) you're pretty well stuffed as there's no requirement to provide the maximum speed or anything very close to it. Either we need regulated minimum connect speeds or we need better rights to terminate contracts with providers.

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Pirate

A competitive ISP market

means absolutely nothing if the product they're fighting over does not deliver what they advertise.

Please will some brave ISP actually put their money where their mouth is, cough up for the necessary backbone, and get rid of this ridiculous 'fair use' crap?

Oh, and fibre to the doorstep would be nice, too...

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Competitive? How?

They all have the same sort of crud in their ToS (why do they care if I'm making illegal calls over their network: the police will get me for that, so why do they want to be able to sue me for breach of contract too?). They have 8Mbps links that you can only download 2GB on (so no BBC iPlayer) and stop P2P (so no downloading movies: hey, if it's licensed, the media is irrelevant. as long as I've a license, downloading isn't a problem).

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Nice try

...but pretty pointless considering the antiquated BT infrastructure getting in the way. Fibre optic feeds to domestic premises, anyone? Equal up and down rates?

Only seems like yesterday when the trumpets were Blairing (fnar) about "Broadband Britain". Oh, how we laughed.

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Thumb Down

all political rhetoric

.. with very little concept beyond "competition, competiton" ... which brings its own problems and has helped create the problem.

In Spain where the incumbent telco is the appalling Telefonica, who put profit before everything, people can wait up to 2 years for a new line and that is for voice!!

Few non-cities have any kind of broadband and the dont have a work list for switching them over.

This is happening because of competition whereby Telefonica provide a line and people immediately switch to another carrier so the telco loose on the costs of putting a line in, which can be expensive due to the size of the country and the fact that its quite mountainous. This has led to underinvestment in the network and a very low broadband penetration rate.

.. .so really how good the grail of "competition" is, can vary widely and it is definitely not the magic solution its sold as! (rather like public private partnership).

Its a way for politicians to say its not their fault, and not their responsibility - its the market forces! ... more BS!

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Flame

@Sean Aaron

I think Be are pretty good even if they do have a damn silly name. Unfortunately, you are still susceptible to the shittyness of BT. I recommended them to my mum, but she still can't get a connection because BT still haven't fixed a fault on her line (we're pretty sure it's down to BT since the vox line is wonky too).

The only way to be truly free of BT's infrastructure is to go with Cable & Wirele- I mean NTL/Telew- I mean Virgin Media. But that's a bit like swallowing a mongoose to kill the snake you had for lunch.

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Anonymous Coward

Title

What Competition!!!! I can only get 115K Downloads speeds + No Mobile Signal. The UK's telecoms industry is a joke.

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