back to article 'Fibre broadband' should mean glass wires poking into your router, reckons Brit survey

Most Brits think ads for “fibre” broadband ought to mean “fibre to the premises” and not “fibre to the cabinet”, according to a survey sponsored by a FTTP company. Two-thirds of 3,400 Britons surveyed by a company called Censuswide, on behalf of Cityfibre, said they think the word “fibre” in ads for broadband connections …

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Re: Is it important?

@ Halcin: Yes! This is yet another example of the reprehensible behavior of marketing skum. It is not acceptable to confuse, bamboozle, trick people into buying one thing by insinuating it's another.

Well put. Sadly with politicians working by the same principles there seems little chance of legislation being enacted to put a stop to it. For a politician it is acceptable to confuse, bamboozle, trick people into buying one thing by insinuating it's another.

What chance of a remedy when the words "pot, kettle, and black" are so apposite...

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Re: I suspect that as a percentage of the total the number is quite small.

@commswonk. I didn't think you were asking about how small the numbers were, just where does it make a difference. The survey shows people do understand somewhat the details of how the connection is made, the implications of that, and how it doesn't marry up with the advertising. Do people care if they are getting what they understand the salesdroid is flogging them? Yes, it seems; in the majority at least now.

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Re: Is it important?

How many home users have the traffic to saturate a 1Gps link?

That's the key question. Yes, in an ideal world we would all have our Copper swapped for glass the next time an Openreach van parks up by the cabinet, but in the real world only two things matter in the domestic sense:

  • cost
  • is it "good enough" for 99% of subscribers

Fibre to the Cabinet is - relative to Fibre to the Premises - cheap to install (particularly thinking of retrofits) and will satisfy 99% of subscribers who only really care about being able to stream Netflix and play an online game without too much lag, and don't want to pay through the nose for it. Even if a section of the Copper cable ends up being replaced, this is a relatively quick and easy job.

Let's face it, for many purposes 10Mbit/s (down) is just about adequate* and 20Mbit/s would satisfy most people. FTTC speeds usually start at 20Mbps and in some circumstances could potentially reach 100Mbps.

In other words, I imagine that policy makers think that at present there is no overwhelmingly pressing need for everyone to have FTTP, and they can have a much bigger, cheaper and quicker immediate impact on most people by upgrading their ADSL or ADSL2 to FTTC. Unless someone comes along with a "big vision", or until some must-have application comes along that requires higher speeds for all houses, FTTP will continue to be expensive and rolled out extremely slowly.

M.

*My own ADSL2 syncs at somewhere south of 8Mbps and when it's working well I get a throughput of between 6 and 7Mbps. We don't do online gaming or streaming 4k video, but it's only in the last year or so - as three of my offspring are now in secondary school - that we occasionally get "it's being a bit slow today dad". Frankly though, (video aside) they are patient enough not to mind waiting two or three seconds longer for a web page to download than they would if we were on FTTC, which is available at our cabinet, but would add £6 to the monthly cost, for an estimated 38Mbps.

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Re: Is it important?

"...if you're buying your own modem / router."

Our ISP (Bell Fibe) provided the ONT and the first router. I left their router in place as it's sufficient and seems reliable. Their provided router is connected to my 24-port Gb switch, which then connects to my three other WiFi routers (covering the entire 2.4 GHz band, plus a couple of 5 GHz channels) as well as numerous wired devices. One of the routers has a Yagi antenna aimed at the lake. There are two or three additional Gb switches. Everything is wired up with STP (Cat 5e/6) Gb cables. I had to ensure that the IP addresses, WiFi channels and DHCP settings in the multiple routers didn't conflict.

Point being, you can have both: their provide router and your own additional routers and switches.

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Re: I suspect that as a percentage of the total the number is quite small.

The survey shows people do understand somewhat the details of how the connection is made, the implications of that, and how it doesn't marry up with the advertising

It would be surprising indeed if the survey had not shown that a majority of punters understood and agreed with the commercial agenda of the organisation which commissioned the survey. I mean, we all understand what they are getting at and the legitimate point they are making but the survey is, at heart, a piece in a PR campaign

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Re: the survey is, at heart, a piece in a PR campaign

Fair comment. The number of times I've been asked a sucker sales question disguised as a survey...

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Re: Is it important?

>Even with satellite there are speed limitations.

You sure you've ever used a satellite link?

The thing that makes them tortuous to use is the latency. You might be able to torrent something down in a reasonable time - just don't expect to be using them for anything that requires any degree of real-time interaction.

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Re: Is it important?

And for only 50 CHF/month. So much for competition and EU regulation.

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Re: Is it important?

Even on a 200m copper run (120m overhead, 80m u/g) I get quite a lot of variation. I got FTTC service very quickly when they re-parented my formerly EO DP onto the local cabinet. It started off with a raw downstream speed of ~112Mbit/s, upstream around 30Mbit/s. Then, as more of the houses nearby came on the downstream speed has steadily dropped so the best is now 90Mbit/s, but that also varies with an SNR margin that goes up and down. Why, I have no idea - it's unlikely to be water as it hasn't rained here for weeks. I'm assuming BT haven't switched on vectoring yet.

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Re: I suspect that as a percentage of the total the number is quite small.

Actually the survey clearly shows the exact opposite - that people DO NOT understand the details of the connection. The proof of that is that they think that "fibre" means fibre all of the way to the premises when in fact only 3% of the country has that infrastructure, and if they DID understand the details then they wouldn't be confused about the difference between FTTP and FTTC.

People may think that they care, and say that they do, but that is usually because they have been confused by the marketing hype. All they REALLY care about is that they can stream their cat videos and porn without interruption. The method of delivery is as meaningless as the video codec used - as long as the video flows they really don't care how it was encoded or compressed.

Yes, FTTP is nice. I have it as several of my locations. Every building can have their own light channel all of the way to the headend, on a circuit that is not subject to RF interference and new enough that the problems that face aging infrastructure such as water incursion aren't going to be a major problem.

However, most people don't actually want to PAY for it if less expensive alternatives that are "almost" as good are available.

In my experience if a consumer is provided with two choices, even if one is clearly superior to the other, then they will still usually choose the less expensive one (and then complain because it isn't as good as the more expensive one).

I am all for clear and accurate advertising so that consumers can make informed decisions. However, instead of worrying about HOW the product is delivered, why not concentrate on the product itself? Advertise true rates, have actual service level agreements with committed information rates, and let the consumer decide. If you have a 1 GB low-latency low-jitter circuit do you really care if it is handed off to you as fibre, coax, or twisted pair? If so, then you should ask yourself why, because the only difference is marketing hype.

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Facepalm

Re: the survey is, at heart, a piece in a PR campaign

The number of times I've been asked a sucker sales question disguised as a survey...

I just say, "What are you trying to sell me???"

99% of the time, they hang up.

Those that remain I say,

"I don't answer surveys truthfully and my name is Glenda so bog off!"

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Re: Is it important?

“...(covering the entire 2.4 GHz band” — that’s a bit selfish and pointless

“, plus a couple of 5 GHz channels” — why?

“...One of the routers has a Yagi antenna aimed at the lake.” — what lake? Why?

“There are two or three additional Gb switches. “ - why? What’s the point you’re making?

“Everything is wired up with STP (Cat 5e/6) Gb cables.” — why STP?

“I had to ensure that the IP addresses, “ — well, yes, this is standard stuff

“WiFi channels” — So?

“ and DHCP settings in the multiple routers didn't conflict. “ — why are you using DHCP settings in multiple routers? Have you not understood the point of a LAN?

Finally, why do you use their router anyway? None of what you’ve written makes sense outside the context of someone who just likes to throw their money around at routers.

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Pint

Re: Is it important?

Anthony Hedgehog grumbled: "...covering the entire 2.4 GHz band - a bit selfish and pointless..."

Since we live on 3.5 acres of lakefront sprawl (BTW, minutes from everywhere), we can barely detect the WiFi signals of our neighbours, and therefore it's safe to assume that they can barely detect ours. So the band is effectively ours within our extensive grounds. As we have at least 4-5 heavy users in the household, using several channels spreads the load. I have my own channel (hot spot), so the kidiots and I do not bother each other. Everybody is happy. The several 5 GHz channels come free with dual-band routers.

"...Yagi... Why?" We live on lakefront. Our nice picnic spot is about 150m away from the house. The several hotspots have weak signals at the hammock. Turn on the extra router with the Yagi, and the Internet is available at the lakeside with a strong reliable signal.

"...additional Gb switches...?" Gb switches allow a single cable to service (for example) a kidiot's bedroom that has a half-dozen wired devices. So run *one* $30 Cat 6 STP cable up to the room, and then the $20 Gb switch can feed multiple gadgets. Cable is more expensive than a nice cheap Switch. Basic economic advantage of a hub-and-spoke physical cable architecture.

"...why STP?" Shielded cables should have reduced RF noise, to reduce the risk of interference to HF radio equipment (shortwave). Also, the overall shield might reduce damage from nearby lightning strikes (which has happened).

"DHCP...?" Multiple LANs. It's possible to design it wrong; but I've not done so. Works great, except a couple of the cheap and cheerful routers have rubbish firmware that falls over once a month or so.

"...throw their money around..." Ah, nobody can squeeze a dollar like me. The several routers were always bought on sale at deep discount (barely cracks $100 in total). The 24- and 16-port Gb Switches were bought defective dirt cheap and I repaired them (replaced a capacitor in the power supply and installed new fans). The 8-port Gb switches are often on sale as cheap as chips (well under $20).

Total cost of the *entire* network is comparable to one expensive router as some may choose. So your conclusion is incorrect.

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Re: Is it important?

"Then, as more of the houses nearby came on the downstream speed has steadily dropped so the best is now 90Mbit/s, but that also varies with an SNR margin that goes up and down. Why, I have no idea"

I've seen that too - started at 100Mb/s capable (80Mb delivered) and is now down to 68Mb/s delivered.

The SNR variation is mostly due to thermal cycling of the overhead line along with various routers being turned on/off (some people insist on doing this when not in use despite it being a bad idea)

Vectoring is a workaround at best.

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Re: Is it important?

Yes, but... realistically how many broadband consumers do buy their own?

Indeed, not many do - but some of us do. But I suspect that in most cases, FTTP would be terminated by OpenRetch's NTE - breaking out a voice service (carried as VoOP but presented as POTS) and presenting the data service over ethernet on copper.

That I would have no problem with - over the sort of lengths needed, running IP over ethernet over copper offers no restriction in data rates (gigabit ethernet will easily run around a typical house over Cat5e or Cat6).

In fact, as the network is likely to roll out, it is essential that OpenRetch have control of the optical termination. AIUI the bulk of connections will be on a passively shared fibre. This requires that each termination uses it's own specific frequency - and managing this really requires that ONE body have control over all the connected devices. While purists may complain, it makes sense to share fibres like this - the alternative is a heck of a lot of fibres going into the exchange, and while ripping copper out would leave a lot of frame space, it's going to make the network a lot more affordable.

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Fibre is Fibre

Like the ingredients on the side of the tin, it should be clear what we are getting for our money. This also helps the layman to compare two services and see if they are really an apples for apples before they choose the cheapest one (as always happens)

FTTC is a good start, FTTP is definitely the longer-term technology, but still leaves the problem of emergency calls and actually pulling in the replacement fibre, so both products have a place.

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Pint

Re: Fibre is Fibre

Dwarf noted, "FTTP....leaves the problem of emergency calls..."

Bell Fibe (a.k.a. FibreOP) provides a battery backed-up (lead acid 7 A-hr) power supply for the Optical Network Terminal (ONT). The Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) is served directly from the ONT (two 6P4C "RJ11" sockets directly on the ONT). Household telephones don't notice any change, except that the sound quality is typically better and the extra services are nice (e.g. emailed wav files of telephone messages). I assume that the local Central Office (CO) and network also has extensive power back-up systems.

Worst case, there are more than several mobile phones in the house. We don't really require 99.999% reliability on our landline these days. 99.99% is fine.

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Re: Fibre is Fibre

"Worst case, there are more than several mobile phones in the house. We don't really require 99.999% reliability on our landline these days. 99.99% is fine."

Yes, but it's what causes that 0.001%.

If that is caused by fire then you *really* need it at that exact moment.

Now the other question is... how many people have a telephone that isn't dependant on the mains now? Mine is...

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Re: telephone that isn't dependant on the mains

My mobile isn't dependant on the mains, as long as I don't let it run out of battery at least.

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Pint

Re: Fibre is Fibre

John RObinson offered, "...Yes, but it's what causes that 0.001%. If that is caused by fire..."

I cannot decipher what you're referring to, neither mathematically nor logically.

Math: 99.999% contrasted with 99.99% has nothing to do with "0.001%". Perhaps 0.009%, but not "0.001%". Where did "0.001%" come from? With rounding, I'll grant you 0.01%.

Logic: "causes that 0.001%....caused by fire..." Huh? What's on fire, my fiber optic telephone service? If anything, the lead acid battery presents a tiny risk of fire, but since it's a pure DC UPS, the reliability is vastly better than a typical AC UPS. What are you trying to say here? I cannot parse any meaning.

And yes, we have a desk telephone that is not reliant on AC power.

If our house is on fire, we'd pick up the desk phone and make a call. Failing that, we'd switch to one of the several mobile phones. Failing that, I have additional options that I'll not go into any details about.

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Re: Fibre is Fibre

JeffyPooh - I'm not a Robinson, but hey...

The point was that I think that most people have landlines which are dependent on mains power already.

One of the arguments for the POTS lines has always been that they give you a phone line which 'just works' in the event of an emergency. And a fire is one thing that is likely to take out your electricity supply. SO it doesn't really matter what the overall reliability is, the reliability * frequency of needing to call the services is a terrible measure. I don't care if a device is 99.999% reliable if the 'other bit' is inevitable when there is a situation I need to call the emergency services.

One of the issues is 'power loss can stop me calling the emergency services', and power loss is frequently associated with a fire (which is something I want to make that call for)

If most people's landlines (as I suspect) are mains dependent - then the POTS vs Fibre discussion possibly doesn't need to consider the 'power loss emergency services' issue, because it's just covered by mobile phones now.

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Re: telephone that isn't dependant on the mains

My mobile isn't dependant on the mains

I bet the residents of Lancaster thought that !

http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/media/lancaster-university/content-assets/documents/engineering/RAEngLivingwithoutelectricity.pdf

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Business view

I used to build trading floors, including the provision of networks. If the client specified a fibre network and I had a hybrid fibre/copper network installed, I could guess the reaction. My clients would have sued my company.

Having copper for the "final half-mile" is not a fibre circuit. The ASA has had professionals telling them they are wrong for the past decade or so. Like all bureaucracies, they get stubborn when they know they are in the wrong.

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Re: Business view

But trading floors pay bookoo bucks for their bandwidth. And they can usually afford good lawyers. Compare with the average consumer who's going to demand cheap.

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FAIL

It matters to me

Having been converted from a 900m-ish EO (Exchange Only) line, the fibre from the exchange now runs all of 20m to a newly installed cabinet in the exchange car park!

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Re: It matters to me

Same here. XD

(I actually was tempted to just throw some cat 5 over the fence, would give me theoretically whatever I want, providing they let me plug it in!)

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Headmaster

"last few hundred yards being served"

If you're not going to use The Register standard units of measurement (in this case, length in linguine), then at the very least you should be using the metric system and using metres. We haven't left the EU yet, y'know!

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Hyperoptic

The apartment building wher eI live has Hyperoptic as the provider. Blooming marvellous, compared to the awful ADSL service which went before, and would stop working on hot days. Far too many connections multiplexed onto Docklands infrastrucure which went all the way back to the Bermondsey exchange. I saw the excuse was that in the Docks era all the warehouses had alarm lines via telephone. These could not have junction boxes in the streets, as the crims would bypass the alarm.

Anyway - Hyperoptic runs a fat fibre connection to the basement of the building. Every flat gets a Ct5 cable back to the router in the basement. Works great and I was able to stream the 4K test signal from the BBC.

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Headmaster

Re: Hyperoptic

So your hyperoptic connection is not fibre then?

The fibre comes into your building and the connection to your premises is copper.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hyperoptic

Having been a technical consultant on the other side of the table from Hyperoptic when they've come to pitch here and there, all I will say is that Hyperoptic are not the panacea and there is a lot of "hype" associated with their "optic".

For a number of reasons (which I shall not go into here, as my knowledge and experience comes with a price tag attached) lets just say there were a number of things I was "not too keen on", and to this day, despite having been across the table from them multiple times, they continue to duck and dive away from answering.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hyperoptic

>Every flat gets a Ct5 cable back to the router in the basement.

They most certainly DO NOT install a whopping great 200 port enterprise router in the basement. ;-)

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Re: Hyperoptic

"They most certainly DO NOT install a whopping great 200 port enterprise router in the basement. ;-)"

They might. Depends on what the punters there are paying.

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Re: Hyperoptic

> "They might. Depends on what the punters there are paying."

With all due respect. If you have seen the Hyperoptic price points, you would know what a stupid comment that is. Two plus two does not equal a million.

Remember, Hyperoptic want to flog you the concept of the gigabit dream for stupid per month. The idea of lavish kit in the basement will be the first thing to go out the window.

No great big enterprise boxes in basements. End of story.

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Re: Hyperoptic

There is a standard sized wall-mounted cabinet in the basement. I have never had a close look at what is in there.

The babinet is about 10U high, so you are right it probably does not have a whopping big enterprise router in there.

Actually the cabinet is in the underground car park and cables go off up the cable risers to each floor. I would say you are correct, and there must be some small switch in each riser, so each set of apartments is connected to a leaf switch.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hyperoptic

@HPCJohn

That is indeed a more realistic description, a bunch of 24/48 port 1U switches.

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Re: Hyperoptic

Thanks AC. I have installed and configured my fair share of 48 port switches, most recently Mellanox 10Gbps switches.

The cabinet looks like a standard wall mount comms cabinet to me, and as it is mounted high up I have never really been curious enough to go poking in it. 200 CAt5 cables is quite bulky. I guess I only need to count the cables coming out of the box.

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Re: Hyperoptic

No great big enterprise boxes in basements

Not needed. They can put the smarts at the "exchange" end, and all the local device needs to do is basic routing. I used to manage a campus network on a science park, fibre round the park, copper to the end users. The main router/switch really didn't need to do much at all - we just had a VLAN/customer and piped that to the right port on an edge switch. In our case we just had a /23 to the site and routed a /29 or /30 to each customer - but regardless of how the IP addressing is done, it really doesn't need a "great big enterprise box" at the customer site, even in a 200 unit apartment block.

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What were the actual questions? All of them.

This was sponsored by Cityfibre. Any competent survey company can get the results their sponsor wants by choosing the questions and reporting the answers for the last one. Without seeing what was done to prime the respondents we've no idea as to whether this was done or not.

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Fibre broadband should mean FTTP

... I agree.

In terms of miles from browser to, say, google, the difference in total fibre length between FTTC and ADSL is probably a couple of miles - likely less than 5% of the total.

But who wouldn't expect BT to polish a turd when there's an opportunity to grab tax payers' dosh.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fibre broadband should mean FTTP

<quote>But who wouldn't expect BT to polish a turd when there's an opportunity to grab tax payers' dosh.</quote>

Got to say i'm getting a nice 336.61 Mbps on BT Ultrafast (G.fast service) at the moment so they seem to be doing it well.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fibre broadband should mean FTTP

336 down is nice, but what is your uplink speed? It could well be below what you would get on FTTC and so lead to worse speeds overall depending on your usage.

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Re: Fibre broadband should mean FTTP

IIRC G.fast is still FTTC and only contains perhaps 2-3 miles more fibre than ADSL.

A quick turd is still a turd. Especially when given money to provide infrastructure by advertising "fibre".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fibre broadband should mean FTTP

G.fast has no more fibre than FTTC with how BT are implementing it. All they are doing is adding another box onto the side of the existing cabinets. They are putting anything any closer to the premises as that was rejected as being too expensive.

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Do these fibre companies have a Universal Service Obligation? No, thought not.

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Past a point, Bandwidth is academic

It's a minor bugbear of mine, not helped by 10 years in fixed line sales, that calling something 'superfast' because it's high bandwidth is also misleading. Bandwidth does not equal speed - it's just capacity, which itself is a contended thing on looped domestic services.

True enough, if you're downloading endless cat memes, a 250mbps broadband is 'fast'. However, if you're doing latency sensitive applications (such as FPS gaming), then it's academic whether you've got 2.5, 25, or 250mbps when the carrier takes >20m/s to shove your packet from the south coast, up the country via various congested routes, then hand it to Telia for a cross North Sea jaunt to Amsterdam... with a high chance of dropping said packet somewhere on the way.

If you're really stuck for several hours frustration, ring your broadband provider tech support and complain of packet loss. Once you've gone round the off and on loop several times, they'll default to sending an engineer out to the house... even when you're telling them that you can see it's the local switch and not the poxy Superhub 3 tat.

/and breathe

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Pint

Re: Past a point, Bandwidth is academic

Salestard suggested, "Past a point, bandwidth is academic."

But the value of that "point" is a function of time (year on year).

1 Mbps would have been the end of the world in 1990.

10 Mbps would have been the end of the world in 2000.

100 Mbps would have been the end of the world in 2010.

1 Gbps would probably still be quite satisfactory in 2020.

Appears to be x10 in just a bit less than 10 years.

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Eir, Vodafone & Sky

Basically ALL the DSL sellers claim their broadband is "fibre broadband".

My fibre broadband is VDSL and only marginally faster than the ADSL2+ it replaced. It's 900m of copper from exchange. I pointed out that some exchanges had fibre even when they only offered ISDN back in early 2000s.

One Wireless operator claiming it's Fibre.

Three claims to sell High speed broadband. They have NO broadband. That is their WiFi hotspot fed by Mobile. Mobile can sometimes offer ADSL2+ speeds, but rarely and is never broadband.

The ASAI and the Regulator don't care.

One area where EU direct Regulators and enforcement might be better.

The Irish Financial Regulator allowed Anglo Irish.

Irish Data Commissioner has to be taken to court to investigate Facebook etc.

Ofcom supported Mobile companies and lobbied AGAINST abolishing voice and data roaming in EU.

See "Regulatory Capture", also the Regulators are supposed to be be independent. They are not. Comms is still controlled by treasury / finance Dept interests.

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Re: Eir, Vodafone & Sky

"Three claims to sell High speed broadband. They have NO broadband. That is their WiFi hotspot fed by Mobile. Mobile can sometimes offer ADSL2+ speeds, but rarely and is never broadband."

As much as I love to bash misleading headlines like "Fibre broadband" when they're inaccurate, describing a 4G SIM card powered WiFi hotspot as high speed broadband could well be considered one of the more accurate statements.

I can't speak to Three's network specifically, but I've just done a Speedtest on my mobile which is on EE with 4 out 5 bars signal with 4G connection and got 122Mbps down 6.88Mbps up. By many people's standards this would be considered high speed and well in excess of anything ADSL2+ can provide at least on the downstream side.

Clearly this is dependent on the mobile signal available where you place the 4G device, but this isn't significantly different to the caveats of copper line quality for supposed "Fibre" broadband. At least in this case they aren't claiming the product uses a technology or transmission medium that it doesn't

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Re: Eir, Vodafone & Sky

Quote: "Three claims to sell High speed broadband. They have NO broadband. That is their WiFi hotspot fed by Mobile. Mobile can sometimes offer ADSL2+ speeds, but rarely and is never broadband."

Not sure I follow you here?

As far as I can see, 3G & 4G etc fall squarely into the broadband category, as unless your local cell tower is getting turned off regularly, it's an always on service, and that's what defines a service as being broadband (i.e. if you are not dialing up, its broadband, irrespective of the underlying technology).

As for the high speed, that obviously is going to depend on local service, near my home I can get 40Mbps up and down without issue, here in the office that drops to about 7Mbps up and down.

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Re: Eir, Vodafone & Sky

Actually there is a simple definition of what 'broadband' actually means.

It means that there are multiple carrier frequencies running over the transmission media. Basically frequency division multiplexing (FDM).

In the dim and distant past, when thick and thin wire Ethernet or Token Ring was the main data networking technology, this used time division multiplexing, sometimes called narrow-band, because there was only one digital data stream, and each network station got a share of the total available.

Cable TV started using multiple frequencies over coaxial cable to provide analogue cable TV, which was the first time many people outside of the comms. industry would have come across 'broadband' (unless you count ordinary OTA analogue TV).

One place I worked, we had a data network that ran over coaxial cable with multiple data channels being carried (multiplexed) on different frequencies down the cable (actually it was a hybrid system, because there was TDM being done on each of the FDM channels).

All *DSL systems are broadband, there being multiple carrier frequencies being sent down the 'phone line. DOCSIS is broadband because of there being multiple carrier frequencies over the cable.

Interestingly, most Fibre is also broadband, because the carriers use multiple frequencies of laser light down the Fibre, although it is not clear to me whether this is what is delivered in FTTP (it definitely is in the backhaul or core network). I did read a description that suggested that the down path on FTTP was shared TDM spread over multiple FDM carrier frequencies, and the up path was FDM, with each customer having their own frequency. This means that it is possible to split and combine the different feeds using passive optical splitter nodes at the pole/distribution point, and only need expensive powered switches at the cabinet.

I'm not sure whether 4G counts as broadband. There are definitely multiple carrier frequencies being transmitted and received, so I suppose that it must by the definition I gave at the beginning of this post.

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