Broadband speeds

After being told about a news broadcast on BBC Radio 2 regarding how slow Britain is in the broadband department compared to other countries, including some European countries, I decided to blog this.

Apparently some countries, such as Japan, Korea, Finland and Sweden offer 100Mbps connection by means of fibre optic networks.
Subscribers to these networks can upload at the same speed as they download which is not possible with regular cable connections such as ADSL (over a phone line).
Their blinding speeds (compared to ours) are said to be the best speeds at the lowest prices, and yet the excuse given for us not having it here is that “It’s not a viable option”

Click here for ‘Global Broadband prices revealed’

It was mentioned that in the UK “There is a huge gap between advertised broadband speeds and the actual speeds users can achieve”.
I am personally paying for a package that offers up to 8Mb, but what I actually get is half Meg Broadband. I am told this is due to the fact that the actual speed I can receive is down to the what the nearest exchange to me can deliver. Living in a field as I do, it is no surprise that my local exchange (situated in a relatively small village) can not deliver the full 8Mb that I am I offered by my ISP until BT get around to upgrading the exchange to be able to do so.
Even those people I know personally (friends & family) who are on the 8Mb deal still very rarely actually get the full 8Mb, most often they get around 5Mb if they’re lucky.

According to an article I read, BT is currently upgrading its exchanges to allow for broadband speeds of up to 24Mbps which will be made available from early 2008. Click here to read that article.
They claim this upgrading is part of their 21st Century Network Programme. I find that almost an insult, that they are upgrading to offer us (some who are lucky enough to live in an area capable of delivering) 24Mbps speeds like it is some great new groundbreaking technological breakthrough that we should be in awe of, when other countries are already receiving 100Mbps speeds through fibre networks.

I wonder what this new amazing 24Mb speed is likely to cost us. I already feel cheated because I’m paying the same as someone who actually gets close to 8Mb broadband (maybe 5Mb or 6Mb) when all I get is 512k. That’s the price I pay for living in the country. BT obviously don’t see us (country folk) as important enough to spend the money on upgrading the smaller exchanges to bring us up to the speed we should be getting anyway, but don’t mind spending however much it will cost to upgrade those already getting 8Mb to 24Mb.
What’s the betting I’ll still be on 512k when the larger towns & cities are on 24Mb?

Why don’t they spend the money on fibre networks and have done with it? They wont have to replace that no matter how fast we eventually get.

Click here for ‘Broadband speeds under scrutiny’.

It’s likely that I will expand on this subject in time, but for now I would be interested to hear your views. Are you getting the full speed you were offered? Please feel free to comment on any aspect of this subject.