Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Digital Britain

The government's oft repeated promises of creating a "digital Britain", fit for business in the 21st century, seem to have fallen a little flat if the findings of the report issued by Ofcom are anything to go by.

Over 50% of broadband users in Britain are receiving less than half the speed promised by their providers. At least half of users of services that offer "up to 8 Mbps" receive a typical speed of 3.9Mbps.

The further away a customer lives from the telephone exchange, or if they use the service between 8pm and 10pm, the slower the speed.

Copper wire, instead of cable broadband, also kills the speed of download.

Needless to say, being a British regulator, Ofcom couldn't quite bring itself to accuse the "service providers" of mis-selling their service.

The Advertising Standards Agency is also happy to play "sleepy old watchdog", and claims that marketing which gives an "up to" figure is not misleading.

Doubtless Britain will, one day, have a digital service fit for the 21st century. Unfortunately that day will probably dawn in the 22nd century. Much like the trains, the plans and money allocated to implement "modernisation/service improvement" plans will only ever produce a third rate service.

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