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Thursday, 24 July 2008

Broadband - Are We Getting What We Pay For?

I'm probably one of few who have two ISPs. I have Demon ADSL using copper wire and Virgin Media using Fibre Optic for my broadband at home.
I took out the Virgin Media because as a bundle with cable TV it was working out cheaply.

I just did a speed test at 4.30pm and the results are astonishing!

For Demon, I pay for an 8Mb connection but get 0.52Mb download. Upload was 0.36 Mb.
For Virgin Media, I pay for a 20Mb connection and get 17.98Mb download. Upload was 0.7Mb. To get these speeds with Virgin you need to make sure you're in an area that has fibre optic; don't go for the copper wire ADSL as it'll be just as slow as everyone else's.

This isn't Demon's fault as its the technology which is terrible. Using copper wire has many drawbacks; distance from phone exchange and number of people using the pipe. Most ISPs have a 50:1 contention ratio. Fibre Optic doesn't have these issues.

In this day and age of doing almost everything via the computer these slow speeds are crazy! Naturally for us upload is often more important and I use Virgin when filing from home or doing off site backups. Its so much quicker. As "Cloud" services begin to grow and we're beginning to use off site virtual storage providers, internet service providers really need to start looking at raising these upload speeds.

Copper wire is dead; bring on fibre optic for the masses.

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