Weekly Roundup

Download Speed From Personal Computer World 14/03/08:

"Broadband speeds don't live up to hype" (and since when was this new?)

Only one in 25 people subscribing to broadband services claiming data rates of 'up to' 16Mbits/sec get the full rated speed, according to a new survey. Just over seven in ten people with 512Mbit lines reported getting full speeds, with the figure trailing off to 23 percent at 4Mbit, 15 percent at 8Mbit and 4 percent at 16Mbits.

Is anyone surprised at this? Actually, call me a cynic, but I thought those figures were pretty good considering the shocking state of the broadband market. The timing of this story is bit ironic, really, given that an email from ’10 Downing Street’ dropped into my inbox on Friday morning. It was sent to bring my attention to the Government’s response to an online petition I signed on requiring ISPs to advertise the ‘actual’ download speed a customer can expect from their broadband package, not a theoretical maximum. Unsurprisingly, the official response was sufficiently vague, unspecific and non-committal to quell the immediate furore without committing themselves to any particular action.

If you’re wondering, “Ofcom has expressed concern to the ASA, and is in discussion with industry and consumer organisations to look into the other options that might be available to provide greater clarity for consumers and reduce the possibility of them being misled.”

Mac Book Air While listening to the Macbreak Weekly podcast earlier I heard a great anecdote involving a user of the gorgeously svelte but functionally-limited Macbook Air. Michael Nygard was at a US airport checking in and had taken his laptop out of its case to go through security. The advisor on duty saw something that he thought looked like a laptop but was impossibly thin. It didn’t have an optical drive, had no conventional ports at the back, no replaceable battery but featured a ‘couple of lines’ where the hard drive should be. It caused consternation between several of the security staff who examined the X-ray images of the suspicious item. After eventually realising it was in fact a computer and not a ‘device’, Nygard was cleared by security. Not before, though, the flight he was scheduled to catch had taken off.

You can read the full story on Michael Nygard’s blog post: “Steve Jobs made me miss my flight”.


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  2. Isn't the speed also dependent on the individual websites' bandwidth?

  3. Well, that's a factor in how quickly a webpage loads, of course. The whole broadband connection speed, though, refers to the speed you have connnected to your ISP.

    Line quality, 'contention' at the exchange, distance from the exchange, etc. all have a big effect too.


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