Feeds

Define broadband please – CA

Trouble not the weary punters

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

UK consumers need a clear definition of broadband to prevent them from being misled.

That's according to the Consumers' Association (CA), which is concerned that there is "widespread confusion about the term 'broadband'".

Giving evidence yesterday to the Trade and Industry Select Committee inquiry into broadband, the CA said the term "broadband" is used to define a range of services with speeds of 128k upwards. But the watchdog argued that this only served to confuse consumers who found it difficult to compare different products and providers.

And it criticised Oftel, for the telecom regulator's indecision over a definition, saying that this "does not contribute to either regulatory clarity or public understanding of the term".

Instead, it called for a "meaningful" definition of broadband to be adopted by the industry that would help consumers make informed choices. One approach it favours is based on a clear understanding of what each product can do.

For example: tell consumers that it takes 30 minutes to download a four minute music track on a standard dial-up connection, 10 minutes on a 150k service, and 2-3 minutes on a 512k service.

"CA takes the view that a better definition of 'broadband' is only of limited use if it is not widely understood by consumers. Better consumer awareness of 'what broadband is' and 'what can I expect of it' will help consumers to make more informed choices, drive demand for services and products and so contribute to the development of UK broadband," said the CA.

Freeserve also called for a clearer definition echoing the CA's assertion that slower services marketed as "broadband" "may mislead consumers".

And it warned that if the market was to focus on those "cheap and cheerful" slower speed products then there is a risk that the UK "may fall behind its competitors" as a broadband-enabled nation. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Speak your brains on SIGNAL-FREE mobile comms
Readers chat to the pair who flog the tech
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?