Feeds

Define broadband please – CA

Trouble not the weary punters

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
YOU are the threat: True confessions of real-life sysadmins
Who will save the systems from the men and women who save the systems from you?
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Ofcom snatches 700MHz off digital telly, hands it to mobile data providers
Hungry mobe'n'slab-waving Blighty swallows spectrum
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.