Hang on a minute, Reg, have you got a spare Mullard OC51?
 A week or so ago my Broadband connection dwindled to a kind of droplet-like pizzle, about 0.03 of a megabit per second. Due credit to BT, I got an enormous amount of help from a chap in Derry who seemingly had it fixed within 24 hours. The thing is, I am getting nowhere near the headline advertised speeds. And neither is anybody else. An article in the Telegraph in July declared:
Householders are receiving less than half the the broadband speed they are paying for, according to an official report.
The average customer is now charged for a speed of up to 11.5 mbit/s, but receives just 5.2 mbit/s, Ofcom, the industry regulator found. 
Here the Telegraph publishes a map of broadband black spots. Being near Edinburgh, I fall into the 2-8Mbps band. My own connection is between 3 and 4 Mbps, and accordingly I suppose I should be grateful. It seems slow to me. And it is slow. Where do you think we are in the world rankings?

The unfortunately named Culture Secretary has outlined plans for expansion:
The culture secretary Jeremy Hunt is today setting out the coalition government's broadband strategy, setting a tentative date of 2015 to bring super-fast fibre broadband to between 85% and 90% of the UK, with the private sector shouldering the bulk of the burden. (Microscope)

Apparently Mr Hunt is going to shave off £300 million from the TV licence fee to pay for it. Applause!

As to the answer to the question, where are we in the world rankings, we are 27th out of 201 countries. We are behind Romania and Lativia who enjoy average speeds of 6.3Mbps and way behind South Korea who get 12 megabits per second. Out of the 100 top cities, no city in Britain figures on the list. Umea in Sweden tops the list in Europe.
There is no doubt in my mind that being left behind in the broadband race is going to seriously impact on our economy and our whole way of life.
Mind you, perhaps school children should learn to read first.


Richard said...

3 to 4 Mbps? Eeeh, we used to dream of 3 Mbps ...

I get 300 Kbps on a good day. One tenth of that sometimes. I don't do any bandwidth-hungry things like download movies, so the main irritation is that pages are sometimes slow to load, but other wise it's acceptable. Not that I would object to something faster. If ever I get annoyed, I think back to the days of dial-up, and thank the Lord for any kind of broadband.

Ruth@VS said...

Interesting map, it seems that I am doomed since not only my postcode but all adjacent ones are crap. Mind you, with BT in charge that's not a surprise, as it took them 2 weeks to replace my phone line as my house was "too low".
What strikes me is that cities clearly get the priority, highly populated areas outside major cities are condemned to slow speeds. My broadband had a hiccup this morning for about 20 minutes, it regularly does that these days, often several times a day.

Richard said...

Interesting map, indeed. I see that Pembroke has an average speed of 1.73 Mbps (correction: it is not the country town - Haverfordwest is that), which is no surprise. But the 'worst' according to the DT is Farningham with 1.3. So where does leave me, with 0.3 maximum?

OK, we are at the end of the copper cable, and 7 km from the exchange, so we know we are going to get the worst service. BT have told us that we shouldn't really be getting broadband at all, and that we should be grateful! I think the reason I am not upset is that I am still reeling from the huge jump in line speed we got when broadband came in. It changed the way I use the internet completely, and I am still grateful for that.