I have the internet!

Posted: October 1, 2010 by Adam in Adam's Blue Air
Tags: , , , , ,
At last I have the internet in my flat! Well its only taken a year… This has two distinct advantages. Namely that I now will be able to update the blog more regularly and it gives me an excuse to write something about a report by Ofcom over the summer regarding broadband speed.
So often Ofcom, the independent telecommunications regulator and competition authority for the communication industry in the UK, has had to step in to deal with the mess created by the communication industry. For example today (1.10.2010) Ofcom has published a report on silent calls. The main focus being on preventing these phone mosquitoes from using answer phone detection equipment more than once a day. As great as this is earlier on in the year Ofcom published something a little closer to my heart…
If any of you have ever tried to sort out your own internet it is an invariable mine field of confusing information, mind boggling service layouts and fixed contract periods only suitable to those planning to live in their student flat until the end of time itself. So what could possibly make this process worse? Imagine you have just gone to a communications provider, lets call them BS T, they tell you that they will provide you with a faster service with more free shit then their rivals Sk(y)am and at a significantly reduced price, which you can opt out of at any point if you are dissatisfied with the service. Sadly once you have spent the better part of a weekend setting up the wireless box, and your girlfriend has left you or died of boredom, you find that instead of having lightning fast internet you actually can’t even load the Google home page.
In fact what you have been given is an internet connection which looks like it has been based on the ‘future’ interpretation in Back to the Future or Blade Runner. Calling up won’t help. I will say no more on that, all they will say is that the service in your area is slow and that lots of people are trying to use the internet at the same time so speeds will drop. WHAT? Sorry so in order to get a fast connection I have to move to a desert island?
The report from Ofcom has quite brilliantly pointed out that the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) should actually be cracking down on this sort of stuff. Ofcom has wryly suggested that advertised broadband speeds are in fact a load of tosh and ‘Speeds should only be advertised if at least some consumers are actually able to achieve the advertised speeds’. Ohhh snap! It is annoying that it takes another regulatory body to inform a regulatory body that it should really be putting the stop things which are a load of misleading bollocks.
Ofcom is now revamping the Code of Conduct for the service providers and suggesting changes to the way that broadband is sold. This might include a ‘common currency’ so that broadband consumers will be able to see what they will and will not be able to receive according to Ed Richards the head of Ofcom. It transpires that people like myself who are meant to receive around 8Mbps actually receive something in the region of 3-4Mbps. Look at the graph from Ofcom below.
Sadly looks like yet again Branson is the only one doing things properly. Planes, trains, broadband is there nothing Virgin can’t do properly? Might see what this Virgin Space stuff is all about, oh no wait me and two other people in Greater Manchester want to use the internet, best get in the queue…

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