British Broadband services are reported to be a shocking 40% slower than advertised. Recent investigations have found that the average broadband speed in the UK is 7Mbps, which is less than the 12Mbps that some providers claim to be able to offer the consumer. A quarter of people had no access to broadband where they lived.
Broadband blackspots also commonly exist in city centres. It’s commonly thought that it’s only rural customers are left frustrated by the lack of infrastructure for high speed internet. However, living in a city centre you could also be hit by poor broadband service and wind up paying just as much as those whose service is relatively good. Many customers are used to rebooting their broadband up to ten times per day.
BT’s retort is that a price freeze would mean that they would have to wait 12-14 years before seeing a return on their investments. A complete upgrade to fibre optic broadband could mean a bill of £30bn. The most dissatisfied customers are facing up to a 60% shortfall between real and advertised rates.
European and Asian broadband speeds are far higher, despite the fact that the British online economy is the most important in all of the G20 countries. Pricing announced for the new network has been controversial because of the doubled cost of using the new fibre infrastructure than BT is planning to roll out to two-thirds of the country by 2015.
However, Communications Minister Ed Vaizey maintains that the UK will have the best broadband network in Europe by the year 2015. The general public and technology commentators are however, not as optimistic and fear that the UK will become the laughing stock of the rest of the world if it cannot provide quick and reasonably priced broadband for its citizens.