2.5 Mbps with bursts at 100 Mbps is "higher than anyone currently needs"

19 Jun

BT took some flack about Ebbsfleet again last week (see Experts Question BBC's Fiber Trial). An analyst described Ebssfleet as "the slowest service in Europe". And indeed, 2.5Mbps down with 100 Mbps bursts makes it puny in comparison of whatever is offered in the Netherlands of France, let alone Sweden.

So they didn't go for next generation speeds. Verizon doesn't either (although they do go a little higher these days). I can understand that they wouldn't want to send a message to their 4bn current customers that the speeds they get are outdated, but testing higher capacity services could also have demonstrated to the market that Virgin Media is not the only company capable of delivering 25 Mbps +.

Still, I can sort of understand it.

What's more surprising to me is the public response BT made to this veiled criticism. Quoting the BBC Technologies article:

But a BT spokesman said that the speeds would be "very decent".

"Higher in fact that anyone currently needs," he added.



That's a bold assertion.

And a pretty short sighted one too. I know for a fact that this is not the view of all the BT people I talked to, so I can only wonder at how prepared this response was. It comes out with such arrogance…

Sadly, it also confirms that Ebbsfleet is little more than window dressing, and not much of a full blown trial at all…

4 Responses to “2.5 Mbps with bursts at 100 Mbps is "higher than anyone currently needs"”

  1. Lindsey Annison June 19, 2008 at 5:51 pm #

    As a consumer, it would be nice to be asked, “What exactly do you require?” BT’s assumption that they know best (and also DBERR, Ofcom etc) is frighteningly off the mark. And I speak as a consumer.
    Prior to ADSL broadband becoming a household word and utility, we pushed for the adoption of symmetrical services, as consumers. Creative consumers. It was not forthcoming, and the dropping of VDSL rollout was a major blow to creativity, innovation and communication for those of us who want to use these so-called “broadband” services. Not only are we consumers, we are also the customers. And therefore, don’t we know best?
    Even contemplating the thought that NGA will be similarly restricted is enough to make consumers poorly. Or emigrate.
    Enough is enough. It is time for an independent body (whether that be the BBC or similar) to run a well-implemented survey of what exactly the citizens, consumers, communities and businesses who make up UK Plc actually require out of NGA.
    And not like the HD TV survey mentioned at last year’s Oxford Media Convention where it turned out that the supposed high demand for HD TV was based on a survey where respondents had not even seen HD TV at work.
    Many may not understand the question even, but a few proper demos of what true broadband access (eg 1Gbps symmetrical, none of this 24Mbps or even 100Mbps asymetric sloth we hear about) is capable of should convert even the most cynical. And prove the business case and demand once and for all.

  2. Stefano Quintarelli June 19, 2008 at 7:18 pm #

    In Rome, in the TLC FOrum 3 weeks ago, the CEO of Vodafone Italy said “2Mbps down is more than what is needed for any application”
    this actually shows he’s unplugged…

  3. Graham June 21, 2008 at 8:10 am #

    Snap! I also picked up on this outrageous statement from BT on my blog. It is interesting to note from several recent posts from bloggers, analysts and the like on this issue, including Lindsey who I see has also commented on this post, that the consensus view on NGA in the UK seems to be shifting away from a single large scale roll out by the incumbent and towards a patchwork approach, hopefully involving communities taking control at least in some area, via community owned models such as consumer cooperatives (my own preferred solution).
    Exciting times ahead I feel.

  4. Alex June 23, 2008 at 1:14 pm #

    But then, how long can it take to download the 640Kbytes of data that fits all the memory you need in the world’s five computers?

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