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I can understand that they wouldn't want to send a message to their 4bn current customers that the speeds they get are outdated, but testing higher capacity services could also have demonstrated to the market that Virgin Media is not the only company capable of delivering 25 Mbps +.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…