Ofcom: the chocolate fireguard starts to crack

ethernet-cable-150x150More than half of Britons haven’t got the first clue whether their broadband connection is dawdling along at dial-up pace or delivering data to their door at warp speed, according to Ofcom’s newly-published (and ironically titled) Consumer Satisfaction report. “The proportion of broadband customers unaware of their connection speeds has continued to grow – 55% were unaware of their connection speed (actual speed),” the report claimed.

Ofcom: the chocolate fireguard starts to crack

Who’s to blame for this widespread ignorance? The ISPs, who continue to advertise “up to” speeds that are often so detached from reality they make the X-Files look like a documentary? Ofcom and its equally toothless cohorts at the Advertising Standards Authority who’ve allowed the ISPs to get away with marketing these fantasy speeds? No, apparently it’s us meddling journalists.

“Press coverage about advertised maximum or headline speeds differing from actual speeds may have increased the confusion,” Ofcom claims, without a shred of evidence to back up its case. (I’ve asked – Ofcom has mysteriously failed to return my call).

So, sorry folks. We apologise. When we publish stories about official Government statistics that show 42.3% of broadband connections are slower than 2Mb/sec, we’re confusing you. When we repeat surveys that show Britain is below Hungary, Slovakia and Poland in terms of broadband speeds, we’re playing with your minds. When we have covers proclaiming a “great broadband con” – because you’re not getting anywhere near the speeds you hand over hefty chunks of your hard earned for –  we’re simply conning you.

Listen instead to Ofcom: your average broadband speed is chugging along at 4.6Mb/sec, the rural broadband divide has disappeared, and there’s no problem with headline speeds. And the recession’s over. And the War in Iraq has finished with only a bullet-scratch to one of our squaddies. And the sun’s just come out.  


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