UKNetflixSpeedsJune15Back in 2009, the US cable industry’s primary lobbying group, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), pushed for the FCC definition of broadband internet to remain at 768kbps and 200 kbps. The NCTA also wanted the FCC definition to be defined by the speed advertised and not the speed actually delivered.

…the Commission should continue to look at maximum advertised speed rather than some measure of “actual” speed. In the Notice, the Commission observes that advertised speeds “generally differ from actual rates, are not uniformly measured, and have different constraints over different technologies.” – National Cable & Telecommunications Association

For years, the NCTA and telecom providers have been successful in keeping the definition as low as possible so that their coverage maps looks as good as possible. Why raise the definition of broadband so that our massive coverage gaps in legitimate broadband internet is so badly exposed?

In the UK, the Mirror has a great piece showing how few people in England are getting their promised broadband speeds.

Three in four families are paying for broadband speeds they never actually get, according to research by consumer group …In some areas, 98% of British households didn’t get the highest broadband speed advertised. – Mirror.co.uk

In fact, in some parts of the country, barely 1% of customers had the ability to reach their advertised speeds. Overall, barely 30% of the country has the ability to receive their advertised speeds.

UKSpeedChartVirginAccording to a 2014 uSwitch study:

  • Virgin 98% of customers can get the top speed, 46% typically get the advertised speed
  • Sky 14% of customers can get the top speed, 7% typically get the advertised speed
  • Plusnet 7% of customers can get the top speed, 3% typically get the advertised
  • Talk Talk 4% of customers can get the top speed, 1% typically get the advertised speed
  • EE 18% of customers can get the top speed, 0% typically get the average speed
  • BT 6% of customers can get the top speed, 3% typically get the average speed