So the UK general election is soon, and as such all the wild claims are around. Now one side of it all I’m keeping an eye on is the science and technology side to it. One such area of this is broadband.
Recent claims by government say they want every home to have atleast 2mb broadband. I, and it seems, many others are really quite shocked by this. Such ideas in this age could be compared to saying everyone should have a rotary phone (Not such a bad idea if its this). With the current state of technology 2mb is slow, even for home users. While yes it is true that 50mb such as that offered by Virgin Media is fast, it is still very slow compared to the services available in other countries.
As pointed out by someone in a discussion earlier today, Britain’s consumer broadband is nothing compared to other countries. For example, on average 2mb in this country can cost the consumer around £15 per month and £30+ for 50mb. Meanwhile, if you hop on the plane, Zeppelin or other form of transport and go over to Hong Kong, you can expect to pay approximately (HK)$99 (As the time of writing, this is around £9) for 1000mb broadband. Yes thats right, £9 for 1 gigabit home connection (Source: HKBN).
So whats going on here? Elsewhere you can pay LESS to have more while we are practically struggling to get the whole country to be broadband enabled (I say all, this isn’t going to happen. Not when companies such as BT quote a farmer £64000 to have a broadband connection…). In the event anyone can find some sort of reason why the government and the candidates are seemingly ignoring the obvious on this one, please tell us. I’m sure the country wants to know why they want to give the least possible to everyone when the technology is there and relatively cheap.
Complaint over, next time, why they won’t fund more research into cheese distribution…
A friend was kind enough to remind me about another issue that seems to plague British ISPs. Thats right, download limits. (and upload speeds, but that is another complaint). In this day and age, many people enjoy watching videos on the likes of youtube, why are ISPs limiting how much you can download. Lets think about this for a second, watch a few videos, download the necessary OS updates, check your emails etc. That is pushing it when you are limited to 5GB. Yes, some users will not use that much, the majority will however. Yes, some limits can be appropriate for running a website, but for consumers? Really? There is no need for it to be so low. It has been shown by the likes of Virgin and many others that a fair use policy works. If any one can explain this, go ahead, but we already know one excuse is just greed.