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Mediocre Britain: UK broadband ranked 31st in world for speed

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I think Yemen have bigger problems than slow broadband at the moment.

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Anonymous Coward

Yanks are everybody's problem.

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They do, but might broadband be part of the answer? Unpleasant regimes all over the world reckon that the internet is something that, to coin a phrase, you wouldn't want "your wife or your servants" to read.

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Holmes

Tell us something we didn't know

Sady to say that this is really Not News.

Now if the magic fairy were to start putting FTTP into millions of houses (naturally starting with El Reg Commentards... :) ) then it would be news.

All we need now is for :-

1) A Government lacky to spout forth saying that Blah, blah, waffle, lies and Blah. Naturally there would be no mention of money or times to get even one more FTTP connection live.

followed by

2) A spokesperson for the opposition saying that they'd get to everyone in the country by the end of next week (or words/promises to that effect) using that £350M per week that we are not paying the EU or some other mythical sum of money that is conjoured up from the back of an organically grown, ethically sourced, kosher and halal compliant vegetarian tea-bag.

Cynical? You betcha.

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Meh

It's always easier for countries started from nothing or a tatty, falling apart network. The business case for that isn't too difficult to make because your money is buying a whole new load of functionality that you didn't have or replacing the crap you have.

But our voice network was/is amongst the best in the world. Unfortunately getting a decent data service requires ripping out large parts of that excellent voice network. The business case for that is a hard sell. Especially if you need a loan and are offering that very network as collateral because you are claiming that it's obsolete.

If you don't own a car it's relatively easy to justify spending £20k to get one.

If you already own a car and just want one with air conditioning it's a lot harder to justify £20k.

What I've long felt is more important is how much use does a country make of the internet. And for years now the UK has been amongst the top users per capita. People might moan about it but apparently BT's data network has not been stopping us getting on line.

None of this to say that mistakes haven't been made (and continue to be made) but we've done okay so far. It's just a shame we haven't done well. I think Thatcher's refusal to let BT 'fibre up the country' was the biggest mistake but no-one is innocent in all this. Even down to us as consumers refusing to pay a decent price for broadband.

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"It's always easier for countries started from nothing or a tatty, falling apart network."

Should be pretty easy for the UK, given the state of our antiquated copper network. Techradar recently had an interview with Peter Cochrane, who noted that the UKs copper infrastructure was considered old and outdated back in the 1970s. While you can argue about whether Thatcher was really to blame and whether the solutions proposed at the time would have held up today, the fact is that we're still using the same tatty infrastructure 40 years later.

Sure, it's easier to justify buying a new car when you don't have one than when you already have a fairly new one. But it's still pretty easy to justify buying a new one when all you have is a 1950s Reliant Regal.

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Meh

Should be pretty easy for the UK, given the state of our antiquated copper network.

Except that it isn't valid to denigrate the UK's local loop the way you are doing. Our local loop performs two functions and one of them - voice, the original purpose - it performs supremely well.

We have to put this in the correct context. We're not talking about now when voice can easily be carried over data and data looks like the more important service. The correct context for this discussion is 30 years ago when data was the new kid on the block and no-one was really sure how popular it was going to be.

At the time these decisions were being made we did NOT have an ageing Reliant Regal. We had an almost brand new family car.

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@ AndrueC: I agreed with your case up to the point where you wrote: Even down to us as consumers refusing to pay a decent price for broadband.

That has to prompt the question "how much do you think we ought to be willing to pay?" From my own perspective I am paying quite enough thank you for our 56 Mb/s service, and turned down an offer of 76 Mb/s at contract renewal time because there was no way I could justify the increased cost to myself. (About £5/month IIRC)

I am retired (as is Mrs Commswonk) so there has to be some care over money management; that said I strongly suspect that we are better off then many who are still working. If the internet / broadband are to be "inclusive" (sorry about that!) then it has to be priced at a level that people can genuinely afford so that they can get a service that meets their needs. Taking yesterday's El Reg article about FTTH broadband provision at face value we are all going to have to pay a premium so that a projected FTTH roll - out is financially viable; that would appear to have two consequences; I pay more for the same service as I am getting now or I am more or less forced to have a far faster service than I need, but again at increased cost. That will hit every UK broadband user using BT (directly or indirectly), including those who have less cash to splash around than I/we have.

If any of us went to buy a sandwich from the local shop to find that the price of egg & cress had been bumped up to cross subsidise those who wanted smoked salmon I suspect that the reaction would be more or less uniformly hostile. Or if we went to the pub and found that our pie and chips had been priced to match something at the local Michelin 3 star we would, I suggest, be equally annoyed.

I have no objection to anyone having whatever speed takes their fancy, but I expect them to pay for it, not expect me to pay for it for them. I could live with a measure of subsidy so that the hard to reach places could get a decent service, but not a platinum - plated one.

So how much should households expect to pay for broadband, given the presumed need for "inclusiveness"? Or are you happy that some users woul perhaps struggle pay or be priced out altogether?

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" The correct context for this discussion is 30 years ago when data was the new kid on the block and no-one was really sure how popular it was going to be."

Other countries had absolutely no problem being sure how popular data would be.

You know, one doesn't actually have to defend everything that's bad just because it's in your own country...

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@AndrueC

How is it economical for poor EE countries like Bulgaria and Romania to have a better infrastructure and better broadband speeds, when the customers pay much less than in UK, while the cost of cables and equipment is more or less the same?

Who cares about voice network when most people use mobile and the majority of the international calls from landlines are routed through VoIP.

Your car example is a poor one, as it doesn't include requirements, here is a better one:

Exhibit A: You don't own a car but you have to go to work on time every day - spending 20k on a new car is justifiable

Exhibit B: You own a 30 years old executive saloon that does 5mpg, costs a fortune run, fails to start at least once a month, and you are often late for work - according to yours and BT logic spending 20k on a new car is justifiable, as the old one has been serving you well for decades and still runs.

Just because in the past the current speeds (which have not improved for the majority of the UK population even a slightest bit) have been enough doesn't mean it will remain so in the next couple of years. Explosion of online content, music and video streaming becoming the norm and increased demand for remote working are putting the current infrastructure to a breaking point.

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Unhappy

"It's always easier for countries started from nothing or a tatty, falling apart network."

That's very true - I remember from my visits to Romania in 2004-2006 that mobile phone data access was much more widespread and faster than I was used to in the UK.

Sadly, I forgot that such mobile data luxury comes with a large roaming bill!

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The major issue in the UK, Republic of Ireland and also a huge % of France is density of housing.

No developed country is coming from the position of rebuilding clapped out voice networks and actually, they're all aging at this stage. Whether you're talking about the UK, Ireland, Germany, France etc they're all phasing out voice networks that are using digital technology that traces all the way back to the early 80s or even late 70s.

There's nothing particularly amazing about the UK voice network. It's very comparable to any other Western European, North American, Japanese or Australia or NZ PSTN. You're still relying on large numbers of very old System X and Ericsson AXE switching. Here in Ireland we've still got plenty of modernised but partially ancient AXE and Alcatel E10 switches where were originally installed in 1980. The same applies in France. The Germans are getting rid of Alcatel S12 ana Siemsns EWSD. Belgium just completed a full migration to softswiches and MSANs from S12 and EWSD too.

Nothing at all unique or unusual about the UK network other than Marconi/GPT System X was never really used much outside the UK. You've Ericsson AXE switches that are identical to those used here or in countless other places around Europe.

To roll out FTTH those same excellent but now ancient voice networks need to go. There actually getting so old that in many cases vendors no longer actively support them. Development for them stopped quite some ago.

You're talking about technology that may be coming up to 40 years old in 2020 and has already been in service for longer than it was probably ever intended to last. If you think about it we were ripping out 20 and 30 year old crossbars and analogue electronic systems in the 80s and 90s and they are considered very old fashioned. Yet, somehow 80s TDM technology has hung around long after it was predicted that we would have moved to all IP.

If your in a country with dense, apartment based living however, rollout of FTTH and other technologies is a LOT easier as you can typically connect large numbers of homes in very cheaply. This has massively favoured countries with high rise housing and apartment focused dwellings while leaving most of the English speaking world as well as France and similar places with an extremely expensive task of rolling out fibre to low density suburbia and even ultra low density suburbia in Ireland and parts of the states and Canada.

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>The correct context for this discussion is 30 years ago when data was the new kid on the block and no-one was really sure how popular it was going to be.

Indeed. We need only remember how many times BT had to renumber the London network, to realise how little clue they had about the uses to which those lines would be put.

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"The correct context for this discussion is 30 years ago when data was the new kid on the block and no-one was really sure how popular it was going to be."

Don't be daft. The waiting list 45 years ago for a GPO modem was so long ... oh and the line to connect it to ... might have been a small clue. 35 years ago our company relied on BT Gold for email. 30 years ago my home banking went online ...

You'll be telling me the millennials invented sex next (wrung - coz it wus us!)

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>Other countries had absolutely no problem being sure how popular data would be.

Only countries that started digitalisation much later than us. When the UK did it, faxes were cool.

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Ironically, despite all that renumbering, the number of land lines is falling and the number of landlines in serious use is probably lower again as many people only have one because it was bundled with ADSL or VDSL.

Those traditional telcos like BT are only slowly beginning to realise that their primary business is data and that telephony is nothing but an app.

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Wave the flag then.

But our voice network was/is amongst the best in the world.

Yup, that's the Great British attitude - sitting on our laurels since the war...

We'll have a round of 'the peerless Rail network' next.

Not to mention the sewer system that was decades ahead of its time more than a hundred years ago.

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"The correct context for this discussion is 30 years ago when data was the new kid on the block and no-one was really sure how popular it was going to be."

No, the correct context is 40 years ago, when Peter Cochrane was already making the point that the infrastructure was old and crappy and not at all suitable for future use. If you read more than the just the first line of my post, you'd have noticed that that was the entire point - we didn't have a shiny new system that we weren't sure needed upgrading, we already had a crappy old one that was already considered unsuitable, and it's only got worse since then.

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"Only countries that started digitalisation much later than us. When the UK did it, faxes were cool."

Ehh.. I had to use modems, the type that called someone on the other end of a landline who also has a modem, way into the 1990s. I used Pipex which had many of those modems somewhere, when I didn't dial straight into our office to use telnet and X11 to work from home.

Faxes may have been cool in the UK at the time though?

I have absolutely no memory of UK rolling out "broadband" particularly early compared to other 1st world countries. And it's not particularly good either. Or very cheap. It's a money spinner though for some inbred very large companies, that's for sure. When is the goddam line rental gonna be over or at least lowered to a reasonable figure? Has the 1970s copper been payed yet? (Do the sums.)

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FAIL

"superfast rollout is continuing at speed."

"superfast rollout is continuing at speed." Oh, the irony.

Things which are going to help fuck up our economy and make us less competitive in the next 10 years:

1. Crap / slow methods of transport between A and B.

2. Crap / slow Internet connections

3. Governments who don't understand how to properly address (1) and (2) and spend loads of money on getting people who have equally no idea to come up with "strategies".

4. People who don't understand the correlation between (1) and (2) and the fact we could be far more efficient with transport if we could do more online reliably. For example, why is any company sending people from Manchester to London for a 1 hour meeting when there's video calling? Oh yeah, because it's unreliable, and isn't something all people can / are prepared to do.

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Re: "superfast rollout is continuing at speed."

For example, why is any company sending people from Manchester to London for a 1 hour meeting when there's video calling? Oh yeah, because it's unreliable, and isn't something all people can / are prepared to do.

Yeah, I spent years doing video meetings, never got to know the people I was "meeting" with. Just one face-to-face meeting is worth a dozen TV calls. Funny how our video suite now lies empty and unloved, so much so that the facilities team wants to remove it to save money.

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Re: "superfast rollout is continuing at speed."

never got to know the people I was "meeting" with

Yeah, I get there's a balance to be had. My point is where do you draw the line? I've done a 500 mile round trip before to essentially discuss some images for a website before. There's no way that journey was needed.

I get that human interaction is irreplaceable and still important. But if your client was say, in America, you wouldn't just go and visit them every time you needed a discussion on the basis it's good for relationships. Sometimes you have to draw the line.

At the same time the government are going on about pollution, and people are moaning about overcrowded transport. Well there are ways around all this, but we have to think differently to how we've done things before.

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Re: "superfast rollout is continuing at speed."

The other issue was that Video conferencing was close in the region of £20K+

Even now a "budget" room sized one will cost in the region of £3K.

So if it's hardly used, they are often a huge waste of money.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "superfast rollout is continuing at speed."

"I get that human interaction is irreplaceable and still important. But if your client was say, in America, you wouldn't just go and visit them every time you needed a discussion on the basis it's good for relationships."

Amber Rudd.

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Re: "superfast rollout is continuing at speed."

if your client was say, in America, you wouldn't just go and visit them every time you needed a discussion on the basis it's good for relationships. Sometimes you have to draw the line.

True, but why video? I have phone conferences with US colleagues every week, and 2-3 times a year I travel to meet them in person, and have a chat over a beer. These days a phonecall + shared screen to discuss a document or a bug is much more useful than a videoconf. It really adds very little.

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Anonymous Coward

Yep pretty much says it all

The UK's broadband speeds are ludicrous in most areas, mostly due to BT still having pretty much a monopoly (i.e. Openreach wholesale), combined with aged and crumbling infrastructure which makes it hard to replace stuff (along with NIMBY's moaning about new infrastructure.) and of course good old classic British under investment

In the Netherlands I started out with the lowest cost option at 25Mbps, and over the last 5-6 years this has risen to 120Mbps at present, and that's not even the fastest available merely middle of the road, 300Mbps is available, and where I live they have fiber to the house wiring closet.

In the UK a few years ago when no one else was home our connection was registering less than 56Kbps, (we're in a small village that had to organise a petition to get BT to add broadband, over the years I doubt they have increased the available bandwidth), at the time iPlayer diagnostics said all we could receive was internet radio lmao, never seen it above 12Mbps.

At work our team is spread over Europe but only with the guys in the UK do I find we have problems with Skype meetings, particularly involving video, dropped connections even with just voice are common for the UK guys (convinced BT disconnects or degrades connections for video after 5-10 mins, maybe bandwidth shaping kicking in?)

Been to Bulgaria a few times for work, Bulgaria took the decision to try to compete with places like India for outsourcing and therefore has very good infrastructure, got 100Mbps at hotels with no problems, and most of the guys working there had 100Mbps+ connections (although this are people involved in IT so obviously they will pay for fast internet) .

Britain is handicapped by already having a solution but failing to upgrade that solution over time and with BT privatised coupled with a spend nothing Government, I can't see the situation in the UK getting better anytime soon, this thing needs a strategic plan, not a "lets just muddle through" strategy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yep pretty much says it all

In the Netherlands I started out with the lowest cost option at 25Mbps ,,, where I live they have fiber to the house wiring closet...

In the UK a few years ago when no one else was home our connection was registering less than 56Kbps, (we're in a small village

Hmm, are you in a similar small village in the Netherlands, or is this another case of complaining that the shop in your 50-house village has a crappy selection compared to that Tesco superstore just off the M6 in Birmingham?

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Re: Yep pretty much says it all

"Hmm, are you in a similar small village in the Netherlands, or is this another case of complaining that the shop in your 50-house village has a crappy selection compared to that Tesco superstore just off the M6 in Birmingham?"

Yep pretty comparable, not in a city centre if that's what you're trying to say.

As far as I can see it is purely a difference in funding and emphasis, here they spend money and do the work to provide a good service in a competitive market, that's not the case in most parts of the UK as far as I can see.

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Re: Yep pretty much says it all

Where the Netherlands will always have a huge advantage is very high population density and extremely good planning.

The UK, Ireland and quite a few other places have to battle against badly throughout planning and often very low density housing sprawl rather than planned communities.

The Dutch also made a much better plan for delivering competitive open fibre to home. The UK and Ireland both landed themselves with their respective privatised PSTN incumbents, neither of which have a vision for anything other than milking maximum profits from minimum capex.

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Re: Yep pretty much says it all

Planning? What's that?

Please explain to someone living in the UK..

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Re: Yep pretty much says it all

>Planning? What's that?

It's what people complain about when they can't build an eyesore where they want to.

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Given consumer broadband use is time-wasting binge watching of Netflix and Youtube, this is perhaps not such a bad thing for the UK's productivity.

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It would be interesting to see the methodologiy

This ranking is based on speedtests, so they seem to be testing download speeds from some server, not just individual homes. It would be useful to know where the server(s) are (in the country, outside, near the test site, etc.) and what the overall internet backbone is like. Unsurprisingly some of the worst figures come from small islands which probably have a single satellite link at maybe 20-40Mbit/s to the rest of the world, so even if they have FTTP to every house performance will still be crap for, say, a Netflix download from the US. Singapore, on the other hand, is a big hub for international fibre links.

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Re: It would be interesting to see the methodologiy

"Methodology"? Getting a little ahead of yourself Phil O'Sophical :)

I would be interested to see the rationale for the study, as currently the value of the table of figures is as much value as taking the average speed of traffic across a country (such as the UK) and find that in the UK the national average speed is sub 20mph and thus conclude the UK needs more motorways!

Reading the Cable.co.uk release on the report [ https://www.cable.co.uk/news/new-broadband-league-shows-uks-average-speed-is-less-than-half--700001889/ ] it seems the primary motivation was to create a global league table - ie. provide material for marketing purposes; not to actually do a meaningful piece of research. Looking at the published data [ https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1A8LDcCLY3HN5Oqys6VxB0ug8xgroDADVIA2BeAF_tSM/htmlview#gid=0 ] we can see the study has some real problems: it only tested 354,329 distinct IP addresses in the UK, with no information on how this set was chosen and whether it can be said to be truly representative or is disproportionally weighted towards those with slower speed connections.

Likewise, thinking about the real world, we know that ADSL, FTTC and gFast services (ie. those with >50M of copper) all suffer from speed degredation over distance. Additionally, as the test is of actual line speed, it doesn't take into account the fact that people will have subscribed to different services: sub 8Mpbs ADSL, upto 18Mbps ADSL, upto 38Mbps FTTC, upto 80Mbps FTTP etc.

Finally, we have to put all this into perspective and ask the question: for the typical/average UK household what is an acceptable speed. For my household, before children and when Internet was only really used for email and browsing, 1~2Mbps was sufficient. Now with a home office, teenagers, Amazon Prime, Xbox etc. 38Mbps FTTC (with a typical line speed of circa 33Mbps) comfortably satisfy's demand.

So I think an open challenge to Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at Cable.co.uk is inorder, namely put into the public domain the full rationale, methodology and data set (*) behind the report.

(*) "This is why all of the data collected by M-Lab’s global measurement platform is openly available, and all of the measurement tools hosted by M-Lab are open source." M-Labs [ https://www.measurementlab.net/about/ ]. I note at the present time M-Labs have not obviously released the data set for this piece of work to their Google Cloud Storage [ https://console.cloud.google.com/storage/browser/m-lab/ ]

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Re: It would be interesting to see the methodologiy

It would also be useful to know why people are testing their speed.

For example, I think some of the stats in any survey risk self selection bias,distorted by people with technical problems or bad quality connections being over represented because they need to use services like speedtest.net more regularly than those who are happy with their service.

Or you'll get people with really fast services testing to show off.

I'm more likely to feel that real world reports from services like Netflix or Akamai are more likely to remove self selection bias.

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Re: It would be interesting to see the methodologiy

I'm on a 1GB fiber in SG. For real speeds you're only really talking about CDNs hosted in Singapore (or the rare SG-hosted website); otherwise the international connection will kill your transmission. But for those the linkup rocks. It works largely because the govt used both carrot and stick in driving the telcos afore it. Which I'm kinda okay with; a badly run public-private partnership is the worst of both worlds for the consumer.

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Anonymous Coward

internet in Romania

I moved to the UK 9 years ago. Back then I had 100 Mbit at home with 50 Mbit upload for 7 EUR/Month no caps (50% upload speed from the download is standard there, UK is more like 10%)

Now my mom, in the countryside, has 1 Gbit with 500 Mbit upload for the same.

Don't even get me started about response times aka ping in online games (4-10 ping maximum is very common and more like the norm there).

Yes, Romania skipped ISDN and ADSL on a large scale but that is no excuse for the UK to have this piss poor investment in the lifeblood of technology driven countries (everything is connected nowadays, software is everywhere - basically in all industries ).

The other day I went to the pet store and they could not process my card payment because a guy in the back office was on the phone. So in the era of unlimited minutes/texts/internet on the mobile phone, this guy choose to call another petshop location from a landline knowing quite well he would block the dial up connection that is driving the POS machine. UK still has phone banking ffs, that is so 90's - so don't be amazed if it still takes about 10-15 years to get the internet speeds other countries had for the past 10 years already.

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Re: Unable to use a CC

As it is the holiday season, I'd just like to remind everyone that the majority of French Petrol Stations that are co-located with Supermarkets are NOT connected to the Internet except when the Cashiers cabin is occupied. And even sometimes when it is open, they still aren't connected.

So don't try to use the Pre-paid Credit Card (that you loaded your Euros onto at better exchange rates), it won't work.

When this happens, there is no way to buy fuel at supermarket prices without getting Foreign transaction charges on your card.

We aren't the only ones with silly business practices. It takes all sorts to F**k up this world.

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Re: internet in Romania

As has been pointed out earlier, BT in the UK had zero interest in doing anything other than pushing their cash cow ISDN and leased line solutions because they would make considerably less profit from broadband (ADSL). This was at a time when it was fairly common for other European Internet users to have 100Mbit connections to their home and here in the UK we were still forced to deal with 56k modems and given appalling support on this - despite is being demonstrated at this time that considerably more data was sent through BT's network that voice BT refused to give consumers any guarantee of operation, let alone speed, for data services.

There are a few weirdo problems as well, for example the trunk lines under motorways that cannot be upgraded without digging up the motorways, exchanges that have been fibre or aluminium before BT reluctantly agreed to offer ADSL (over copper) and doubtless a few others that I've forgotten.

In the UK we're basically worse than many "3rd world" countries so coming in at 31st is an achievement.

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16MBps , oh what lofty dreams.... still on 5.5 on a good day but I guess I am in the middle of nowhere...well in a Town with an exchange enabled 5 years ago....

Conference calls or an evening attempt at watching anything end up being a game of "whack a mole" , running round the house turning off any device that has decided to download an update as I dare try and stream anything.

Worst thing ...I'd happily have paid to a) get some decent infrastructure b) never have to give Openreach any money ever again (even once I moved to EE to stop BT trying to sell me their sport on a useless connection that couldn't handle it...only for the bleepers to buy EE...I've since moved again but it still ends up in Openreach's hands...)

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All I wanna know is...

...when can I drop voice from my landline and just have purely data?

Landline Voice calls are worthless to most people now.

Oh and before anyone chimes in I mean to be able to do this with BT etc. not one of those sub let sub let little firms that promise the earth for the first 6 months then go very downhill once they are maxed out.

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Re: All I wanna know is...

Landline Voice calls are worthless to most people now.

As evidenced by what, exactly?

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Re: All I wanna know is...

Something else to consider (already alluded to by one poster) is that all the money in the world cannot magic up an army of installers and engineers. If the UK had gone straight to FTTP the way the BT claimed it wanted to back in the 90s the roll-out might still be running. Likely in the final phases but still not complete.

And BT would probably not have bothered with any xDSL technology so until you got FTTP (which could be 2010 or even later) you were stuck on analogue modem. That would have delayed the internet revolution.

Gradually upgrading our network was probably a sensible idea. The way BT went about it maybe not so clever. Concentrating their FTTC efforts in areas already covered by cable was an unfortunate business decision. Understandable but unfortunate. I'd have liked to see Ofcom step in and arrange for the two companies to work side by side instead of overlaying services. And I still think that G.FAST is a poor choice..at least the way it's being used. It should be used to push faster services out to smaller communities due to lower installation costs, not to increase the speed on a handful of lines that already have a damn good speed.

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Re: All I wanna know is...

Landline Voice calls are worthless to most people now.

Sorry, but they're not. At all. Whenever I phone my parents from my mobile they always call me back landline to landline because the quality of the call is so much higher and has no danger of dropping out.

Businesses also want landlines for exactly the same reason.

Mobile is good for, well when you need to be mobile. If I'm sat in my living room having an hour long chat with someone, I'd prefer to be able to speak clearly with them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: All I wanna know is...

Landline Voice calls are worthless to most people now.

Well, unless you have someone in the house with a medical condition that means you need as close to 100% guarantee of being able to make an emergency call as you can get, in any conditions (weather, strikes, etc). They'll have to pry my landline from my (or perhaps more realistically from my wife's) cold dead hands.

Oh, they're also usually much cheaper to call from abroad than mobiles, which helps when you have widespread family.

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Re: All I wanna know is...

The majority of mobile-to-mobile calls I make these days use a higher bit rate "HD voice" thing and the quality is far superior to landline. And what with Skype, webex and various other technologies, it no longer makes sense to make conference calls on a land line when it sounds so much better on a PC. Landline is deliberately low quality and will be reconciled to the dustbin of telecoms history, along with copper lines. Probably within 100 years or whenever OpenRetch decide to connect up the country with fibre.

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Re: All I wanna know is...

For my needs and evidence is that 99.999% of landline calls I get are from India, telemarketers or Green energy messages. Useless.

We don't even pick it up any more if it rings and we run a business. Customers are wise enough they don't even call landlines any more as if a mobile is available chances are it will get through.

I never call a company on a landline if a mobile option is given.

Even my parents call me on my mobile.

Worthless.

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Facepalm

Re: All I wanna know is...

So your answer to my As evidenced by what, exactly? amounts to For my needs and evidence is that 99.999% of landline calls I get are from India, telemarketers or Green energy messages.

In other words, you have projected your own personal experience on to the entire population of the country. Of questionable statistical validity, I suggest; future of fixed line telephones decided on a single respondent.

We don't even pick it up any more if it rings and we run a business. I hope you will forgive me if I speculate that that is not the way to run a business...

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Re: All I wanna know is...

"We don't even pick it up any more if it rings and we run a business. I hope you will forgive me if I speculate that that is not the way to run a business..."

Because if we pick it up it's a telemarketer. That's all we get. My experience is that customers call me on my mobile and therefore a landline is worthless to me. I have stopped putting the landline on my business details for this very reason over the past few months. I've even asked customers and they all said they rarely bother calling landlines if a mobile is available. I'm out and about a lot anyway so that makes a landline even more pointless.

I've spoken to a lot of the folks at my small business network and most of them agree too that landlines are next to useless for their business as their experience tallies with mine.

I just want the data connectivity.

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Re: All I wanna know is...

"...when can I drop voice from my landline and just have purely data?"

The cost saving of not having voice would come from not using a bit of old hardware that already exists in the exchange - in other words nothing. So - just unplug your phone.

My annoyance is that I can't easily transfer my existing land line number to a SIP service without also ceasing the line carrying data.

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