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Friday, October 16, 2009

APCOMMS conclusions on net neutrality

Richard Clayton, report advisor, shares my concern regarding future review and the need to advertise minimum - NOT maximum - broadband speeds (and apologies Richard - final drafting on the book prevented me sending evidence, sorry):
Conclusions regarding Question 5
212. From the evidence we have received we are persuaded that in the UK, at present,
“network neutrality” is being delivered by market mechanisms. However, we also
believe that the evidence shows that this situation could change. Therefore, we
recommend that Ofcom keep the issue of “network neutrality” under review and
include a section in each annual report that indicates whether there are any signs
of change.
213. It is clear from the evidence to this inquiry, from our postbags, and also from our
personal experience, that many people are dissatisfied with the speed of their broadband
connections. We are unimpressed by the current approach of advertising a maximum
speed, which few if any customers will actually achieve.
214. Although we recognise that speeds can be affected by many different variables, we do
not consider the current method of advertising broadband speeds to be acceptable. We
also believe that ISPs could do more to help consumers with speed problems to address
these issues, from improving the phone wiring within their houses, to selecting
appropriate ADSL modems. To that end, we believe that the way forward is to promote
competition between ISPs on more than just price. Hence we recommend that Ofcom
regulate to require ISPs to advertise a minimum guaranteed speed for broadband
Bravo! I was banging on about this last month at GiKii.

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