Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Illusionary broadband

Looking at an advert from and reading the blurb Superfast Broadband for £6.49 for the 1st 3 months, then £12.99. I thought, oh could this be a wonderful new service, offering more than Perhaps creeping up from behind the field to snatch premier position, scattering the opposition to the winds in disarray; blowing them all away with a spectacular 70Mbs service? No! Tiscali's definition of Superfast broadband is, 'up to 8Mb*'!

For many years we have been promised faster broadband, which would do away with that nasty roof-top aerial or podgy uglier exterior satellite. Un-interruptible streaming films, rock-steady tv programmes, downloading everything at the click of button like water from an open sluice. And just as the promises have been so atmospherically high, so services have stratospherically failed to materialise, and the ISP's have been trying to weasel their wording into making below average service provision look fantastic. But, I suppose unlike snake-oil salesmen, they do actually supply something that works.

Now doing a search of the terms fast and superfast brings up some interesting definitions.


From - a site I'm enjoying using as it splurges a plethora of so much useful information down a page, practically complete, even with translations. Reasons for having more than ten tabs open within my browser are rapidly diminishing. So what does definition come up with.

  1. Acting, moving, or capable of acting or moving quickly; swift.


fast adj (faster, fastest) 1 moving, or able to move, quickly. 2 taking a relatively short time. 3 said of a clock, etc: showing a time in advance of the correct time... ... pull a fast one colloq. to cheat or deceive.

But I am coming around to the opinion that tiscali are using the ChambersHarrap colloquial definition, and trying to pull a fast one!



super- prefix, forming adjectives, nouns and verbs, denoting 1 great or extreme in size or degree • supermarket. 2 above, beyond or over • superscript • supernatural. 3 higher or more outstanding than usual • superhero. Compare hyper-.

So, with Super and Fast conjoined something spectacular should be on offer. But in the real life tiscali and for that matter any other ISP can get away with advertising Superfast broadband at only 8Mb*, showing both guard dogs (ASA and Ofcom) have teeth as sharp as rubber gloves, effectively blunted by the industry.

Now why did I start this... Ah yes! I don't for one moment expect to experience as the norm, speeds upwards of 100Mbps at any time in the next five to eight years. Maybe 30Mbps. But then the holographic advertising and moving displays will be another headache. And by then who will really care that the speed they're getting is less than a fiftieth the advertised offerings!

*Unless of course, in the small print, they've mentioned that speeds are 'as compared to a tele-typewriter'.

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