Putting it in perspective

It appears UK broadband users are getting poor service too!

, posted: 26-Nov-2008 08:40

While I hear complaints internally that our broadband speeds are pathetically low and that NZ is dragging behind the rest of the world it appears that we are not alone.

According to the UK's Office of National Statistics more than 42% of British homes are getting less than 2Mbps.  While I admit I have to read the report and I acknowledge that the UK has geographical characteristics I can say that its geotypes and average line lengths are not dissimilar to NZ.

So it appears we are not alone.  And the majority of customers had no idea what speed they were getting.  A straw poll in the office knew about data caps but not speed (and had no idea what speed they signed up for). 

So the solution?  Well the Commerce Commission would have you think that regulation is the answer cos clearly there is no competition and no investment due to the market structure.  In that case the highly competitive broadband market in the UK and the years of unbundling and regulated prices would suggest that British Telecom needs to be separated.  Ooops, done that one already. 

Short answer - unbundling, price regulation (at a wholesale and retail level) and separation dont seem to have delivered the panacea of fast broadband.  I would suggest that analysis needs to be undertaken to work out exactly what people want this fast broadband for and what utility it provides and work out whether there is any additional utiility in faster speeds.  Logic (and basic economics) would dictate that greater utility should lead to higher prices for such a service.  This may even justify the investment case for faster infrastructure.  Who would have thought?

Other related posts:
The Irony of building a FTTH network

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