Official: My internet connectivity sucks

· by Steve · Read in about 3 min · (520 Words)

I’ve been getting more an more frustrated lately with the speed of my internet connection. For example, when I was doing an Ogre release recently with the help of 2 other team members, we all started uploading at the same time. My colleagues were complaining that their uploads were going slower than usual, to which I asked how fast that was - and it turned out it was about 15 times higher the best speed I normally get - and they were used to getting about 20-25 times my top speed. 😕 One lives in Canada, the other in China, and both pay much less for their internet connections than I do, yet get massively higher speeds than I do. However, this was upload speed of course, and I’m still stuck on ADSL - however I’ve also gotten really annoyed with sites using streaming media lately (particular GameTrailers.com which uses non-persistent files which you can’t ‘build up’ to avoid the horrible lurching at times) so it seemed like I needed to compare some download speeds.

Here’s a rather swish site I found for comparing your broadband speeds with others: www.speedtest.net. Here’s my result:

Now, that’s pretty damn terrible. I have a 1Mb ADSL here but of course apart from off-peak you never actually get that - and this was most certainly on-peak (after school sort of time). More tellingly, my speed is a pathetic 1/6th of the UK average, and I know for a fact that I’m paying much more than the UK average.

The trouble is that I live on a small island with limited connectivity to the backbone of course. But what really annoys me is that our local providers are always harping on about how they’re investing heavily in the infrastructure and are offering a 21st century solution worthy of the massive banking sector here,and that this just knocks on to consumers too. And that we have a great deal on unlimited broadband whilst all those cheap deals we compare to have download limits.  To which I say ‘poppycock’ (and yes, I do get a small amount of pleasure at being able to use that word).

The lack of download limits is not a get-out clause which makes all your plans suddenly competitive with everything else out there. Personally, I’d be extremely happy with a decent 8Mb connection and a download limit of a few tens of gigs per month - I don’t download a massive amount, I’m not a file sharer and I don’t download pirated films and games all the time. I just want it to be fast when I use it. Which compared to every other civilized nation it seems, it’s not. We’re clearly being totally ripped off - I’ve had broadband for 5 years now and it’s only twice as fast as it was when I first got it and about as expensive, whilst everywhere else in the world it’s increased by up to a factor of 16 whilst still dropping in price. Shameful.

It almost makes you want to get in a boat with a big reel of fibre and start rowing.