Don't Dare Call it Broadband AOL

How companies such as AOL have the cheek to describe a 256Kb connection as “Broadband” without any intervention from a standards watchdog eludes me.

Many of the advertisements running over the Christmas period show families enjoying the kind of high-speed connections that you’re only likely to find in countries like Korea or those homes lucky enough to have a 5Mb connection or faster to the Internet.


Mrs Smith of Rochester waiting for her AOL music download to finish.

In my opinion, it’s a scandal. I have a 1Mb connection, which is Ok but not up to the standard you might find elsewhere in the world. As always, the UK is falling behind and rather than Government defining what Broadband is, it’s left to the “market” and BT to decide what it can get away with.

The analogy that springs to mind is being offered telephone calls with a word limit or a ten second delay between sentences. There is no good reason why we can’t at least have 1Mb as a minimum standard other, than I suspect, that the “market” would rather use an incremental scale of charges and not a single connection speed standard.

And for this, we should be pathetically grateful to BT, AOL, the telecoms industry and the Government for making it all possible. I think not.

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