Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Grr, MPs with no clue

Ok, drives me mad. Politicians with no clue on the technicality.

We have had comments on net neutrality, but not understanding the issues.

And a shadow minister in ISPA today talking about the now defunct idea of 2M minimum broadband.

I asked "where to?". I had to explain, that it may be 2M at the end user, but where is the other end? 2M to germany, to US, to where?
She said to the exchange. Ok, so I said that 10k from the exchange would be ok?
She did not understand as you said show me an exchange with only 10k.
I asked again, what was the commitment?
She said that the smallest link in the chain has to be 2M

Sadly I did not get to debate more. 2M at the smallest link in the chain is meaningless anyway. For a start, does that mean I can run a million 2M lines on one 2M backhaul and that is fine? Does it mean that every web server in the world must have a 2M link, else they are the smallest link in the chain?

They simply do not understand the difference between the speed of one link such as a broadband line, and the usability of the intent as a whole and all of the components. They also do not understand contention or congestion...

Yet they make laws!


  1. Why don't you propose your own wording of it and show her?

  2. In my dealings with elected officials, I note that very few of them are trusted with making cups of tea...

  3. Partly because you can't. With a shared service you are at the whim of the users so cannot make a guarantee. Also, the concept of access to the Internet is a wooly one technically as well.

    It's an aspiration of a good quality minimum but with no way to make a clean metric against which to measure that, yet they went and picked 2Mb/s final line speed and think that says what they are after.

  4. I think a rather annoying guy named Jerremy Clarkson pointed out something similar with regards drink driving...

    If tested with over 80mg of booze in your blood, you're illegal to drive.

    Now, forgive me, but isn't "80" rather coincidentally a round number? I remember science at school and results would have decimal places.

    Is the value of 80 calculated from science, with provable evidence? I doubt it.

    So back to 2 "meg" being a minimum... That's rather accurate isn't it? Is that the exact speed that BBC iPlayer HD requires? No? Well what is it the speed of? And which direction? With a 1-1 contention ratio?! ISP's pay (or did when I worked at one) tens of thousands for dedicated leased lines.

    Polititians should stop fucking with the private sector. Or at least, if they do, know what the hell they're talking about!

  5. "ISPs must be able to offer an uncontended 2Mbps connection for each of their customers out onto the higher-peer"

  6. BIS had more clue, for a change.
    I have stressed that we need uncontested acres networks and that would be a good target to allow competition to address the actual backhaul available.