Thursday, 25 October 2012

Most complete?

You can tell I have been sat here all afternoon with a cup of soup and paracetamol watching daytime TV. Ug... But I note that BT sell what they claim is the "most complete broadband package"...

I always try and pick adverts apart at the best of times, but I am not sure what "most complete" means, or what it means to have a "complete broadband package".

We can probably put to one side the fact that "broadband" is a technical term that relates to the multiple frequency bands / carriers used on DSL lines (ADSL and VSDL). It has started to become a term for "Internet access", annoyingly.

But to my view, even "Internet access" simply means the ability to send and receive IP packets. In order to make the package "complete" I would say you want caching DNS resolvers. But you have a "complete" internet access package if you can send and receive IP packets. Everything else is extra.

If you want a TV package, that is part of a TV package, not a broadband package. A "broadband package" is "complete" if (calling it an "internet access package") it provides internet access. How can it be "more complete" or "most complete"?

Obviously, to be even vaguely "complete" as an "internet access package" you have to include the current IP protocol, IPv6. Does it I wonder? If another ISP also allows IPv4 packets, and DNS, and so on, but also IPv6, does that ISP not have a more complete broadband package that BT? If that is the case, then BT's package is not the "most complete" is it?

Hmm. Who is it that one complains to about adverts these days?

18 comments:

  1. The trick to marketing is to make a claim that includes vague terms such that they cannot be disputed.

    Like "No other painkiller is stronger (without prescription)"

    Maybe if you can't beat them, join them, though that requires doing some actual advertising :/

    You might as well do an ad saying "No other broadband provider can deliver a faster service [on your existing line]"


    Or come up with some bold claims like "1000% higher customer satisfaction than BT" or "Reaches more of the Internet than any other major ISP"

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    1. Perhaps a page from the book of other groups who can make wild claims - free place in Heaven with every new install?
      :-)

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    2. Well there are organisations (churches) that make absolute and unambiguous statements along those lines, with no evidence, so it would surely be quite valid, legally, for us to make the same type of claims?

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  2. ASA (Advertising Standards Agency):
    http://www.asa.org.uk/

    Pretty useless responses to complaints that I have submitted about misleading adverts on facebook though.

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    Replies
    1. Well, I have sent one in, as a member of the public, saying my ISP does IPv6 and BT don't, so how are they most complete.

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    2. Perhaps worth following the process on http://www.asa.org.uk/Industry-advertisers/Industry-Make-a-complaint.aspx and sending a letter by recorded delivery to BT as a competitor questioning their claim - by reading that page it suggests they should respond to you otherwise the ASA will look unfavourably on them...

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    3. Oooh, we could do that as well... Hmmm

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  3. So, main A&A page now says:-

    Unlike some providers offering the most complete broadband package, we actually include not only the old IPv4 protocol but also the current version IPv6, allowing access to all of the Internet, not just the older bits.

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  4. Hang on, BT block the pirate bay. Any other ISP that does not has a "more complete" service. They are on to a loser here.

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    1. so maybe 'most complete' means 'most sophisticated filtering and monitoring services as mandated by the Government and courts'

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  5. Isn't there some wiggle room on "package" (Fnarr...)

    As in, a "package" implies more than just a simple moving IP packets service. So they can say they offer TV over their broadband and that's part of the "package"

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    1. Indeed, which is why I kind of said I am not sure what it means. They do say "broadband package", so one would expect anything over and above "broadband" to not count in the completeness of the "broadband package". But maybe ASA, etc, take a different view. IMHO key things like not providing IPv6, and blocking access to some web sites, makes their "internet access" way less complete than other providers.

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  6. Agreed, their "internet access" is way less complete. But if you read "broadband package" as "broadband plus services provided over broadband" then they have a point.

    (Not defending BT, I still think it's shameful they don't provide IPv6 in 2012)

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  7. Agree with you "Internet access" is the capacity to transfer IP packed from my router to the target/originating IP address.
    So the most complete internet package is the one most able to fullfil those requirements.
    So it has to support the largest range of protocol (not just TCP/IPv4 and UDP/IPv4), so anything not supporting IPv6 doesn't allow me to access 100% of the internet (ok, in real term impact is pretty limited).
    And do it in a "comlete" form, so with 0% packet loss.... or at least with the least packet loss

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  8. I remember when I started on the Internet, I went for Demon as they offered in my eyes, the "most complete internet package". Namely static IP, USENET news feed, unrestricted access (bandwidth, ports, no filtering), SMTP pushing of email, POP3, SMTP outbound servers, NTP time servers: I doubt BT offer half of these even now (I know Demon have dropped most of them).

    As a Business BT Infinity customer, I keep seeing BT's http://www.ipv6.bt.com/ site which said (they appear to have taken it down), "IPv6 is not an option": they are right there... Everytime I enquire, they say it's not available and I don't need it yet... But I do... (only another 9 months on the contract though).

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  9. Of course there's the glaring grammatical error: "complete" is an absolute - you can't have "more complete" or "most complete" any more than you can have "most ultimate"!

    So the discussion about what they include or don't is as meaningless as their copy - it's either complete or it isn't - and I think we agree that it isn't! :-)

    Cheers, Howard

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  10. This is one that's always bugged me as well, especially as now they block even more sites. Plusnet don't (even though they're owned by BT), so technically offer a more complete broadband than BT Broadband. ASA should've stamped on this ages ago, I'd have expected the other ISPs to complain loudly.

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