Sunday, 29 December 2013

Most Reliable Broadband?

So, BT are advertising on TV that they have the "most reliable broadband*"

(* Compared to other up to 16 Mb/s providers)

This seems an odd claim for several reasons.

For a start, all of the other BT Wholesale based ISPs have the same underlying backhaul, so will be the same basic reliability. That means hundreds of other providers are just as reliable, making their claim a bit odd. I would not use "most" to refer to "equal first place with 100 others".

There can be a difference in provider though, some will be way more tenacious about fixing line faults, and oddly, A&A are known for that, even within BT.

But most importantly, as far as I know, BT do not do anything like A&A Office::1 package. This is two or three broadband lines, usually with different backhaul providers, and 3G backup configured to provide high reliability. It is provably more reliable than one broadband line. If BT don't offer that, but A&A do, then, well, who offers the most reliable broadband?

So, it seems, in my opinion, that BT's claim to offer the most reliable broadband may not be entirely true.

There are even ways to get more reliable broadband using multiple broadband providers and multiple endpoint hosted FireBricks tunnelling traffic.

I am not sure I can be bothered to hassle the ASA on this, as (a) they won't understand (they even think it is OK to call a copper pair "fibre"), and (b) the advert has already run on TV and the ASA typically just say "don't run that advert again". It is not like they ever make people actually do a retraction of the same scale as the original advert. Imagine that, BT having to do prime time adverts saying "not actually the most reliable broadband, sorry".

16 comments:

  1. How are they measuring it? Nobody publishes average uptime figures..

    The only survey I could find for 'most reliable broadband' was uswitch from 2012 and talktalk won that (uswitch dropped the category in 2013). Ofcom stats say BT is complained about more than virgin media, so less 'reliable' in that sense...

    They've made very similar claims before and the ASA slapped them down - http://www.ispreview.co.uk/story/2012/02/01/asa-uk-bans-bt-tv-ad-for-misleading-most-reliable-wireless-connection-claim.html

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    1. Quite, and the fact that all the ASA do is tell them not to run the advert again means they just get away with it. If anything the ASA case adds more publicity.

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    2. Actually, I would love to publish average uptime figures, but there are loads of people that actually turn off their broadband over night and when not using the internet. I know it seems strange to most of us. If we could exclude users turning stuff off, I'd do it. If I average people on line more than 15 days in November, I see 98.2% average uptime. Over 60% of lines have more than 99.9% uptime in November. But as I say, I have no easy way to exclude user caused outages, and I think I am including data SIMs in those stats!

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  2. Is this a new definition of most, hereinafter referred to as "most*"?

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  3. I suppose that this makes a change from their previous claim to have "the most complete broadband".

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  4. In case you have not seen it, here's what Ryanair has to say about the ASA:

    "This isn’t advertising regulation, it is simply censorship. This bunch of unelected, self appointed dimwits are clearly incapable of fairly and impartially ruling on advertising."

    It makes me smile every time.

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    1. Except that if you click through to the relevant RyanAir article the ad has a sexily dressed model in a very short skirt designed to look like a schoolgirl stood in classroom. This is clearly making sexual allusions about children. I would far rather see a fully naked model being clearly an adult in an adult context, and I support the ASA in banning the RyanAir advert. It is hypocritical of RyanAir to moan about it being banned when they knew exactly what they were doing with that advert. Also it makes me even more determined than I already was never to fly with RyanAir ever again.

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  5. One of my pet hates this - yet we regularly move customers away from "BT Broadband" because it's anything but the most reliable, and we regularly throw away the pathetic routers they give that allegedly offer "the most complete and reliable wireless" because they also offer nothing of the sort.

    It's a complete nonsense claim.

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  6. What does SamKnows say about reliability? Independent third party with monitoring boxes in many locations (we have one along with a RIPE Atlas probe).

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  7. I joined A&A many years ago because I had such a bad connection to the internet & the Vanilla providers took up to a fortnight to resolve serious problems I had. A&A dealt with my MANY fails per year with grit & professionalism & the most downtime I have suffered was 2 days.

    Interestingly this year A&A suggested trying a switch from BT to a talk talk line to see if it made any difference.
    Not one drop-out, much lower noise & rock steady speeds.

    As Jim Royale might say "BT reliability..........My @rse"

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  8. The latest BT blurb - not advertised - desperately offering a deal with them, was for broadband & calls FREE for a year + BT sport, then £13/m for the last months of the 18m contract. Plus usual line rental of course.
    Dont worry NOT tempted :-)

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  9. If I get my dongle plugged into my Firebrick, complete with AA SIM, can I tunnel through to AA-land to get IPv6?

    Out of interest, is it possible to use your Firebrick to tunnel to AA (for IPv4 even) using an alien 3G provider? (Why? because the Three coverage isn't quite so good. EE signal is possibly slightly better here because I can roam between Orange to T-Mobile base stations. Although an AA Three SIM is obviously preferable for a whole load of reasons.)

    .

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  10. For those of you who are not aware, Thinkbroadband are measuring speed and could measure reliability. They have got themselves a Firebrick FB6000 box to continuously ping you a bit like AA do. (I know AA do it at the PPP level.)

    Good for Thinkbroadband. But since I am an _AA_user, I'm not sure I want to be pinged twice, both by AA and IPv4-pinged by ThinkBroadband, but then I suppose I should let them see how reliable AA and BTW is(n't).

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  11. I do also feel that various providers (Sky in particular, but also BT) are deliberately attempting to use their TV adverts to confuse the public on the different between broadband and wifi: Sky "our broadband reaches further" [when you pay for delivery of a wifi repeater], BT "more reliable broadband" [our HomeHub is "proven" to be more reliable than some other wifi hubs] etc.

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    1. Absolutely agree - and people are confused by it. I may go get one of those Which report things and see if they try and educate people on this, or perpetuate the same confusion.

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  12. Can you see http://www.loopsofzen.co.uk/ on the "most reliable" broadband?

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