Why the public seem not to understand this simple term is beyond me, but it seems to be the case.
The technology for DSL allows speeds that adapt to the line conditions and so you will get a speed depending on line length and quality. The technology itself has different types, so ADSL1 could get up to 8128Kb/s sync which 7.15Mb/s IP rate roughly when allowing for various overheads in the protocols. ADSL2+ gets you up to around 20 to 21Mb/s IP rate at maximum sync possible. FTTC is higher still.
So, obviously, ISPs advertised services as "up to 20Mb/s". The full rate is possible, but you have to be pretty close to the exchange. Typically people get lower rates.
The problem is that for some reason people felt cheated if their line only gets 6Mb/s, for example. Some how people read "up to 20Mb/s" as "at least 20Mb/s" when it means the opposite. In fact if I bought an "up to 20Mb/s" service and got 21Mb/s then that would be false advertising!
So OFCOM have started asking ISPs not to say "up to 20Mb/s". You will note the A&A site says things like "sync rates of not more than 24Mb/s" for ADSL2+. I.e. saying "not more than" instead of "up to", even though clearly the same meaning. Also, as our pricing is not based on speed this is buried in the detail of the specific service and we have a page explaining overheads and so on.
Of course, like all ISPs, if you put a postcode or line number on the web site we tell you a fairly realistic estimate of speeds based on BT line checker data. OFCOMs code of practice is however totally crazy as I think I have ranted before.
What I just spotted today was a TV advert for broadband from our favourite telco. They have been just as sneaky by saying "we give you a personalised speed estimate, up to 20meg". So they are still saying "up to 20Mb/s" just saying that the personalised speed estimate will tell you a speed up to 20Mb/s not that the line will go up to 20Mb/s.
If the public felt misled before I cannot see how this subtle change really makes any difference, and I have to wonder how much time and effort (i.e. taxpayer's money) went on this.
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