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How important is broadband to you?

11:51 UK time, Wednesday, 14 April 2010

A village in England is set to deliver super-fast broadband to local homes that had been denied the service by major commercial firms. How far would you go to ensure a broadband connection?

In the UK there are concerns that up to one third of the country will not be served by next-generation broadband as rural areas are not cost-effective for large internet service providers.

In other parts of the world, such as South Korea, high speed broadband connections are the norm. Now the South Korean government is introducing policies to curb the time children spend online as concerns grow at the time people spend in virtual worlds.

Are you happy with the quality of your internet connection? Is DIY broadband a good idea? Do you worry that excessive time online takes people from the real world into a virtual one?

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This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    DIY broadband is theoretically a good idea. The biggest problem is the excessive regulation that the government is putting in place.

    For instance, in the story, there's an example of a school being a wireless hub for a village's Internet access. Great idea. But... What happens when one person in the village downloads some illegal music? Does the whole village get cut off? Does the school have to put expensive equipment in place to trace what each user is doing for Internet monitoring legislation? etc.

    The same applies to any idea to share a broadband connection. Great idea, great community spirit - but this government has put in place laws which come along and squash that.

  • Comment number 2.

    UK broadband is terrible, it's so slow!

    Currently one of fastest packages is a 50mbit cable service from Virgin, but even that is way behind what a lot of people require. 100mbit minimum connections have been the norm for years in South Korea, and also many parts of Europe - Sweden and the Netherlands for example. In South Korea they even have 1gbit+ connections.

    The UK is so far behind in terms of speed. We should have been using fiber years ago, and not copper wire!!

  • Comment number 3.

    This is hardly DIY Broadband, it is simply a small company taking advantage of the failure of the big boys to provide a service. Some years ago a Sailing Club near Havant 'hosted' a small microwave transmitter that allowed a group of customers on Hayling Island to obtain Broadband via a Bristol company. Broadband is available to all, it just requires phoning around to stir the providers.

  • Comment number 4.

    Are you happy with the quality of your internet connection?
    A. NO
    Is DIY broadband a good idea?
    A. Yes
    Do you worry that excessive time online takes people from the real world into a virtual one?
    A. Yes

  • Comment number 5.

    Quite important, although having a supper fast line is not.

  • Comment number 6.

    Good question: which is now the real world or is there no such thing?

  • Comment number 7.

    Let's separate out the issues.

    If you want to use the internet for anything else but email or credit card payment from your shop you need broadband. Everything else is just so slow. 2Mb is an absolute minimum just for surfing. For downloading and video streaming you need 10Mb. If you run multiple internet machines in your house you need 20Mb+. I am lucky enough to be on 50Mb with the possibility of a Virgin Media 200Mb trial here in Coventry soon. So I am quite happy.

    How far would I go to get decent broadband? I would do as the folk of Rutland have or buy into the mobile broadband network.

    There is no going back on the internet. It is here to stay and is making itself indispensable. It is a wonderful tool that my family could not do without.

    Of course universal broadband access raises issues to do with use, but so did splitting the atom. Just like TV, the internet requires self control and regulation by parents of their children. Parents must know what their children are doing on the internet. There is no excuse for leaving them unsupervised for hours on end. Students are old enough to regulate themselves and should only be regulated for their use of their academic network, just as most of us are in our workplace.

    It would be totally out of place for ISPs or governments to place any restriction on anybody, except in some cases of criminal conviction.

  • Comment number 8.

    Once you've gone broadband, you never want to go back to dial-up again. I do oddly miss the hassle of getting connected on a dial-up connection and having to listen to those dreadful beeping noises.

  • Comment number 9.

    High Speed internet connections should already the norm in the UK. It should be seen as an essential utility/service such as running water.

    When you move into a new house, you don't have to call up a water supplier and wait 10 days for them to 'connect' you, do you? No! You start using the supply, and *then* worry about the bill.

    It should already be the same with internet in the UK. New houses should be build with ethernet ports as standard, and you should have that basic 2Mb/sec service when you move to a new property. Make that the base leve, and THEN pay more to move up to a faster service if you desire.

    And the really embarassing part is that at the time of an election when this is being discussed as an issue - we're 5 years behind. It should have already been sorted by the time of the last election.

    The world is becoming more connected. Companies are driving us online to buy things. Banks expect us to organise our money online, everything is becomine (or has become) online drive.

    Having a stable and reasonably faster 'net connection is no longer a luxury in 2010, it's a basic necessity.


  • Comment number 10.

    At this present time my ISP is BT. I`m signed up for "Total Broadband Option 3 (up to 8MB).
    On an average day/night I have DSL connection Rate of 8906 Downstream and 448 Upstream.
    I regularly have an actual connection rate/speed of between 5MB/6MB.
    I`m pleased with it and with BT. I live approx` 353 meters from the local Telephone Exchange.

    I agree with comment No.1 Paul. He`s hit the nail on the head.

  • Comment number 11.

    I was quite happy when I had dial up. It doenloaded faster than I can read and made me more selective in what I clicked on. Unfortunately it was discontinued and I was forced on to Broadband.

    I opted for the cheapest package but quickly found that the download limit was exceeded by advertising and streaming media I had no interest in which was padding out web pages with some content which was of interest. On dial up I gad been able to stop this downloading but it was so fast on Broadnabd I found it impossible to limit this junk data. I ended up signing up for the unlimited package.

    Ir seems that the amount of unwanted data simply expands to fill the bandwidth available. Broadband is not important. Quality of information is.

  • Comment number 12.

    Good broadband speed is very important to people who regularly download / upload / share / stream copyrighted material illegally, which is what most bandwidth is used for these days.

  • Comment number 13.

    Broadband is essential for rural small businesses as more and more information, government forms, and sales are most readily available on line. In fact the more remote the settlement, the more broadband is needed to keep people abreast of modern life.

    Good luck to those fighting for upgrades.

  • Comment number 14.

    Hilarious that the BT spokesman is concerned that this new company will have a monopoly!

  • Comment number 15.

    another excuse to dig up the roads.virgin just invited me to bump my service up to 20mb with a £30 increase in my bill,I sure as if...

  • Comment number 16.

    I can manage at 3.6 mbs, although it is half what I should be getting. I don't play games online or download any music of films. I think I pay BT enough already.

  • Comment number 17.

    "12. At 1:47pm on 14 Apr 2010, Mark Smith wrote:
    Good broadband speed is very important to people who regularly download / upload / share / stream copyrighted material illegally, which is what most bandwidth is used for these days."

    Do not tar everyone with the same brush. What about those who regularly rent films online? They need fast speeds for downloading.

  • Comment number 18.

    We don't really need massive bandwidth for everybody, the same as we don't really need an 8-lane motorway going from your house to wherever you work, nice and convenient as it would be. The bandwidth simply fills up with utter rubbish - the websites have animations, sound, video clips, and all sorts of other whistles and bells that aren't really necessary. I am a functional user of the Internet - I just want to email, look up information, and send pointless rants to online forums for other people to laugh at.

    The same as I only want to phone people and send/receive the odd text on my phone. I don't want to pay loads for my mobile phone service just because some people want to spend their time squinting at live streaming videos or downloading porn. I don't want the whole country dug up to lay optical fibre, and pay for faster speeds, just because some brain-dead people want to live their whole lives through a screen.

  • Comment number 19.

    ''12. At 1:47pm on 14 Apr 2010, Mark Smith wrote:

    Good broadband speed is very important to people who regularly download / upload / share / stream copyrighted material illegally, which is what most bandwidth is used for these days.''

    Actually Mark there is another group of people using most of the bandwith - gamers! I need a high speed connection to play MMOs (massive multiplayer online games like WoW and Aion for you non-gamers) and we're not doing anything illegal!

    Also you might have noticed that you can now legally stream media through services like iplayer, 4OD and Spotify, and you can legally download media from itunes and many other providers, so there's no need to label anyone who usees a lot of bandwidth as a criminal!

  • Comment number 20.

    Super fast broadband is "As essential as running water"! Scary people!
    Fast broadband would be nice! However, it is not the “be all, and end all”. It will not solve social woes, create many jobs, nor create social equality as Nu-Lab has spurted! The village in question should be admired, but it is an affluent area. The service is limited to the village. How does this impinge on rural areas?

    Hain (the South African – Welsh Secretary) recently state that faster broadband and “exports” would create over 50,000 jobs in Wales. Does the world really need another 50,000 eBay sellers?

    Research shows most broadband use after business is; social networking, gaming, shopping, gambling and porn! Country’s with history in broadband are now trying to limit its mind numbing effects on yoof.

    ISPs who apply for a UK licence to need it pointed out to them that the UK extends beyond the M25, but then so does Whitehall and the media!

  • Comment number 21.

    How important is broadband? C'mon get a life people!

  • Comment number 22.

    Broadband is a bit like Parkinson's Law: Stuff will expand to fit the bandwidth available. For people who stream a lot, play games and do lots of uploading/downloading, higher speeds are probably a necessity. But the actual speed you get depends on who's sending what. And it's a bit dangerous to depend on getting a service as the thing can go down when you least need that.

    I get about 4Mbits and that's enough for the small amount of (legal) downloading I do; use the sites I want for a little shopping/browsing and emails. I can't think many people actually need these very high speeds but then my expectations never were too high. Moving to 1mbit BB from dial-up was quite some improvement but since the speeds have increased the service make barely any difference to me.

    If anything slows my computer down it's the layers of security I find necessary.

  • Comment number 23.

    I run two small businesses from the end of the phone line (literally) in a Wiltshire village. I know I will never get 'fast' broadband, but even without fibre BT could make a lot of difference if it looked after its legacy network. My line went down a few weeks ago. After the usual fierce resistance from BT (they always try to make it our fault) an engineer visited and connected a different pair of wires from the underground cable that feeds the property. He also replaced the very old master socket with a new 'Openreach' one. *Immediately* my broadband connection speed went up from 0.7mbps to 1.3; and when I swapped to my other router I got 2.2mpbs! Basically, he just brought the infrastructure up to spec. If BT performed this sort of good housekeeping nationwide, many more of us would have a faster broadband service. Will it ever happen? Dream on.

  • Comment number 24.

    Lovely to see all the troglodytes coming out of the woodwork here! The older generations may not care too much about having high speed broadband, but then they probably don’t really know how to use it properly. Some people still actually buy CDs, go to Blockbuster to rent movies, go into their bank to set up a standing order and do all their shopping on the high street, which is amazingly backward if you think about it. I expect there were people saying ‘we’ll never have a use for it’ when the wheel came out too.

    At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter what all the dinosaurs think – their day is over and progress goes forwards, not backwards. Getting the whole country online is not only essential for the future, it is inevitable. The internet is the new way of doing things, and although internet may not be seen as an essential service by all right now, give it ten or twenty years and it will be the only way of doing things, and those who never got properly set up will find that there are many services they do not have access to.

  • Comment number 25.

    I believe this country is trailing behind the rest of the world in getting up to speed on broadband and it is the fault of the main suppliers who have happily taken all the profits so far but are not prepared to put the extra investment into their businesses. As a country we need the extra speed to keep up with foreign companies and as an individual I would like it but it is not a matter of life or deah issue.

  • Comment number 26.

    , anonymous_uk wrote:
    UK broadband is terrible, it's so slow!

    Currently one of fastest packages is a 50mbit cable service from Virgin, but even that is way behind what a lot of people require. 100mbit minimum connections have been the norm for years in South Korea, and also many parts of Europe - Sweden and the Netherlands for example. In South Korea they even have 1gbit+ connections.

    The UK is so far behind in terms of speed. We should have been using fiber years ago, and not copper wire!!

    If the Tories hadn't sold off BT perhaps the will from the government to invest would have paid off.

    As for Virgin Media, I don't see them rushing out to expand the network they have.....after all they have cabled the profitable areas of the UK (as Telewest), they won't be so keen to cable rural UK, they won't get the return on investment.

    People need to realise that fibre to the cabinet or home requires a lot of capital investment and time to install the cables and companies are not going to rush into that investment without seeing a return on it - that's what happens in private companies, they are in the business to make money.

  • Comment number 27.

    Answers to a writer's quesdtions:

    "At 12:56pm on 14 Apr 2010, Paul wrote:

    The biggest problem is the excessive regulation that the government is putting in place."

    No, as you will see.

    "...there's an example of a school being a wireless hub for a village's Internet access. Great idea. But... What happens when one person in the village downloads some illegal music? Does the whole village get cut off?"

    No, everyone has their own IP addess.

    "Does the school have to put expensive equipment in place to trace what each user is doing for Internet monitoring legislation? etc."

    No on two fronts: ISPs don't trace everything we do (if they did, every illegal (child images) access could be traced immediately. That never happens. Secondly, tracing is not expensive.

    "but this government has put in place laws which come along and squash that."

    AS I have listed, this is not true: there is not enough laws to stop people doing what they want on the web.

  • Comment number 28.

    Broadband is a good if you need it.

    I object to the broadband tax as users already pay for broadband through the nose.

  • Comment number 29.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 30.

    To my learned and esteemed fellow commentators:

    17. At 2:37pm on 14 Apr 2010, Claire Herbert wrote:
    Do not tar everyone with the same brush. What about those who regularly rent films online? They need fast speeds for downloading.

    19. At 2:55pm on 14 Apr 2010, Capella2008 wrote:
    Actually Mark there is another group of people using most of the bandwith - gamers! I need a high speed connection to play MMOs (massive multiplayer online games like WoW and Aion for you non-gamers) and we're not doing anything illegal!
    Also you might have noticed that you can now legally stream media through services like iplayer, 4OD and Spotify, and you can legally download media from itunes and many other providers, so there's no need to label anyone who uses a lot of bandwidth as a criminal!

    ---===---

    Thanks for the replies.
    I wasn't tarring everyone with the same brush, that's why i said 'Most' rather than 'All'.
    It was more of a pessimistic speculation with black humour as a comment about modern society rather than a direct accusation :)

  • Comment number 31.

    I am still on dial-up; it's a bit slow, indeed, far too slow at times, but since I do not have broadband then, to answer the question, it is not important to me.

    I would consider having broadband if 1. I could understand the pricing - I want the cost overall, not the price *for the first three months, after which tiny 2-point type in light grey on white spells out the rest and is unreadable; 2. I just want broadband - leave my expletive telephone service alone, I don't want free calls to Hindustan on the third Friday of every month with a K in it, nor do I want 700,000 digital TV channels full of dross and drivel; and 3. I could understand all the jargon.

    Since these conditions apparently do not obtain in the UK, I shall stick with boring, slow dial-up. I don't live my life on-line, so it's not really a hardship.

  • Comment number 32.

    >Super fast broadband is "As essential as running water"! Scary people!

    No, not scary ... just more in touch with the world and the way that it is moving. Would it scare you even more if I told you that if I had a choice of what I had to be without for a few days, I would take internet over water!

    My (Virgin DSL) broadband was down for 4 days whilst they fixed it. I would have rather of been without water for that time (Can shower at work, buy bottled water from nearby shop) than my internet. That's how essential it's become for some people (and I'm in my thirties, I'm not a kid), but as the younger generation come in and grow up only knowing an online world, it's only to go more that way.

    Eventually, we will be in a world where we are able to be connected at all times - on the move, in the air, underground - and able to access all content - new and archived that we want to. And it's embarassing that we're lagging behind other parts of the world in helping us get there, just as its embarassing that I should be offline for 4 days.

    Internet as essential as water? Yes... no internet for four days should be as big an issue as no water for four days. And the sooner we get to that mindset, the better.


  • Comment number 33.

    if they had to raise all that money it appears to prove it wasn't economic in the first place.

  • Comment number 34.

    "As a country we need the extra speed to keep up with foreign companies "

    Why? Can I get a Korean firm to supply my broadband, then? Of course not. All this nonsense about "competing" with foreign countries is irrelevant in 99% of cases.

  • Comment number 35.

    Anyone who cannot live without broadband (sic) has too much time on his/her hands.

  • Comment number 36.

    29. At 4:44pm on 14 Apr 2010, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    I guess that means that in South Korea, children rule the roost. There is a two letter word that is highly effective and the children should learn its meaning. The word is, "NO!"

    What on earth does that mean? We're debating the importance of broadband, not the attitudes of children in South Korea! Broadband is not a toy!

  • Comment number 37.

    "If the Tories hadn't sold off BT perhaps the will from the government to invest would have paid off."

    LOL, do your homework. BT was sold off because the Government was unable to invest due to National Debt, IMF etc etc.

    BT then financed a massive upgrade to digital exchanges etc - privately.

  • Comment number 38.

    Living in Rural Scotland Broadband is a joke, we pay just as much as anybody else for a far inferior service. The DIY scheme is certainly better than waiting for Armageddon or BT to do their bit, and I rather think Armageddon will be here first.
    One point for number 37. BT was separated from the Post office and was profitable. The tories had no right to sell what wasn't theirs. It belonged to the people as a nation. Like all the other sell offs (Our Family silver) a few influential people made pots of money but the service got worse.

  • Comment number 39.

    Michael Lloyd,

    I would definitely recommend checking out Bethere, they have a value package, which is just internet, no added tv or anything like that, it's only £7.50 a month.

  • Comment number 40.

    it's not just those in the more rural areas that are missing out. I live in a semi-rural village that is at the end of two local-loops (one in each direction) and we can only physically achieve 400 KILO bits per second (apart from the fact that we're forced to pay for "upto 8 Mbps" which is another complaint).

    The cable companies won't touch us for the same reason that our old copper cables won't be upgraded for years - it's just not profitable to climb up the hill to the village.

  • Comment number 41.

    It did tickle me when Olivia Garfield from BT made the statement, it was "delighted to help Rutland Telecom" although it added that it hoped it would allow other service providers access to its new network."Otherwise there is the risk of a local monopoly developing, which is never good for consumers," said BT Group Strategy Director Olivia Garfield.
    unreal considering 1) they didn't really help at all hence the villagers raising the money themselves, and 2) rather cheeky considering BT had a total monopoly for years until they were forced through legislation to share the monopoly with other companies. Don't you just love the spin!

  • Comment number 42.

    Broadband is a useful tool for some, but not everybody. The Government spout about Internet freedom for all whilst at the same time finding more ways to regulate it.

  • Comment number 43.

    the main issue i have with this current governement and their "broadband" policies is that they are almost 5 years behind the rest of the world.

    We as people have paid through the nose for our broadband from day 1 and the ISP's and especially BT have taken our money for services they could not and will not supply.

    The government then propose we pay MORE money to get the services we have been paying for.

    Like all private companies they have taken our money and neglected the infrastructure. The isp's should be made by LAW to upgrade to services we are paying for. Either that or supply a refund for the years of overpayment.

    The government also needs to bring in proper experts not their 10 year old's for proper advice on how to improve the UK's comunications network so it isnt still in the 18th century.

  • Comment number 44.

    I don't see what the problem is. My first broadband connection was 512kb/s and it was perfectly adequate for emailing and the web. I ran 4 computers on it, one of them working radio/VOIP 24/7. Now I have 'upto 8meg' which connects at around 5Mb/s. I can download slightly faster, but the bottleneck seems to have moved further upstream. I could take advantage of online storage if I had 100Mb connection but its not important and I would reach my download limit very quickly. Why is superfast broadband important? If you really need it, you'll probably be making money out it it, so pay for it.

  • Comment number 45.

    If I can get connected within 2-3 minutes then I'me happy.Our daughter is a total addict! she is 10years old. I had to drag her off last Saturday ... then she went back on again! I told her to go out in our garden & play & help my other half, 2 hours later she came in & she said she was "having a great time", she said she was "sorry", that she had called me "mean" for taking her off. Yesterday when I returned from work, I asked my other half,where is.. "she's been on the computer". I asked "how long?" "All day." So I took her off again & have told her she is not to go on again until SATURDAY! She has sent a 1 min email telling friends she is banned till then, but what she doesnt know is that i will be doing a chart, from Saturday she can go on for 1 hour in morning & 1 hour in evening! Two hours a day is plenty! I go on for much longer but I am an adult.

  • Comment number 46.

    Supper fast broadband is a waste of money if ISP`s put caps on your downloads which they all do, what really annoys me is most say they have a un-limited service which are lies and they never tell you the truth, I can only download 7.5gig between 10am to 3pm and 3.5gig from 4pm to 9pm, the rest of the time is un-limited, it took a lot of searching to find this out. If you just do a bit of browsing and email, 1 or 2meg speed is enough. Also P2P file sharing is not illegal, its only some of the content that maybe, I file share home photo`s and video to family, so why should I get penalised. ISP`s in this country need a real good shake up.

  • Comment number 47.

    I find broadband indespensible, can't imagine not having it now. I get almost all my news online and like to play the occasional MMO when I get get bored of real life issues. Couldn't live with the slow dialup now, always on instant access broadband makes such a huge difference.

    "BT could make a lot of difference if it looked after its legacy network. My line went down a few weeks ago. After the usual fierce resistance from BT (they always try to make it our fault) an engineer visited and connected a different pair of wires from the underground cable that feeds the property."
    I think you'll find that was Openreach not BT... Openreach now own the external infrastructure and are responsible for its maintenance.

  • Comment number 48.

    The speed of broadband is more important than an internet connection.
    It entirely depends on an internet user how long he or she would like to sit in front of a computer.

    People who sit long hours in front of a computer get bored and they are compelled to go out and do some other activity, so that they should gain the required energy which they lose after sitting long hours in front of a computer.

    A computer does not speak so the human beings while sitting in front of a computer.

  • Comment number 49.

    I have long since found that speed is not too important, but the concept of 'always on', is vital!

    However, my daughter takes up most of our bandwidth anyway, with YouTube et al....

  • Comment number 50.

    I live in a rural area in western Sweden, where DIY fibre cable high-speed broadband networks have been the norm for years. In our area, about 200 households got together in an economic association a few years ago to build a 100 Mbit/s capacity fibre cable network for internet, television and telephone traffic. A local telecom company owns the trunk line, while the local loops are owned by our economic association. It's worked beautifully!

    The DIY-networks are in part government subsidized, with each participating household receiving a one-off tax-deduction. But even without that subsidy, we now have a cheaper annual cost for broadband internet (10 Mbit/s), broadband TV and IP telephone than friends living in the nearest city.

  • Comment number 51.

    Anything short of 1 Gigabit per second is not a real broadband.


    [Pentagon-designed Internet-2 runs currently at 2Gb/sec but it's going to move to 10 Gb/sec next year. And not a day too soon.]

  • Comment number 52.

    High-speed internet has more potential for good than most of us imagine. Consider just the implications for education and the political process and you will easily see some of its value. For example, we may some day supplement ALL of our education with instructional video content from the best lecturers in the world, which will not only give the disadvantaged a more egalitarian access to learning, but which will have great cultural and economic benefits as a result. Our political process will benefit by facilitating feedback from the populace in a way that will let our leaders know what we really want and let us to more precisely answer the question "Are We Being Served?" We're spending more time on computers because this technology enables us to obtain more efficiently what we used to seek elsewhere. We don't need a slower internet, but would benefit by not being bombarded with adverts and pornography.

  • Comment number 53.

    I can not speak for the people of Great Britain, but here in the U.S., we have choices of dial-up (which is excessively slow), satellite service, DSI, and broadband, which is what I have.

    I would hope that the people across the pond would be so fortunate as we are in the future.

    Raise a fuss about it. Nothing happens if you don't complain loudly enough.

  • Comment number 54.

    Useful but NOT indispensible, whatever the parasites at No. 10 may have us think.

  • Comment number 55.

    I can understand that rural communities would gain the most from being online, but when I live in central London (NW3) and can barely get 1Mb at good times (as confirmed by my provider), is it any wonder we’re failing to deliver to wider communities? Yet I still pay for 8Mb service as this is the lowest package they offer!

  • Comment number 56.

    Broadband only really needed to come into being because more and more people were logging onto the world wide web...
    The talk of the strength in your area for the majority of users will always depend on how far you are away from the source...i.e. Telephone Exchange...
    Am I dependent upon it...not really...going onto some sites may save me going from store to store...but for me shopping isn't a chore...
    Could my broadband be better...YES!...but once improved it may take only a short time to really moan about that...
    We are really at the mercy of the internet provider and the farther away from big cities you are...the more expensive it is to be provided say the providers...in these days and ages they really should always be planning to provide a better servoice...if they can't, then others should be given the opportunity to do so...

  • Comment number 57.

    I'm a rural internet user. Half the time the service delivers speeds little better than what I used to be able to receive over a 56K dial-up connection.

    Nevertheless, I have still received threatening emails from my ISP telling me that I am danger of having my access throttled because I'm regularly exceeding my download limit.

    Welcome to 21st Century Britain.

  • Comment number 58.

    The fact that we are discussing this, shows what a second-world nation we have become! I am ashamed of the UK's broadband provision - it is so last century!

  • Comment number 59.

    the argument with how far you are from exchanges doest hold any sense because if you pay for 24mb and say you really get 9mb it would be worth your while getting 10mb broadband but with 10mb you now only get say 2mb???
    this is not right they are able to provide faster speeds which people pay for people should get what they pay for

  • Comment number 60.

    killerdalek wrote:

    The fact that we are discussing this, shows what a second-world nation we have become! I am ashamed of the UK's broadband provision - it is so last century!

    I was chatting to a pile of people at the allotments the other day. Almost none of them have computers, let alone broadband.

    They are not missing a thing.

    I am fed up to the teeth with people thinking that being online is some great and wonderful future.

    It is not - it is a massive waste that is being rammed down peoples throats, forcing them to spend money on stuff they dont want (computers, printers, monitors, routers, monthly broadband bills) just so the Government can save a few pounds on postage and teenagers can get fat sitting in front of their laptops.

    Does the internet add value to peoples lives?

    No.

    Is Broadband important?

    No.

  • Comment number 61.

    High-speed connection is a progressive instrument. It break down geographical boundary leading to cultural, commercial and social facets being broadened and manifested. On the other hand,under high-speed browsing many underlying software can act for sth as parental control via the end-user terminals or guage devices enableing a efficient distribution of the conputer network of the community. Real life example as paid-moive , sport event, concert on demand. Voice, facial recognition for internet security enhancing shopping, banking or even electoral function.Hand-writing or voice recognition, instant input-output translation in launguages can broaden our access to the world for all segments of citizens of the society and spur growth in technology innovations leading to job creations.

  • Comment number 62.

    I wouldn't trust ITV rubbish (that's what I call it) to cover their own backside, never mind such a ground breaking event as the Leader's debate. Them getting sole coverage may seem like a blow but, for me, it proves the BEEB has been doing its job, upsetting our 'beloved' politicians. Well done.

  • Comment number 63.

    Broadband is really good, when you can get a connection. BT Broadband is total rubbish and I am always on the phone complaining. Their response is I live too far from the exchange, I actually live 2Km away, the weather, old cables and no doubt Icelandic volcanic ash will be used as an excuse! BT Broadband really does need sorting out. Broadband is great, when it works.

  • Comment number 64.

    Broadband is like many other things that we now consider a necessity. Why? My 88yr old mother does not have it or 'need' it. If communities want to pay for broadband in remote areas, then all well and good. But not if it is funded by public funds.

    Many people in remote rural areas cannot do without a car, yet do we see improvements in public transport to these areas, or even tax breaks/price reductions for fuel? No!

    Not so very long ago the whole every business in the world was run without computers - yes I remember those times and I'm 54 - not even a calculator in sight! Paper, pencils and pens and people who could number crunch.

    I have six computers, 50mb broadband, mobile phones, hundreds of TV channels. Could I live without them - yes.

  • Comment number 65.

    Super fast broadband is "As essential as running water"!

    I live in a rural part of France, and I have neither. I only have ANY broadband because france telecom have a booster at the exchange 7km away.

  • Comment number 66.

    Broadband should absolutely be seen as an essential utility like running water. Without access to facebook, dirty pictures and somewhere to rant I dehydrate.

  • Comment number 67.

    Broadband is getting an essential part of life these days. I use it a lot and have started to shop more from home via broadband. It is much more pleasurable than being amongst the rude and selfish people in town.

  • Comment number 68.

    There was life before computers, I know because I was alive then. When the first domestic machines needed a cassette tape and player we didn't question it. When they progressed to 5.25 floppy disks we didn't question it. When the hard drive appeared we didn't question it. When PCs appeared we didn't question them. When internet via modem became possible we didn't question it. When processor speed dictated we didn't question it. When graphics and sound cards gave incredible results we didn't question it. When broadband arrived we didn't question it.

    So why is the BBC questioning it now? The BBC has thrived on the improvement in TV and radio, including many times when others have said we are producing radio and TV addicts.

    We are humans and we embrace change even when it may actually be very harmful. Get over it.

  • Comment number 69.

    Post#60 is a breath of reality: articulate & showing independent thought.
    In contrast, post#61 comes across as incoherent babble.

    All this propaganda for a "digital" society leaves me worried. Clearly, myself & poster#60 are in a minority, prepared to embrace the technology but not to the extent of excluding all else.

    I have read pieces by Bill Thompson on this site. He seems to think there is something amiss with people who are not interested in being online. Is this not like some religious zealot? Leave my parents alone - I have seen my mother trying to use a mouse & my father doesn't want to use his pension to buy something which he would end up subservient to.

    Black may be opposite white; digital is not the opposite of analogue. It is about time this dumbing down stopped. The world is analogue; digital is merely an ingenious way of processing information & transferring it, within an electronic environment. The inputs & outputs are all analogue, so that we can interact with the technology.

    We are typing on machines with more computing power than Apollo 11, yet we are not flying to the moon. We are looking on comparison websites to find the cheapest electricity supplier. My grandparents' generation would find this so backward: they helped the war effort in the 1940s, lived through so many changes, saw pictures of man on the moon but never had to waste time choosing utility suppliers.

    The internet is useful but it should not be allowed to become a controlling part of our lives. Will my telephone be tapped because of that last statement? Broadband connection in every household is an outright ruler's dream: Orwell was so perceptive; warned us but we walk into this with open arms. When the analogue signals are switched off or drowned out by computer noise, we will be listening to subscription radio or streaming online...and all of that can be monitored. If we can still drive, black boxes will record our motion. When will it become illegal to walk about without a mobile telephone switched on so that we can be located? Governments have shown how easy it is to allow data to fall into the wrong hands: organized criminals will exploit our digitized lives.

    Yes, I am having a paranoia day today but I hope this has made someone step back & think.

    Was it the Mayan calendar that ended 23rd Dec 2012? Are we going to be looking for asteroids or worrying about volcanoes in a couple of years' time? It is more likely to be a cup of coffee spilled down the back of some huge supermarket logistics computer causing mass starvation within days.

    In summary: be wary, if not as wary as me.
    This digital economy might just turn & bite our analogue backsides!

  • Comment number 70.

    >Does the internet add value to peoples lives?
    >No.
    >
    >Is Broadband important?
    >No.

    It's true... I have never got any value from my internet connection, I have only ever used it for playing games and downloading porn.

    I have never used Google Earth to virtually zoom around the world 'visiting' places, I have never booked travel tickets online saving my the inconvenience of queueing up in person, I have never read an online health-site to check up or do research about an ailment that was concerning me and had my mind put at rest, I have never sent or recieved pictures or video to family living thousands of miles away and shared a tender moment of joy of seeing my sisters new child on screen when unable to see them in person, I have never enjoyed listening to commentary of mt favourite sports team, I have never used the BBC's iPlayer service to catch up on an education and informative programme that I missed because I was working at the time, and .. how long would you like me to go on? Sure.. it's clearly not important at all, is it #60?

    The main divide here appears to be simply a generational one, between people who grew up without the internet and those who grew with it.
    Those "kids" that are "addicted" to it nowadays are going to be the older generation in fifty years time, and if it's any consolation then I'm quite quite sure that by then there will be another new technology slowly creeping into and eventually dominating our lives, and we'll all be saying "Well back in my day, we just had the internet... what's wrong with that?".

    There will be a time in the near future when connectivy is seen as a basic essential. That's just the way the world is moving. It's called change and it's inevitable.

  • Comment number 71.

    Our ancestors thought up the best way to handle communications when they invented the GPO and the penny post. In the 1920's they also came up with the best way provide a radio service - the BBC.

    Our generation has left internet service almost entirely in the hands of private companies.

    Private companies must try to achieve the maximum ratio of profit to shareholder capital employed. To do this they need to invest as little capital as possible and charge as much as they can for their product. They need not bother too much about providing a good cheap service for their customers, who can be diverted from the idea of switching to a better supplier by advertising, and the knowledge that other suppliers are motivated in the same way and probably just as bad.

    The answer is a public monopoly, which is not allowed to cherry pick, and is obliged to be as democratically accountable as possible.

  • Comment number 72.

    It is broadband with me. I had awful time with dial-up connex. South Korea's plan to go for slower connection to discourage kids from being glued to the computer is a retrograde step. A smoker will smoke his way or no way. On the contrary with the slower connection, they will spend more time to cover the distance. Jai Ho Broadband.

  • Comment number 73.

    Most people wouldnt know the difference between 5 meg connection and a 50 meg. 5 meg will be sufficient for any user and shared houses with 5 people downloading films (legally of course) will still not notice the problems. Unless people have 3 grand computer systems then the issue is with their hardware and not their provider and what is so important and large that requires downloading faster than a gig in 5 minutes?

    Businesses have different arrangements with service providers and typically have less need for fast connection. Mobile broadband is now much improved for those who need it.

    Yes things will change in the future but lets not panic over the few hundred people who dont fancy making a brew while the latest release downloads.

  • Comment number 74.

    We were discussing essentially the same topic only 3 weeks ago (around 22nd March) under the title "What's the best way to get Britain online?" and what I said there is just as relevant to this debate.

    Briefly, we could have been world leaders, but there was no commercial incentive to upgrade the system. Profit and inertia has won out over public service and foresight.

    To the various other posters to this subject I would say:

    1) Not all pensioners are afraid of the internet nor are we incompetent, stupid or easy targets for scams.

    2) I'm happy for you that you have working moderate speed (by some international standards) broadband, but as one stated, "I live 353 metres from the exchange". Well what do you expect? You are the lucky few. Move 4 miles away like my village and see how the real world lives. Just because we chose (or have) to live in the country doesn't mean we should be second class citizens with a second class service paying a first class price for something we don't get. It is even suggested that poor broadband can adversely effect the selling price of your house.

    3) Broadband is what you make of it. If you don't want to use it then that's your choice, but it matters to others. My friend keeps in touch with the specialist unit at a hospital 60 miles away in order to monitor his condition. There are people trying to run local businesses who are frustrated by poor connections. Like it or not it is the way ahead. The Green Party should love it - think of how many journeys or all kinds (be it to the local Blockbuster or Los Angeles) can be saved by working on line.

    4) There are heavy and light users. There are legal and illegal users. We are not all the same. To some it is an essential utility, to others it is a "nice to have" and to yet others it is still an irrelevance.

  • Comment number 75.

    10#
    Like you i too am signed up to Total Broadband Option 3 and am very pleased with my provider... BT
    Overall, BT have given me 9 years of excellent service with a few slow days. A bit like the arrival of my hand delivered post.

    I could not run my business which is based in the sticks, 3 miles from the rural exchange without fast broadband speed.

  • Comment number 76.

    #71 stanblogger

    "Our ancestors thought up the best way to handle communications when they invented the GPO and the penny post. In the 1920's they also came up with the best way provide a radio service - the BBC."

    The sentiment at least is true, but the history inaccurate. The BBC started life as a commercial concern. Consult the BBC archives they are very interesting.

  • Comment number 77.

    Our pubs used to close at 10pm so that we could all get enough sleep to go off and work in the munitions factories and win the war. Now that each individual is about to become tracked by the State from cradle to grave it is not surprising that it is seeking to make us do what is good for us - by turning off the internet for children at midnight as the South Koreans are about to do for example. This is just the beginning.

  • Comment number 78.

    What a great group of people these villagers are; this is how things used to work before all the big brother government control over us. Fast broadband is very important to everyday life in the 21st century, but we need independent private enterprize to supply us with everything this country needs. Get rid of Chairman Brown and his communist government, and I bet all of our country will soon be connected up to ultra fast broadband and all the other things we have been denied, because of the 'nanny state'.

  • Comment number 79.

    Those poor kids in Korrhea - 1 notice the so called Amnesty people r keeping quiet in all this what if it was there's cut off lol

  • Comment number 80.

    27. At 4:28pm on 14 Apr 2010, paulmarkj wrote:

    Answers to a writer's quesdtions:

    "At 12:56pm on 14 Apr 2010, Paul wrote:

    The biggest problem is the excessive regulation that the government is putting in place."

    No, as you will see.

    "...there's an example of a school being a wireless hub for a village's Internet access. Great idea. But... What happens when one person in the village downloads some illegal music? Does the whole village get cut off?"

    No, everyone has their own IP addess.


    ================

    Utter rubbish! In this example the entire village WILL get cut off, as they're using 1 local router, which is independent of the ISP. The ISP can only cut people off as far as this router, in other words the entire local network goes. IP addresses will most probably vary on such a network; they won't generally be static, you and your neighborhood may share a band of IP addresses instead.

    This is an excellent example of how broken the "digital economy bill" is; it simply can't cope with wireless connections which are now everywhere.

  • Comment number 81.

    77. At 12:15pm on 15 Apr 2010, coastwalker wrote:

    Our pubs used to close at 10pm so that we could all get enough sleep to go off and work in the munitions factories and win the war. Now that each individual is about to become tracked by the State from cradle to grave it is not surprising that it is seeking to make us do what is good for us - by turning off the internet for children at midnight as the South Koreans are about to do for example. This is just the beginning.

    =============

    Read it again. They're not turning off the entire internet for children at midnight. They're not that stupid - this would be far too likely to have unintended consequences (accidentally turning off the wrong things, blocking adults by accident, etc...).

    Instead, they're getting certain online games often marketed at children to stop under-18's from logging in after midnight. The trouble is, how do these online services know who's over 18 and who isn't? Simple answer: They don't. There's no way they can possibly check. They only have the information the kids give them - the kid just says to the games company / social network site that they're over 18, and they keep their access anyway. There's also the problem that the internet is an international thing, with varying time zones. They don't want all their online businesses (that's what games companies / social network sites are...) to go bust, so this needs to be done very, very carefully.

  • Comment number 82.

    DIY broadband is a great idea, it's likely to be more reliable & cost less than certain commercial companies. I hope more people in rural communities take the initiative since they're being let down by the multi million media providers. I live in the suburbs of a city & am supplied by Virgin, a service which has a fault at least once a week, but I'm still being charged top whack for an unreliable service & am tied in to the company because they're holding my £100 deposit to ransom, money I can ill afford to lose.

    The government really should get advisors who know what they're talking about when it comes to technology since the digital bill they've passed is completely wrong in it's approach to file sharing & borders on infringement of privacy.

  • Comment number 83.

    To quote:
    "As a country we need the extra speed to keep up with foreign companies "

    Why? Can I get a Korean firm to supply my broadband, then? Of course not. All this nonsense about "competing" with foreign countries is irrelevant in 99% of cases."

    Then we shouldn't view ourselves as 1st World or at the forefront of cutting edge technology either.

  • Comment number 84.

    Broadband is very important to me because I'm impulsive and do not do well with online waiting. I'm very happy with the quality of my internet connection?
    Is DIY broadband a good idea?
    With most networks converting their programming to high definition, there is an inclination to want your DIY Network to follow suit. This following-suit business costs - mainly your cable/satellite service provider's charge for increased bandwidth.
    Re: One third of the UK will not be served by next-generation broadband (rural areas not cost-effective). I don't think you really miss it till you've had it, but I also believe it's a human right to have information as efficently & effectively as possible.
    Do you worry that excessive time online takes people from the real world into a virtual one?
    Yes. It's not just South Korea.
    Governments all over the place are getting worried about gaming addiction. Recently a Korean couple was arrested for ignoring/starving their real baby while diligently attending a virtual baby.
    The South Korean Government is considering a “gaming curfew” to curb the addiction. The Ministry of Culture has suggested many solutions
    - from locking out school age players from the most popular games between midnight and 8 AM
    - to slowing down the gamer’s connection after lengthy login.
    Several game developers recognize the problem and have signed on. As of now I think the number of gamers involved is 19.
    Personally, I think young people - addicted as they are - will find a way online, curfew or no curfew.



  • Comment number 85.

    You ask "How far would you go to ensure a broadband connection?"
    Well, I'm moving house, and I'd be willing to pay a lot.
    Currently I am on Mobile BB because none of the SPs could supply me with a reasonable connection. BT, wouldn't install, Virgin ignore my requests, Sky connection was less than 1MB, Tiscali are idiots.
    I am miles from the exchange, so accept it. I work in Telecoms, and am no dummy on such things.
    The reason that I am moving? Because I work from home, so without reasonable BB I am as useless as a giraffe in a monkey farm. Not cos I'm addicted to it, stream everything or shop online like a banshee.....because I NEED it.
    That said, my Mobile BB is ok for what it is - tho heaven help me should I want to be productive on a Friday night after 6pm.....

  • Comment number 86.

    5. At 1:10pm on 14 Apr 2010, Toad In The Hole wrote:
    Quite important, although having a supper fast line is not.


    That'll be for ordering the takeaway pizza, I guess...?

  • Comment number 87.

    angry_of_garston is absolutely right:
    I used to have a really slow unreliable car and it forced me to only use it when I needed it, for things that were important. As soon as I got a faster, better car I was like an unfettered child in a sweet shop: driving around all over the place, going to places I wasn't even interested in. I'd even go as far as to suggest that I discovered certain roads which I couldn't even use before, and was MADE to drive down them!
    All because I was forced to have this so called 'better' car.
    How I wish I could have my unreliable, virtually useless car back.

  • Comment number 88.

    Broadband in the UK is not so bad. Very high speeds are not hugely important to me. If I'm downloading something big, I go away and do something else. The main problem is that people are too impatient and unimaginative these days. They want everything now, not in ten minutes. Yet they will wait the ten minutes fuming, rather than go and tidy the kid's bedroom or whatever. My experience over the years has been that UK broadband is generally reliable. Here in Australia, it is not only slow, but can be very unreliable. There is also very little real competition, so prices are very high compared to the UK. The government is planning a £20 billion programme of optical cable provision. Now, Gordon, how about that for an election promise?

  • Comment number 89.

    DIY broadband. It sounds like an absolutely essential idea for British people, who salivate at any opportunity to get down to one of those giant warehouses on a weekend and chat with 'Daz' or 'Kaz' about anything from six inch nails to dibbers. However, enthusiasm and result are not always the same; just look at that shelf that took several months, several visits to some former aircraft hanger on the outskirts of town, and endless hours of nagging by your wife, to finally get put up - and it's still not straight and you still can't put anything on it! Think twice, Britain.

  • Comment number 90.

    The internet isn't overly important to me, because I don't use it for anything essential. It isn't as important to me as running water.

    As for broadband, a lot of the sites I come across seem to take advantage of my faster connection through Flash animation advertising. I'm sure they'll upgrade to high-resolution video advertising once speeds permit it. Non-the-less, I enjoy using it, it makes life easier, and I am unlikely to consider moving to an area without cable.

  • Comment number 91.

    It doesn't matter, the country's internet development will nosedive in the next 12 months.

    The Digital Economy Bill will kill "Digital Britain".
    As a web developer, the internet is extremely important to me, at home as well as at work. With the digital economy bill, companies will be reluctant to grant internet access to any of it's employees.
    Most web developers don't carry an encyclopedia of computer languages, and the best web development comes from integration of web services between websites.

    Obviously, this law, and my line of work are incompatible.
    I am seriously considering emigration because of this. It is the type of law you'd only expect to see in China.

  • Comment number 92.

    I live on the very outskirts of town and my average speed is 4 - 5 mbs however my next door neighbour pays for mobile broadband to a jaffa company and they can only deliver speeds of up to 2.5mbs, BT is my line and although you get the up front charges its definately faster than Jaffa.
    but for all of you nice people out there, there is a nasty bit of Malware floating around calling itself : UPS failed collection message, whatever you do Do Not Open this or you will suffer the consequences (as I did) and you will have to run a spyware tool to kill it.

    Hope that this helps all you nice folk out there.

  • Comment number 93.

    Fast internet access is a common choice but how far can we go with the available limits.
    Computer and the internet is nothing but memory retribution system. We know what others knew.
    My question is, can internet or computers propagate us into the future?
    When we know the past, the present and the future, there will one thing for sure "boredom" unless we can discover new excitements for every moment that we encounter. The moments to feel happier.

    Science can lead us in univision towards that hope. The reality to see fears overcame, for that, information could be a precious tool.
    The fact that this whole creation is nothing but a controlled reality.

    Where is the universal reality resting? Are we all running on automation? And that cannot be anything but truer. The space remained a mystery to us. We humans communicate in vocal tongue but there are lots of living beings comunicate more intelligibly.

    Mind can explore more logically into the distant objects. Is there creation that communicates better than us? Yes, it is true and its the mind in question and we honour them not as Aliens but Angels, they move faster than the speed of light, while their shapes are permanent they beat the science of our perception.

    The internet is the perfect tool to connect towards that reality, THE AUTOMATION IN ABSOLUTE REALITY. Our zest to know is the simple way to connect into the Universal reality, where all the informations are stored and propagated. Including us as living beings. We have to fix our Planet from decay and destruction, life as a permanent reality, escaping death, rejuvenating lost life and establishing permanent glory.

    Expect GOD'S jubilation in us.

  • Comment number 94.

    When I read countries like South Korea have internet access at 100mb, I realize how poor things are in the US. Our cable provider, Comcast, seems elated we have 20mb and levies a surcharge for this "ultra high speed." To answer the question: Yes high speed is a necessity. With large files the time wasted waiting for downloads over a slow connection is horrendous. It should not be beyond private enterprise technology to provide internet at better speeds. It is just that cable companies want to take the maximum provider fees using old outdated infrastructure.

  • Comment number 95.

    How can it be that so many Countries what were up until recently Poorer Nations have much "Faster" Broadband Speeds then we have in the UK, where the average Internet Speed is only around 2 mbs.

    Therefore, why on Earth are we putting up with what is such lousy Service which cost us more than its worth in payments to our ISPs while they just continue to give us even more slower Speeds and Service Policies with regardless to our endless complaints about these Poor Internet Services.

    Its one thing to see the rest of the World outside of the UK getting much faster Broadband Download Speeds, but it quite another in trying to make our ISPs listen to us about the now laughable and slow 2mbs Speeds are that they are still refusing to up-grade us ALL from.

  • Comment number 96.

    Reading through the comments here it is obvious that we have two definite sides - the younger people who understand how to use the internet and realise that this is the new way of doing things, and the older generation of self righteous technophobes, merrily throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    Frankly the opinion of anyone who doesn't know how to use the internet for anything more than tapping out emails and ranting on HYS about how the world has gone wrong just isn't relevant here. Anyone who can’t see the value of high speed broadband is a very long way behind the times. Sure, you may be happy doing everything the long winded, more expensive old fashioned way, but then we shouldn’t really be surprised.

    Most of the people protesting that the internet is pointless and only good for making children lazy are the same generation that squandered the country’s wealth, took us into the EU, wreaked massive damage on the environment and caused the beginnings of the mass extinction that’s going on all around us. Why should we even listen to you? You have no idea what is going on these days, and the older you get the less your opinions will matter because your contribution to this planet is decreasing rapidly.

    The world belongs to the young. The internet is our new way of doing things, and if the old fogeys are too decrepit to learn how to use it that really isn’t our problem, they are the ones who will marginalise themselves with their ignorance and self imposed exile from the modern world.

    Amazing really, isn’t it. Like going to an all you can eat buffet and nibbling a breadstick.

  • Comment number 97.

    You have to congratulate this community for organising itself so efficiently to provide what it really wants?

    The majority of the UK 'BIG BOY' internet and telecommunications cartels work 'hand-in-glove' via 'piggy-backing' multiple purchases via one particular communication infrastructure 'master' in the UK?

    Well done! Perhaps this 'village in England' could roll out a 'franchise deal' to help other communities to get, what is already an over-priced and underwhelming connection and/or lack of 'service' based on cash-flow only?

  • Comment number 98.

    I'm 60 and consider myself above average in computor literacy.

    For me this argument is similar to the one before I was born, of the switch from radio to TV. Every old person then said they didn't want it, it was irrelevant, kill conversation etc. Well TV has resulted in the most knowledgeable generation in the history of mankind.

    I still think the current state of the internet is over-rated. What is it for? As a means of communication its faster and better (e.g. with Skype) than the telephone. The rest is browsing and downloading. This means music, films, tv programs and live sporting events. All of these are already covered by TV & DVD. But I admit the internet will provide it quicker (I do deplore the way my childrens generation will not wait for anything!) and so the introduction of faster internet is going to happen.

    As for the internet provider, remember that if it wasn't for the BBC not relying on commercial profit we would not have had TV throughout the UK as quickly as we did.

    My thoughts also go back to the computer services company I worked for 12 years ago. I know that there is nothing we do now that wasn't unknown then. The only diference in the technology is that memory and power (speed) have significantly increased. The technology is old, very old in terms of new technologies.

    The problem will be, as always, commercial. As long as internet providers are making money they will not change.

  • Comment number 99.

    I would like to know how people who do not have or will not move onto broadband keep their internet security up to date as many update file are many megabytes in size and take hours to download through a dial up connection.

  • Comment number 100.

    At 4:55pm on 14 Apr 2010, Michael Lloyd wrote:

    I am still on dial-up; it's a bit slow, indeed, far too slow at times, but since I do not have broadband then, to answer the question, it is not important to me.

    I would consider having broadband if 1. I could understand the pricing - I want the cost overall, not the price *for the first three months, after which tiny 2-point type in light grey on white spells out the rest and is unreadable; 2. I just want broadband - leave my expletive telephone service alone, I don't want free calls to Hindustan on the third Friday of every month with a K in it, nor do I want 700,000 digital TV channels full of dross and drivel; and 3. I could understand all the jargon.
    Absolutely agree, it's time that some control was brought to bear on these providers - The real price should be as prominent as the offer, and the real speed ratgher than 'up to'. I am on an up to 20meg line and am lucky if I get 4.

 

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