Rory Cellan-Jones

100Mbps broadband - who needs it?

  • Rory Cellan-Jones
  • 10 Feb 09, 14:39 GMT

I'm writing this from the fastest domestic broadband connection I've yet experienced. It's at a new housing development in Wembley in north London which lured me here with the promise of 100Mbps.

From their show flat with a view of the roof of Wembley Stadium I've so far managed to do a live radio broadcast via fast broadband - though my PC crashed and needed rebooting minutes before I had to go live - and we're also trying to broadcast live TV over the net, though here we're being slightly hamstrung by the limitations of our broadcast software.

While this housing development has been wired with fibre from the start, and residents have access to phone, broadband and TV over the network, nobody is actually being offered a 100Mbps subscription.

Instead residents pay for an 8, 16 or 32Mbps service - but then can press a button marked "boost" to get their speed up to 100Mbps. That costs them £1 for 30 minutes. It seems the developers aren't convinced there is yet a real demand for 100Mps. They have "future-proofed" the homes, but if you want to spend a lot of time in the internet fast lane the bills will mount up.

What the developers Quintain tell me is that for plenty of residents 32Mbps at around £30 a month is more than enough. For some of the students who live here, that means they can also get by without a television, using the BBC iPlayer and other online services for all their viewing needs. I didn't inquire too closely whether they had got themselves a television licence.

We pressed the boost button - and revved up to "100Mbps". A quick speed test proved pretty impressive. I got 78Mps downstream and as much as 50Mbps upstream, meaning I could have sent my video files to the BBC in seconds rather than minutes. And nobody really expects to get right up to the advertised speed, do they?

But showing just what fast broadband could do proved tricky. There had been some rather over-excited claims that it meant you could download a movie in seconds, which was obviously untrue. But we tested it with Apple's iTunes, attempting to download a 1Gb movie. We got a message telling us that would take 20 minutes, so we stopped.

A helpful network engineer from the organisation running the service told me that even if you were getting out onto the internet at 100Mbps, you would find the brakes being slammed on once you hit Apple's servers. "iTunes has a limit on the speed at which you can download," he said. With very few people able to go that fast, it's apparently not worthwhile catering for them.

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So we turned to the good old iPlayer and downloaded a programme. The latest edition of "Who Do You Think You Are?" is an hour long and is a 341Mb file. We had that downloaded and playing within a minute - pretty impressive. (By the way, you may notice that on the tape the man from Quintain ends up clicking on the stream rather than the download but I can assure you that the file was there - I had a go after him and downloaded an episode of Top Gear in under a minute too).

This kind of speed will only spread slowly across Britain - it's relatively cheap to lay fibre into new homes, but costs a fortune to dig up the streets and bring fast broadband to everyone.

But from what I've seen in Wembley, fast broadband will mean big changes to the way we view - and make - television.


  • Comment number 1.

    No need to be coy about enquiring if the students have tv licenses. If they're only using iPlayer and other non-live feeds (i.e. not at the same time as the on-air broadcast) they don't need one.

  • Comment number 2.

    In one housing development in the only city which the BBC seems to think exists.

    There are over 50 million people living outside of this city who will have to be catered for - today's item on Working Lunch was sensationalist at best - it will be many, many years before the rest of us get access to this.

  • Comment number 3.


    I think you'll find they do need a TV license.

  • Comment number 4.

    booktrunk, They DO NOT need a TV licence. I do not need one either as I only have a large monitor (with no freeview built in) and dvd player, and only watch archived shows on iplayer. They cant touch me!

  • Comment number 5.

    You only need a TV license if you watch live television. I personally only watch pre-recorded shows and as such do not require a TV license. I was rather suprised to here this, but it was verified by the people at TV Licensing.

    A Student

  • Comment number 6.

    #3 - no they don't. A TV licence is required to view or record broadcasts. This means things that are sent to everyone - at the same time they are sent to everyone. So viewing a live feed from the BBC website of pictures that are also being broadcast on the BBC over the airwaves requires a license. iPlayer and other things such as 4OD do not send you "live" broadcast.

    However, if enough people cancel their TV licenses and just view iPlayer, I would imagine the BBC might choose to restrict iPlayer to licence payers only via some technical route, or they might try to persuade parliament to change the license terms. But as of today - if you ONLY view iPlayer and similar services, no TV license is required.

  • Comment number 7.

    Do you actually need a licence if you don't have a telly and actually watch everything (non-live of course) via your PC?

  • Comment number 8.

    You only need a TV license if you watch live TV broadcasts. You can own a TV and only use it for watching DVDs, games consoles, computer monitor, iPlayer without needing to buy a license.

  • Comment number 9.

    'tis a tad annoying that iTunes (and other services for that matter) limit how fast/slow users can download content, but then they are in the same boat ... they have limited bandwidth, and need to cater for their audience.

    Although this sounds like a bad point, still having 100Mbps means that, while the download speed is limited, it does mean the bandwidth is there for users to download content from multiple sources. Say, for example, watch an episode on iPlayer whilst downloading a movie via iTunes. Both which, in theory, should still run pretty well.

  • Comment number 10.

    If you get another chance to test speed on a Mac, instead of using iTunes for a download, try Software Update. If there are big updates available they come down from the (I guess different) Apple servers at very high speed.

    I'm no longer in the UK, and even out where I'm living in the sticks in Japan I have a 100Mbps line I pay around 30-40 pounds a month for, with no monthly download limitations. It's great, but I can't say I need such speeds more than 10% of the time. Then again I can't get iPlayer here (unfortunately - I would pay for it if I could!) otherwise my usage would be a lot higher!

  • Comment number 11.

    Well bully for you Rory

    Here in East London a new (well 5 years old) estate is lucky to get 1M.

    We had to PAY, get that, to have Virgin install cabling to the estate and provide their grotty service complete with the auto complaint department.

    Strange thing is its amazing what you can do with 1M unless you want to download big files so I guess that is what BT et al think also.

  • Comment number 12.

    Nice to find out what the upstream speed is at last. Made a press enquiry, but they never got back to us, and their website does not provide any info on the upstream.

    Just maybe there will be a turn around with developers finding that a good comms infrastructure can help sell properties, or least give them an advantage over competing developments.

  • Comment number 13.

    I heard your report on this on the Today program and the closing line "while the rest of us limp along on 4, 6 or 10Mb/s" made me want to throw something at the radio. I'm lucky if I can get HALF a Mb/s out of my BT broke-band connection - the other day it was down to 28kb/s (and that was the download, half as fast as dial-up!). You really should get out of London occasionally and try the real world. Oh, and stop believing all the rubbish statistics from BT and their pensioners in Ofcom and the government's broadband excuse, sorry policy, units.

  • Comment number 14.

    How nice for you! I'm sure the rest of us will just have to cope with the 'barely broadband' service for quite a while to come...That the UK has one of the slowest average speeds for any developed nation speaks volumes about our apathetic government and useless monopoly telecom provider [BT] who have poleaxed and sabotaged our economy for years,and years to come,no doubt.Your 100Mbps speed is just an irrelevence to most peoples experience in the UK.

  • Comment number 15.

    The 100Mbps is a measure of the connection speed not the data transfer speed. 76Mbps is probably the best you can expect, allowing for the overhead of managing the connections and any collisions. I've not done the calculations but I'm sure someone more bored than me will.

    You then go on to talk about a 1Gb video file but I suspect you mean 1GB (byte, not bit). This would normally be a bit pedantic but given that you are talking about data transfer, it's important to get the facts right.

    Generally, when you talk about communication speeds, you use bits per second but when you are talking about file size you talk in bytes.

    I'm not entirely sure what your point is, apart from free advertising for someone actually future proofing new homes, as we have had true 100Mbps to the desktop in the workplace for years and now are seeing 1Gbps and 10Gbps emerging. We don't tend to stream media that often in our offices but we find plenty of uses for the bandwidth. I would have thought 10Gbps in the home would revolutionise home entertainment. The fact that Apple and other service provides limit their download speeds at the moment is more about economics that anything else.

  • Comment number 16.

    Sounds like driving on the M25 in a Porsche at 8:00 in the morning! There will be a bottleneck somewhere along the line.

    On the TV licence issue, the page at
    notes "To watch TV online as it's being broadcast, you need a TV Licence"

  • Comment number 17.

    My only thought of 100Mbs is...

    This would be utterly fantastic for video HD.

    I'm I use videophones a lot (ie via Skype etc) but having 100Mbs would be fantastic...although obviously not everyone have that...but if rolled out across UK etc...

    Lots of benefits of this...such as webservers at home, with better P2P management etc etc - decentralising services etc. Lot of potential with everyone having access to high speed connection.

  • Comment number 18.

    I am surprised that this broadband connection isn't provided by the developer as part of the service charge package or by the housing association. Why pay for such massive bandwith individually when the costs could be shared. How will we get britain online and using the internet effectively if we charge for even 1mb bandwith and then extra for 30 min boosts? Digital Britain would appear to be a long way off.

  • Comment number 19.

    Quote: "...And nobody really expects to get right up to the advertised speed, do they?"

    Yes, some of us do, and the rest of you should damn well insist on it too.

    If you were in a pub, paying full price, and only got 3/4 pints because it was "busy" would you be satisfied with that as well?

    I could go on, but I wont.

  • Comment number 20.

    A TV Licence IS required if you have the capability to watch any BBC content.

    In the same old way that you would still get caught out with the line, "I only watch videos and never watch TV", the same is true with the internet as they broadcast a live feed on the BBC site.

    I am pretty sure that very shortly there will be an advert reflecting this. Equally, I'm sure that there will be uproar and a huge review of the licence feee but until then, you must have one if you can receive BBC content and that includes via the internet.

    This is a BBC forum, perhaps the BBC would like to confirm/deny?

  • Comment number 21.

    Right, I am in the wrong and very happily so.

    From the TV Licencing Website:

    "You do not need a TV Licence to view video clips on the internet, as long as what you are viewing is not being shown on TV at the same time as you are viewing it. "

    I've got a decent broadband connection and thus I'm now in favour of ditching the TV!

  • Comment number 22.

    Are you sure iTunes has a download speed limit? It only takes me about two minutes to download movies from the iTunes store on my university Internet connection. The rest of the Internet does not generally run this quickly though so they might have some kind of local chache? I think they may do this with other ISPs but it sounds like they don't with yours :(

    Also, students don't even need a TV license to watch live TV if they have a laptop and run it off it's internal battery and their permanent address is another UK address that has a TV license (so if you go home to your parents house in the holidays and they have a license you're fine). This is because the laptop, when running on it's own battery counts as a portable television. The TV lisencing authority doesn't mention this on the threatening letters try send out to students, but I rang them and they confirmed this information is correct!

  • Comment number 23.

    Personally I'm just sick of the heavy mob from TV licencing sending out veiled threatening letters fortelling "'a visit'" for a licence I don't need for a TV I haven't got!!

    Get with the flow BBC - not everyone finds your broadcasting schedules impressive or your broadcasters salaries an inducement to go back to my owning a TV set ever again.

  • Comment number 24.

    The TV license is confusing but here goes.

    To watch LIVE streams, whether it be via a TV service OR the BBC online streams DOES require a TV license.

    To watch on-demand streams (like the archived offeigns on iPlayer, itvPlayer and youtube, you DO NOT require a license.

    Anyone saying anythign othr than this does not understand the trminology properly.

    As for broadband, those of you complaining about poor speeds should really consider switching to cable instead.

  • Comment number 25.

    You appear a little slow there. I've had 100Mbs to the home for something like seven years now.

    However, this 100Mbs goes as far the nearest BRAS, from then on, it's a free for all.

    A "Boost" button, what a joke! I hope it is big and red and makes lots of noise.

  • Comment number 26.

    Please get your basic facts about bits and bytes right.
    Lower case "b" is a bit
    Upper case "B" is a byte

  • Comment number 27.

    hackerjack, jrnixon - it's "licence" not "license".
    Richard_Bellamy, nomadcelt - it's "licensing" not "licencing".

  • Comment number 28.

    As I understand the TV Licensing law, you need a TV licence if you have the capability to receive live broadcasts. Whether you watch them or not is immaterial.

    Since some channels now offer live broadcasts simultaneously on television and on the internet, if you have an internet connection and a compatible web browser, that's enough for them to get you.

  • Comment number 29.

    aardfrith You're wrong. Even TV Licensing's own web site explains that you don't need a licence for 'capable' equipment, just for actually receiving broadcasts. As bothering to do thirty seconds worth of research would have shown you.

  • Comment number 30.

    It took me over 4 months to get a BT phone line reconnected (there was already one here) to house I've moved to.

    The expected speed from BT for my line 256kbs. Utter rubbish, 4 months hassle for nothing!

    All this talk of fast internet is passing half the country by.

    Why doesn't the government employ 10's of thousands of people (off the dole queue) to dig up all the country and lay this 'fibre' so as when the recession ends it is there to be benefited from by al, not just people who live in swanky London flats.

    This would get the job done, give people work, and leave a legacy when it is complete

  • Comment number 31.


    You say you don't need a TV licence if you watch online TV from your laptop if it is using it's internal battery.

    Apart fro it being a strange condition, does you battery last a whole evening?

    I doubt it.

    Perhaps if all the people who try and find ways of not paying the licence, actually paid it then it may come down in price for all.

  • Comment number 32.

    I think allot of people are missing the point of this blog it is about the broadband speed not whether you need a licence to watch tv online.

    Also great to see more people correcting the continuous problem with the incorrect terms being used for file sizes and upstream and downstream speeds.

    In addition I have been enjoying my 20MB Cable bb service from Virgin Media for some time now and am looking forward to the 50MB service and will be trying it out when it's available

  • Comment number 33.

    I have a mobile broadband stick with a monthly limit of 5gb. I hardly get near this limit with surfing and downloading a few songs, a film at 1.2gb would eat it up though, and this is where the future lies, HD downloads.

  • Comment number 34.

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

  • Comment number 35.

    @ Post 24

    "As for broadband, those of you complaining about poor speeds should really consider switching to cable instead."

    Sure, you give me the £10,000 that Virgin are going to charge me for cable on my raod and I will happily change to cable!

    If you are not willing to transfer the £10,000 then I recommend you wake up to real world.

  • Comment number 36.

    "it's relatively cheap to lay fibre into new homes, but costs a fortune to dig up the streets and bring fast broadband to everyone."

    I guess you've never heard of the latest schemes to use the existing sewer network to save the digging?

    Ahh, its not in London, is it? That'll be why...

  • Comment number 37.

    @Post 35, Mighty Morfa Power Ranger.

    You are forgetting that the majority of the UK isn't covered by cable, only the big population centres of big towns and cities, small towns and villages can only dream of fibre.

    I see the US has just passed a bill for $7 billion dollars for investment in broadband deployment.

    When is Gordon Brown going to stop bailing out people who don't deserve it, and invest in some infrastructure so if we ever get of this recession we'll have the capability to compete in the world.

    Talking of licence fee, if BT say my maximum speed is 256kbs (one quarter of a meg) then do I get a reduction as I can't benefit from BBC investment in streaming technology?

  • Comment number 38.

    There are companies looking at providing fiber by not digging the road. One of the most promising is using current domestic piping, this means using the sewerage system! It has proven to be allot less expensive than having to dig the roads up, its quicker to deploy, cheaper to provide, and means less jams for the drivers among us.

    As for the need, who in their right mind would pay £1 for 30 mins of access?? This will never ever convince people to use it..

  • Comment number 39.

    Whilst I can only sit and look on in admiration for the technological leap that gives some 100mbps internet access. I also sit with tears of frustration as I belong to the 3% of the UK who for technological reasons (line length or type of construction) that can't even get into the 20th century let alone the 21st.

    Aplaud, as I do the recent paper on declaring Broadband Universal Servive Obligation (maybe and at some future date) please spare athought for us whilst we wait for dial -up. Or, should we as BT Wales suggested purchase satellite access at a cost I believe of c£1k p.a instead of Broadband at c£200 - £250 p.a.

    Good luck to you and I hope you enjoy your downloads.

  • Comment number 40.

    I'm afraid this article smacks of sloppy journalism, and I had assumed that you were above and beyond that Rory. I know you've done your homework on the fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) issues, and I know that you know about the great work that people like Daniel Heery in Alston, the folks at the Community Broadband Network, and others, are doing on fibre.

    This whole debate about 100Mbps and will people use it is rubbish. When broadband first arrived 10 years or more ago, we were all used to 56Kbps modems, and most of us were pootling along OK with that. Now we are all complaining that we can't get 8Mbps or more.

    What is needed here is a bit of vision - not much, but a bit. So armed, we could then see the potential that 100Mbps (or more) symmetrical connectivity could deliver in terms of social and economic benefits, especially for more rural communities. Please let us not be diverted by the likes of BT and their opinions about people not needing more than 10-20 Mbps. That sounds to me like the guy from IBM who said the world would probably only need 5 or 6 computers, or the Postmaster General who commented, on the launch of the telephone, that it might be fine for folks in the USA, but in the UK we had plenty of telegraph boys, and so had no need for such stuff.

    Why do I get the feeling that the UK will still be argung over whether fibre is actually a good investment or not, while the rest of Europe will be enjoying the return on that investment, while pointing and laughing at the quaint Brits and our strange obsession with copper?

  • Comment number 41.

    "In addition I have been enjoying my 20MB Cable bb service from Virgin Media for some time now and am looking forward to the 50MB service and will be trying it out when it's available"

    I'm pretty sure the Virgin service is 50Mbps not 50MB, otherwise they'd be advertising it as 400Mbps surely...

  • Comment number 42.

    I laugh at the thought of this much bandwidth.

    I am a customer of Virgin Media. I buy their basic 2MbS package. The service level is dreadful.

    Over the past 20 days I have been keeping a speed diary (you can see it on - amongst my other babble) Virgin have barely been able to offer me 50% performance level against the service for which I pay.

    This is a choice made by Virgin. They choose to limit the bandwidth they offer people, so that they can give everyone a mediocre service, and then hope no-one will complain.

    If broadband companies want to be regarded as utility companies, then they must offer utility like service levels. i.e. when I turn on the tap I always get water. When I switch on a power socket I always get electricity. When I switch on my broadband I always want 100% of what I am paying for!!

  • Comment number 43.

    Virgin Broadband I wouldn't trust as far as i could throw it. Research before you sign for and pay for some half ars ed service that gives you half what it claims.

    Where I live we use 'Be' it claims 20Mbps dwn and 1Mbps up we actually get 13Mbps dwn and 900ish Kbps up for £20 month I'd recommend it to anyone.

    And the best bit NO DOWNLOAD LIMIT, so after a session of online gaming one weekend they don't cut you off the next.

    Failing that if you have sky, take advantage of what they offer, for what you pay 'not bad' just diabolical customer service, and you are contractually obliged to not update the firmware!!!!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!? As they roll it back to some pre '05 firmware thats the only place it sucks. (cheat and just buy another router and hack the old) it's all online.

    i r 1337 u hav n00b intrnetz, i has Be intrnetz thay r bests lolololollolllollolololo

  • Comment number 44.

    As a past BT employee I can assure the forum that BT have previously approached Oftel with proposals to extend fibre coverage across initially London, then spreading into the rest of the UK. Oftel refused to allow BT to commence with the project (although BT were ready for an immediate start) on the grounds that it would be anti-competative.
    As for satellite broadband, I still work in the Telecoms industry, and would never contemplate a secure high speed data connection via a skyhook. Satellite signals are prone to noise and interuption due to defraction. Rain, snow, fog or even the wrong kind of sunshine is all it takes to kill the signal.

  • Comment number 45.

    100Mbps. woopdedoo. For £32 pcm I'd expect a 1Gbps connection.

    Fat chance of me ever getting it though even if it does happen in the UK, I can't afford it and won't be any time soon given the way the economy is going.

    Rory and other people who are "pushing" the latest technology would do well to remember that there is an increasing number of people on low incomes (less than £20k pa) or at worst unemployed here in the UK.

    And many of those people cannot afford super-duper broadband connections, certainly not at £30+ pcm and what they can afford is virtually no better than dialup at times in terms of speed, not to mention the frequent congestion causing outages in the networks or just the fact that ISPs throttle the connection so you can't get onto the web anyway.

    As a low paid technology interested person I am sick to death of seeing new technology being aimed at and sold to "those that can afford it", the digital divide is widening and no-one seems to give two bits about it.

    My parents for example cannot even afford an internet connection, my mother works in a well known supermarket (I won't post their name as that'd be advertising and the BBC doesn't do advertising, or so I thought) and earns about £12k pa and my father is retired on a state pension, where are they supposed to get even a 32Mbps connection from Rory?

    The government here in the UK and ISPs are always bleating on about "digital Britain" but when you get right down to it they don't have an answer for why the low paid, retired or unemployed are being left behind in "digital Britain" and I don't suppose on your quite luxurious income you do either Rory!

    Oh and those people commenting here that they have a slow connection, pay too much, blah, blah, blah need to step back and consider that many people struggle to afford a connection to the internet which these days seems to be a requirement of living!

  • Comment number 46.

    Good for london.

    I remember I read an article about Japan launching a satellite just for providing internet speeds upto 1GBps direct into homes.

    They still hold the fastest internet transfer record.

    And I agree with RavenMorpheus.

    I guess only British government should use those 100MBps links because they are monitoring everyone for everyone's benefits and all those technologies they use require lot of bandwidth.

  • Comment number 47.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 48.

    nomadcelt wrote:
    Right, I am in the wrong and very happily so.

    From the TV Licencing Website:

    "You do not need a TV Licence to view video clips on the internet, as long as what you are viewing is not being shown on TV at the same time as you are viewing it. "

    I wonder... does that mean if there is a 5 second delay between what you are watching and the "live" TV. That is delayed and streamed, therefore, I don't need a TV license.

    Also don't forget you only pay a TV license for BBC! 4OD ITVPlayer, Demand5 etc are free

  • Comment number 49.

    Definitely an exciting prospect to one day have 100Mbps connections for personal use, but as mentioned previously in these comments it does seem somewhat of a pipe dream for many rural customers.

    Quite like the idea of having the 100Mbps broadband internet connection at the press of a button too, quite the novel approach.

  • Comment number 50.

    100Mbps broadband?

    How about 10 Mbps first?

  • Comment number 51.

    Its amazing to hear about 100 Mbps speed in UK. It means we are moving in the right direction towards achieving our dream of "Digital Britain". But the Need of the Hour is the "Broadband connectivity to all the UK citizens" and not the speed factor. First lets all unite to be the citizens of "Digital Britain" and then we can progress with the speed.There is a lot of Digital Divide between the people of UK.

    The Rural people are hardly connected to Broadband and the government must take necessary steps in solving this problem. Even if govt lays cables to rural areas, the people living there should be given Broadband at a cheap rate so that even the poor people will have access to the Broadband.

    My wish is that BT,being the govt organization,can take the initiative of promoting the Rural UK while the private players can go on to all the Urban areas and all of them together should make the world turn towards the "Digital Britain".

  • Comment number 52.

    I'll eat my hat if we ever see 100mbps speeds in even 50% of UK homes. This is pure fantasy and soundbite politics that the government is so fond of. Fact is, we need a nationwide fibreoptics network. I read the Thatcher government was approached with the idea in the 1980's by a consortium offering to build a nationwide fibreoptic network for about £3billion. Unsurprisingly the idea was rejected as that government lacked any semblance of vision. However, it would have been a great invetment and would have helped the UK enormously in the digital age. Whilst BT must share some blame, consider that due to Ofcom laws BT are expected to build the network, maintain it, whilst allowing rivals to piggyback for free, undercut them and pay nothing towards capital expenditure themselves. All the while having a cap on what they charge rivals for the pleasure of using a network they finance. It's a myth BT have a "monolopy". They don't. If they DID then they might have built a nationwide fibreoptic network. As it is, why on earth would BT commit to spending £billions on a fibreoptic network that the competition can utilise without helping to finance?! THey have shareholders now, BT are not state-owned. This gets to the heart of the problem. It's the GOVERNMENT that should be funding a national fibreoptic network under the auspices of a national project, but like trains, motorways etc. we license the work out to private sector companies and end-up paying more for an inferior product. BT are a PLC now, meaning they won't invest in large capital projects unless they see a very high return on that investment. If they can keep using the existing dated copper-wire technology and making incremental improvements then they will. Virgin deserve some praise because at least they offer a genuine alternative. As ever, the blame lies squarely with succesive shortsighted goverments, both Tory and Labour. Rather than fiddle around we should bite the bullet now and finance a national fibreoptic network, before we fall further behind the rest of the world, as you can be sure from France to Australia they will be building superfast national networks. Seriously, we're so far in the red now, what difference will another £15billion make? At least we're getting some substantive and lasting return on that investment.

  • Comment number 53.

    I'd have to say that Cable is the way to go.
    Out here in Finland, our connections are generally good (going up to 120Mb in Helsinki on cable), but if using normal phone line, then it's very area specific.
    I used to have an 8Mb phone line connection that was giving out 5.2Mb actual speed when tested on Since then I've changed it to a cheaper 5Mb cable connection and was surprised to see after testing it was putting out 4.9Mb!
    If you can afford it, it's well worth changing to cable, otherwise you will probably just have to wait.


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