Peter Cochrane’s blog at Silicon.com destroys the idea that the UK is a leader in broadband technology.
"… the UK fits into the world scene as follows: by households online: around 15th; by population served: around 18th; by growth rate last year: 14th; by lines added in 2004/5: fourth; by total lines per capita: sixth."
He also underlines the contention ratio issue (I touched on this briefly yesterday) quite succinctly:
"It is not unusual for between five and 15 (or more) UK customers to share a single port. Ergo, the actual rates presented can be one-fifth to one-fifteenth of the 128 to 512Kbps speed – and therefore a fraction of a typical dial-up connection. Indeed, some customers have complained that so-called broadband services have been so slow they have reverted to dial-up as their primary service."
Contrast this with the situation in Korea and Japan, where they started with a 10Mbps service as standard, then quickly moved up to 50Mbps, and are currently rolling out 100Mbps. And, by law, the advertised rate has to be supplied to every customer! As Peter says: "we don’t have any broadband to speak of…. The real online revolution has yet to hit the UK."