We have a shocking internet service here and are likely to continue to do so. ‘Superfast’ is on its way way are told, but it’s not coming here any time soon (I’ve checked, frequently) and we struggle along with a pathetic service where we are lucky to ever get speeds of more than 1 Mbps dowload and 0.5 upload.
As speeds elsewhere get faster, websites get bigger which means that it becomes harder and harder for us to download anything within a realistic time period. seriously compromising our daily lives in every respect. I do a lot of focus group interviewing via web conference and have had to become the master of improvisation as I prompt relevant chat while waiting for slides to load – with absolutely no idea how long it’s going to take before this happens and I can move the conversation on to where I need to and keep my respondents engaged.
We manage – somehow – but the real issue of concern is that we pay exactly the same rate for our broadband as others who are getting theirs much, much faster. There is no acknowledgement or compensation for the shockingly poor service received, and it’s hard to think of any other product or service where customers are so unfairly and indiscriminately charged.
There is no solution at present to improving the speeds, because despite its squeaks and squirms BT is absolutely not doing ‘all it can’ to bring high speed broadband to the whole of the UK. However there is a fairer way to deal with the problem, which is for the Government to step in and oblige service providers to structure their rates based on the speed of broadband delivered, so that the product cost is much more representative of what you are actually buying.
So our rate of up to 1 Mpbs is charged at x, and those lucky enough to be getting more than this are charged pro rata. Obviously rates for the majority (who recieve 1 Mpbs or more) can’t go up, so ours needs to come down – significantly – and at least we won’t feel so burdened by the insult to injury of being penalised and exploited every single day of our lives.
Even when we are all ‘superfast’ there must be controls in place to ensure that those who get on to ‘super-superfast’ are charged accordingly, and the rest of us unfortunates aren’t left short-changed once again.
I’m off to make a cup of tea (and probably fit in around of golf as well) while this post uploads.