Broadband News

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ISPs Reveal Line Speed Data

31 Jul 2009 | 11.10 Europe/London
Plusnet have joined Entanet in disclosing the IP Profile distribution of their customers. The IP profile or BRAS Profile in BT's MaxDSL system is the IP traffic rate appropriate to the modem line speed, so a full speed 8128 kbits/s line has an IP profile of 7150, a 2272 kbits/s has a 2000 profile, and so on.

Entanet's data includes their fixed speed 512k, 1M and 2M customers which distorts things a little however 20% of their customers have the full 7150 profile, ie the full 8M service, and 43.3% have a profile of 6000 or higher.

Plusnet separate out their fixed speed customers (15% of total) and the most common profile of the MaxDSL "up to 8M" customers is 6500 with just under 40,000 customers, the full speed 7150 profile is not far behind with 33,000 customers. From the Plusnet graphs I estimate they have the same number of customers with 6000 or higher profiles as they have with 3000 and below. Last year they published similar data showing 36.5% of customers at 6M or above and 28% at 3M or below.

Plusnet has also analysed the speeds by region and by OFCOM market type - the competitive Market 3 exchanges tend to be in larger towns and cities. In both cases there isn't a large distinction in the speed distribution across either the region or the market types, about 40% of customers with a given line speed are in Market 1 (mainly rural) and a similar amount in Market 3. We often hear how Wales is disadvantaged yet they appear to have a similar percentage of the slow and the fast lines right across the board.

From this useful information it is clear to see the fallacy in the views being put forward in the media that you don't get full line speed even if you live in the telephone exchange.

[ Entanet ] [ Plusnet ]
dj says:
I thought the media were saying or at least the ofcom report was saying that you can't get 8Mbps at all which is correct you only get a max real download rate of ~7Mbps due to overheads. How providers can get away with including the overheads in the rate is beyond me.
31 Jul 2009 | 12.52 Europe/London
Phil says:
It is simply a question of definition. Just like power outputs of cars have more than one definition there are multiple layers in networking and hence more than one speed. It was either Bulldog or UKOnline who started the trend with their 8000 product - ATM cell rate. BT's fixed speed 2M was 2272 ATM rate but 2000 TCP/IP and ~1890 useful data. It doesn't matter anyway, it won't go faster by calling it something different.
04 Aug 2009 | 08.30 Europe/London