EVERYONE knows that yours truly likes to make readers smile in this section but new research released recently shows that millions of broadband customers across the UK may have been misled about their broadband service.
Now that almost all broadband users say a reliable internet connection is important to them, clarity on which technology offers the best service is vital. The clear majority (86 per cent) thought the type of cable connecting them to the internet made difference to the speed they received, but 65 per cent didn't think their current connection relied on copper cables or hybrid copper-fibre, even though this is the case for most consumers. Almost a quarter (24 per cent) think they already have fibre cables running all the way to their premises (fibre-to-the-premises), despite this only being available to three per cent of UK properties. What's more, close to half (45 per cent) believe that services currently advertised as 'fibre' deliver this type of connectivity as standard, highlighting how confusing the status quo has made broadband for everyone. Once the difference between hybrid copper-fibre connections and full fibre was explained, two thirds thought the advertising rules should be changed so that hybrid services could no longer be called fibre.
CityFibre, who commissioned the 3,400-broadband customer survey from Censuswide, is taking the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) to court, disputing its conclusion that 'fibre' is not a misleading term in broadband adverts when used to describe hybrid copper-fibre connections. Infrastructure providers have sold 'fibre' connections for years - despite relying on copper cables to reach the home - and this has now become the industry norm, clouding people's understanding of the digital infrastructure they are paying to receive. While just under two thirds (65 per cent) said their broadband provider had described their connection as 'fibre', only one in six (17 per cent) thought this connection would include copper cables.
This confusion could mean that we miss out on the benefits of full fibre, damaging demand and so undermining the industry's ability to reach the Chancellor's target of national full fibre coverage by 2033. Any delay to the full fibre rollout risks the UK's ability to compete in a global digital economy.
So in conclusion it would appear that this months laugh is on 83 per cent of us .....Zzzzzzzzzzz