The Internet Speed Farce

How fast is your internet? It came as no surprise to me that the speeds claimed by the internet companies bear no relation whatsoever to the actual. People like Vodafone, BT and all the others like to give us a rosy picture as to what speeds we can get, but thankfully, a European Commission has finally investigated these claims and are now telling us the truth: i.e. it’s a rip-off!

An Unmitigated Disaster

An Unmitigated Disaster

Here on the Costa in Spain my wife and I were assured by Vodafone that even though they advertise 30mb, where we live we would get at least 8mb with our ADSL broadband connection. So naturally you think, well, we can live we that and we signed up. More fool us! We have consistently got no more than 0.3 to 0.4mb! We have constantly complained about it but we might as well be talking to a brick wall for all the help we get. Here is a sample of recent speed test results:

TEST_DATE TIME_ZONE DOWNLOAD Mb UPLOAD Mb LATENCY MS
6/22/2013 1:11 PM GMT 0.38 0.07 39
6/22/2013 1:12 PM GMT 0.38 0.07 38
6/27/2013 7:03 PM GMT 0.26 0.07 49
6/27/2013 7:13 PM GMT 0.26 0.06 66

One of their ‘technician’s’, and I use the term loosely, told us the reason was that “our phone lines were dirty”! Those were his exact words believe it or not!

Vodafone Router - Rubbish!

Vodafone Router – Rubbish!

With the router supplied by Vodafone we are also supposed to get WiFi for the rest of the house, but do we? Do we hell! My wife sets her MacBook Air within two metres of the router and can’t get a darned signal! We complain, and once again the technician makes a house call but tells us there is nothing he can do and we need to buy a booster. So in effect we need yet another piece of equipment just to get a WiFi signal to travel six feet!

My wife found a write-up from Vodafone saying that they advertised 30mb because anyone living within 600 metres of the base station will get 30mb. Maybe, but anything over 600 metres and the speed drops like a stone.

Yes Dear, I know The Feeling!

Yes Dear, I know The Feeling!

This is just an indication of how modern companies are ducking the advertising regulations about truth in advertising. In a clothes shop, if one single item is sold with a discount of 50% they can legally put up large signs saying they give 50% discount.

The internet companies, as with all others, are also clever by using the ‘up to’ phrase that catches many people out. ‘Up to’ can mean anything from 1 byte per second ‘up to’ the figure they claim, and no-one will do anything to stop the lies.

The Commission found that across Europe, broadband speeds are on average 25% lower than those claimed by the Internet companies. That is a huge disparity in anyone’s language.

Broadband Speed Comparison

Broadband Speed Comparison

Those of us who are still relying on copper communication cables are fairing the worst, with just 63.3% of households getting anywhere near the advertised speed, and then probably only when you live across the street from the base station. Unfortunately, here on the Costa they have never heard of fibre optic cables and are still living in the stone age when it comes to modern technology. Most of the phone lines are owned by Telefonica who have a virtual monopoly in Spain, and to date they feel absolutely no compunction to update the systems. Hell’s bells, they have faster internet speeds in places like Ecuador, Bolivia  and Puerto Rico than they do here in Spain and that is mostly Telefonica there also.

It is interesting to note that the EU wants to get all households on speeds of at least 30Mbps by the end of 2013 and half on 100Mbps by 2020. Well all I can say is, so far as Spain is concerned – Good Luck with that! Dominic Baliszewski, from website broadbandchoices is quoted as saying, “Fast broadband is no longer a luxury and is now just as essential as a reliable electricity supply….”. I wish he would tell that to the internet companies, and in particular Vodafone Spain.

Francisco Román Riechmann, President of Vodafone Spain - Git yer finger out matey!

Francisco Román Riechmann, President of Vodafone Spain – Git yer finger out matey!

I am well aware that in the north of Europe, Vodafone is a valued company that provides a reasonable service to all its customers, but the hierarchy really need to get a grip of the useless, incompetent, and lazy individuals who work for their Spanish company, for they are an unmitigated disaster in every sense of the word.

They Can't Even Maintain 3G or WiFi For The Damned Phone

They Can’t Even Maintain 3G or WiFi For The Damned Phone

They cannot even maintain a reasonable phone WiFi service, including 3G, which goes off at the drop of a hat. We regularly have no signal for the mobile phone when we are out which can cause extreme aggravation and stress. Yesterday my wife was at the post office in Marbella to pick up some money and had stored the necessary number, required to pick up the money, on her phone. There we stood at the counter with the form filled in and guess what? No WiFi or 3G signal on the bloody phone. We were forced to leave the post office and go across the road to a cafe and use their WiFi to get a signal – in the middle of Marbella! Then we could go back in and join the queue again! The sheer incompetence of Vodafone Spain just cannot be adequately described.

Idyllic Really, Well It Would Be If They Provided Reasonable Internet Speeds!

Idyllic Really, Well It Would Be If They Provided Reasonable Internet Speeds!

Unfortunately for us here on the Costa, where we are there is no alternative company because they are the only one that serves our area, with the exception of the many WiFi companies that abound here for the holiday makers and who’s speeds are even worse. I guess we must hope that somehow the European Commission can find a way to shake the cobwebs out of this country and get it moving forward into  modern times. Mind you, I’m not holding my breath!

Roy.

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