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Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Thursday 2/3/2006Tada! says BT. Look! DSL Max! Vrrooooom!
Written by Rupert Goodwins, Contributor

Thursday 2/3/2006

Tada! says BT. Look! DSL Max! Vrrooooom! We can make DSL go as fast as 8Mbps!

Rupert thinks about this. How does that differ from the DSL you put into my flat in 1998 during the trials?

TaDAAA! says BT. Fast fast FAST!

Yeah, but the DSL in my flat in 1998 would have gone up to eight if you'd have let it. That's the standard. You've just been limiting the rate.

NEEEOOOOW! says BT. DSL to the MAX!

And so on. It's very nice, and it won't cost any more (why should it?), and it's final proof that broadband has become a commodity service which you might as well have, and it shows that competition is the way to make telcos do things that telcos don't want to do. But it's sad that it's taken this long — and that we're not yet in the arena of the 100Mbps home connectivity that other countries are enjoying.

What else has changed in the eight years since BT started testing DSL in public? Well, to quote from that first report of mine:

"You'll notice that I haven't mentioned any of the online services that BT itself has been testing as part of the trial. This is because I never used them, and by all accounts nobody else on the trial bothered much either. BT provided a cumbersome and impenetrable front end to a selection of mediocre content and unreliable services that illustrated only quite how good the unadorned Web is for delivering exactly what you want with the minimum of fuss."

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