What is Superfast?

Wholesale voice and data communications provider, Entanet, and independent ISP listings and review site, ISPreview.co.uk,are calling on the government to clearly define ‘superfast’ broadband and put to an end confusion within the industry and amongst customers.

Guest blogging on Entanet’s opinion website, Mark Jackson, Editor in Chief at ISPreview.co.uk, states: “There was a time when the term broadband became synonymous with ‘fast Internet access’, albeit spoken in comparison to ancient dialup (narrowband) connections. Similarly, most attempts to define the term ultimately remain highly subjective to the time period in which they were first penned, yet crucially what was fast then is slow today.

“However an inability to define something so common-place as broadband could have serious repercussions for future generations of ‘super-fast’ (next generation access) services, which the government is currently trying to plug as a solution for the country’s aging telecoms infrastructure. After all, just what is ‘superfast?’”.

He continues: “As it stands today the definition of a ‘superfast’ broadband service appears to change depending on which government body you’re talking with at the time, which doesn’t bode well for the future. At the very least, such services should be able to deliver more than is currently possible over existing copper telephone lines (i.e. faster than ADSL2+, which tops out at 24Mbps), although clearly that’s not an opinion shared by all.”

Entanet backs Jackson’s call for a clear definition of what exactly is meant by ‘superfast’. “We agree with Mark that to truly meet the government’s targets, they need to ensure they clearly define key terminology such as ‘superfast’ broadband. Recent targets have been somewhat ambiguous of late, with claims such as ‘becoming a world leader in the provision of next generation broadband’ being used freely. Yet the only plans the government has to achieve these targets appear to be the 2Mbps USC which, let’s face it, will not deliver ‘world leader status’. Without clear definitions from the government, ISPs will continue to use the terminology ambiguously as part of their marketing, potentially spreading confusion further as they compete against each other’s claims. It’s time we had some clear definitions from the people setting these targets.”