HIGH SPEED BROADBAND in Europe is but a shadow of what it is supposed to be, according to European Commission VP Neelie Kroes.
Kroes said that consumers just aren't getting the advertised speeds that they pay for, and that in most cases people can expect to get three quarters of the bandwidth they were promised.
"This is the first time the difference between advertised and actual broadband speeds is confirmed by comparable and reliable data from all EU Member States," she said.
"Consumers need more of this sort of data to help make informed choices, so we will repeat the exercise. And we take these first results as further proof of the need for a real connected single market."
In a test designed to replicate the user experience with Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 (IE8), the EC found that broadband cable speeds were on average around 90 percent of what was advertised. Fibre punters got about 85 percent of the speeds they paid for, and DSL customers got about 63 percent (PDF).
Overall though, fibre users got the highest average download speeds at peak hours, 41.02Mbps. Cable was second at 33.10Mbps and DSL limped in at 7.2Mbps. Ultimately, said the EC, average download speeds across all countries and all technologies, was a shade under 20Mbps.
Upload speeds fared better, and the EC found that promises were based in reality. It said that the average upload speed across European states was 6.20Mbps, or about 88 percent of advertised speeds.
The EC asked volunteers to come forward and help the EC with its studies to build up a bigger broadband picture.
Closer to home, UK telecoms body Ofcom has released its latest collection of communications moans and gripes. It put EE at the top of its inglorious most complained about list. µ