2 Meg vs 1 Gig

Way back in January, the UK government produced an interim report titled “Digital Britain” which sets out some “actions” that the UK authorities should take in order to deliver state-of-the-art communications facilities to the citizens of the nation. What astonished me was that inside, this report (action number 17 on page 12 to be precise) talks about ensuring that everyone in the UK has access to at least 2Mbps Internet by the year 2012. Astonishing because almost the very next day, the Korean government announced that their citizens will have access to 1 Gigabit per second Internet by 2012.

It’s often all too easy for some people over here to dismiss the significance of this by arguing along the lines of Korea (like Japan) being some far off place where things are somehow different and don’t really apply to the rest of the world. Easy until you see that one of our closest neighbours, France, already leaves us way behind in today’s connected world.

However, walking down my local High Street the other day I saw something that made me realise that it’s not just massive government commitment and spending that’s gonna speed up our Internet connections in the future. It’s going to be about finding solutions to practical all-too-common problems like this:

A kerbside cabinet used to deliver communications to people’s home. Vandalised.
(Taken with my cameraphone on Kingsbury Road, London NW9)

6 thoughts on “2 Meg vs 1 Gig

  1. The disturbing thing about the vandalised cabinet is that no-one appears to be doing anything about it. I would have thought that was a high-priority repair job?

    The figure for NZ in that spreadsheet is noted as being calculated from the average speed of ADSL2+, the reality is that anyone getting over 7Mbps is doing well.

  2. We have two similar ex-United Artists/Telewest cabinets in our street which are often to be found in a similar state. Not really surprising considering the flimsy construction compared to the old GPO edifices that were built to last, not down to a price. Digital Britain – over hyped and over priced 🙁

  3. The Virgin Media curb side junction box on my street was also in a similar state until recently. The door was wide open. I find the security on these junction boxes to be highly questionable. Someone who knows what they’re doing can easily attach a device to individual lines and monitor every packet of data coming and out of my network 🙁

    I’ve recently upgraded to 50Mb downstream and 1.5Mb upstream. the upstream speed has made a huge difference to how I experience the internet. As a heavy uploader to flickr and regularly sending large files to colleagues the extra speed is a god-send. The 50Mb download speed is useful when watching HD streaming video or downloading large binary files.

    1Gb would be bliss! 🙂 I’m moving to Seuol! LOL

  4. Rhys, I am on ADSL2+ officially rated at 20Mps down, and I get sustained throughputs of around 16Mbps down. Not at all too bad. By the way, I see LOTS of these cabinets vandalised and left hanging open for days on end here in London.

    Jim, the cabinet pictures is an NTL one – which is now Virgin Media – just like your old Telewest ones. In fact, whenever I hear or read the term “Virgin Media” I get a vision in my mind of vandalised cabinets like this up and down the nation! You are so right about the build quality, the Post Office/BT cabinets are rock solid.

    Most certainly is sad pic Robin.

    Kaustav, so right, they are a major security problem – best to encrypt all comms before it leaves your home! 🙂
    Like you; I have found the upload speeds to be the thing that I really noticed when I switched to ADSL2+ (From O2 Broadband of course). I get a sustained 1.8 Mbps up on my connection. Flickr video uploads are much faster than they used to be when I only used to get 256 up.

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