Mystery ADSL upgrade

Having written earlier this evening about getting started with ADSL, one of the services that I use is the ADSL guide speed test. When we got our broadband connection at home back in 2003 (primarily for my wife’s business, but I also frequently work from home), 512Kbps was the fastest available ADSL connection. We haven’t knowingly upgraded since but recent tests suggested that the connection is delivering 1800-1900Kbps anyway. Being suspicious of the ISP’s own speed tests I tried the ADSL guide test instead and over the last week or so I have consistently recorded results similar to the following:

Results from broadband speed test recorded on Friday, 6 January 2006, 19:27
Downstream
– Actual speed: 1803 Kbps (225.4 KB/sec)
– True speed estimate: 1947 Kbps (including overheads)
Upstream
– Actual speed: 239 Kbps (29.9 KB/sec)
– True speed estimate: 258 Kbps (including overheads)

It’s interesting to note that the actual speed figure is the amount of useful data that the connection can transmit/receive per second, whilst the true speed figure includes an approximation of data overheads (estimated at around 8%). Whichever figure is used, it looks like the line has been upgraded to around 2Mbps and, as we’re not paying any more than we did for 512Kbps (although prices have dropped considerably over the same period, so what we pay is about the market price for 2Mbps), I haven’t checked with the ISP in case it’s all a mistake!

One thought on “Mystery ADSL upgrade


  1. Om Malik has made some interesting observations on ever-faster Internet connectivity.

    Basically, Om suggests that faster speeds are not really very important, because they don’t translate into a significantly better end user experience (the speed of the most common online activity – surfing the ‘net – is not greatly improved by high-bandwidth connections, and the few activities that are improved – such as downloading – are not typically time-sensitive).

    It’s an interesting read.

    Mark

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