512 kbps limit - will it be overcome?

  CurlyWhirly 10:12 16 Jul 2004

I have had broadband for just over a year now and even though I consider myself to be VERY lucky being able to get (as there is no ADSL Cable in my area) I am on the limit of being able to get it as I live around 5.5km from my local exchange.
Then I read on various broadband websites that BT have increased the line length from 5.5km to 6km and are now starting a trial to see whether people can receive the standard 512kbps speed service at up to 10km!
If BT manage to do this does anyone think that they could do a similar thing with customers (like me) who wish to upgrade to the 1mbps service but are currently too far away to receive a 'stable connection'?
Any view anyone?

p.s. Even though BT has a monopoly on the line rental I still rate broadband as really good value for money as I am paying only around £9 a month more than I used to pay when I was on dial-up and I have (nearly) 10 times the speed!

  Old Shep 10:33 16 Jul 2004

I am a bit green on broadband issues so bear with me. Am getting it in August when my area is enabled and have read various articles. I have also seen the 512kps in action but again looking at it from dialup seems very fast. Do you need any faster than 10X. I was under the impression that the even faster speeds were for business users as they are very expensive even when you look at the 1mbps service and unless you are well off is a bit pricey for home users. Regards.
PS Having had it a year and got used to it are you now thinking even that is slow now?

  CurlyWhirly 11:18 16 Jul 2004


I am pleased you are getting broadband next month and it IS indeed a MASSIVE improvement over dial-up as you said in your last reply!
The reason why I want the faster 1 mbps speed is as broadband usage grows websites will offer more and more video content, streaming video, etc and this is bound to push up the speed requirements to get a smooth video experience!
Also on some large sites like click here and howstuffworks.com it still takes a while to load though I must emphasise that it is still MUCH faster than dial-up!
Also with my ISP the 1 mbps service is only £5 a month more than I am paying now so it is hardly likely to break the bank!
I think most businesses would use the 2 mbps speed (and above) but I don't think it really matters whether you are a business customer or not
as long as you pay your monthly subscription!
I tell you what since having broadband I find I am spending MUCH more time online at the expense of watching less tv!
I think not having to wait for ages for web pages and downloads to load is the main reason!

  CurlyWhirly 11:24 16 Jul 2004

I forgot to mention that I am on AOL broadband Gold at £24.99 (512kbps) and the AOL broadband Platinum service is only £29.99 (1mbps) a month so this works out at £5 a month more or £1.25 a week!
I have read various complaints against AOL but I can only say that I have had no problems with them so far and I have been with them for nearly 3 years as I started up on dial-up with them.

  Sapins 13:15 16 Jul 2004

I have recently upgraded to 1mb broadband and the difference from 512kb is so noticeable, some downloads are complete before I can blink, I'm not even worrying about SP2 when it arrives! By the way I thought I was paying a lot for this but at 34.90€ with Wanadoo France,(about £25) it now seems a good deal.



  Chegs ® 14:31 16 Jul 2004

I had 512kb off Pipex(on 50:1 contention)It was crap,poor speeds,regularly unable to get online,etc.I then changed to Eclipse Networking,512kbs at 20:1 contention.I have rarely had any hassles(other than BT keep turning off my phone)but at £40mth its starting to get expensive(although I have also got my own website,etc)I am going to swap over to Fast24,they're offering a 1Mb 50:1 connection for £25 mth.I could probably find a cheaper/faster connection,but I'm wary of the lower priced ISP's as previously (dialup) I would pay my fee's and right afterwards the ISP would go bellyup,or another ISP would start offering even cheaper rates but I was contracted to whichever ISP for a minimum period.

  CurlyWhirly 21:21 16 Jul 2004


I am glad that you are both enjoying your 1 mbps service but as explained before I am currently unable to get this service!
So I go back to my question - do you think BT will be able to extend the range of the 1 mbps service in a similar way to what they are trying to do with the 512 kbps that is extending it from 6km to 10km?

  norman47 21:23 16 Jul 2004

Short answer, yes I think it will.

I think in about 2 years, 512k broadband will be on the bottom rung of the ladder. Yes some specialist dial-up ISP's may be still be around but that would probably equate to some people still use ISA cards.

WiFi, satellite and electricity company's are going to put the squeeze on BT to produce faster connections and to squeeze prices.

WiFi stations can be enabled with as little as 15 subscribers. No expensive cabling is required and no exchanges needing expensive refurbishment.Standard connection is 2mb, but this is soon to be upgraded to 4mb, at no extra cost to the customer. So my provider tells me.

Satellite, expensive at the moment, but if they offered 10Mb connections, would you be tempted, would company's be interested?

B.B. electricity. This is where a different oscillating cycle is sent with the electrical current. Tests in southern Scotland have been going for over a year. They seem to think that they could be no ( feasible)limit to the bandwidth sent through the cables. They seem to be successfull trials.

There is just three examples of how broadband can be sent without a telephone line. BT can have no major control over them. They must keep pushing for what most of the customers require,more bandwidth. so I think the 512k limit will go.

  CurlyWhirly 21:35 16 Jul 2004


I have just read your reply and I hope you are right ith your prediction!
I personally think that BT have seriously under estimated the interest in broadband and now they are dumping the exchange registration scheme and enabling nearly ALL exchanges EXCEPT the smallest ones where it wouldn't be economically viable to do so as they wouldn't be able to make enough money from them in order to get their investment back.
I too have the feeling that BT will be squeezed in the future from satellite, cable, WI-Fi and powerline broadband.
I would go down the satellite route but it is too expensive and also even though the download speeds are excellent most satellite broadband providers rely on a standard dial-up connection for uploading data which is way too slow and no good for people wishing to play online games - I think this is right?
So it would then mean having 2 ISP's - the satellite provider AND the dial-up ISP.
Not very appealing eh?

  norman47 23:33 16 Jul 2004

I totally agree with your comments.

Look back 3 or 4 years ago. We were happy with our k6 500Mhz cpu's and 64mb of ram, although I am not a speed freak, I prefer my 2800+ with 512mb of ram. Will this be the same in a few years time when updates go to astronomical sizes.

The current sp2 should be about 250 to 300Mb. No chance for dial up, 512kb will take a while, 2-4mb B.B. should swallow that in less than 30 minutes.

Longhorn should be out 2008-2009?. will this be on a dvd disk, double sided? What will be the size of sp1 for that? one, two, three gig? If this is the scenario then BT's 512kb service will be as good as dial up now.

They have to expand or fall by the wayside.

  CurlyWhirly 00:29 17 Jul 2004


I have only had a PC for just over 2 years (having previously used a Playstation 2) so I don't know anything about the K6!
My first processor was an AMD Athlon (not XP).
Going back to your last e-mail I thought that Longhorn was due out in 2005-2006 not 2008-2009?
If this is true then I won't bother upgrading to the new 64 bit processors as there is no 64 bit operating system to take advantage of the increased speed!
I agree with your comment about BT having to 'expand or fall by the wayside' but how can they do this if they are limited by the current ADSL technology?
What I mean is as you get further from the exchange the ADSL signal gets weaker and weaker due to signal loss so how are they supposed to sort this out?
I have heard a rumour that ADSL2 could possibly be the answer but if BT goes about upgrading to ADSL2 the way it has managed current ADSL exchanges we could be in for a long wait as it would require a lot of money invested in upgrading the exchanges.

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