According to the association, some broadband providers are marketing 50:1 contended broadband as ‘business broadband’ – which in reality is more suited to lower use domestic connections. The PCA also asserts that ISPs could be misleading businesses by promising up to 8mbps broadband on an ADSL Max connection.
Most broadband firms offer two types of connection; a 20:1 or a 50:1 ratio for ADSL set-ups, and standard or premium for ADSL Max. The PCA claims that businesses are not being made aware of the fact that the less contended networks are given priority over standard ones when BT lines are congested.
“The PCA is extremely concerned with the current trend whereby providers are failing to supply enough information to allow companies to make an informed choice as to the best product for their business,” said Keith Warburton, CEO of the PCA. “There seems to be a rising tide of dissatisfaction with many of the broadband providers. One only needs to view the discussion forums on ADSLGuide to understand the frustration that now exists.”
The main problem with companies using a home style connection stems from the fact the available bandwidth is shared by more users, which can impede uploads and downloads during peak times. The speed to which businesses can download information, send and receive large files or conduct research on the internet, for example, can be considerably reduced.
The allegations were backed up by Robert Kemp, managing director of KeConnect Internet – who says the problem has been exacerbated by the implementation of Max ADSL technology: “Business customers deserve business quality solutions in order to meet their specific needs,” he said. “However, with the arrival of Max ADSL technology, businesses have encountered problems with connection speeds due to being misled by broadband providers. Some businesses using VoIP technology have found that the quality of the telephone call can be compromised due to congestion on the contended platform.”