Local councils call for more accurate broadband speed data

The Local Government Association (LGA) has called for broadband providers to release more accurate data on what speeds people can receive from a line in their home.

It wants providers to be forced to release the data under the new Digital Economy Bill.

At the moment, providers only offer data on the maximum download and upload speeds you can expect 'up to' in a given postcode - the accuracy doesn't stretch to distinguish individual homes. To get a more accurate idea of what you can expect at an address level, you'd have to check with each provider individually.

The LGA says this isn't good enough, and doesn't really help customers pick their perfect provider. If more accurate data was released, it could be listed on broadband comparison sites (hey, we're one of those) or on a comparison tool to show customers what they can expect from each provider.

Mark Hawthorne, chair of the LGA's People and Places Board, said: "The quality of digital connectivity can be markedly different from area to area… We support the Government's aims to allow Ofcom to demand providers open up their premises-level data on broadband so that residents can more easily compare who will provide the best service to their home - not just their postcode, which can often be inaccurate.

"Our residents can only make the most informed choices if they have all the data at their fingertips in one place."

The whole thing is a fantastic idea for consumers, but from a business point of view it raises a few questions.

Getting up-to-date data in the first place would be difficult: you'd need to connect a home to the provider's broadband, wait for the line to settle, and run a speed test. That wouldn't be practical to do in every home by every provider, and historical data from previous connections would quickly go out of date.

The new Digital Economy Bill, which covers a nationwide USO of 10Mb and a crackdown on porn sites, is due to have its second reading in parliament today.

Source: Local.gov

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