Friday, March 04, 2011

Another worthless cable/DSL comparison

NLkabel, the Dutch cable lobby group, ordered a study from iPing Research into speed and pricing of cable versus ADSL. Of course, they claim that cable beats ADSL and that it is cheaper too.

On the face of it, it looks like a completely worthless exercise - which can be expected from a lobby group. This is where it goes wrong:
  • Cable and ADSL are compared. That should have been either Docsis x vs. xDSL (i.e. equipment), or HFC vs. copper (i.e. medium). And then there are differences in loop lengths to further complicate a solid comparison.
  • Broadband is available is speed tiers. What does 'average' mean? Exactly nothing.
  • When you look at actual speeds, it will be no surprise that people requiring the highest bandwidths take a cable subscription, because the fastest cable tier is faster than the fastest ADSL tier.
  • Current DSL research points to maximum speeds of 800+ Mb/s, beating any available Docsis 3 based offering. (Why not add a worthless claim ourselves, comparing lab conditions to actual offers?)
  • Why compare cable to ADSL and VDSL, while leaving out FTTH? Anyone?
  • Broadband is offered as part of a double or triple play, so pricing is not available in many cases.
Of course, NLkabel continues its fiber claims, while speed is mainly determined by bottlenecks (and they have a 300 meter bottleneck, not counting a handful of amplifiers). There is also a claim that 50-120 Mb/s over HFC is available to 98%, which is a fluid claim as well. Hell, 1 Gb/s is avaliable to 100% of the people - just need to do some digging!

I wouldn't be surpised if research shows that men drive their cars faster then women. I also wouldn't be surprised to see that men tend to buy BMWs, while women buy a Mercedes. But does that mean that a BMW is faster then a Mercedes? Or that 'the average BMW' is faster than 'the average Mercedes'?

Some people need a lesson in logic and reasoning.

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