We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

Narrowband finally gets a benchmark

Oftel imposes minimum speed rule

From tomorrow, teleco operators will be obliged to include internet access services in standard telephone packages to comply with terms set by industry watchdog Oftel.

Under the guidelines, both BT and main rival Kingston Communications must provide customers with a minimum rate of internet access. If either company fails to do so, customers will be able to demand the telcos act quickly to fix the problem.

The new benchmark connection speed of 28.8Kbps (kilobits per second) for narrowband dialup will replace the previous requirement of just 2.4Kbps.

"Under new EC legislation, universal service requires provision of a narrowband connection capable of 'functional internet access'," said David Edmonds, director general of telecommunications at Oftel.

"This term has not been defined in the Directive. However, because of the growing importance of the internet, Oftel has taken a major step forward in setting a benchmark of 28.8Kbps," added Edmonds. "This is significantly faster than the previous requirement and will lead to real improvements in connection speeds for many consumers."

Other requirements include installation of telephone lines within a reasonable time, uniform pricing and reduced-rate packages for customers on low incomes.

A list if conditions can be found here.

IDG UK Sites

How to use an Apple Watch: Everything you need to know about the Apple Watch

IDG UK Sites

Why Scottish Tablet is better than the iPad mini

IDG UK Sites

VFX Breakdowns: 10 behind-the-scenes looks at how incredible effects were created for Hollywood...

IDG UK Sites

Apple MacBook 1.1 GHz review (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015): The future of Apple laptops