I've written about broadband speeds twice lately. Never being one to quit while I'm ahead, here I go again.

Yesterday I looked at the forthcoming superfast broadband to the home (or at least as far as the outer wall of the home, the ageing cables inside are another matter) and recently I looked at the EU's demand for universal broadband and how exactly they were going to define 'broadband' - it seems a lot less straightforward than you might at first have thought.

Now there's another wrinkle. In the UK at least, one player in broadband provision is objecting to the idea that faster services are being launched because they claim the measurements are skewed.

My view is quite simple. We don't need superfast broadband outside a business setting yet, there aren't the applications or the content. We can't have ubiquitous broadband yet because too many people will disagree about what that actually means (my own connection, for example, is probably too slow to qualify but hey, you can read this so what else do I need?)

What we need, in simple language, is some sort of worldwide standard on what broadband actually is, some agreement on what the different speeds of it can do and what they can't - and then some universally agreed criteria on which it can be measured.

After that it might be worth building the service and the speed further - you know, once the consumer stands a chance of understanding what they're paying for and why. Until then negotiating your way around the broadband market is starting to feel a little like wading through treacle - and various companies offering to pour slightly better quality treacle into the mix isn't actually helping.

Very true sir, although it seems as if Virgin Media were just blowing hot air to see how many people they could make uncomfortable.

And as wise as your suggestions are, I have a feeling that in this competitive, capitalist, economy, the standard will only go as far as laying a cable in concrete from exchanges to houses and businesses. They won't even decide on a type[/] of cable, as different companies will have different profit margins.

Plus, what are we gonna do if we can't brag to our friends that we can get 50Mbps in our bedroom and they only get a measly 20 at the office?

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