Local loop unbundling; Vodafone’s Red Network

I see in this morning’s NZ Herald that Vodafone NZ have announced their unbundled high-speed broadband service.

Marketing head Mark Rushworth explained that the network would not be hobbled, and that customers could expect the best possible performance for available.

“All of the plans on the Red Network are unrestricted on upload and download,” he said.

I’m not sure that speed is not really the issue for the average user. By that, I mean the theoretical cable speed of ADSL (not ADSL2+) is sufficient.

There are two issues: a) Data caps. I had a quick look around at Swiss providers, and I couldn’t find a plan that had a data cap. Most NZ plans do, and b) most people are only getting 2.5 to 3Mbps down, which is less than half the theoretical cable speed of standard ADSL.

Rushworth goes on to say:

Should the network growth outstrip projected capacity, Rushworth said it was a simple case of adding more high speed gear.

“If we run out of high speed capacity, we’ll have some more high speed equipment there the next day,” he said.

…which is great, so why don’t providers just do that with standard ADSL? I’m sure that would satisfy nearly all current customers who complain about speed.

If you’re running a business, using VoIP, or streaming quality, real-time video, then of course more bandwidth is always going to help, but if all you’re doing is using email, hanging out on Facebook, downloading the odd track from iTunes, or playing games online, then open-speed standard ADSL with no data cap would be fine.

ADSL2+? It’s just marketing.

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