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24 Mb Consumer Broadband Launched 389

twilight30 writes to tell us The Guardian is reporting that broadband provider "Be" is providing customers with the option of a 24 megabits per second download speed connection. These speeds are roughly three times the closest local competitor and also allow 1.3 megabits per second upstream, roughly five times quicker than any other service provider. The service is being offered at £24 (US $42.84) per month. Hopefully this will become a trend of radically increasing consumer internet speeds.
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24 Mb Consumer Broadband Launched

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  • 24 Mb not 24 MB (Score:5, Informative)

    by Frankie70 ( 803801 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @12:07AM (#13656029)
    Slashdot editors - please correct the title.
    • While you're at it, 56 Mbits/sec would be ideal.
      • Ideal for what? why 56 and not 52Mb/sec?
      • Re:24 Mb not 24 MB (Score:5, Interesting)

        by moro_666 ( 414422 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (rotaanimluk)> on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @12:58AM (#13656215) Homepage
        #1 56 mbits would be heaven ? nah, i dont really think so :) at first, if 3 users with 56Mbit lines would start to download from a server that sits in a rack behind a 100Mbit ethernet ... they would want to pull 56*3=168 Mbits out from the 100Mbit ethernet ... so they will just not be able to really use their bandwidth and the server will be jammed .... and for most of users, even 8Mbit is a huge overkill, cause people that dont download movies/cd-images/adult-movies/music each day, mostly have latency issues (they click and the browser doesnt react within a second, waaah) and the larger the bandwidth distributed over several users, the larger the latency (routers & co have their limits). ofcourse a big maximal downloadspeed is great but i dont think that the rest of the network isnt quite ready for it, it might not be such a good idea (most of our country's server hosting providers have 100Mbit ethernet/internet lines for the servers, so 4 british haxors can now jamm my server)

        #2 i wonder how they can afford it ... the last time i checked the broadband companys themselves have to pay for each mbit they transit, so if they have a nice schoolful of haxxors who download stuff 24/7 then their downloaded/uploaded mbits will cost more than the 24 pounds that are charged ... ofcourse some users use less than that ... but still, it's still curious

        #3 while they're at it, i'd even be lucky to get a 8mbit connection for 24 pounds over here
        • by TeXMaster ( 593524 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @01:43AM (#13656357)
          #1 56 mbits would be heaven ? nah, i dont really think so :) at first, if 3 users with 56Mbit lines would start to download from a server that sits in a rack behind a 100Mbit ethernet ... they would want to pull 56*3=168 Mbits out from the 100Mbit ethernet ... so they will just not be able to really use their bandwidth and the server will be jammed .... and for most of users, even 8Mbit is a huge overkill, cause people that dont download movies/cd-images/adult-movies/music each day, mostly have latency issues (they click and the browser doesnt react within a second, waaah) and the larger the bandwidth distributed over several users, the larger the latency (routers & co have their limits). ofcourse a big maximal downloadspeed is great but i dont think that the rest of the network isnt quite ready for it, it might not be such a good idea (most of our country's server hosting providers have 100Mbit ethernet/internet lines for the servers, so 4 british haxors can now jamm my server)
          I was having thoughts along the same lines. While the backbones of the internet might still be safely many orders of magnitude wider channels that such theoritecial limits reachable by end-users (and even if it's not 24 but 12 to 20)), and thus be safe from clogging the way you describe for servers, it's sensible to remark that some servers may find themselves at a pretty bad shortage of upload bandwidth.

          A possible solution is of course provider-side proxies, but this runs the risk of making the Internet "out-datish", "stale-ish", especially when the proxies are hidden and the user won't even know he's not getting fresh contents. Ok, this could be solved with intelligent proxies, but still it wouldn't solve the problem for very dynamic, yet bandwidth-intensive, applications.

          So we need some new form of distributed content providing. While specific forms like BitTorrent are a nice step in that direction, I don't see them as the mean for common use (web pages, moderate multimedia content).

          I was directing my thoughts towards something more low-level, maybe even at a TCP/IP level. For example, universal multicasting.

          Multicasting is currently implemented in a way that is pretty much a remainder of the way radio and TV broadcasting work: the emitter is somewhat agnostic of who is going to receive, and the receivers can freely attach/detach from the 'channel', without any knowledge of who else is listening.

          While that's probably the safest way to implement TCP/IP transmission to multiple destination addresses, it has several shortcomings. Some are provider dependent (it's not widespread, and some providers only have provider-local multicasting), some are structural (the number of multicasting addresses is quite small).

          So a cross-provider, generally available multicasting capability (would it be possible to allow any IP to be a multicasting IP, for example?) might be the solution.

          This would have enormous benefits for lots of applications, and enormously reduce bandwidth waste from lots of Internet usage. Actually, I was surprised when I found out it wasn't like this.

        • Re:24 Mb not 24 MB (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward
          I went to meet this lot back when they were calling themselves Avatar Broadband. The management staff have come over from Sweden where they were running B2 Bredband AB (Bredbandsbolaget), the second largest broadband service provider. They routinely offered 24MB based on ADSL2+ there, and are now giving it a go in the UK where all the current ISPs have to squeeze their existing ADSL kit. Be have no such legacy problem. Their business plan is predicated on hitting BT exchanges where there is a very high subs
    • by mister_tim ( 653773 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @12:56AM (#13656209)

      I've already moderated in this thread, but what they hey...

      This is based on ADSL2+, same as the service offered by Internode [], iiNet [] or Adam in Australia. Internode really led the way and were the first to roll out DSLAMs that would offer up to 24 Mbps download speeds and about 1 Mbps upload. iiNet, although they offer ADSL2+, limit it to 12 Mbps download.

      Now, I suspect the reason for this is that while 24Mbps is the theoretical maximum download speed over ADSL2+, you're only going to get that speed if you have a perfect line and live really close to the exchange. If you're even 2km away, then you're speed is going to drop a fair bit: granted, you'll still get about 15Mbps, but not the 24Mbps advertised. My guess is that iiNet just finds it easier to guarantee 12Mbps rather than trying to explain that, "well, you might get 24Mpbs, but there's all these other factors and we can't guarantee it, and no, we don't know exactly what speed you'll end up with."

      There was a really good graph on this here [], which shows deteriorating performance as you move further from the exchange.

      The other thing about this that really interests me is that Australia was derided and we complained for so long about how far behind the rest of the world we were when it came to broadband, but it now looks like we're really catching up - maybe in large part as we have good companies like Internode who are very tech-minded, still small enough to focus on service rather than just the almighty buck, and who actually want to provide good services to people.

      • ADSL2+ and VDSL2 (Score:3, Informative)

        by Cato ( 8296 )
        ADSL2+ does drop in speed as you get further out, but there's also the prospect of remote DSLAMs (fed by fibre from the exchange) that end up shortening your local loop (line from the DSLAM to you) - these are already used, partly as a way of reaching more remote areas for telephone service and more recently upgraded to handle DSL. Sometimes known as FTTN (Fibre to the Neighbourhood/Node) since fibre is used to link the remote DSLAMs to the central office (exchange building). Being deployed by SBC in the U
        • "Since I live about 12,000 feet from my exchange, remote DSLAMs / FTTx are my main hope for more than 512Kbps"

          My office is over 18000 feet (5.5km) from the exchange -- literally on the limit for ADSL service -- and yet I was able to get 1Mbps ADSL.

          What is intriguing is that on several occasions my line has temporarily been able to boosted to around 2Mbps according to speed tests based on downloading 20MByte test files created from /dev/random. According to a telco engineer the telco had been doing experi

  • by BarronVonGoerig ( 907146 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @12:10AM (#13656038)
    Note from the administrators...BYTE THIS
  • Australia first (Score:5, Interesting)

    by davisk ( 664811 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @12:10AM (#13656043)
    Internode [] have offered this in Australia for some time. Wish it was available where I am, but i'm stuck on 12000/1000 with iinet [] (no, i don't work for either of them, but i've been a happy customer of both)
    • Maybe they mean 24 megabyte/sec, after all the headline does say "24MB" not "24Mb". Unlikely :)

      I'm on an exchange that is "Planned" for an Internode DSLAM (Glebe NSW), woo! Better than not being on the list at all. I can't wait to be paying $10/mo less for 16 times the speed. Well, 16 times is the max - but still.
    • Re:Australia first (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Luketh ( 696002 )
      So have Adam Internet, which I'm running through (Rather be through internode though, I didn't get the call, however).

      Weird that we should get the hook-up before any of the US providers.

      Another odd thing is that Telstra isn't actually choosing to provide DSL2+ as part of its service. Their own BigPond service will stay at 10Mbps cable or whatever. They will allow other companies like Adam and Internode to install their own equipment in the telephone exchanges to allow for DSL2+ though.

      I went from 64kbps (th
    • Re:Australia first (Score:5, Informative)

      by Elyscape ( 882517 ) <elyscape AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @12:29AM (#13656133) Homepage
      There's one, big, fundamental difference in the services provided. Internode caps the amount of data you're allowed to download [] (15-60 gigs, depending on how much you pay). Meanwhile, Be has no download cap whatsoever []. This, I think, makes Be's service significantly better.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Download caps are a fact of life in Australia. All ISP's have them, because we have to pay lots of money for international data.

        Internode does offer flatrate at ADSL2+ speeds, but you are prioritised during periods of high network usage (depending on a 7 day rolling total of downloads).
        • by mcbridematt ( 544099 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @01:44AM (#13656359) Homepage Journal
          Actually, local data arguably costs more if your're not in anti-compeditive agreements with your buddies (*cough* Telstra Optus AAPT MCI *cought*). In fact, some consumer ISPs are [apparently] bigger than one of that group (AAPT) but they are still forking out lots of money per month because the "Group Of Four" (as its known in the industry) is only interested in locking out the superior competition.

          Some smaller ISPs absorb the high per megabyte costs of pushing data down Telstra ADSL ports to unmeter traffic going through peering exchanges such as PIPE Networks or WAIX because it simply costs them less (and gets customers).

          In fact, three major ISPs (beside the four) - Internode, Comindico and Primus already have a backbone on the west coast of the U.S and Internode and Primus are already talking about video (and Internode just needs that for a full triple-play service) to the home completely over their backbones. (If International bandwidth was such an issue they probably wouldn't be talking about that).

          disclaimer: Happy Internode customer stuck on Telstra Wholesale 512/128k port. Thank you Ziggy and Alston for screwing Australia over. Thank you Sol for stating the bloddy obvious, that being Ziggy and Alston should've spent $3bn in the past few years. See the 56 page admission of guilt and other stupid things []

          P.S Unlike the U.S Australia is not covered all over in HFC/Cable networks for DOCSIS - two telcos discovered in the mid-1990s that no one watches subscription TV and stopped rolling out new cable.
          • P.S Unlike the U.S Australia is not covered all over in HFC/Cable networks for DOCSIS - two telcos discovered in the mid-1990s that no one watches subscription TV and stopped rolling out new cable.

            I think you'll find it's not so much that people don't watch pay TV (although given the cost, I can understand why many don't) - more that satellite can deliver the same service cheaper and easier. For example, my apartment in Toowong, Brisbane (only about 5-6km from the CBD) was "wired" for Foxtel - but the act

      • Re:Australia first (Score:3, Interesting)

        by JuzzFunky ( 796384 )
        I'm with Internode's 24Mb plan.
        If you exceed your download limit your connection will be 'shaped'. You are never charged more than your usual monthly fee. As I understand it (and I am open to correction) Shaping involves slwoing your connection down if and only if their servers are under heavy load (ie. it is affecting other users). They do this to keep things fair for all of their users. I've been over my limit a number of times and have not noticed any slow down at all.
        What I like about it is that the
        • Re:Australia first (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jrockway ( 229604 ) *
          > The reality of it all is that you will not find many people out there serving up content at 24Mb. Except for direct conections with Internode's mirrors and Gaming Servers (which make the whole thing worth while!) you'll be spending your time waiting for the Internet to catch up with you.

          This is not entirely true. If you ever happen to be downloading from an I2-connected site from another I2-connected site you'll get GREAT transfer rates. I once installed Debian on a machine at UIC (University of Illi
      • Re:Australia first (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mattjb0010 ( 724744 )
        This, I think, makes Be's service significantly better.

        There's also a lot of local content (eg ABC) that doesn't count to the cap. Internode have a lot of nice things (including a wide range of Linux and BSD distros) on their mirror site. Further, Internode provision a lot of backhaul capacity, and their own direct links to the US via Southern Cross cable. The two good effects of having the cap: they are able to maintain better backhaul capacity, and this stays freer due to people not downloading as much.
      • Re:Australia first (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ColaMan ( 37550 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @01:06AM (#13656241) Journal
        Meanwhile, Be has no download cap whatsoever. This, I think, makes Be's service significantly better.

        You're comparing apples to oranges a little here. Internode (in Australia) is crippled somewhat by the limited capacity and high cost of overseas links.

        Be had better be prepared for the incredible amount of leeeeching. 24Mbps is no good if you'll only get that to the next system upstream at the Be office, with 5k/s to The Rest Of The World. As pretty much all relevant ISPs (that is, the ones that are still in business) have discovered, truly unlimited high-speed internet is not a good, sustainable business plan at the moment.

        This is why Internode, for example, have plans that get shaped to 64kbps after your limit. They also have flatrate plans that (after a set amount) dynamically prioritise your packets depending on how much you've downloaded compared to everyone else online at the moment. These are more expensive (AUD100-200/month). Then you have the true, unlimited 'leased-line' style plans, which cost in the order of AUD500-1000 a month.

        So I wonder how much backbone capacity Be has, and I also wonder how long it will be before they completely oversubscribe it to the point of end-users leaving. I give it 6 months, tops. Bookmark this post :-)
        • Seeing as they've been slashdoted already, and not even with a direct link (a second-tier slashdotting via the Guardian article) - how do we expect them to be able to cope with the bandwidth requirements of hordes of users running at 24Mbps. Not impressed! Jolyon
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @12:11AM (#13656049)
    Here's a link:,3858,5294551-103 676,00.html []

    AC to avoid the whoring.
  • I love bandwidth (Score:3, Informative)

    by ReformedExCon ( 897248 ) <> on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @12:11AM (#13656051)
    But I also love service and stability and a broadband connection that is always available. My experience with English broadband is that it is run over deteriorating copper wires that were apparently laid when Alex Bell was experimenting with his telegraph machine, and which are frequently sliced into little segments by construction crews mangling the roads.

    Sure they offer high speed access, but can they also offer guaranteed access?

    If it does work out, my only wish was that I was able to get on that network. Limping along at 512kbps is not quite the exhilarating ride that it once was when I first switched from 56.6 dialup.
    • Re:I love bandwidth (Score:2, Informative)

      by saitoh ( 589746 )
      well, while they dont come out and "guarentee" access, they do compensate you for non-service days which is cool. If only my cable company did that...


      >>>What happens if my service is disrupted?

      We're committed to providing you with a service that has as few disruptions as possible.
      In the unlikely event that you experience a loss of service caused by us for more than 5 consecutive days (for home members) and 24 consecutive hours (for office members), you will be compensated for each day's disru
  • Unlimited Use (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LordMyren ( 15499 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @12:12AM (#13656054) Homepage
    Wasnt it not all that long ago the UK was charging per-minute? It seemed unlimited use dialup was always very rare. Something in the back of my mind buzzes about phone use & taxes or something, but I dunno.

    Congradz though, that sounds truly excellent. I'm glad to see someone going above 768k upstream. Thats the barrier I thought would never be crossed.

    • Re:Unlimited Use (Score:4, Interesting)

      by saitoh ( 589746 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @12:24AM (#13656114) Homepage
      might be, one of the strings attached is:

      "To subscribe customers must have a BT phone line"

      although I'm not sure what plans BT has to offer, I know that culturally it seems to have been the norm in the market place to have per-min charges on the phone instead of a flat rate per month.
    • Re:Unlimited Use (Score:5, Informative)

      by brain159 ( 113897 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @01:03AM (#13656227) Journal
      UK local telephone calls were not free/unmetered. (there may be some service arrangements which change this now, I've not kept up with that). This meant that going modem-to-modem cost money. Because of some flexibility/complication in the UK phone system, there's a bunch of dialling codes which are non-geographic - 0845 numbers were originally "local rate" (but now the effective cost of a real local call has dropped, whereas the rate to call these has not), 0800s are free to the caller, etc.

      (This means that customer services sort of numbers are either 0845, or 0870 "national rate" lines - they cost more to call, aren't typically included in cellphone package minutes, and creates a token revenue stream for the company you're calling while you're on hold!)

      In the super-early-days, you paid your ISP and then paid to dial in to their 0845 local-rate POP line.

      Then Freeserve (now Wanadoo) and co turned up - they realised that if you worked with a telecoms company, you could receive a slice of the per-minute fee that users paid for calling in to your 0845 number. Thus did Pay-As-You-Go dialup arrive in the UK; you paid your phone bill, the ISP took their cut from that - no monthly fee. (note: unlike netzero and similar in the US, there was no adbar or weirdy crap - straight PPP dialup.)

      Some technical change happened which made it possible for ISPs to offer flat-rate access, without them having to pay the high costs of letting heavy users dial in to real 0800 lines for ages on end. I'm not entirely sure what this change is, but it was reliant wholly on you having a BT landline (it was some hack with trick numbers in the local exchanges, turning the call into data earlier or somesuch.). Now, you could go back to paying a monthly fee, but not pay for your calls (as the access number was now free to call).

      Aaah yes, must clarify the whole "having a BT phoneline" thing. It's *not* a given in the UK that the RJblah phone jack in someone's house is necessarily hooked up to the local BT phone exchange (or wiring cabinet, or whatever). In the UK, the cable TV companies also provide telephone service over their own kit - right down to running new copper in to your house and adding a new socket. When they launched this, they offered cheaper call prices than BT (and you could port your number the way the developed world can with cellphone numbers), and eventually got round to offering PAYG and Unmetered dialup roughly when BT customers got it (but you have to use the Cable company as your ISP to have Unmetered Dialup). Nowadays the UK broadband services say "must have a BT line" because the cable companies won't/can't/don't DSLify their POTS loops (they don't need to, they offer cable modem broadband). If you really want DSL, you can have a BT landline alongside a Cable-company one, or in place of it.

      (this is all from memory, at time of posting it's about 6am in the UK and I need some sleep. I've not put in a specific timescale since I'd be guessing entirely - Unmetered dialup has been around here a good few years now, easily.)
  • A Trend Indeed! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nich0las ( 912051 )
    I would hope that trend spills into the US! (a link would have helped me get my facts right) The last time I heard about connections in the UK it was about 60 pounds for a one meg line! I would certainly hope that US providers would be willing to give me 24 Mb for only $42! Instead of 3Mb for $40!
  • now i can waste less time downloading pr0n and spend more watching it.
    • There should be an equation similar to Moore's law which determines how technological advances facilitate the distribution and consumption of porn.

      How about Hill's law (as in Benny):

      Hill's Law

      (hillz lâ) (n.) The observation made by Benny Hill (RIP), co-founder of Hill's Angels, that the number of porn images that could be downloaded in one sitting had doubled every day since the internet was invented by Al Gore. Hill predicted that this trend would continue for the foreseeable future. In subse
  • 24Mb/s Broadband (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mrclark13 ( 812867 )
    While this is without a doubt good news, I don't really see that happening in the U.S. very soon. After all, why should the big tel-co's spend more to upgrade their infrastructure when broadband growth is slowing? I personally hope that isn't the case, but I don't really see it being otherwise.
  • Verizon Fios (Score:2, Informative)

    In the DC/Maryland Suburbs you can get 15Mbps for $44.99. I have 2Mbps upstream with it, so I think a part of the story is incorrect... Fios would be faster upstream. Though I understand not a lot of people have Fios available to them.

    <Homer>Suckers.</Homer> :)
  • by TheCarlMau ( 850437 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @12:20AM (#13656090) Homepage
    Are servers even fast enough for that? For an impractical example, having 1mb/s line and trying to connect to a 28kb/s server makes having that 1mb/s pretty much useless. The same could be, I guess, true in this case.

    (Although I'm not sure if I know what I'm talking about!)
    • Are servers even fast enough for that?

      Yes, generally. Most servers hosted in a datacenter (95% at a guess) are connected to either 10MB or 100MB ethernet.

      Laugh Daily video clips for adults []
    • In case you're curious most datacenters are connected to the Big Guys (tm) via something from the OC3 to OC192 range, tiny ones may use DS3 (T3), and bigger ones are most likely using one of the 10 gigabit class technologies.

      In case you're curious:

      OC3 = 155.52 Mb/s
      OC192 = 9.95 Gb/s

      The Big Guys (tm) are likely running many banks of parallel OC192's to service the smaller guys, with the larger connections being served by OC256 or even OC768's (40 Gb/s).

      An interesting point of note is that an OC768 connection
    • It depends on their geographical location and load/capacity. I'm often noticing I'm capping at anywhere between 50 and 200 KB/s across the Atlantic on US servers, rarely going above that, but nationally I seem to much easier be able to get my full 1 MB/s up/down. This is on 10 Mbps optic fiber, I guess DSL have other limiting factors in addition, like copper line quality and distance from your station.
      • By the way, exceptions can be powerful datacenters like Microsoft's Akamai servers which I often get at least 400 KB/s from, Sun's servers, Oracle's, and some others I've tried and regularly regardless time of day get very fast downloads for going through so many routers even across the Atlantic. They may sometimes silently redirect me to European routers though.
  • by G3ckoG33k ( 647276 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @12:23AM (#13656108)
    This IS old news... I have had this service for three years, but in Sweden.

    The cool thing, apart from the bandwidth is that it comes directly through the telephone jacket. No need for new cables.
    • by MetalBlade ( 918113 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @12:46AM (#13656190)
      I agree with G3ckoG33k. This is very old news.

      I've had 10/10 Mbit _fiber_ for more years than I can remember, and I have lots of friends with both 24/1 and 100/100 Mbit.
      Right now I pay 30 per month for 10Mbit, I think the price for 100Mbit is 60 per month.

      The cool thing about my connection is that the fiber goes all the way to your basement, then TP cables from there up to your switch, then to your computer. The only network knowledge you need to have is how to use DHCP since you get 5 dynamic public IP addresses.

      I really hate when a site such as /. comes up with news that is this old. Sure there are lots of people who had no idea of this, but I think that the people who post the news should be more up-to-date.
  • First of all, the blurb is lacking a link to the article that it mentions:,1 587,1525508,00.html/ []

    Next up, for those of you who can't tell, this is UK-only.

    Now, here's my question: Is this service really all it's cracked up to be? Anyone know anyone else on it?

  • by Acius ( 828840 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @12:27AM (#13656124) Homepage
    Parts of Utah now have a 15 Mbit SYMMETRIC connection available, which is enough to make any torrenting geek happy (one ISP doing this is here []). That's $44/mo, and they're doing 30 Mbit symmetric for $109/mo (although technically that's a "business" package). Mostly, I'm happy to see a non-stupid upstream finally available in a home package (and looks like they don't bother blocking port 80, either).
  • This is my campaign: Nationwide Broadband Internet Access as part of our national infrastructure, like the highways. I'm only 28, but it will probably take 7 years to get enough publicity to actually run.

    Other issues will be met on a case by case basis, however, I will also stop government handouts to corporations that already make billions.

    These are my two platforms. I'm running on the green ticket, just because the other two parties don't represent me at all and Ralph Nader has been at times a personal
  • by saitoh ( 589746 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @12:41AM (#13656173) Homepage

    (shamefully yanked from their Tell Me More page, read below for my thoughts on their definition of unlimited usage and how they define it and their process)


    * Up to 24 meg download speed
    * Up to 1.3 meg upload speed
    * Unlimited Internet access
    * No download caps
    * Free high specification wireless Be Box modem


    * Be static IP
    * Be home email and webspace, coming soon (click here for more info)
    * More coming soon

    Be Box modem

    * ADSL 2+ enabled
    * 4 port 10/100 megs Ethernet switch (1 port reserved for future use)
    * 54 megs 802.11 b/g wireless interface
    * 2 voice over broadband ports (future use)
    * 1 analog back-up (future use)
    * OS Independent (Ethernet)


    * A rampant thirst for speed
    * BT phone line
    * A device capable of communicating via TCP/IP (like a Windows PC, Mac, Xbox with Live...)
    * An Ethernet port for a wire connection to the Be Box
    * A 802.11b or 802.11g compatible network adapter for wireless connection to the Be Box
    * Windows 98SE / Mac OS 8.6 or higher

    Getting Be

    * Place your order online
    * If your order is accepted, your BT phone line will physically be connecting to our network in your local exchange (this usually takes about 2 - 4 weeks)
    * You will be sent our welcome pack, including our Be Box modem and your line will be activated
    * Follow our DIY instant broadband instructions in your welcome pack and you will be ready to go


    Now, this looks rather straight forward, and I keep wondering "wheres the catch?" My only guess would be that either they are using fiber to make this economical for them on the business end, or they are going to throttle/mercilessly prosecute illegal activities which take place on their network, thus reducing load... I wouldnt expect any company to state the later, but the former might have been touted as a feature. So I went digging and came across their TOS policy (conviently linked under the "is this really unlimited" section of the FAQ (note #11):

    So what can Be's services not be used for?

    1. Unlawful, fraudulent, criminal or otherwise illegal activities
    2. Sending, receiving, publishing, posting, distributing, disseminating, encouraging the receipt of, uploading, downloading or using any material which is offensive, abusive, defamatory, indecent, obscene, unlawful, harassing or menacing or a breach of the copyright, trademark, intellectual property, confidence, privacy or any other rights of any person
    3. Commercial purposes (unless you are a home member who is working from home as a sole trader in business on your own account or an office member in which case see below for limits on certain types of commercial use)
    4. Sending or uploading unsolicited emails, advertising or promotional materials, offering to sell any goods or services, or conducting or forwarding surveys, contests or chain letters except that home members working from home as a sole trader in business on their own account or office members are permitted to send marketing communications in accordance with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 if sent in batches of no more than fifty (50) emails at any time, each indiv
    • I'd want to get a number. Without it all you have is the airy fairy warning email (or whatever) & you have to throttle back (I prefer the ideal of "that which is not expressly forbidden is mandatory" Just like the laws of physics.)

      I want a company that says "unlimited" to mean unlimited.

      I also live in a country where the pinnacle of broadband is a 2mb connection, upstream limited to 128kbps 128!!! The usage tends to be capped at 1Gb per month. with each additional 10Gb of throughput an additional $
  • I'm glad to see that this service offers an upstream that's greater than the competition, but look at the relation between the upload speed and download speed. 1.3 Mb/s vs. 24 Mb/s? What the hell. It's even more lopsided than it is for me. Can't we get a decent upload stream?

    Does anybody know of a cable company (or even DSL) that offers parity or at least near-parity between up & down-stream speeds? I mean, without having to invest in a T1, of course.

    I feel like I got a case of the upstream blues. Upl

    • > Many multiplayer games thrive with high upload speeds,

      Actually, the latency is a much more important factor.

      > and any bittorrent user knows that uploading is what makes
      > the world go 'round.

      Providers don't *want* you seeding bit torrents at high speed. More in one second...

      > And what if I want to run an FTP site or host my own website

      Then they want you to pay for the service.

      Believe it or not, bandwidth isn't free for the providers.
  • by riprjak ( 158717 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @12:46AM (#13656189)
    This is ADSL2+, so the speeds are UP TO 24Mb. I notice the koolaid^H^H^H^H^H^H^H article doesnt make mention of the "Up to" part, and am amused that a slashdot editor drank said koolaid in the first place.

    So, unless you were wise enough to purchase the house next to the exchange (and the cables run directly), you arent going to get even near this speed. In fact, the falloff in speed is quite rapid.

    I have ADSL2+ at home (here in Adelaide, Australia) and said home is 3.2 km from the exchange as the crow flies (plus or minus GPS error), probably longer by cable; and Im getting 7.5Mb down and 1.0 Mbit up (1.0 is the upstream limit locally). In my particular situation, the difference between ADSL 2 and ADSL 2+ would be pretty negligible.

    On a separate note, I wonder if they realise that their "Be Boxes" (from TFA which wasnt even liked in the beginning) might be mistaken for old school computers :)

    Just my $0.02 AUD.
  • They reffered to the cable modem as a Be Box, sounds very similar to the title given out to the original BeOS systems which was known as a BeBox. Just another way to confuse everyone but the super geeky.
  • by Rocketship Underpant ( 804162 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @12:59AM (#13656218)
    Here in Japan, I have 55 megabit fiber DSL. I'm still getting used to it. I can multiple download files at 1 MB/sec (that's megabyte, not megabit), and that's when there's a bottleneck at the other end. :)
    • by achurch ( 201270 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @02:20AM (#13656439) Homepage

      Here in Japan, I have 55 megabit fiber DSL.

      That's all? I'm sitting here in Yokohama with an ONU in my kitchen, and wget doing things like this:

      --15:16:09-- ux-2.6.13.tar.bz2 []
      15:16:13 (8.67 MB/s) - `linux-2.6.13.tar.bz2' saved [38372729/38372729]
      Yum. Somebody slashdot me so I can finally find out how much upstream bandwidth I have--so far all I've been able to do is max out everyone else's downstream . . .
    • Ugh. How long do we have to put up with these snobby statements about how the west is so far behind? Look, pal, I live in the "east" -> Taiwan and I "only" have an 8Mbps ADSL setup. Your title would be better phrased: "Look world, you suck. See my 55 Mbps!"

      And I also somehow doubt 55 Mbps is everywhere in Japan as you make it sound to be.

      Waiting for someone that works at an internet backbone provider to say .. "Japan is *so* behind, look at my Gigabit 10xOC-3 trunk!"
      • "And I also somehow doubt 55 Mbps is everywhere in Japan as you make it sound to be."

        It's offered by Yahoo Broadband, available nation-wide as far as I know. Other DSL companies here have similar packages. I'm not even in one of Japan's biggest cities.
  • I recently upgraded my old 20Mbps cable connection to a 100Mbps fibre optic connection. The main reason for the switch was the price; about ¥4000/month (approx. US$40) for the cable and under ¥3000/month for fibre optic. The upload bandwidth is around 10Mbps as well I think. Connection speed is one of the things that keeps me in this country.
  • Hopefully this will become a trend of radically increasing consumer internet speeds.

    Yeah, hopefully a trend like that will start. I mean, my Internet connection speed has only gone from 2400bps in 1993 to 1.5Mbps today -- that's only one doubling every 16 or so months!
  • These articles have been coming out for years, and it's always just a "limited deployment" in some state/county/area of the world I've never heard of and I've never been to, and it never ends up where I live. I'm assuming it's the same for most people. Broadband power was supposed to be nationwide by now, then Verizon's fiber to the home... I've had the same DSL line since 1998, and it's never changed in any way, and this announcement probably isn't going to do much to get Verizon off their duff and upgra
  • Tokyo 100Mb (Score:5, Informative)

    by tokyopimpdaddy ( 586432 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @01:16AM (#13656272) Homepage
    I'm so lucky to be living in a modest but modern apartment here in Tokyo and get to enjoy 100Mb 'Fibre' (Hikari fibre by TEPCO), which I have running consistantly at over 40Mb down, 10Mb up, thus Bittorrent loves me. That 100Mb of course being best effort, and we all know there are many reasons why you'll never really get that.)

    This is pretty common in Tokyo. Even the ADSL here is by standard well over 40Mb (though speed obviously comes in a lot below that in real life. Hell, my mobile phone has a 2.4Mb download.

    OK, so bragging over, all I can say is that it can be done, and done cheaply. My Hikari Fibre is included in the rent, and none of the solutions here in Japan are expensive - 20USD a month or so. When I came to Japan originally in 1996 it was a totally different story - dial up was more expensive than the UK and access points were pretty screwed up outside of Tokyo. When I returned in 1999, ISDN flat rate was there, and by 2001, ADSL was ramping up incredibly, even in my then decrepit old place.

    Some things in Japan are archaic (government, banks etc. (really, ATMs which close at 7pm...)), but the bandwidth here does prove it's the companies holding this up elsewhere, for whatever reasons. I guess they're hoping to string out their plant (copper cable/switch etc.) life as long as they can, because hey, tomorrow it'll be cheaper to upgrade right? I think here it was a case of national pride - late to 'the internet' party in the mid- to late 90's, and with rival neighbours Korea beating them, I think NTT finally got told to 'sort it out'. You have to love that 'close state relationship'!
    • Some things in Japan are archaic (government, banks etc. (really, ATMs which close at 7pm...)),

      Even if 7pm is a little early, the first thing that popped in my mind was Chris Rock's ATM comment in his latest HBO special:

      Drugs are illegal, but ATM machines are open twenty four hours a day. Twenty four hours a day! For who?! Who the fuck is it open for?! Have you ever taken out three hundred dollars at four o'clock in the morning for something positive? Shit, when you press that machine at four o'clock in t

  • Free legacy (Score:4, Informative)

    by boa13 ( 548222 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @01:17AM (#13656278) Homepage Journal
    Nice to see the Free business model (offer all the bandwidth a phone line can support and a multi-purpose, multi-service "box" for a flat, low monthly fee) taking over the world! When Free started with their idea in late 1999, their were considered fools by the rest of the French industry, and actually had to build their own DSLAM and Freeboxes, since nobody would do it for them. Now the Freebox is in its fourth major version (fifth soon?), Free is the second ISP in France and every ISP here offers some kind of unimaginative rip-off (Livebox, NeufBox, CBox...), trying to match the excellent price/service ratio offered by Free. Not bad for a independant company funded, not by rich industry conglomerates, but by porn money!

    By the way, the service offered by Be in the U.K. is still more expansive than what Free offers in France (35 euros vs. 30 euros), and while they do mention services such as phone and TV, they don't say if they're going to be included in the flat monthly fee, like Free does. Somehow I doubt it. Maybe their customer service won't suck, though.

    More information on the Freebox (in French, but with pictures): []
  • ... before the launch; there was a discount offer 4 pounds off a month for life. The biggest plus to this service is that it is the first one of them that offers a cheap Static IP option (if they offer one at all). So whatever the speed benefits the cost of my broadband comes down and the fats upstream means checking my home email becomes less of a chore.
  • Oh sh17! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mcrbids ( 148650 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @03:10AM (#13656565) Journal
    Most consumer Internet connections are manned by consumers, who are often blissfully unaware of the fact that their (Win XP/Home) computers need to be patched, protected by Antivirus software, Anti-Spyware, and further protected not only by Windows firewall, but also a dedicated hardware firewall.

    In short, the formula goes like this:
    $consumerNetworkConnection * $bandwidth = $spamAndVirusVolume;
    Fast pipes are good, but are they going to do what it takes to prevent their consumer users (with bandwidth pipes rivaling or exceeding many responsible commercial providers) from doing a "dumfuk" and blasting the planet with the latest worm/trojan/virus?
  • Great! More Speed! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @10:56AM (#13658320) Homepage Journal
    This will lead to more bandwidth wasting websites.. More bandwidth for spam and viruses.

    Great.. Just f-ing great.
  • by RichardX ( 457979 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @11:03AM (#13658366) Homepage
    To check whether your household is capable of getting this service, please use the following test.

    1. Open your window.
    2. Lean out.
    3. Stick out your tongue.

    If you can lick the wall of your telephone exchange, then you qualify for this service. Otherwise you are unfortunately too far away.

    Have a nice day
    -- Customer Service Dept.

Remember to say hello to your bank teller.