Telecommunications Watchdog Ofcom has revealed that it will be releasing its first broadband league table, a real life database of how ISPs perform in the United Kingdom.
An Ofcom spokesperson told PCPro that they will be partnering with broadband website Samknows to distribute more than 7000 black-box routers that will track and log connection speeds and other variables in as many households.
Samknows' website has yet post anything about the Ofcom announcement but its chairman, Alex Salter told PC Pro that "Ofcom really wants the ISPs to buy into the [testing] methodology. There is a lot of momentum behind Ofcom publishing specific ISP data". It is now known whether the mobile broadband providers will be included in the table at some point in the future.
Understandably, some ISPs are nervous about the whole process and some have already questioned the methodology employed. Needless to say some of the biggest ISPs in the country have some of the slowest speeds as well.
Another interesting piece of information published by the Broadband Stakeholders Groups showed the relationship between average speed and distance of the user to the exchange, using hundreds of data points plotted on a graph. Unsurprisingly, the BSG notes that "Although using straight line length (the straight line distance from a home to the exchange) rather than the actual line length, the level of variance in performance between lines of comparable length is pronounced."
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Point Topic has been one company which published a regular "top ISP" table. The Ofcom version will complement it and could eventually be used as a way to coerce the worst performing ISPs to improve their service or otherwise face heavy fines.