As discussed in a previous blog post, Ofcom’s latest research has confirmed what we all expected – broadband users are not getting the broadband services they are being sold in the first place.
In certain circumstances, 97 per cent of customers are not getting their advertised speed. In addition, there is a growing gap between the claims ISPs make about broadband speed and that which is actually delivered.
So, how does this tie into the hosting industry? Well, there are many hosting providers who, like their broadband counterparts, over promise on bandwidth offered with the hosting package. Hosting providers who use promises of ‘unlimited bandwidth’ as their advertising slogan cannot deliver. It’s impossible. If these unlimited bandwidth promises were ever fulfilled, surely the world’s biggest bandwidth consuming websites (YouTube and Facebook for example) would host with these companies in order to dramatically cut costs?
How do they get away with advertising in such a way with no potential to deliver on it in the way that a customer would expect? The secret lies within small print. You must check the terms and conditions on any offers of this nature. The likelihood is there is something in the Ts&Cs about an acceptable usage policy which means that you will be cut off once you have used 100GB for example.
A common feature of unlimited bandwidth offers is the promise of, “unlimited bandwidth and 100 Mbps connection.” Sounds good, doesn’t it? They want you to believe that you will have 100Mbps connection to the internet which would give you the ability to consume 340TB every month. Clearly this has never been possible. In reality, a 100 Mbps connection is simply the capability of the network card on your server and not the speed of the pipe.
Pipe speeds may vary from provider to provider, but the end result does not – large numbers of customers all promised unlimited bandwidth and all connected to the same pipe. This is problematic as it means that the maximum capabilities of the pipe to which all the customers are connected is not enough to perform at the expected level of the user. This leads to bandwidth performing way below the level of everyone’s expectations and results in lots of slow to load websites.
You get what you pay for. Investing in hosting with a company that has invested in high quality infrastructure and that operates with significant available network capacity makes sense.