Magnet boss’s negative reaction to broadband report

5 Dec 2008

Magnet Networks chief executive Mark Kellett (pictured) has rejected a broadband report slamming Irish broadband speeds, because it did not encompass all broadband providers.

The Ireland Internet Performance Index, published by Epitiro, a technology provider that installs software agents in networks to measure performance, found that Dublin came seventh out of eight cities in Europe for broadband quality.

It found that broadband subscribers only receive 60pc of what is advertised, while mobile broadband consumers receive only 64pc of advertised speeds.

However, Kellett said the report did not provide a true picture of the overall broadband market because it omitted providers like UPC and Magnet, which can provide broadband products of speeds of between 20Mbps to 50Mbps.

The Epitiro report focused its findings on fixed-line providers BT Ireland, Digiweb, Eircom, Imagine, Perlico and Smart Telecom, and mobile providers Vodafone 3G, 3 Ireland 3G and O2 3G.

ISPs Perlico and Smart had the best-performing internet services in terms of percentages achieved versus ‘up to’ speeds advertised. While Smart achieved 76pc of the fastest service monitored in the report, Perlico achieved 79pc of a 3Mbps service.

Overall, fixed-line ISPs managed to deliver service at an average of 60.2pc of the advertised ‘up to’ speeds.

Mobile broadband had a slightly higher percentage of 63.9pc than fixed broadband. Generally, speeds ranging from 1.7Mbps to 2.4Mbps were routinely measured and compared against mobile package ‘up to’ speeds of 3Mbps.

Ping times for Ireland’s broadband providers average 194 milliseconds (msec), which is way above the 100 msec avid gamers use as a ceiling. “With no ISPs under the 100 msec preference, gaming capabilities in Ireland remain a concern,” the report said.

However, Kellett said that Magnet Networks, together with some other significant players in the broadband market, was not surveyed as part of the Epitiro report.

He said that while the company was disappointed not to be included, he believes the report highlights Magnet’s constant message about the substandard quality of some broadband services in Ireland.

“Since entering the Irish broadband market, Magnet has pushed the quality broadband message and how it relates to contention. Contention can be explained at its simplest using the analogy of a tea bag.  If you make a single cup of tea with that one tea bag, you get a quality cup of tea – however, make 48 cups of tea and the quality is drastically diluted. 

“Broadband speeds in Ireland are similarly watered down by high contention, with some customers in Ireland receiving broadband that is shared, or contended, with up to 48 other users.”

The report also states that of the ISPs surveyed, none had ping speeds of less than 100 msec. Kellett said Magnet Networks provides ping times ranging between 4 msec to 80 msec.

Ping times, he said, are much more important than pure bandwidth for 95pc of online gamers, and relate to the time it takes for data to be sent, replied to and then received.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years