Broadband and milk

Supplying broadband must be one of the few businesses where you can happily provide less than is paid for without any comeback. I recently upgraded my Virgin Broadband cable connection from 60Mb/s to 100Mb/s. When it was 60 I could test it and regularly get the full speed.

Now I'm notionally on 100, I did get full speed much of the time for the first couple of weeks, but since then it's never gone above 90, and most of the time is 70-85; on occasions it's been down to 50.

I realize that sometimes the internet is going to be very busy, but I should be able to get the full amount most of the time. I see on the Virgin forum that many people complain of this and are told that their area is 'over-utilized' - in other words Virgin have sold broadband to more customers than they can handle. (Incidentally I have no reason to believe that other suppliers are any better.)

Imagine: you order a pint of milk a day from your milkman. However it regularly turns out to be only three-quarters of a pint. When you challenge him, he says 'I'm sorry, but we don't have enough cows - however you still have to pay the full price'.

This isn't really acceptable business practice, and in any other field could be successfully challenged as a breach of contract. I don't have the energy to get into arguments with Virgin about this, but I do wish they'd stop messing about and get some more cows.

Tickets to ride

Stupid rationalisation of the week: Fares from Leamington Spa to London have gone up 10% - twice the rise of many other fares - but this is OK because it's 'balanced by lower increases elsewhere' (BBC news 1800 today) - not if you live in Leamington it's not. I used to use that line a lot (from Stratford to London) - fortunately not now.

Of course the government wants trains to be funded a lot less from taxes - rich people use their cars.