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If I get 50MBit/sec ethernet, then do I need choice?

I’m moving later this month to Copenhagen, and I will be living in a 1930s block of flats in Vesterbro. The house is run by a housing cooperative (andelsbolig), and all flats in the block are provided with 50MBit/sec download, 20MBit/sec upload internet connections – for each flat separately, not shared. Details in Danish here. There’s an ethernet port on the wall in each flat. The cost for this? DKK 100 / month. That’s £10.63 or €13.43. If it works at the advertised speed that’s almost as fast as BT Infinity broadband in the UK, and for less than half the cost. There are only a select few places in the UK that can get ultra quick speeds.

So what’s the problem with this in Copenhagen?

Most Brits would cry foul. Choice is so central to UK broadband provision, where all suppliers seem to over promise and under deliver, yet the market is fierce and competitive. Yet in Copenhagen I have an offer that’s both faster and cheaper than in the UK, but I have basically no choice.

If Fiberby, the provider, turns out to be rubbish, what do I do? They are the sole provider for the house. To get an alternative provider I would have to pass a vote with the housing association, a lengthy and complex process. Yet of course the high quality, low cost internet can only be provided in the first place because all the flats in the block can bargain collectively…

I could of course go for the ballistic option and go for DSL down a phone line instead, but then I would be relegated back to UK sorts of speeds with that second-rate technology…

Anyway, I’ll report back at the end of August once this is actually up and running!


4 Comments

  • Anders Dahl |

    No need to worry. The bandwidth is there, and in fact you get even more upload than advertised. We just guarantee that you get 20Mbit/s. But please start out by testing with a cable, not wireless. If you’re not satisfied, you can still choose one of the national xDSL-providers.

    Welcome to Vesterbro:)

    Regards Anders (Network administrator at Fiberby.dk)

  • Jon |

    @Anders – thanks for the reply! Clearly you’ve got good Google Alerts set up :-)

    I have no doubt it will all be fine with the connection – the blog entry was more a critique of the British broadband issues than anything else.

  • Joe Litobarski |

    Jon,

    It looks like you might be moving to the right country. ;-)

    Joe

  • AnneCbxl |

    I am confident he is. Opening up competition has done wonders for the Danish telecoms market and Danes are very picky telecoms customers. Hence I was very disappointed when I moved from Aarhus to Brussels in 2008. Still am, but I am learning to be Belgian about it and enjoy other things in life.

    Although CPH is better than the rest of the country, on the downside you can look forward to very mediocre supermarkets. For having such blatantly high salaries most Danes are super cheap when it comes to spending money on food.

So, what do you think ?