(This topic moved from Community Partnership)
Yes, download speeds are always the focus - but upload speeds are so incredibly poor. Fibre optic would enable both upload and download to be a great deal speedier than present. The copper wiring they have currently at the exchange, and which carries the speeds to your house, just aren't up to large streams of data. So changing this to fibre optic would give you much higher speeds. The issue with video conferencing is having quick upload speeds - ie using Skype to share screens and documents etc. Just trying to currently send any file larger than 200mb takes up to 2 hours + (if you're lucky).
There are a great deal of photographers in this area for instance, and I can only imagine their pain at having to wait hours to upload high quality resolution images. Imagine how this would be for large businesses trying to work over the exchange.
i think if we looked across the country, download speeds aren't brilliant, but - as you rightly say - upload speeds are never mentioned. I know they're laying the fibre optic in Bournemouth, so it really needs this council to step up and make a case (however realistic) for Swanage to get on a list - make it attractive to BT, tell them the businesses and home workers that would benefit. BT - as much as i hate them! - could be convinced to be part of providing employment for the local community etc.
I'm a filmmaker and attempting to upload my films (3min promo pieces, 300-400mb in the main) to YouTube and my website has proven to be almost impossible at times. Let alone actually sending the files to clients (I email via yousendit over night). You can get round the problems, but if a number of people were to upload large files to send at once, we would have a serious problem. I know of a fair few farmers who have been unable to send livestock forms etc back due to poor connections in more rural areas - downloading the forms are fine, but problems in uploading anything has proven to be very costly business wise. Add to that, once you have more home workers (should be the future with no new offices available in town or businesses willing to move here) sending files and creating websites to fill with content, the current system really won't be able to cope.