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Broadband speeds

UK broadband companies scrutinised for “Misleading” adverts regarding broadband speed.

Research from the Advertising Standards Authority has lead them to ask for new ruling as they have found out that the majority of customers won’t receive the speed advertised.

The ASA also discovered most consumers have little knowledge of broadband speeds; many only knowing that the higher the number, the faster the broadband speed.

Past research by independent groups revealed that 3 in 4 households didn’t receive the broadband speed they had paid for.

Currently, the broadband speeds proposed in the adverts have to apply to at least 10% of a company’s customers, meaning that the broadband providers are not breaking the guidelines.

A group of 50 MPs have called for these guidelines to be changed.

The British Infrastructure Group has said “Consumers must be given the power to hold their internet service provider to account when they let them down or outright mislead them into signing a contract that makes promises that bear no resemblance to the later reality.”

Chairman of the ISPA Council, James Blessing, acted as a spokesmen for broadband companies.

“The internet industry fully supports the ASA’s move to bring the guidance on broadband advertising up to date. Crucially, the ASA’s research has not identified an effective alternative for the current approach to ‘up to’ speed claims and ISPA, alongside the wider internet industry, looks forward to supporting the ASA in developing a revised and evidence-based guidance on this.”

The broadband industry was criticized by the BIG for not offering compensation to customers when not providing the quoted service whereas others “such as airlines and banks are forced to.”

A representative from Ofcom responded, “Ofcom is concerned about the gap between advertised broadband speeds and what people actually receive.

“We’re pleased that the ASA has confirmed it will bring about changes to advertising practices, so that broadband customers can shop with greater confidence.”

Ofcom recently asked broadband providers to voluntarily follow a code of practice, meaning the companies would have to supply customers with additional advice and information involving broadband speed.


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