At last! New rules arrive to stop broadband speed claims!

4 April 2012

broadbandAt long last, the change in rules about broadband speed claims is coming into play this week. Now, providers are going to have to be more upfront about how fast ­download speeds really are.

Will this finally see an end to the irritating 'up to' claims?

Well, where a broadband provider would once advertise an “up to” speed of 24Mb, that would now read a much more realistic 13Mb. This move by the Committee of Advertising ­Practice and Advertising Standards Authority comes just in time for Virgin Media launching their super-fast broadband package of 100Mb, where you will have seen Usain Bolt and the whole “superfast as standard” broadband offers on TV.

This is particularly good news because, there have been claims made that standard speeds have been around 2oMb, when in actual fact (according to a recent study by watchdog Ofcom), the average speed across Britain last year was 7.6Mb.

Some berk called Charles Ponsonby of comparison site Simplifydigital said: “Currently they can lead with ‘up to’ claims of 20Mb despite the fact the majority of customers will not receive anything like that. Advertising will now be less misleading, but the rules still give providers a lot of leeway.”

The leeway here is that these new guidelines state that providers can onlyadvertise an “up to” speed if they're able to deliver that speed to at least 10% of their customers.

Almost seems pointless to change the rules when you look at it.

TOPICS:   Technology   Broadband   Advertising   How To Guides


  • SgtMunky
    I pay for 50Mbps on virgin media, and regularly shows a speed of 48Mbps or more Just as importantly though, is the ping
  • Denny
    On the one hand, I think it's ridiculous we need regulation because the public are too stupid to decipher what "up to" means. But if the big bad regulator must really step in, why not enact a proper policy? Credit card and loan companies have to advertise the APR based on what at least 51% (a very slight majority) of people will get, why not make it the same with broadband? What use is advertising speeds based on what the top 10%, those outliers living damn close the exchange, get? They're pretty much the people the companies are thinking of when saying "up to 24mb".
  • The B.
    I pay for 10Mbps on Virgin, now upgraded to 30Mbps apparently but still running at the same speed as previously.
  • Audirob
    I dont think standard home broadband needs to be higher than 10mb. Why not start to invest more in villages where consumers need more than 1mb as people cant even stream youtube!
  • klingelton
    a standard office of 20 or so people doesn't need more than 10 meg. more should be invested on making the connection a-syncronous and improving lag and jitter and packet loss.
  • Phil
    I pay for 20Mb on O2 and get about 14~15Mb depending on the weather. I use to get <8Mb when I moved in but stripped out an unused extension and replaced the master socket front and hey presto got 14Mb. Hate to think how many people suffer the same sort of signal loss and therefore lower speeds just though dodgy wiring.
  • chris
    Out of everything they could fix they fixed the one thing that didn't need fixing.. Broadband companies say you could get UP TO a certain speed which is correct, nothing wrong there. You could even go to each companies website and check your expected speed before you commit to buying. There was no misleading at all! Why don't they do something useful and enforce the actual meaning of unlimited.
  • Fanny L.
    People saying it wasn't needed but you could do on and check the speed on the website. Yes they advertise their general speeds as up to as every area is different but even when you go through the process to define the postcode in your area they still rely on on the good old phrase "up to" then. You can get up to "13mb". Jeez thanks. Then when it arrive you get 5mb and you phone them you will find that when you took the contract you were only told you could get "up to" 13mb If they know the true speeds which is why this law is being implemented then they should give that to you there and then Now behave or Fanny will be round to sort you out.
  • Mary H.
    About fucking time, too! I'm sick of Virgin Media telling me I get 50meg when I only get 49.35meg! Absolute disgrace!
  • jsoap
    @chris - too true, as speeds increase, allowances are more relevant- BT Infiity std package, at advertised speed you would use up your months allowance in just over 2 hours.

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