New guidelines for companies making broadband speed claims

29 September 2011

broadbandBroadband companies have been told to stop gloating about their high speed internet services unless a fair proportion of their customers actually receive those speeds.

New guidelines say that, if broadband providers make claims about maximum speedsin their adverts, then really, it's only fair that they should be able to back up these claims for at least 10% of their customers, said the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP).

The problem here is that average download speeds are less than half of the fabled "up to" speeds which are so commonly advertised by ISPs. The average broadband speed is 6.2 megabits per second (Mbps), which is half the average speed of the oft advertised 13.8Mbps.

Of course, the 10% rule looks pretty limp wristed in the attempts to get people to get the best deal on fast broadband.

"Consumers are still unable to make an informed choice of which ISP gives them the best internet speeds overall if only 10% of a provider's customers get the maximum advertised speed," said the Communications Consumer Panel, the consumer arm of telecoms regulator Ofcom.

Basically, this is only good news for 10% of consumers and is of little use to the majority, screaming at their routers demanding an answer.

TOPICS:   Technology   Broadband   Gadgets


  • Dick
    The regulators should insist that 50% of customers get the advertised speed, ie. companies display the median speed.
  • The B.
    Bizarrely, and I may well be the only person in the UK but I get the advertised top speed, 10Mbps, I get 1.2MBps when downloading (depending on the site obv). Btw, I downloaded Terra Nova the other night, don't bother, flimsy half arsed plot with characters you want to kill (but you're supposed to feel sorry for).
  • Countryman
    Come live in the sticks where broadband is delivered using on a stream of hamster's backs and we don't use mbps, we use shps (some hamsters per sec). It gets on my goat when BT (other useless ISPs are available) advertise massive speeds only to say 'ah, yes well, where u live you country bumpkin you'll get a 1/10 of anyone else.
  • corbyboy
    They should use a similar system to bank loans. They advertise a "typical" APR and at least 51% of customers must get this rate.
  • catweasle
    I live 5 doors away from exchange and I'm allegedly on 20meg broadband and the best download speed I ever got was 14mps. Should I go round to ask where the other 6mps went?
  • klingelton
    I don't care about what the fastest attainable speed is on my line, nor should anyone else. I'm more concerned with the Quality of connection - that is to say what my ping is like and how much jitter/packets lost there are (hopefully, none!). Try explaining this to customer services when you're on a piss poor service like virgin media's "beyond cable". To be brutally honest, a family of 5 could survive happily on 2 mbps if the local service was managed and the line was decent quality. It's the megapixel myth in broadband terms. Something that really grinds my gears. Taking one statistic and expanding it to be a measure of how good something is when in reality, it's one of many components. Remember the purple shirts at pc world selling people pc's, they would jump on the highest figure and push that. "This pc has 500Gb memory" hmm. does it now. That's useful if i store alot of music/films etc. reality is, i don't. i play computer games. sell me something now - dickhead! ** rant over **
  • Zleet
    I get more pissed off by the supposed introduction of higher speeds but they retain the ridiculous download limits. What exactly do they think I want 'super fast' broadband for? Even if you kept it all legal HD trailers and game demos can chew any limit to bits in a few days. Either that or they claim unlimited downloads but stick on a fair usage policy that says if you attempt to actually use unlimited downloads they slow your connection to a crawl or even turn it off altogether making the claim completely fucking pointless or even an outright lie.

What do you think?

Your comment