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BT Infinity has been instructed to remove the broadband availability checker from its website, following a ruling from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The tool, designed to show whether fibre broadband services are available at particular locations (or detail when they are likely to arrive), has been the subject of 15 complaints from members of the public.

And as such, the advertising regulator has intervened, banning the use of the checker in its current form.

Although Openreach - which manages BT's fibre infrastructure - openly admits that super-fast broadband launch dates are provisional, the broadband availability checker failed to make this point clear.

Consequently, some users may have found the information misleading, the ASA stated.

“We considered that the appearance of a date, or provisional date in the availability checker, suggested that active plans were in place to roll out BT Infinity in that area, and that the service would therefore be available on or around that time, and the listed date should not be subsequently or regularly pushed back," the regulator said.

"The date BT Infinity was expected to be available in their area would be a material consideration for consumers when deciding whether to register an interest in the service."

According to the ASA, there was at least one case where the broadband checker listed a provisional launch date less than three months away - despite BT having no plans to extend its reach into this locality.

"We considered that the inclusion of provisional dates was likely to mislead," the ASA confirmed.

In response, BT said it is working with Openreach on the development of a new broadband availability checker, which it hopes to introduce early in 2013.

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