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Virgin Media has called for broadband speed advertising rules to bear the needs of homeworkers in mind.

Providers are currently allowed to advertise broadband speeds if they are available to ten per cent of their customers.

However, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is concerned that this could potentially mislead people, with the majority of customers possibly not getting the speeds they expect.

As a result, it is consulting on possible alternative options, such as basing speed claims on a peak-time median download speed or using peak-time download speeds available to the 20th to 80th percentile of users.

Virgin Media has warned against this approach, as focusing on peak-time usage would mean the needs of those who rely on broadband throughout the entire day, such as homeworkers, are not being considered.

Research by the provider has found that the number of homeworkers in the UK has gone up by a quarter since 2012, with 31 per cent of British employees now spending at least one day a week working at home.

As a result, many are relying on a fast and reliable broadband connection. Indeed, 71 per cent of homeworkers said they regard this as "very important", while 54 per cent view it as more essential than access to a phone.

Virgin Media has therefore warned the ASA that any move to a peak-time measure would ignore this group of people.

Kerris Bright, Chief Marketing Officer at Virgin Media, commented: "More people than ever are spending some of their working week at home and our research shows that homeworkers depend on having a good broadband connection.

"As it consults on more robust broadband advertising rules, the ASA must consider Britain’s growing army of homeworkers, and require companies to advertise average speeds across a full day."

Stakeholders and interested parties have until July 13th to respond to the consultation.

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