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Forthcoming changes in broadband speed advertising regulations have been hailed by broadband providers.

Last week, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) told broadband providers to ensure future speed claims in ads are based on average speeds at peak times.

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

However, the ASA has been concerned for some time that this could potentially mislead people, with the majority of customers possibly not getting the speeds they expected.

Following a consultation by the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP), the watchdog is therefore imposing new rules, which state that advertised speeds should be based on the download speed available to at least half of customers at peak times and described in the ads as "average".

Responding to the news, Virgin Media said it is pleased consumers are going to get some "long overdue clarity".

"That’s why we have repeatedly called for a change in these unfair and misleading advertising rules," he commented.

"At last, the majority of customers will now know what speeds they can realistically expect from their broadband provider, not just a small minority."

TalkTalk was more cautious in its response, saying that while it supports efforts to simplify broadband advertising, what customers really want is a "guaranteed speed specific to their home".

"We already provide that at the point of sale, meaning customers can be certain about the speeds they will receive before they buy the product," a spokesperson said.

Vodafone added that it welcomes the decision from the ASA and has been actively involved in the consultation to ensure better clarity for consumers around broadband speeds.

"We’ll be working to meet the deadline accordingly," the company stated.


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