Crackdown on UK ‘up to’ broadband packages

The word ‘Up to’ is used heavily by ISP’s to advertise internet speeds which quite often are nowhere near the actual speed. The Advertising Standards Agency have now bought in new guidelines which mean internet service providers will need to prove that users of their service can achieve the advertised speeds.

Many feel the new guidelines aren’t strict enough though, as ISP’s only need to prove that 10% of their users can achieve the advertised speed. This still makes it very difficult to make an informed decision on choosing a broadband provider provider based on speed.

A spokesman for the Communications Consumer Panel said, “Consumers are still unable to make an informed choice of which ISP gives them the best internet speeds overall if only 10 per cent of a provider’s customers get the maximum advertised speed.”.

The ASA have also had a crackdown on the word ‘Unlimited’. Broadband and telephony providers are now not allowed to describe their services as ‘unlimited’ if charges can be incurred or if services are suspended for exceeding the threshold.

The changes have been brought forward after Ofcom discovered the average internet speed was 50% less than the advertised.

Virgin, who holds a top spot because of their fibre optic network welcomes the changes, “This is a much needed and long awaited victory for consumers”.