In a step forward for our ‘Give Us Broadband Speed Guaranteed’ campaign, the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) has announced a consultation on strengthening the standards within which broadband providers advertise their internet speeds.
It’s expected that broadband providers have to alter advertising practises, which could result in having to guarantee at least 50% of customers can receive the advertised headline speeds.
A study from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) revealed the majority of consumers believe they are likely to receive a speed at, or close to, a provider's headline claim. However, it is clear through our work that these promises are not always met.
Previous research has confirmed that up to 75% households have paid for advertised broadband speeds they have never actually received.
CAP director Shahriar Coupal said:
‘Research commissioned by the ASA persuades us that tougher standards are needed to prevent consumers from being misled by advertised broadband speed claims.
‘For the next 10 weeks, we're inviting views on four options for change and remain open to any other options that better-manage consumers' expectations of the broadband speed they're likely to receive.’
Alex Neill, Which? Managing Director of Home Products and services, said:
‘Following our campaign this is a positive step and it's vital that the proposals aren't watered down during the consultation. The ASA and CAP must deliver changes that will guarantee as many people in the UK as possible are getting the broadband speeds advertised by providers.’
Use our Broadband Checker tool and see how your provider’s advertised speeds stack up against its actual performance.
The regulator, Ofcom, has today called for reforms to the Openreach network following recent reports of poor service and failings by BT to adequately invest in it.
BT is the largest broadband provider in the UK and provides the main telecoms network used by telephone and broadband providers such as Sky, TalkTalk and BT Consumer.
The telecoms giant suffered criticism by MPs last week with calls for Openreach to be forced to split from the BT Group.
And today, Ofcom has proposed that Openreach should become a distinct company within the BT group with its own board and a majority of non-executive directors non-affiliated to BT Group.
The regulator has also suggested large-scale investments should include greater consultation with customers, Openreach to have its own staff body, ownership of assets that the network already controls, its own strategy and control over budget allocation, and independent branding.
With more than 110,000 supporters backing our broadband campaign it’s clear people want better broadband and telecoms services.
Our Director of Policy and Campaigns, Alex Neill, said:
‘Millions of people have suffered woeful levels of service from Openreach so these changes can't come soon enough. In order for these reforms to be judged as a success, customers will expect them to deliver big improvements in service.
‘Telecoms are an essential part of our daily lives and so it is vital that everyone can access good-quality broadband, switching is made easier and compensation is made available when things do go wrong.’
If you want to see better broadband services then back our campaign by signing the petition today.
Today the Government announced plans to put access to broadband on a similar footing to other basic services, like water and electricity.
Virgin Media has come out in support of our campaign to end confusing advertising of broadband speeds.