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Campaigns | Broadband speed

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Update

We want stricter broadband advertising rules

With our latest research showing a significant increase in the use of confusing ‘up to’ speed claims, we’re calling for tighter broadband advertising rules.

Our analysis of more than 6,000 newspaper broadband ads has found that the use of ‘up to’ speed claims have steadily increased since advertising guidelines were introduced in 2012.

In 2012, just one in ten print ads included ‘up to’ speed claims. However, between April 2015 and March 2016 it rocketed to 68% of print ads. In some months it rose to as much as 80%.

The 10% rule

Under the current rules, providers only have to demonstrate that 10% of their customers will achieve the advertised speed for it to be use in their adverts. That means many of us will struggle to get anywhere near the advertised speeds. In fact, our research in June 2015 revealed that a staggering 15.4 million households weren’t getting the advertised headline speeds.

Our Director of Policy and Campaigns Alex Neill said:

‘Millions of customers are being taken in by advertised speeds they simply cannot get. With more and more broadband adverts including 'up to’ speeds since the guidelines were introduced, it's clear a shake-up is needed.’

In support of our campaign, the Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said:

‘The way broadband speeds are advertised can be misleading and I want to see more clarity to help consumers choose between providers. UK consumers enjoy some of the best coverage and cheapest broadband prices in Europe, but it's not right for Internet service providers to advertise speeds that are only available to a minority of their customers.’

New broadband advertising rules

Thanks to pressure from more than 100,000 campaign supporters, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has today announced that it will research consumers’ understanding of broadband speed claims made in ads. But we want to see the rules changed. And quickly.

Alex Neill added:

‘The regulator needs to quickly introduce stricter rules that ensure providers advertise speeds that they can deliver for the majority.’

If you agree that new stricter advertising rules need to be brought in without delay, please sign our petition. And tell your friends and family to add their support too!

Success

A universal right to broadband

Today the Government announced plans to put access to broadband on a similar footing to other basic services, like water and electricity.

News

UK worst in Europe for delivering broadband speed promises

The UK is the worst in Europe for delivering the broadband speeds advertised by ADSL providers.
News

Virgin Media and SSE speak up against confusing broadband ads

Internet Service Providers Virgin Media and SSE have lent their support to our campaign against broadband ads that promise speeds that most customers will never see.
Success

Virgin Media supports our broadband speed campaign

Virgin Media has come out in support of our campaign to end confusing advertising of broadband speeds.

News

ASA tells BT to give accurate speed estimates

The ASA has upheld a complaint from a BT customer who claimed they were misled as to the speed they could achieve on their line.
News

Thanks for voting in our poll

Sorry, you’re wrong - the speeds quoted in broadband ads only need to apply to 10% of customers. Yes, just 10% of customers.
Success

Simpler broadband switching to help customers

Ofcom has announced measures to make it easier for customers to switch their landline and broadband provider in one simple step.

Take action

Sign our petition to end confusing broadband ads

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petition signatures
Help us reach 150,000

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