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Broadband not as fast as claimed

Huge gap between advertised and actual speeds


A laptop

There’s a huge gap between advertised broadband speeds and the actual speeds users can achieve, new research from Which? online reveals.

More than a third of Which? members now have broadband packages offering speeds of ‘up to’ 8Mbps or faster.

But our test of more than 300 customers found that while they were promised this speed, they actually achieved 2.7Mbps on average, with the lowest speed achieved just 0.09Mbps.

The Advertising Standards Agency says that using the words ‘up to’ is acceptable if most people can get close to those speeds.

Investigation call

But we believe that the advertised speeds can be misleading and want Ofcom and Trading Standards to investigate providers’ claims.

The test results are published alongside our twice-yearly ISP satisfaction survey, which shows that just 30 per cent of Which? members on average are very satisfied with their service.

Smaller providers Global, Waitrose and Zen come out top, with big names AOL, BT and Virgin Media rated below average.

Internet service providers

Which? Online Editor Malcolm Coles said: ‘It’s shocking that internet service providers can advertise  ever-increasing speeds that seem to bear little resemblance to what most people can achieve in reality.

‘If it’s unlikely you’ll reach the advertised speed it should be made clear up front, so that you know with some certainty what you’re buying.

‘Do your research to check what speed you’re likely to get before upgrading, and if you think what you’re getting differs vastly from what you’ve paid for, speak to your provider – or if they won’t help, report them to Ofcom.’

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