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Ofcom panel wants code on broadband speed

Users could switch if speed fell short of ad claim

hand on computer mouse

A consumer group today called for action to address concerns about broadband connection speeds.

Advertised ‘up to’ speeds are often much quicker than the actual connection speeds which many householders end up with, the Ofcom Consumer Panel said.

The panel, which was set up to advise regulator Ofcom on consumer issues, is calling for a mandatory code of practice to make internet firms provide clearer information.

Actual speed

Customers should have the right to switch to a different deal or opt out of their contracts penalty-free if their actual broadband speed is significantly lower than that advertised, the panel said.

Internet service providers should provide clear, upfront information to householders about factors which can affect line speed.

And they should contact customers a fortnight after installation to tell them their actual broadband speed, the panel said.

Code of practice

Ofcom Consumer Panel chair Colette Bowe has written to communications regulator Ofcom calling for a mandatory code of practice.

‘This code would establish agreed processes to give the customer the best information during and after the sales process, and to give them flexibility to move freely to different packages that reflect the actual speeds with which their ISPs are able to provide them,’ she said.

The consumer panel also wants the advertising of broadband speeds to be tightened up.

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