The United Kingdom's regulatory authority for
telecommunication industries has reported that broadband customers have been
sold fast connections that internet
providers cannot supply.
Ofcom, the UK's government-approved
telecommunications regulatory authority, has conducted performance tests in
over 1,000 homes throughout the UK and found that broadband packages do not
produce the super-fast connections that internet providers advertise.
to the report Ofcom released today, Britons
receive an average broadband speed of 6.2 megabits per second (Mbps).
The average advertised speed by internet providers is 13.8Mb, meaning that
customers are receiving less than half of the advertised speed.
research shows that ISPs need to do more to ensure they are giving customers
clear and accurate information about the services they provide and the factors
that may affect the actual speeds customers will receive," said Ed Richards,
Ofcom's chief executive. "It is important that the rules around broadband
advertising change, so that consumers are able to make more informed decisions
based on the adverts they see, and that advertisers are able to communicate
more clearly how their products compare to others in the market."
working to correct this false advertising of "up to" broadband speeds
by Internet providers such as Sky, BT and O2 by giving its data to
the Advertising Standards Authority's committee of advertising practice (CAP)
and broadcast committee of advertising practice (BCAP) so a report can be
gathered its information by conducting performance tests in 1,700 homes in the
UK. These tests were based on 11 broadband packages from the UK's seven largest
providers, and took place over the course of November and December last year.
Among the seven providers were TalkTalk and Virgin Media.
performance tests revealed that those with fiber-optic cable packages received
broadband speeds much closer to what was advertised, but only 22 percent of
Britons have fiber-optic packages. Seventy-seven percent of Britons use
copper-based DSL phone lines that receive much slower broadband speeds than
advertised. The average broadband
speed advertisement by internet providers is "up to" 13.8Mb,
and the average speed received by customers is 6.2Mbps.
providers even offer "up to" 20Mbps connections, where only 3 percent
of customers receive a speed even close to that number. Sixty-nine percent of
the population receives an average speed of less than 8Mbps.
recommendations to CAP and BCAP are to advertise broadband speeds on a
"typical speeds range" instead of "up to" speeds range. The
regulator suggested that maximum speeds only be listed if they are achievable.
This means that those ISPs advertising speeds "up to" 8Mbps must
reveal that customers will only receive between 2Mbps and 5Mbps.
providers have responded negatively toward Ofcom's recommendations.
to typical speed ranges will potentially be highly misleading as the average
performance will vary depending on where people live," said John Petter,
managing director of BT Retail's consumer business. "Enforcing typical
speed ranges is also dangerous as it could encourage more ISPs to cherry pick
customers who will increase their average, leaving customers in rural and
suburban areas under-served. That would encourage digital exclusion rather than
at Virgin Media said Ofcom's report is "yet another damning indictment
that consumers continue to be treated like mugs and misled by ISPs
that simply cannot deliver on their advertised speed claims."
BCAP currently has a consultation underway and expects to have a finished
report within the next three months.
quote: "Moving to typical speed ranges will potentially be highly misleading as the average performance will vary depending on where people live," said John Petter, managing director of BT Retail's consumer business.
quote: "Enforcing typical speed ranges is also dangerous as it could encourage more ISPs to cherry pick customers who will increase their average, leaving customers in rural and suburban areas under-served. That would encourage digital exclusion rather than tackle it."
quote: Executives at Virgin Media said Ofcom's report is "yet another damning indictment that consumers continue to be treated like mugs and misled by ISPs that simply cannot deliver on their advertised speed claims."
quote: The only ISP delivering close to the maximum speed advertised, according to Ofcom, was Virgin Media, with the advantage of a relatively new cable network in many urban areas.
quote: So advertising the maximum speed and only delivering half is NOT misleading? In fact, not delivering what you sell is known as false or deceptive advertising. I wouldn't pay $50USD a month for a 5Mbit connection, and ISPs know this. But they want to cap my bandwidth while taking my money...
quote: My ISP mentions "up to" 20Mbps for my package, but i get around 7Mbps because i'm quite far from the phone exchange.
quote: It dont cost me anything extra for this packages, it's just basic and costs the same as "up to" 8Mbps alternatives.