Ofcom: Broadband speeds need to be clearer

UK communications regulator Ofcom have ruled that at the point of sale the average broadband speeds a customer will receive needs to be communicated, rather than  the possible maximum speeds.

An article in The Telegraph stated Ofcom have demanded understandable information from ISPs for consumers about achievable speeds and traffic management restrictions at certain times of day. If ISPs do not comply with these requests Ofcom will use its legal powers to force them.

The regulator believes that current information provided to consumers “does not go far enough and needs to be made clearer and easier to understand” to combat complaints from consumers of being mis-sold. Under the current rules ISPs can  advertise maximum speeds that just 10 per cent of users can actually able to receive as the standard speed.

Ernest Doku, from broadband comparison site uSwitch, said of the decision: “We can now expect consumers to know upfront about average speeds and the effects of traffic management on those speeds before they sign up to a broadband package. This is a huge step forward for broadband customers.”

The existing industry-led initiative was encouraged by Ofcom, but it was noted that the information provided is only likely to be used by technically savvy consumers, leaving those without tech knowledge in the dark. The regulator noted that the remaining challenge is not about punishing ISPs, but about communicating clearly too all consumers.

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2011-11-29T11:40:46+00:00

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