Ofcom wants ban on bogus broadband speed ads

Covered mag, presented by Gocompare.com
  • | by Kristian Dando

Ofcom is seeking to ban broadband companies advertising misleading speeds, after the media watchdog found that few consumers actually get the rapid rates that internet service providers cite.

The organisation’s chief executive Ed Richards said: “There is substantial gap between advertised speeds and actual speeds they (customers) get in their homes.” He went on to say the chances of achieving the headline speeds were “remote.”

Ofcom found that only 14 per cent of customers with ‘up to 20Mbps’ broadband connections got speeds of 12mbps, while 58 per cent of people averaged sluggish speeds of 6Mbps or less. Customers with fibre-optic connections, such as those provided by Virgin Media fared better, with 92 per cent of customers getting within 5mbps of the 50mbps speed advertised.

Head of home services at Gocompare.com Phil Paterson-Fox, said: “49 of the 66 broadband prices displayed on Gocompare.com claim to be 'up to' 20Mbps or more. This seems to be a technique used by almost all suppliers which provides customers with no ability to make an informed comparison. This is particularly disappointing given that customers have to enter their postcode to get the quote. Therefore I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect suppliers to have a pretty clear idea of how far that customer is from their local exchange and therefore what kind of download speed they ought to be able to expect.”