Broadband companies must advertise average speeds from May 2018

Broadband companies must advertise average speeds from May 2018

Broadband companies must advertise average speeds from May 2018

The change, set to be introduced from May 2018, will replace the current "up to" speed claims that are available to at least 10 percent of customers, and CAP has also said that ISPs will have to start promoting speed-checking tools within advertising in order to encourage customers to make sure they get the right speeds.

Broadband firms will no longer be able to advertise their fast net services based on the speeds just a few customers get, from May next year.

"Our new standards will give consumers a better understanding of the broadband speeds offered by different providers when deciding to switch providers".

The Committee on Advertising Practice (CAP) Firms will be implementing new rules next year preventing firms in the United Kingdom from advertising misleading campaigns about their broadband speeds to consumers.

Alongside its new rules governing broadband speed, the ASA has also announced the outcome of its review of the use of the word fibre in broadband advertising.

The ASA has recently carried out a review into whether the term "fibre" should only be used to describe full-fibre broadband services, rather than part-fibre connections that still use copper cables. "The speeds advertised are the expectation you set, no matter how you try to qualify them".

But what is peak time for broadband? "This will go a long way to alleviating that most persistent of gripes".

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The ASA said that it received virtually unanimous backing for some form of change to the previous standards in the responses to the consultation, which came from major ISPs, trade associations, consumer advocacy groups, think-tanks, and comms regulator Ofcom.

"While this change might reduce the number of consumers that feel let down, the reality is that a national advert can never accurately communicate broadband speeds because speeds are so specific to your individual property". As peak time is when traffic volumes are highest and traffic management policies are most likely to apply, a peak-time measure provides a better indication of the actual speeds consumers are likely to experience.

It found that most people saw the use of fibre as a "shorthand buzzword" to describe fast broadband and concluded that it was not misleading for ISPs the use the term. Additionally, the researchers found, consumers tended not to believe they would change their buying decision once the difference between FTTC and FTTP was explained to them.

Consumers may interpret a range as the speed they are likely to get individually, as opposed to the range that consumers generally are likely to get, and a range doesn't tell consumers where in the range they fall, if at all.

"We take an evidenced-based approach to our work", said Shahriar Coupal, director of CAP.

It follows research that suggested broadband advertising can be misleading for consumers.

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