Ofcom to clamp down on broadband speed claims

The regulatory board wants to provide customers with a more realistic expectation of broadband speeds.

Ofcom have announced their plans to place tougher restrictions on British ISPs and the various claims they make about their broadband speeds.

The regulatory board wants to provide consumers with a more realistic expectation of the kind of broadband speeds they’re actually able to achieve by clamping down on the controversial “up to” speed claims many ISPs feature throughout their advertising campaigns.

Consumer watchdog Which? is just one of the many groups who’ve raised concerns about the use of these claims in the past, stating that they act to mislead and confuse consumers.

Under Ofcom’s planned changes, ISPs will be legally required to ensure that information about their broadband speeds is made more readily available during both the point of sale and throughout the customers contract.

They’ll need to provide consumers with both a minimum guaranteed speed and the slowest speeds they could possibly experience during peak times before the sale is completed.

Ofcom would also like to make it easier for consumers to walk away from a broadband contract if their speeds drop below a certain level. If ISPs don’t improve these speeds within a set amount of time, customers will have the right to walk away penalty free.

"We want broadband shoppers to know what they’re buying, and what speeds to expect,” explained Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s Consumer Group Director

“So we plan to close the gap between what’s advertised and what’s delivered, giving customers a fuller picture before they commit to a contract. We’re also making it easier to walk away from a contract, without penalty, when companies fail to provide the speeds they promise.”

Source: Silicon

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