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UK Broadband Speeds Investigated

Published: 29/01/2011 by Comments

According to reports published by communications regulator OFCOM, consumers experience less than half of the advertised download speeds by broadband companies in the United Kingdom.

Researchers revealed that the average download speed from last year was just 5.2Mbps, which is supposed to be 11.5Mbps as stated on the advertisements. These speeds were calculated by the speed at which the broadband signal leaves the telephone exchange.

Although it can be difficult to sustain these speeds due to certain factors, Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) plans to address ISPs (internet service providers) regarding their ‘up to’ broadband speed this week. ISP’s maintain that reasons for slow speeds can include the distance between the home and the source, weather, or how much data is transferred. In addition, providers blame slow speed on browsers used to surf the web and what time of day consumers are logged onto their connection. The summit with ASA also aims to address consumers confusion about the service being ‘unlimited’ but are being limited by certain ‘fair use policies’ set by ISPs.

A recent OFCOM review of broadband speeds shows that nearly three million broadband users are dissatisfied with their online speeds despite increase in the nation’s average speed. ASA faults the misleading advertisings for customer dissatisfaction.

Last year, head of OFCOM Ed Richards said in response to misleading advertising, “We want to see clearer advertising. Speeds should only be advertised if they’re actually achievable by some customers.”

Suggestions to replace the advertised ‘up to’ with just a typical speed range will be a topic of discussion during the summit. This, however, could affect current promotions by ISPs like TALK TALK, who is currently promoting superfast broadband service offering 40Mbps.

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