Broadband 'not as fast as claimed'

People who opt for a particular broadband package based only on the advertised speed of the service may not be getting what they pay for.

A consumer watchdog says the gap between the speed of most 8Mbps broadband packages and the actual speed is so “huge” that Trading Standards and Ofcom should investigate.

After testing the connection speeds of 300 consumers who signed up for a typical 8Mbps package, the average actual speed emerged at just 2.7Mbps per second.

The worst was 0.9Mbps - one eighth of the speed advertised, explaining, in part, why only 30% of people are “satisfied” with their service, says an ISP satisfaction poll.

But the Advertising Standard Authority says internet service providers are acting within the advertisers’ code because they use the choice wording ‘up to 8Mbps.’

For the ad watchdog, this is acceptable on the grounds that users can get close to 8Mbps per second, but Which? says consumers are being misled.

The group’s online editor, Malcolm Coles said: ‘It’s shocking that internet service providers can advertise ever-increasing speeds that seem to bear little resemblance to what most people can achieve in reality.

‘If it’s unlikely you’ll reach the advertised speed it should be made clear up front, so that you know with some certainty what you’re buying.”

According to the ISP satisfaction poll of Which members, small is beautiful: providers like Global, Waitrose and Zen came out top, while big names like AOL, BT and Virgin Media were “below average.”

To avoid disappointment with broadband, the group advised: “Do your research to check what speed you’re likely to get before upgrading.

“If you think what you’re getting differs vastly from what you’ve paid for, speak to your provider – or if they won’t help, report them to Ofcom.”


3rd August 2007

Related News

Latest News