thinkbroadband :: ASA clears YouView advert after broadband speed complaint
Broadband speeds in advertising have largely gone silent after the ASA/BCAP advice note that meant providers could only quote a speed that at least 10% of customers could be demonstrated as getting. Where is it still not clear is with regards to services delivered over broadband and an ASA adjudication on YouView in two complaints is not really clearing things up at all.

One complaint was from someone who can only get 1.1 Mbps speeds and another questioned the 'Extraordinary TV for everyone' strap line in the advertising.
"In relation to the recommended minimum broadband speed, YouView TV commented that the service could operate with line speeds considerably lower than 3 Mb, but that they had decided to recommend a higher threshold so that consumers would achieve a persistently high level of performance if other users were sharing the broadband connection. They also stated that YouView boxes had to be purchased either from a retailer or an internet service provider, and during that process consumers would undergo checks in relation to their broadband speed. Furthermore, a line speed checker was available on the YouView TV website which would assist consumers in their purchasing decision. YouView TV considered that consumers would not be misled into purchasing a YouView box."

Extract from ASA/YouView adjudication
Neither complaint was upheld but the response from YouView raises some questions, that conflict with how we thought the service operated.

  1. We believed that the movie rental stores from BT and TalkTalk were specific to boxes sold by them and linked to being on their network. If the YouView statement is correct, a retail purchased box has access to them both?
  2. While we understand that the video streaming may manage to operate at speeds in the 1.5 Mbps to 2 Mbps region, we understood it was a stream rather than a download, so there are properties whose speed will not sustain the stream at all, or will pause every few seconds to buffer. Sky on Demand is a download system, which once it has enough downloaded it allows you to start playback, YouView is instant playback we thought.

Oddly the ASA assessment does accept that not everyone will be able to use the on-demand TV elements of the YouView due to their broadband speed, but allowed the advert because the ASA believed that people would know that their own broadband connection would be the limiting factor. What we would have hoped is for the ASA to get YouView to declare the absolute minimum speed that the on-demand features require to function, as things stand we have a wonderfully woolly compromise.