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    Which? calls for curbs on super-fast broadband ads as 15m homes miss out

    This is a discussion on Which? calls for curbs on super-fast broadband ads as 15m homes miss out within the General Computing and Internet forums, part of the Community channel category; Which? calls for curbs on super-fast broadband ads as 15m homes miss out | Media | The Guardian Sky, BT ...

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      Which? calls for curbs on super-fast broadband ads as 15m homes miss out

      Which? calls for curbs on super-fast broadband ads as 15m homes miss out | Media | The Guardian
      Sky, BT and other companies can advertise high-speed broadband claims even if they are only available to 10% of their customers

      Consumers’ group Which? has called on the advertising watchdog to ban companies such as Sky and BT from advertising super-fast broadband promises when more than 15m households don’t get anywhere near the speeds they pay for.

      Under the UK advertising code, which is administered by the Advertising Standards Authority, companies are allowed to advertise their top speeds even if they are only actually available to just 10% of customers.

      Which? wants companies, including Sky, BT, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, EE, Three and O2, to be banned from luring new users with attractive high-speed claims unless more than 50% of customers can actually achieve those speeds.

      Which? says research it has undertaken shows that while 90% of people consider broadband speed an important factor in their decision to buy a package, 15.4m households are not getting the top speeds advertised.

      Companies are able to make the claims by saying broadband packages are available “up to” a certain speed.

      “Millions of customers are being taken in by broadband they simply cannot get,” said Alex Neill, Which? director of policy and campaigns. “It’s clear a shake-up is needed. The regulator needs to quickly introduce stricter rules that ensure providers advertise speeds that they can deliver for a majority.”

      Culture minister Ed Vaizey has previously said the rules are “misleading” and a “complete and utter joke”.

      “It’s not right for internet service providers to advertise speeds that are only available to a minority of their customers,” said Vaizey, commenting on Which?’s call for tighter rules.

      Last week, the ASA announced that it is to research consumers’ understanding of broadband speed claims made in ads.

      The outcome of the research, expected in early autumn, could lead to changes to the broadband advertising rules.

      The ASA says that since it introduced the 10% rule and the “up to” qualifier into the advertising code in 2011 complaints about broadband speed advertising have dropped by 60%.

      In January, the ASA announced it is to crack down on the way companies including Sky, BT, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, EE, Three and O2 advertise the confusing prices of broadband packages.

      This prompted Virgin Media, which is able to offer super-fast broadband through its cable network, to call for the scope to be increased to look at the veracity of “up to” speed claims in ads.

      “As an evidence-based regulator we want to make sure our approach is underpinned by the experience of real people,” said Guy Parker, chief executive of the ASA. “While complaints to the ASA about broadband speed claims have reduced considerably over recent years, we’re taking action to respond to concerns by testing our approach through consumer research.”


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      Re: Which? calls for curbs on super-fast broadband ads as 15m homes miss out

      It is not only broadband where advertising is deliberately misleading.
      One other example that galls me is the hybrid cars that do over a hundred miles per gallon. - for the first gallon only and even then only with a full electric charge and completely draining the battery.
      The ASA ought to force all adverts to fully specify all conditions and assumptions when claims are made.
      Oh! and the ASA should be independent NOT run by the companies themselves.

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      Re: Which? calls for curbs on super-fast broadband ads as 15m homes miss out

      All adverts are misleading.

      What about 0% APR on furniture. What if everyone who applies has a poor credit rating so they do not qualify for the 0% deal does that mean that company cannot advertise that they do 0% APR because unfortunately for them not enough rich people shop with them?

      That's the problem with these ideas. Unfortunately for an ISP they need to change the speed to an average of the number of customers they have. How often do they need to change this? Every Month? Week? Day? Hour? Minute? Second?

      ISP's who use OFCOM Voluntary Code of Practice give speed estimates for each customers individual line and let them leave if they don't achieve this. How can anyone regulate for people not listening/understanding this?
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      Re: Which? calls for curbs on super-fast broadband ads as 15m homes miss out

      I agree, it is amazing how many people do not understand the phrase 'up to' and moan if they do not get the maximum speed. With modern equipment it is possible to estimate the expected speed down to about 1 Mb and everyone taking up broadband now is given an estimate by the ISP. How else can an ISP advertise their offers, tell users they will get at least 512kb/ They would not get many customers!

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      Re: Which? calls for curbs on super-fast broadband ads as 15m homes miss out

      There are two problems here.
      There is no legal definition of broadband.
      BT will only check a line if there is actual disruption of voice services. They have no obligation to check data services on a private line.

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      Re: Which? calls for curbs on super-fast broadband ads as 15m homes miss out

      Quote Originally Posted by BurnIT View Post
      There are two problems here.
      There is no legal definition of broadband.
      BT will only check a line if there is actual disruption of voice services. They have no obligation to check data services on a private line.
      Thankfully things have moved on a little.

      They do have an obligation to check a line for broadband. They even have broadband engineers.

      Sky Fibre Unlimited Pro: Connected at 80,000 kbps / 20,000 kbps
      Previous ADSL2+ Speed 19999 kbps 1153 kbps, Line Attenuation 17.5 db 6.9 db, Noise Margin 7.5 dB 8.7 dB
      Speedtest: 17.15MB/s 0.97Mb/s Ping 31 ms

     

     

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