BT calls for broadband speed advertising rules

March 13, 2016

BT Wholesale is campaigning for clarity on the advertising of net speeds.

The company believes that customers are often disappointed when the actual speed of their broadband service fails to live up to the speeds advertised.

According to an independent survey, only 15% of people who buy 8 Mbps broadband, actually achieve this speed.

BT is pressing Ofcom to devise a set of rules about how broadband speeds are advertised to the general public.

BT’s DSL Max product offers a range of speeds up to 8 Mbps, but the company tells its customers – the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) – that actual speeds will vary from user to user.

Only 35% of BT’s DSL Max customers actually achieve an eight mbps line speed. Speed is affected by a number of factors, including distance from the exchange, poor equipment, and interference from electrical appliances.

While it is up to ISPs to decide how to market the broadband service, BT wants it to be made clear to users that there is a difference between the line speed and “throughput”, a measure of the data coming down the line during an activity such as downloading a video.

Ofcom is currently reviewing the way broadband is marketed to consumers.


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