Ofcom considers guidelines on broadband advertising

Ofcom considers guidelines on broadband advertising



December 19, 2015

Ofcom could introduce new guidelines on the selling of broadband early next year.

The regulations would help ensure that advertising gives consumers accurate information about broadband speeds.

At the moment broadband providers tend to advertise an ‘up to’ speed, which few people actually receive in practice.

Under the new regulations, broadband providers could be subject to formal action if they fail to provide accurate information about the broadband speed customers will receive.

In October, the Ofcom Consumer Panel consulted the leading six net service firms in the UK about broadband speeds, to find out why consumers are often not able to receive the high speeds advertised.

The panel subsequently asked Ofcom to establish a mandatory code of practice for net firms.

Under the proposed new code, when they sign up for broadband, customers will receive information on what speed they can expect and the factors that affect this. The broadband provider will then be required to call customers two weeks after installation to let them know what speed they are getting.

The code is expected to allow consumers to swap to a different package free of charge, if their broadband access is significantly lower than that advertised, or even terminate their agreement.

Tim Yeo

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