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Advertised Broadband speeds

2nd June 2016 @ 6:06am – by Webteam
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Antoinette Sandbach MP for Eddisbury has supported new calls from Which? to toughen up rules to stop broadband companies advertising speeds they can't always deliver

Which? is calling for tighter rules on broadband adverts, as new research shows a significant increase in the use of 'up to' speed claims that can leave customers with lower speeds than they expect.

New Which? analysis shows that 'up to' speed claims in broadband newspaper adverts have steadily increased since advertising guidelines were introduced in 2012.

In 2012 around one in ten (12%) home broadband newspaper adverts included an 'up to' speed claim, but this rocketed to two thirds (68%) between April 2015 and March 2016.

Prior to 2012, when there was no guidance on how broadband speed could be advertised, the use of speed claims in print adverts had been decreasing from four in ten (41%) in 2008.

Ms Sandbach commented: "Faster broadband for my constituents is a top priority for me and an issue that I deal with every day. It cannot be right that my constituents pay for a service and do not receive anywhere near the advertised level of provision, I support these calls for change and believe that greater clarity is vitally important for my constituents whilst I fight to improve provision all round."

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) guidance states that only 10% of all customers have to be able to access the maximum advertised speed. These rules mean that many consumers sign up and then struggle to get anywhere near the speeds advertised.

Which? research from June 2015 revealed that despite 9 in 10 people saying that they consider speed an important factor -- a staggering 15.4 million households were not getting the advertised headline speeds on their broadband packages.

The Which? 'Give Us Broadband Speed Guaranteed' campaign is calling on the regulator to revisit its advertising rules and ensure that companies can only advertise 'up to' speeds that are available to the majority of their customers, not just 10%.

Alex Neill, Which? Director of Policy and Campaigns said: "Millions of customers are being taken in by advertised speeds they simply cannot get. With more and more broadband adverts including 'up to' speeds since the guidelines were introduced, 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."

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: "The way broadband speeds are advertised can be misleading and I want to see more clarity to help consumers choose between providers. UK consumers enjoy some of the best coverage and cheapest broadband prices in Europe, but it's not right for Internet service providers to advertise speeds that are only available to a minority of their customers."

Ms Sandbach has campaigned hard for digital improvements across Eddisbury and has encouraged constituents to sign up for her e-newsletter to stay up-to-date, to sign up please email: Antoinette.sandbach.mp@parliament.uk


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