UK advertising regulator introduces rules to keep broadband providers honest about speeds

UK broadband providers may claim to offer high broadband speeds, but the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) wants to ensure that the country's service providers are actually practicing what they preach.

To ensure consumers are getting what they pay for from their respective service provider, the UK advertising watchdog will publish new ISP advertising rules that are set on how broadband providers promote "unlimited" broadband service.

In January, the ASA/CAP's Code Policy Team began developing "options" that would ban ISPs from claiming "unlimited" usage and allowing them to promote the peak "up to" speeds that only 50 percent of their customer base that are eligible to get at their home or business.

According to a report in The Independent, it appears that the authority has decided to use what is called "Option B" for the first element of its proposed broadband speed guidelines.

Under Option B, a service provider's "advertised speeds must be available to at least 10% of users." Up until now, ISPs would only promote the fastest theoretical speed depending on what flavor of DSL the service is being delivered over.

And while it would be ideal to have these controls apply to emerging Fiber to the Premises (FTTP)-based services being delivered by BT (NYSE: BT) and others, the new price regulations will initially only apply to legacy copper ADSL and ADSL2+ based services.

UK providers not delivering on what they promise has been a major issue in the country's broadband market and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) aren't the only ones calling for UK providers to be honest about their speeds.

In July, research conducted by UK telecom regulator Ofcom revealed that about 97 percent of the nation's broadband users are actually getting speeds much lower than advertised.

For more:
- ISPreview has this article

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Ofcom thinks UK's ISPs aren't being honest about advertised speeds
Ofcom wants ISPs to be honest about broadband speeds
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