Broadband speeds 51 per cent slower than advertised

  • Broadband speeds 51 per cent slower than advertised

Broadband speeds 51 per cent slower than advertised

Internet users in the United Kingdom are paying for services that aren't even close to the speeds advertised, according to new analysis by Which?

According to 235,000 results from the consumer advocacy group's broadband speed-checker tool, consumers paying for speeds of "up to" 38Mbps receive just half that (19Mbps). HEXUS previously reported about the new advertising guideline last month.

Instead, providers must advertise the median average speed for the service that up to 50% of customers receive at peak times. For example, consumers paying for a package of up to 200Mbps were on average only able to get average speeds of 52Mbps or only 26 per cent of the speed promised.

Minister for Digital, Margot James echoed these sentiments: "The new advertising rules are great for consumers - headline "up to" speeds that only need to be available to 10% of consumers are incredibly misleading".

An interesting graphic was shared by Which?, tabulating its results, as reproduced above.

At present most providers do not tell customers when their terms are up and that they could switch to a cheaper deal
At present most providers do not tell customers when their terms are up and that they could switch to a cheaper deal

Where users did use wi-fi, they were asked to position themselves as close to the router as possible to minimise any effect on speed.

Alex Neill, managing director of home services at Which?, says: "This change in the rules is good news for customers who have continuously been let down by unrealistic adverts and broadband speeds that won't ever live up to expectations". Until now, service providers have been allowed to advertise "up to" speeds that are available to only a tenth of customers. This is just one of the changes Ofcom have made in the previous year following on from a rule that made broadband suppliers list phone line rental and broadband costs into one price rather than separating them and confusing potential customers.

CityFibre founder Greg Mesch told the broadcaster that the new rules fail to address how faster fibre connections and "copper-based services" are described in advertising, even though "the experience they deliver being worlds apart".

Ofcom says that broadband and mobile firms often target their best offers and discounts at people who negotiate or switch provider.

Ofcom also found that some mobile customers may be over-paying for their phone, with most tariffs than include a handset continuing to charge the same monthly fee after the minimum contract term has ended.