In a Which? campaign win, broadband companies are being forced to drop the unrealistic up to speeds they advertise following rule changes.
For too long, many consumers have been taking out broadband deals but getting speeds much slower than were advertised to them. But our latest research shows that’s now changing.
Previously, suppliers were able to advertise broadband deals which claimed ‘up to’ speeds that only one in 10 customers would ever reach.
But after our sustained campaigning, pressure from our supporters and rule changes from the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) in May, some suppliers have now reduced advertised broadband speeds by as much as 41%.
The new advertising rules mean that at least half of customers must now be able to get an advertised average speed, even during peak times (8-10pm).
We’d been calling for these vital new guidelines to be introduced since 2013 through our Broadband Speed Guaranteed campaign.
We’ve now found that 11 out of 12 major suppliers have had to cut the advertised speed of some of their deals by an average 15%.
BT, EE, John Lewis Broadband, Plusnet, Sky, Zen Internet, Post Office, SSE, TalkTalk and Utility Warehouse previously advertised their standard (ADSL) broadband deals as ‘up to 17Mbps’. The new advertised speed is now more than a third lower at 10Mbps or 11Mbps.
TalkTalk has completely dropped advertising speed claims from most of its deals. While Vodafone has even changed the name of some of its deals: Fibre 38 and Fibre 76 are now Superfast 1 and Superfast 2.
And only Virgin Media’s advertised speeds have gone up since the change.
Alex Neill, our Managing Director of Home Services, said:
“Customers will now have a much clearer idea of the speeds that can be achieved when they are shopping around for broadband – even though their broadband won’t get any faster.
“With the change in advertising rules now showing the true landscape of broadband speeds, the Government must press ahead with its crucial plans to increase full-fibre availability and deliver the service that broadband customers need, without it costing them the earth.”
Have you bought a broadband package that hasn’t lived up to the speeds advertised? Have you noticed a change in how providers are advertising speeds?