/ Technology

Are broadband ads a ‘complete and utter joke’?

Snail on cable

In a new development for our Broadband Speed Guaranteed campaign, two MPs have come out to criticise misleading broadband ads. Do you agree with what they have to say?

On Wednesday last week, culture minister Ed Vaizey MP told a House of Commons Committee that he thought the current rules on broadband advertising were ‘a complete and utter joke’. Here’s what he said:

‘It’s ridiculous. The idea that if you can deliver to 10% of houses the broadband speeds you are advertising on a large billboard and get away with it seems to be a complete and utter joke, and I have told that to [the ASA’s] face.’

Ed Vaizey didn’t stop there. He continued:

‘It is good to have independent regulators. But I also feel as a politician and minister in this space I want to have the opportunity to express my frustrations. I am frustrated.

‘The way broadband speeds are advertised are misleading and I’d like to see them changed. I’ve made my views clear and the ASA will be aware of my concerns.’

Broadband providers are failing

And then there was Grant Shapps MP, who on Friday spoke on Radio 4’s Today programme. He too criticised broadband providers and the Advertising Standards Authority for failing to act on misleading broadband adverts, saying:

‘Internet service providers are failing to provide anything like the speeds they are advertising. Rather than one in ten, it should be nine in ten people receive the speeds. You should be able to leave the contract and if we can’t get the internet service providers, or indeed the regulators, to do that, then parliament will need to act.’

A spokesman for the ASA said in response to Grant Shapps:

‘Our position on broadband speed claims in ads is based on extensive work undertaken in recent years, including a full public consultation on new guidance. We are an independent, evidence-based regulator and that underpins our regulation.

‘We are, however, aware of concerns about this issue and we are carefully considering if there is further work we can do on the matter.’

Here at Which?, we think that Ed and Grant are right. And more than 100,000 people back us. We’re calling for the ASA to change its 10% rule – broadband ads should show the speeds the majority of their customers will get. Not just 10% of them. And we also want it to be quicker and easier for customers to get compensation if they don’t get the speeds they’re promised.


Moving forwards

We’ve had some wins on this already, with Virgin Media and SSE both backing our campaign. And then Ofcom launched a Broadband Code of Conduct here at Which? UK, which included a right for you to exit your broadband contract without penalty if you don’t get what you were promised when signed up. Ofcom is also consulting on automatic compensation for telecoms customers.

But we know there’s more to do, so it’s great to hear MPs so strongly backing what we’ve been saying over the years. What do you think? Do you agree with Ed and Grant?

I’d also love to see what percentage of customers you think should be achieving a headline speeds before a broadband provider can then advertise that speed. Please vote for what you think’s reasonable in the poll below.

When a broadband provider advertises an *up to* speed, what is the minimum percentage of customers this speed should apply to?

Only 100% of customers (37%, 574 Votes)

90% of customers (32%, 494 Votes)

80% of customers (12%, 179 Votes)

70% of customers (7%, 110 Votes)

Under 10% of customers (4%, 64 Votes)

50% of customers (3%, 39 Votes)

10% of customers (2%, 32 Votes)

60% of customers (2%, 30 Votes)

30% of customers (1%, 8 Votes)

40% of customers (0%, 3 Votes)

20% of customers (0%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,536

Loading ... Loading ...
Comments
Guest
Stephen Threlfall says:
19 April 2016

The problem is with the failure of Openreach to decide how to best provide the service to those of us in the countryside, at the same time they have been grabbing as much money as possible to pay themselves and shareholders bonuses. Fibre to the cabinet is of no use in the countryside without boosting the signal every Kilometer or so, the signal is no where as robust as the old system down a copper wire. I understand there is a node that can be attached to the poles to increase the fibre signal. The other way is to lay a fibre cable. I have been paying part of my line rental to Openreach for the provision of highspeed broadband, but they have so far failed miserably. My provider ( talktalk ) has been slowly improving the speed down the wire that openreach is failing to improve for highspeed broadband. I have no arguement with TalkTalk as they have mostly provided a good and cheap service.

Profile photo of william
Guest

There’s a bigger joke than the ads, that’s the regulator that allows them to get away with the ads. Maybe they should be forced to only state the min speed that people will get, that would focus them on improving the service. As I can’t imagine they’d like to say “Get our Superfast broadband, no connection is all we can guarantee”

Profile photo of malcolm r
Guest

As I understand it the speed an individual gets depends partly on the distance from the exchange, partly on time of day, partly on their home equipment and its disposition. If you contact your potential broadband supplier with your phone number they will check to see what the line, that is under their control, is likely to give. So surely the best way to tell people about speed is to advertise prominently “contact the provider for your likely speed”. I’m only interested in the speed I will get, not what the minimum or the maximum might be for my area.

Profile photo of william
Guest

Surely distance from the exchange is only applicable to people conned into using their phone line to run broadband down. Proper fiber lines, shouldn’t suffer from that problem unless you talking amazingly long distances ? no ?

Profile photo of malcolm r
Guest

Why is using a phone line a con? I am on copper broadband and I also use a land line phone, like a lot of people. I asked what speed I should get and was told pretty accurately.

The interview I saw with Grant Shapps was a typical politician’s argument – being economical with the facts (or maybe he didn’t understand the facts?). No mention of how easy it is to get a predicted speed for your particular property, just joining a bandwagon.

Just like this Convo introduction. It is fine to criticise a regulation that allows an “up to” speed to be given that 10% will get. But why not also tell people how to find out their expected speed? Spoils a good story I suppose. But Which?, you are about informing consumers as well as campaigning for them, aren’t you?

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Here ! here ! malcolm ! There are websites that give you the real average speeds and they are 10-25Mbps slower than the top 10 % .

Profile photo of Jack Madden
Guest

Hi Malcolm! This is one area that this campaign is focusing on- we want advertisers to be up front about the speeds that can actually be achieved. Part of that is certainly making sure that people know all they can about the service they’ll be receiving, and making sure people are informed.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Guest

@jmadden, thanks Jack Can the potential provider not check your line and estimate what speed you are likely to get (before it goes through your equipment? ) If so surely knowing this is far more useful to an individual than what a % of subscribers might get? It is what I would want to know – and have been told by my provider. Why not publicise this, if it works, rather than some less useful”average” figure (OK, as well as).

Guest
Mike Dommett says:
19 April 2016

We are being RIPPED OFF there is no mistake being made its calculated.

Guest
Fiona Weir says:
19 April 2016

My provider, Virgin Media, should spend a great deal less money on unwanted printed advertising and the cost of postal delivery.

Guest
Alvie Rahman says:
19 April 2016

I agree. I get way too many letters from Virgin about their great new offers and how I am a specially selected customer

Profile photo of Jack Madden
Guest

Hi Fiona- thanks for commenting. What do you think of the adverts you get through your door? Do you find that the adverts reflect the speed and service that you actually receive?

Profile photo of DerekP
Guest

I get about 2 per month every month from Virgin. I never even open the envelopes. They just go straight to the recycle bin. I am MPS registered but Virgin get around that by sending them to “The Householder”.

Guest
Roger Wood says:
19 April 2016

I am fed up with receiving invitations to subscribe to ultra-fast broadband. Letter post is sometimes faster.

Guest
Norman Shilling says:
19 April 2016

BT Openreach put their shareholders before customers and this must stop. Without customers they wouldn’t make profits to pay their share holders. OFCOM is next to useless and doesn’t really do anything to regulate BT Openreach or any other Communications Providers, they are just another Government Money Trough for Pigs with their snouts in it, unfit for purpose. Have you tried to complain to OFCOM about a Broadband Provider? They don’t want to know. I tried to complain to them about BT Openreach who wired up my incoming telephone socket incorrectly causing me to endure three years of unstable Broadband until I checked it and discovered their incompetence and rewired it myself, now I have better broadband and didn’t have to have BT in my house.

Guest
Michael O'Reilly says:
19 April 2016

IF the provider cannot supply what we are paying for EG a faster service, why should we continue to pay
top rates. Its certainly on a parallel with paying for a first class ticket, and ending up in the guards van !!
showed my age there then ???

Guest
Karlos says:
19 April 2016

If the Welsh Assembly want to introduce 80mph on most motorways as a way of speeding up things, then I want fast broadband internet to go along with it.

Guest
John Theobald says:
19 April 2016

A Joke ? Yes. A dirty joke

Guest
George Woodward says:
19 April 2016

If you are paying for anything you expect to have delivered what you pay for,why should we have a substandard service.

Profile photo of DerekP
Guest

I’d be happy to contract to receive “up to X MB/s” broadband so long as my contractual obligation was only to pay “up to £Y” per month.

Guest
David Symon says:
19 April 2016

The advertisement is totally misleading and is false – quoted speeds are pure fiction or a daydream in reallity for many subscribers it a plain nightmare!!

Profile photo of Jack Madden
Guest

Hi David, sounds like you might be speaking from experience there?! What have you found when looking for broadband providers? Did the adverts live up to the reality of the service you received?

Profile photo of SteveRiley
Guest

Sky said up to 10Mb and their speed checker, in nanoseconds always said 10Mb, but I am a cynic and used several others and it came down to 4-5Mb. I get really annoyed when we sign a 12 month contract and they change the line price part way through, t&c’s are used as a get out and that should stop. I honour my commitments and expect others to do the same.
Sky did it to me after 9 months, BT has done it after 3.
Also you cannot have £5 broadband without the line, at whatever price they decide, the price should include it and that would settle their abuse of a contract as well. I think the supplier should be made responsible for setting up another, identical, service if you have to leave because they have broken the contract, why should we have to waste our precious time repeating the exercise because of their failings.
I am not impressed with BT my line still terminates in the same exchange and my speed has gone down, mind you I am not impressed with Sky either, after all these years, they have finally decided they will cherry pick where they will install their own infrastructure, having abused the BT service for decades.
Ofcom is a joke, as are the other regulators, they look after the industry and treat consumers with contempt and an inconvenience to their overpaid calm lives.

Guest
Llewelyn Pugh says:
19 April 2016

Some of us don’t necessarily want the super fast speeds of fibre – all we want is a decent speed using the copper wire which has existed for ages – the push for super fast speeds has left us way behind and all the money has gone in providing fast speeds for the very few.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

I dont know why Llewelyn got a =I disagree he has a point anybody challenging that please have the decency to post your reply to him – I give you I agree .

Guest
Alps says:
19 April 2016

I have all the evidence I need to take my case to court, that I will win, but have no money to challenge the big cats of Wall Street.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Well its -bash BT again time I am on Infinity 2 with BT ,never changed,never moved from them ,worked for them . So on that strength I used NOT BT,s speed tester website , in case of being accused of being biased but a new HTML website with both speed and a graph and— download speed == 80.33 Mbps –upload speed 17.04 Mbps , now this is a peak period and no I dont live in a city but a small fishing village community on the east coast with a 1735 population ,so thank you BT . Having said that I have every sympathy with those on terrible speeds and that should be put right but hold on –the government asked for those ISP,s who wanted to take part in the governments drive for nationwide broadband – grants were provide ONLY BT/Openreach was wiling to take it on -not Virgin or any other private company . Do any of you realise the cost of providing FTTP ,in other words ALL the way -each customer its many £1000,s and if you live 5 miles down a country lane you are talking £10,000+ EACH . You going to pay for that on your taxes ?? Virgin have their own cables so dont use their customer complaints against BT and they have many just visit their complaints website and they wont allow anybody else on their cables -nice ?? . 100,000 customers on Virgin copper are being transfered to Talk-Talk -NO option so that Virgin only needs to deal with full fibre customers and that includes the North London area . Of coarse Openreach cant help, everybody but blame that on HMG who wanted all the good publicity but not the brick-bats . WAnt BT owned by the US -?? have any of you checked what happened there when your favourite US cable companies took over telecommunications -guess what after a year the prices went up ! and non-profit making lines went dead or prices went high to put them off . Do you want Deutsch -Telekom to take -over BT ?? they were putting a bid in where,s your security then ,even the government arent happy about that . The installation of Fibre hasnt finished BT are at least trying to get most people on fibre but please be realistic if you want total fibre it will cost the country many £BILLIONS or how about canceling the order for the US trident nuke subs –£37 Billion , could be used to save the NHS . What private company can outlay many £billions , or for that matter how many UK shareholders would approve -remember the British public are the ones owning shares in them.

Profile photo of wavechange
Guest

Referring to ‘up to’ speeds should be banned. My ISP does not refer to ‘up to’ speeds, no doubt because I was not the only one to complain. When the ISP introduced fibre broadband the marketing referred to ‘up to’ speeds, but it was not long before this claim disappeared.

It would be more useful to market broadband based on minimum speeds that can be achieved unless there is a fault.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

As you are wanting average speeds OFCOMS 2016 figures for ISP,s are=for FTTC over 24 hours- BT-34.9-EE-34.3-Plusnet-33.3-Sky-33.4-Talk-Talk – 33,4 and Virgin-50.5 — next set of figures-top services — BT-59.3-EE-62.3-Plusnet-56.4- Sky- 60.0 -Virgin media – 95.8- superfast -Virgin 174.0 . Before you all jump to Virgin please remember they only install their cables and ducting in profitable areas so do not by any means try to cover the country so their figures are bound to be higher as they have a high average on city dwellers compared to other ISP,s who cover the whole country and have to take into account long country road customers . But London itself has in some places 1000Mbps and higher using direct feeds to its customers ,lucky parts of London .

Guest
Jim says:
20 April 2016

Power to the people look up B4RN no snouts in the trough and 1ghz connection

Guest
Dave says:
20 April 2016

Up to 70% customers are not confused by Broadband Supplier adverts. Still, up tp 100% suppliers use this method of advertising.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Dave- “up to”– good play on words .

Profile photo of malcolm r
Guest

Your salary will be up to £x. You will find out what you will actually get before you accept. Your broadband speed will be up to X. You can find out what you should actually get before you sign up. “Up to” is quite understandable – unless you choose not to. 🙂

Profile photo of malcolm r
Guest

Publicising “minimum speed” or average or maximum is pretty pointless. I want to know what speed I’m likely to get. This seems easy to find out. So why concentrate on the negative criticism? Surely much more helpful to tell people how to find out what they will get?

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

malcolm what they should get and what they get are in many cases far apart there are too many variables thats why “average ” is used . You could use one of many band speed testers for a more personal appraisal but all ISP,s cant calculate what every user should get unless its comes out as a fault when a complaint is made and a personal line test takes place . Your internal wiring could be high resistance, your wi-fi could be slowed down by radiated interference or a whole family on the web watching films etc . Or your neighbour could be pinching your bandwidth , your filter could be faulty, your modem could be at the end of a long extension wiring instead of the master socket, your master socket could be faulty and MS in windows 10 gets “phoned home ” every time you use your web browser , Windows has a long list of service activated programmes on it compared to LInux , these “spys ” slow you down . Your external wiring could be a long country run slowing you down . Peak periods slow you down even on fibre and so on . Too many variables malcolm.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Guest

duncan, in an earlier post I suggested that other variables out of the control of the provider would affect an individual’s actual speed. However, we need some sounder basis, and at least the speed that it arrives at my premises – even approximate – would be helpful and this is, I believe, what my provider can estimate.

However, the real point of my post was that it is much more helpful to tell people how they might get a sensible speed estimate rather than to continually moan at business, advertising, and so on – a negative approach when we actually need (at least as well) some guidance. We Brits (well some) seem to delight in taking any opportunity to bash something, particularly business, without pointing out more positive factors. Maybe they feel better? This Convo intro is typical; at least Which? have tried to balance the argument with information on why broadband might be slow, how to get a speed estimate, how to improve your internal equipment (if anyone looks at the links).

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

You do have a point malcolm your ISP could “ping ” it to the master socket but they dont normally do that unless checking out a customers complaint . Thats why BT /Openreach +others say that if they come into your home and find its an internal problem beyond the master socket you could be charged from £80- over £200 depending on the ISP. Knowing the public if any ISP said – Mr/Ms X your speed should be **** and it was higher than they were getting then there would be a flood of complaints wanting engineers out and a even bigger flood of complaints to Which when they are hit with big call-out charges when it turns out to be the customers fault . Not everybody listens to the advice -UNPLUG EVERYTHING and only plug in your modem/router to the master socket and use a LAN cable to test again for speed and it could still be your computer at fault if your modem/router tests okay and the companies filter is not faulty . Also remember your programming could be faulty as regards Windows in relation to your modem/router in that case its possible your ISP could charge you ,whether they would would be up to the engineers report to their boss.

Profile photo of alfa
Guest

Is it just me but when I see Are broadband ads a ‘complete and utter joke’? I keep seeing Are broadband ads a ‘complete and udder joke’?

Profile photo of DeeKay
Guest

I havnt seen it like that but I was playing on youtube one evening and mistakenly typed in udderly amazing and ended up watching a video about dairy products which interested me as dairy upsets me no end
Its wonderful what you see sometimes. . . Its even more wonderful what my fingers do and it’s obvious if I dont read it back. . . .Near ever “some” ends up soem

Profile photo of alfa
Guest

Could be the slow broadband putting it all back together again?

Profile photo of John Ward
Guest

You could consider going to Specsavers, Alfa.

Profile photo of alfa
Guest

🙂 Ha ha !!! Been there, done that, got the t-shirt or should I say specs, but will not be going there again.

Guest
Ray says:
20 April 2016

High-speed Broadband is a joke and does not reach the farms where businesses are based. It benefitted BT more than the businesses that need proper connections. The can now sell their online TV services to more customers.

Guest
Flossy Watts says:
21 April 2016

I have heard of numerous people who have paid for unlimited and boardband speeds that BT could not provide for their particular area,. However, BT have mislead customers to think they are getting the service and paying for a service they have not received. It seems to be normal practice for BT to do this. I know we have in the past paid for a service which is unachievable in our area.

Guest
Peter Cooke says:
21 April 2016

The claims of broadband suppliers are fraudulent and they rely on the fact that their customers don’t have the means or capability to legally challenge them. When the supplier claims to provide a broadband speed between a minimum and maximum then it should at least be capable of attaining the lowest speed. Unfortunately, in most instances this is not the case. Fraud!
We also have the problem of BT having a stranglehold on the infrastructure, a monopoly that should be broken up to allow for competition.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Peter -you have the legal right if the contract you are on doesnt reach the minimum speed advertised to force BT or any other ISP to either downgrade to a lower priced package with lower speeds OR ,at NO cost to yourself move to another ISP without your own ISP being able to hold you to any mid-term contract -get out -payments . As far a “stranglehold” on underground cables is concerned have you heard of unbundling ? . This is government legislation allowing other ISP,s to used BT cables /underground ducting,s /cabinets . As well as that all ISP.s can INSTALL their OWN equipment in BT,s exchange,s therebye overriding any equipment blame on BT . Are you aware that VIRGIN -with its own cables/ducting /etc WONT allow any other ISP to use their cables or ducting ,do you think that is fair ? All those other ISP want to do ,and they have done, is cream off the big payers in cities and towns , why dont you ask Virgin why they wont cover the whole of the UK ?? it wouldnt have anything to do with the enormous financial cost of 5 miles of overhead copper wiring down a country lane as being a “no go ” area for their shareholders ,would it ?

Guest
John Bennett says:
22 April 2016

Trouble is they Don’t advertise the Minimum Speed.

Guest

I’m on BT Infinity 1 unlimited fibre broadband. I’ve been on it for approx six months. When I initially joined the speeds were supposed to be Upto 38mbs, on Wifi I am lucky to get 20mbs, I actually average between 15 to 20mbs.
Now BT Infinity 1 is advertised as being Upto 53mbs, how on earth can they get away with this! Nothing has changed, I still get the same speeds. They have changed my account, which now says that BT Infinity 1 unlimited is capable of receiving these new revised speeds of Upto 53mbs.
This is a Joke, How on earth can they get away with these New assertions. The advertising standards agency is totally inept. Of on is the same, total joke.
BT and all the other providers need to to made to advertise Realistic speeds, not these fictitious figures.
The Speeds we actually get need to be shown on our Bills. This should be a legal requirement, so we can see exactly what we are Paying for. They have gotten away with too much for far too long.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

John -there is a massive legal problem with actually saying –you will get xxxxx speed as a minimum on any package and that is each UK household has its own internal conditions in relation to wiring . number of users , number of computers in use , the type of programming ,your computer has in relation to other apps on it reducing speed , to radiated (RF) interference affecting your wi-fi , to the resistance of your internal wiring , faulty filters, faulty sockets, a long external run of copper wiring to your pole DP , a long run to your street cabinet ( about 2Km is the break point ) where speed falls , congestion in peak periods even using FTTC etc etc. What you should do if your adjacent neighbours have much better speeds is put in a complaint and an engineer will come out to check out all I have said . Please be aware if he finds a fault in anything beyond the master socket except for a fault in the BT/Openreach supplied filter or HH5 you could be liable to a call-out charge .

Profile photo of malcolm r
Guest

duncan, exactly the point. A bit like claiming fuel consumption for your car – so much depends on how and where you drive it, among other factors.

But none of these practical factors are mentioned by the detractors, who seek to present their bandwagon case with one-sided evidence. I’d like to see all the facts made clear (this Convo helps, but how many read it?) and a rational solution found that really helps consumers. What is the point to an individual of knowing the minimum, maximum speed in their area? Even the average is iffy. A means of getting an estimate to your particular premises exists, so why not use that? It is of far more value..

We can become obsessed with knocking business (or any other institution) for what they don’t do, instead of looking at what can be done to positively help.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

I will second that malcolm ,intelligently put , an “I agree ” from me.

Profile photo of wavechange
Guest

Malcolm – As I have explained, there is no need to even mention an ‘up to’ speed. All that is needed is to get an estimate for your home. My ISP dropped reference to ‘up to’ speeds several years ago but we need to get the others up to speed.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Guest

I haven’t mentioned “up to” above (although I think it is understandable to most people). I have just said ” A means of getting an estimate to your particular premises exists, so why not use that? It is of far more value..” Publicise this as a positive thing, rather than the negativity that seems to appeal to some – including politicians.

Guest
Tom Hayden says:
25 April 2016

To my mind the issue isn’t one of confusion, but in the fact one does not pay for what they get, they pay for what they COULD get if OpenReach did their job. That’s not the ISPs fault but I should not pay the same for my 5Mb connection as someone who has a bandwidth of15Mb. Essentially we should be charged per Mb across the whole industry so I would pay 1/10th of what someone who has 50Mb pays. This way is the only way to encourage investment in the infrastructure.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

What you are saying Tom is- I choose to buy a house a long way from the cabinet/telephone exchange therefore I shouldnt pay as much as other people . i live in a rural location with miles of overhead wiring ,lovely views ,birds whistling , nice country walks that others would die for but because I chose that I shouldnt pay the same as everybody else for a set telephone service and you expect that to HELP increase 100 % coverage of fibre ??? Uh no ! .The longer the distance from the cabinet the higher maintenance costs are ,so using your logic -why should those with direct feeds living in cities with 1000Mbps SUBSIDISE those in outlying areas ?? because the TRUE costs IE-engineering wise increase exponentially in the same way as you are putting forward your point about paying only for what you actually get. So somebody with internal problems that help to slow down their speed should get a reduction as well even though its not Openreach,s faulty but the customer ? In that case instead of charging £100 when called out to a customer and its the customers fault ,to cover the drop in income due to your proposal they would charge £250 because thats what would happen , you are dealing with private companies not a Nationalized Service , could you honestly see an American company working to the point you have made ? , never happen Tom.

Guest
ray says:
27 April 2016

you pay for a service that u dont get and they mislead their customers , fiberoptic broadband is what you can pay for but you dont get it to you door, its only up to the distribution panel. although they sell it as to your home

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

ray -fibre is available to your home ,IF you are willing to pay for it and now there is a service that will provide it ALL the way to your router/modem . This is even dearer , it doesnt always stop at the cabinet as FTTC ,as i say , even FTTP can be bettered but it costs $$$$$ . This is contingent on the area you live in London being one place with massive speeds due to direct feeds in some areas that are financially feasible to the various ISP,s .WE are NOT talking 5 miles of copper down a country road or a farm in the hills.

Guest
Ian Hendy says:
27 April 2016

I pay extra for Ultra High Speed fibre optic and keep checking with provider because I haven’t noticed any difference. They’ve checked the speed and say it’s right.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Ian – could you elucidate ? .Do you mean you are getting well under what your ISP company says you should get and are paying for ? When they say they have checked the speed and it is “right ” ,in what respect ? ,in the package you are paying for or the average speed for your area . I would need to know the company and package and area you live in to expand on any comments on your post. Is it FTTC or is it FTTP ?

Guest
Wael says:
28 April 2016

BT contract. 200MPS ” YES 200MBS!!!” Nowhere near that. Multiple engineers visited. Speed test alright. Rep loading a 3GB movie takes about 30-60 min???
New build house. No other provider has access t o broadband in the area.
Complete monopoly by BT. They claim Openreach are a different company! They do not have a preferential treatment!!!

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Wael -could you be specific about the BT package you are on and when you say no other provider has access to the area that would be contravening the Telecommunications act in relation to unbundling of exchange equipment and local lines (existing ) . If a provider doesnt want to contribute (a percentage ) to the installation of new lines then Openreach are not obliged to provide access to other ISP,s , in other words , other companies didnt want to contribute to the cost of initial installation.

Guest
jan spencer ellis says:
28 April 2016

Ordered BT Infinity 1. The day came and went – the engineer arrived late and did not stay to check broadband was working. It wasn’t. I kept getting conflicting calls from the UK and India. I was told fibre optic broadband was no longer available at my address – only bog-standard broadband – 1 – 2 Mb! I cancelled and was informed several times by UK advisors that I would not be charged as they hadn’t fulfilled the contract. I now find I have been charged.
Quote from BT –
We estimate your download speed will be between 39Mb and 40Mb, and your upload speed will be between 9Mb and 10Mb. The minimum guaranteed speed you can expect from your BT Infinity will be 35Mb.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

jan go straight onto BT accounts departments and tell them BT Infinity 1 cannot be provided at your address they obviously havent been given the change of engineering circumstances . Could you tell me why you were told fibre was quote -no longer available -unquote do they mean the fibre cabinet is full up ? therefore you are staying on copper from the old street cabinet . IF you are charged , and BT take rental in advance you can claim that back from them in credit on your existing service . If you log into MY BT and go to =contact BT — by email – fill in the boxes and put in an official complaint ,they will give you a reference number and will be obliged to reply to you and sort out the problem . Please let me know what is happening so I can help you further.

Guest
jan se says:
28 April 2016

Hi. have complained by e-mail – thanks for tip. I was so cross for BT’s mis-selling plus the lack of communication between India and the UK that I cancelled with BT the day after they installed broadband and Utility Warehouse have taken over. They say that there is no availability for their company at the moment as the fibre cabinet is full up. Have checked on BT website who claim there is now availability. The previous 2 owners of the property were on BT Infinity 2.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Jan se thanks very much for getting back so quick a lot of people dont bother coming back. I dont want to put you off but UW wouldnt be my choice if I wasnt on BT I dont want to go into the reasons . I thought that was the case of the cabinet being full up , the thing is it puts many people off but -a hint for posters –if that is the case BT/openreach will put you on their alert list and notify you if someone moves house or ceases their landline connection for whatever reason and this will happen often as there are many customers in a street cabinet .They dont need to be near you as we are talking the exchange to cabinet where the fibre is run not the cabinet to your home which will still be on copper . If you are now with UW then they should be able to put you on fibre but because you have left BT you will have to go through UW as they will now be your ISP (internet service provider ) ,you cannot communicate direct with Openreach. IF you are still with BT let them know there are spare fibre connections at your cabinet. Please keep me posted Jan se

Guest
David says:
29 April 2016

After years of suffering 1.6 meg only we recently got “upgraded” to fibre. On offer max 35 meg (min 18 meg). Starts off okay at 25meg and drops to 10-12 meg after 10 days and stays there. My ISP is chasing but BT saying there is no problem. But I am not even getting the min 18 meg, says I?
Ah no, says BT we knock of a percentage from the minimum quoted for (I can’t recall the reason) so actually anything above 13 meg is actually acceptable. So 35 becomes 13? How can anyone make sense of this madness?

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Something not right there David I would need to know what package you are on with your ISP and who they are, as you say “my ISP ” .Its the ISP you are with who legally set the upper and lower speeds package as some ISP have special equipment to enhance broadband speeds . If you are constantly below your minimum speed for your package you can request a reduction from your ISP or a transfer to a cheaper package ,you can also leave your ISP for another ISP with no financial penalty as they cant comply with the contract . This “we knock off a % from the minimum ” is not something I have heard before but will check into it . Does your ISP have their own engineers who can call out to your house or do they rely on Openreach ? . You need an engineer to call and verify that the speed you quoted of 10-12 Mbps are what his test equipment says as well at the master socket . I take it you checked by plugging your router/modem into the master socket and used a LAN cable to verify that the speed didnt change very much ? Keep in touch David.

Guest
Keith Griffiths says:
29 April 2016

I would like to escalate my complaint to the highest permit-able level. On the 6th April 2016 I changed broadband provider to BT having heard some excellent reports of Infinity 2.
From the moment I switched on the hub I experienced very unstable download speed. Occasionally dropping below 10mbps which I still have record of. I began to experience drop outs on my Netflix and Amazon prime streaming (wired connection) and even Facebook refused to load often.
I gave it two weeks to settle down as I am aware it can be unstable in the early days.
Unfortunately it never really improved other than the speed now varies between 19mbps and 38mbps on a 76mbps line with guaranteed minimum of 35 (if only).

I lodged a complaint on 24th April 4 days after my cool off period. I was subsequently contacted by tech dept on Monday 25th but the lady could not understand my account number and was impossible to progress due to problematic translation and understanding of the English language.
I lodged a further complaint discussing my initial complaint and re the call back from tech.
I called again on Tuesday 26th demanding my contract to be cancelled forthwith but was told he wasn’t authorised to do so even though BT was in breach of contract with the minimum guaranteed download speed of 35. The tech assistant did a check at the time and recorded 34 I them did one with BT speed checker and recorded 24 and an awful ping of 51. He made an arrangement for another tech dept to call me back on Friday between 12 and 2. It never materialised.

I subsequently contacted cancellations on 0800800150 yet again, getting through to tech dept and eventually options dept where I spoke to a pleasant and helpful chap called James. He was unable to assist but promptly transferred me to “Sean”. Sean said he could cancel but I would incur a huge penalty for cancellation whilst in contract. I tried to explain the voluntary codes of practice that BT are part of for slow connection speeds but insisted he was still unable to assist without a charge. I asked for his surname so that I may escalate my complaint but he refused it. I asked to speak to a manager. He liaised with his manager whose name was “Steven” (surname refused) and said he was unavailable. I asked if they could furnish me with contact details for the ombudsmen and was told they can’t give them details out.
I was told that “Steven” would call be back by 17:00 hrs 2 hrs later but the time is now 18:25hrs and nothing.
I feel I am going around in circles just to cancel a service that unfortunately has failed to meet the guaranteed Mark.
I’d like to add that I am disabled and housebound and also suffer with mental Health issues which include anxiety.
This issue has had a negative impact upon my health whilst trying to get this situation resolved.
I want nothing more than to enjoy my imprisonment in my home comfortably whilst enjoying my only enjoyment of watching streaming tv and feel the only way for this to be for filled is for BT to end my contract obligation and allow me to pay for the service until I am able to get a smooth transfer to another provider.
Please can you let me know where you stand on this matter please.
Many thanks

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Keith , extremely sorry to hear of your trouble with BT and I have the utmost sympathy for your mental health issues and in that respect I fully understand your anxiety problem because I speak from experience due to a stinking childhood ,the problems not being diagnosed to late in life but now cured ,not by help or pills but by myself coming to terms with myself . For the first two weeks or so your equipment has to self adjust to the line conditions it sees towards your home but as you say this is persisting . Are you using a HH 5 supplied by BT ? is it plugged into the master socket ? . What you should do is log in to MY BT go to -contact us (BT) then email -then fill in the boxes telling them your complaint they must answer and send you a reference number ,doing this allows you to keep a reference to your complaint on your computer . At the same time an engineer should call to check out your line for faults and speed ,he will do that at the master socket and if the fault is outside will trace it back to the exchange ,make sure you test your internal connection at the master socket before he calls so that he cannot say its an internal fault . Your right ,legislation says if the package you are on cannot reach the minimum speed specified CONSISTENTLY over a period you have a right to change down a grade and get credit for the charges you gave to BT for Infinity 2 or you can leave BT at no financial cost to yourself as the contract with BT on Infinity 2 has not been satisfied in Law. I will, stay with you till you get a resolution on this from BT be assured of that.

Guest
Truth says:
1 May 2016

Other retailers cannot sell goods and services without a clear understanding on the part of the consumer what they are purchasing. It is laughable that ISPs can get away with an ‘up to’ description. This would be like buying a 250 gram package of food which may sometimes contain only 15 grams. Ludicrous.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

While agreeing about “up to ” would you rather they said , you live miles from the exchange/cabinet so you wont get those speeds, you could have many internal household problems effecting your speed , from high resistance internal wiring , your wi-fi getting interfered with by your DECT phone, many users on your broadband ,including your neighbour pinching it faulty sockets and a whole host of other problems some of which you would be charged for if you called out an engineer as they would be your fault . Lumping it into a food product isnt an appropriate comparison .

Guest
David Matthewman says:
1 May 2016

I have been a PlusNet member for a little over 3 years with a speed of 4.76mb every time I check and happy with service but until I called as I wanted a better deal as I was paying £9.99 a month on top of line rental with them. So called and they give me a contract for 18 months and a new modem free for 18 months just line rental. I thought was excellent but problems started soon as new modem went on speed dropped to 3.46mb lost over 1mb now and put back old modem still same contacted PlusNet 9 times on phone and online still same they kept messing with my snr (signal to noise ratio) reset and no answer from them all tech checks were done by me and no fault on line. I even bought a bt hub 5 to see if that would resolve But now its seems my modem is been remote and rebooted every few days ?? I can see my speed isn’t going to be fixed back to what is was. No faults apparent on the line etc. no indication Suppose to be up to 17mb I am happy with 4.76mb because of distance but now dropped to 3.46mb its not what I am paying for I was suppose to keep what I have been getting three years As per person when I called to renegotiate contract with them

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

David I take it you are no longer paying for your broadband service ? The only basic package I can find is one where you dont pay for 18 months and then start paying . Of coarse things will get worse if you are paying less thats why I pay for the top BT Infinity 2 went from around 4 Mbps to about 80Mbps . I am curious when you say-no fault on the line – then why change the settings on your exchange equipment that indicates to me when talking of SNR to be a cable fault . But if nothing has changed except your package I suspect they have downgraded your QOS on your equipment . If your modem is rebooting thats a problem and your equipment in the exchange could go into fault mode which downgrades your speed for a week or so there could be another reason but could you get back so we can talk ?

Guest
Ralph Torretta says:
1 May 2016

There is a lot to catch up here. Have just been to Argentina and in the middle of the hills in a central province hundreds of miles from any major town we got very decent speeds of up to 65 mbps. I was able to watch Netflix and whatever films I was allowed by Amazon Prime with hardly any interruption.
Here I have super fibre with Sky and although I cannot complain too much the maximum I could measure was about 75 mbps.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Yes Argentine Ralph and in the country , but there is one ,if not several big differences between us and them they extensively use wireless and satellite broadband . they employ satellite earth stations from 3 Intelstat earth orbiting satellite and the domestic satellite system is served by microwave radio relay (used in Scotland to the western islands ) and the DOMESTIC satellite Internet system has 40 earth stations spread all over the country with fibre between each main hub and smaller local hubs sending microwave to subscribers so there is no direct comparison with Argentine and the UK.

Guest
M Bennett says:
4 May 2016

The last time I phoned customer services – March 2016 (the second time this year, and I am not including Christmas Eve 2015), they noted that the speed had gone up from 1 to 3. Then sent me a new lead and microfilter. Last week I had almost the whole week when it went down about 4 pm. and was not on again until the next day. Bank holiday Monday it was off from 5.30 am in the morning until 5.30 pm. the next afternoon (yesterday), then off again at 8.30 pm until 6.00 this morning (weds).

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

I dont know who your ISP is M Bennett but dont hesitate your require more than a lead and micro filter , you require an engineer to investigate. Plug your modem/router into the master socket ,use a LAN lead ,retest , if it is still very slow, cutting off then get them out to investigate ,you will need to try this over a at least an hour to make sure , so dont just plug in and do a quick test but certainly get action from your ISP .At first glance it could be an intermittent fault these take longer to fix ,sending you a filter and a cord is a cheap way of trying to solve your fault dont “live with it ” complain pronto. It cost your ISP anything from £80 to £ 200 to send an engineer out to do REAL practical tests.

Guest
David Stott says:
24 June 2016

One that lived up to its promise!

We live in a fairly rural area. BT offers fibre to the cabinet, but since said cabinet is two kilometers of dodgy copper away, that is no use at all.

However, a company called Vispa has recently offered us wireless (NOT satellite) broadband. Initially they said they could only guarantee 10-20 mbs instead of their usual 30, but we went ahead anyway since it’s a whole lot better than the 1.7 we had. However, after a month it normally runs between 25 and 27,and seems unaffected by time of day.

Upload speeds are a lot slower, that’s the nature of the technology, but with no cabling and just an aerial about 12 inches across on the roof, it’s a very neat solution.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Pleased to hear that David its certainly an answer in a lot of cases ,especially anyone like yourself .

Guest
Old_Deuteronomy says:
29 June 2016

As a BT customer, for years my download speed of ~7Mbps was OK, as we mostly surf and read emails, didn’t do much else and there’s no children doing bandwidth consuming stuff. Whenever sales people called wanting to upgrade us, they could never guarantee a minimum increase and, worse, whenever I asked then how far away the cabinet was (a prime consideration for getting speed) they didn’t know. As circumstances have recently changed, I thought I’d check the latest BT deal. In chatting about the package that interested me, they said they would guarantee a minimum speed of 54Mbps, no holds barred. That was a big change in attitude, so I went ahead. After installation I found I was only achieving 48Mbps. I spoke with BT and a helpful BT Openreach engineer turned up. After some detailed investigations, his tests showed 54 Mbps reaching my house, but when he looked at the BT stand at the front of my house he said “Oh, we don’t wire up the house distribution network like that any more. It hasn’t been like that for about 16 years” (we have been here from new for 22 years). The only problem was, for him to rewire the stand would mean us being left without a monitored house alarm as he would have to disconnect it. To get it reconnected would then cost us a call out charge from the alarm company (£60+ on top of the BT connection BT Infinity charge we had already paid ). We didn’t like that idea so left it alone. The positive thing is that we now seem to be getting 51Mbps, so something must have been done by BT somewhere. It’s a vast improvement over 7Mbps for a small extra investment.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Guest

Old_D – If your alarm is connected to a far answering service (control room ) then a constant signal is being sent digitally . if that is interrupted then it calls their board . But the downside is that means more induced “noise ” on the BT line that would lower the speed , that BT has managed to get it near to the agreed speed means they have applied filters of some sort that work . Especially as the wiring is now non-standard which can load the line even more, I would be quite happy under the circumstances.