Categories: News

UK ISP Fibre Broadband Advertising to be Investigated

After years of misleading customers, UK ISP fibre broadband advertising is set to be investigated after the ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) finally look to be responding to ever-increasing complaints.

Currently in the UK, only Virgin run fibre cables to your house by default. They do not use Openreach and have instead installed their infrastructure throughout the UK. Virgin currently supply more than half of the country with TV and Internet services and can offer much better speeds than their rivals.

The problem with BT and Sky, for example, is that they rely on the dated and dire Openreach network, which is in need of massive investment should they wish to catch up to the speeds supplied by Virgin.

The issue the ASA and consumers have is that when BT and Sky, to name a couple, advertise their internet services as ‘fibre’ they are misleading potential customers. For a vast majority of the time, what they mean is that the fibre runs up until the street cabinet, and the connection to your home is provided by copper wiring, resulting in a massive loss of connection speed.

It is possible to ask for fibre to your home, and occasionally Openreach will conduct a survey, but this can be costly and rarely acted upon. With the recent separation of Openreach from BT, this may pave the way for investors to jump on board with Openreach finally.

The Openreach network is massive, almost every part of the country has access to, or could very easily have access to, a part of the Openreach network with very little extra work being done. As it stands, everything for fibre upgrades is there, but while it was tied to BT, investors were reluctant to put forward the vast amount of money needed to bring the network up to modern standards.

Going forward it seems that the wording used in advertising will need to be much clearer, and explain that while part of the network is fibre, the end connection is still going to be copper. This should clear up any confusion and will help people understand why they are getting 17Mbps as opposed to the minimum 100Mbps provided by Virgin.

It has taken far too long to reach this point and it certainly won’t help those already using slow connections, however, shopping around for a new deal in the future should be that little bit clearer and allow you to make a much more informed decision.

Who is your provider and what speeds do you get? Were you informed at point of purchase that you would only be receiving a copper connection to your home?

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Anthony Cartwright

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