UK ISPs Banned from Advertising ‘up to’ Internet Speeds

/ 5 years ago

UK ISPs Banned from Advertising ‘up to’ Internet Speeds

We’ve all seen ads by internet service providers – usually the one we’ve signed up with – advertising ‘up to’ internet speeds that only a lucky handful are able to benefit from: yeah, your service might advertise “up to 80Mbps,” but the reality is closer to 40Mbps. Thankfully, though, the UK Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) is taking note and is introducing new legislation to keep UK ISPs honest. Rather than push speeds only 10% benefit from, ISPs now must advertise an average peak-time speed.

UK ISPs – No More ‘up to’ Internet Speeds

ISP policies which frequently mislead – intentionally or not – average consumers prompted the move. The ASA explains that research showed ISP speed claims were not supported by evidence, and thus deemed false advertising. As part of the same investigation, the ASA concluded that ISPs were not misleading consumers by advertising part-fibre, part-copper connections as “fibre broadband”.

ISPs traditionally advertise the maximum achievable speed. Instead, the ASA requires them to advertise an existing average speed; a speed drawn from the available speed from at least 50% of users during peak time. Previously, ISPs needed only 10% of users to achieve advertisable speeds.

The new legislation comes into effect on 23rd May, 2018, following a six-month implementation period. The guidance, though, only impacts residential broadband services.

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