Watchdog reviews broadband speed advertising rules

New rules governing how broadband providers can advertise connection speeds could be on the way. Broadband providers can currently advertise a headline speed if it is achievable by at least one in ten customers – an approach that has been widely criticised for being misleading. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is now planning to review this rule and will consider alternative ways in which broadband providers can present speed information.

One of the options to be looked at is increasing the proportion of customers who can receive certain speeds before they are promoted. Alternatively, companies might be forced to advertise average speeds rather than top speeds. Speaking to the Telegraph, an ASA spokesperson said it has received fewer complaints about broadband speed claims since the introduction of the Committees of Advertising Practice guidance four years ago.

The watchdog said this was because the new system required advertisers “to use the ‘up to’ claim to make them more meaningful than the unqualified top speed claims some of them were making previously”.

“Nonetheless, if the findings of our research show there s a need for a different approach, then we ll take appropriate action,” the spokesperson commented.

The ASA added that its findings will be published in the autumn.

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