UK watchdog proposes new rules on broadband speeds in ads

The Committee of Advertising Practice, which works alongside the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) to regulate UK adverting, has published a consultation1 on how the communication of speed claims by broadband providers could be improved in the interest of consumers. In the current system, fixed and mobile broadband providers must be able to demonstrate that any internet connection speed they advertise is achievable for at least 10 percent of the customer base (the fastest 10th percentile). This maximum speed must be preceded with the words “up to” and qualified with information to help manage consumers’ expectations, where appropriate. The consultation document proposes to change the current definition of broadband speed using instead a median download speed or a range of download speeds available to the 20th to 80th percentile of users – measured at peak-time only or alternatively over 24 hours for both cases. Any broadband speed claim should also be complemented in the ad with information urging potential customers to check the speed they are likely to receive with the broadband provider.

The watchdog is inviting views on its recommendations while remaining open to other proposals presented during the consultation period, which ends on 13 July.


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