Which? looks to ad watchdog to stop false super-fast broadband promises

By Gillian West | Social media manager

June 4, 2016 | 2 min read

Which? has asked the ASA to step in and ban broadband providers from advertising super-fast broadband promises when more than 15m households won't get anywhere near the speeds they're paying for.

At present, providers are allowed to advertise top speeds even if only 10 per cent of customers will actually be able to receive them. Whereas, consumer group Which? wants the likes of Sky, BT, Virgin Media and more to be banned from attracting customers with high-speed claims that more than half of their customers will never achieve.

According to Which? its research shows 90 per cent of broadband customers consider speed to be an important factor in choosing a provider.

Alex Neill, Which? director of policy and campaigns, commented: "Millions of customers are being taken in by broadband they simply cannot get. It's clear a shakeup is needed. The regulator needs to quickly introduce stricter rules that ensure providers advertise speeds that they can deliver for a majority."

Culture minister Ed Vaizey has previously called broadband advertising rules a "complete and utter joke". Commenting on Which?'s calls, Vaizey said: "It's not right for internet service providers to advertise speeds that are only available to a minority of their customers."

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Currently the ASA is researching consumers' understanding of broadband speed claims made in adverts with the outcome of the research due in autumn. In January, the ASA also announced plans to crack down on the way companies advertise their broadband packages.


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