ASA instructs broadband companies to change how they advertise download speeds
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ordered UK broadband providers to change the metrics they use to advertise download speeds to consumers next year under new plans to limit consumer confusion in the sector.
This would outlaw terms such as speeds of ‘up to’ a certain amount to avoid raising false expectations amongst prospective purchasers, although there is no consensus on what terminology should replace it.
The ASA is mulling three possible alternatives namely displaying the average speed; range of possible speeds and minimum speed – although it concedes there are advantages and disadvantages to each.
Internet providers have come under growing pressure to mend their ways in recent weeks, following a separate instruction to make their 'misleading' monthly charges more transparent.
Criticism has mounted over opaque broadband marketing from consumers and government ministers, fueled by the industries penchant for advertising ‘up to’ maximum speeds – even if only 10% of subscribers receive it.
The ASA will now consult further before alighting on a final decision in the spring.