Which? and BroadbandChoices.co.uk Call for Tighter Regulations on Broadband Speed Claims

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Separate reports issued from the consumer group Which? and BroadbandChoices.co.uk has found that there is a "huge" gap between publicised broadband speeds and what most users get, with some customers on 8Mb packages actually getting as little as 0.09Mb it has emerged today.

We need transparency from providers on the kind of speeds customers can actually expect to get, rather than flashy advertising and ever increasing 'top speeds'

Separate reports issued from the consumer group Which? and [BroadbandChoices.co.uk found that there is a "huge" gap between publicised broadband speeds and what most users get, with some customers on 8Mb packages actually getting as little as 0.09Mb it has emerged today.

Following two weeks of intensive speed testing, Which? has called on Ofcom and Trading Standards to investigate connection speed claims, after finding that the average speed "enjoyed" by customers on 8Mb packages was only 2.7Mb.

Broadbandchoices.co.uk view:

Michael Phillips, product director at BroadbandChoices.co.uk, commented: "These customers would be better off saving themselves some money and going for a 2Mb or 4Mb package where they could actually get the speeds they're paying for.

"We carried out over 100,000 of our own speed tests last month, and found that the average customer only got 39 per cent of their promised speed.

"But because providers advertise these packages as 'up to 8Mb' they seem to be able to get away with providing much lower speeds as standard.

"Factors like distance from the exchange and poor quality wiring degrade the broadband connection and reduce the customer's speed but many people are unaware of this and go for the top packages thinking they will get broadband at 8Mb. However, broadband providers can check this information to see the realistic speed each individual customer should receive.

"We need transparency from providers on the kind of speeds customers can actually expect to get, rather than flashy advertising and ever increasing 'top speeds'," he added.

Which? carried out broadband connection speed tests over a two week period with more than 300 customers who used 27 different broadband firms.

Results from BroadbandChoices.co.uk: Based upon 100,000 speed tests per month performed by http://www.broadbandchoices.co.uk users

Broadband provider    June 2006    June 2007    

1.     Tesco 56.1%
2.     AOL    54.9%    47.9%
3.    Virgin Media        39.9%
4.    Tiscali    55.2%    37.6%
5.    Sky        36.5%
6.    Pipex        33.4%
7.    Wanadoo    51.9%    33.3%
8.    Madasafish        31.4%
9.    Talk Talk        30.3%    
10.    Eclipse Internet    28.7%
11.    BT    40.4%    28.6%
12.    Karoo.co.uk        28.3%
13.    Demon        28.2%
14.    Plus Net        27.7%

Carry out a Broadband Speed Test

Which? view:

Which.co.uk editor Malcolm Coles said: "It's shocking that internet service providers can advertise ever-increasing speeds that seem to bear little resemblance to what most people can achieve in reality."

About Broadbandchoices.co.uk: http://www.broadbandchoices.co.uk
Broadbandchoices.co.uk is a the 4th largest dedicated place in the UK to compare broadband package. Unlike other comparison sites, Broadbandchoices.co.uk doesn't just focus on price but total package value. Consumers can now refer to this impartial Website to access the latest broadband advice and deals, to help them make the right choice.

What makes Broadbandchoices.co.uk different:

  • Most comprehensive range of consumer guides and advice
  • Emphasis on value rather than cost alone
  • Variety of ways to rank products according to individual priorities
  • Detailed product information
  • A community of like minded people where you can read reviews or share your thoughts
  • Up-to-date information regarding key industry developments
  • Access to bespoke interactive tools (speed tester & download monitor)

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Michael Phillips

Rachel Lear
Ascent PR
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