The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the UK will make broadband companies stop advertising potential speeds which only a small fraction of people get, from May next year, and instead advertise speeds which at least 50% of customers can achieve at peak times. The move comes after research was carried out which suggested that broadband advertising can be misleading for consumers.
Shahriar Coupal, director of the Committee of Advertising Practice, which was involved in formulating the new rules, said:
“There are a lot of factors that affect the broadband speed a customer is going to get in their own home; from technology to geography, to how a household uses broadband … Our new standards will give consumers a better understanding of the broadband speeds offered by different providers when deciding to switch providers.”
The changes will have a drastic impact on the figures that providers are able to advertise. Packages which were previous marketed as up to 38Mbps will drop to between 24 to 30Mbps, speeds marketed as up to 76Mbps will drop to between 45 and 55 Mbps, while 17Mbps which is the entry level offering, will drop to just 6Mbps.
The change to advertising rules is the second one that we’ve seen in the past few years. ISPs were previously forced to combine line rental costs and broadband costs into a singular amount so that people could see what they were spending more easily, especially useful when using price comparison sites as it more quickly enabled you to see what was what.