ISPs are still confusing consumers with their broadband claims

via Flickr ©  Joybot (CC BY-SA 2.0)

via Flickr © Joybot (CC BY-SA 2.0)

  • Until last month most UK broadband subscribers getting just 51 percent of the speeds they were paying for
  • Now new advertising regulation goes some way to stop some of the misleading advertising
  • However, only 4 per cent of consumers genuine full fibre access...
  • But many ISPs continue to describe hybrid copper as "fibre" - which it is not

The UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) may have, at long, long, last put a shot across the bows of the buccaneering broadband bludgers whose blatant bluffing conned millions of bewildered subscribers into the belief that they would get much faster access speeds that they did (and do) but it's still not enough to put a full stop stop to the avalanche of BS they continue to peddle.

Almost all UK ISPs have, for many years, routinely and cynically, advertised average Internet access speeds that actually applied only to 10 per cent of subscribers. Then, a couple of months ago, the ASA introduced new rules requiring that at least 50 per cent of a customers must be able to avail them themselves of the 'average speed" including during the so-called 'peak period' between 8 and 10 pm in the evening. Hitheto, UK households were getting services that were, on average 51 per cent slower than what they were paying for.

As the independent, much respected and highly influential consumer website and magazine "Which" has found, following the introduction of the new ASA regulation the average speeds claimed and advertised by Britain's 12 big ISPs has dropped by at least 15 per cent and BT, one of the most enthusiastic embellishers of the "average speed" claptrap has simply stopped making any speed claims at all in most of its deals.

The only ISP actually to have increased its advertised speeds since the ASA ruling is Virgin Media. Why? Because the company provides genuine full fibre access into the premises via its all-fibre network. Meanwhile, other ISP's continue to use the word "fibre" in their advertising when, at best, that means fibre to the kerb at which point access and content is dumped onto the antiquated and overburdened copper local loop and speeds drop to a pitiful crawl. In point of fact just 4 per cent of UK broadband subscribers get full fibre access. You'd never know it from the all the flummery.

In an amusing but very pertinent campaign, "Unearthing the Coppersaurus", CityFibre is leading the charge to have the ASA change the current advertising guidelines which allow ISPs to describe hybrid copper/fibre services to be marketed as "fibre". They are not and they never will be. Subscribers are being deluded and it needs to stop.

CityFibre press release below

Time for the ASA to finish the job it started on broadband adverts

Responding to new Which? research on the impact of the Advertising Standards Authority’s rule change on up-to speeds in broadband adverts, CityFibre’s CEO Greg Mesch said:

“While it is great that this change to the rules has pushed industry to bring its speed claims closer to the truth, it only goes to show why it is so important that the Advertising Standards Authority finishes the job it started.

“Now is the time to address the use of “fibre” in adverts, as across the country people are still paying for services they can’t yet receive while being stuck on prehistoric copper-based infrastructure. The ASA must take its head out of the sand and change these antiquated rules immediately so that as full fibre becomes widespread, customers are able to make a genuine choice.”

To find out more about copper masquerading as fibre, visit

This content extract was originally sourced from an external website (CityFibre) and is the copyright of the external website owner. TelecomTV is not responsible for the content of external websites. Legal Notices

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