Eight out of 10 Brits misled by broadband advertising


Current guidelines permit broadband providers to advertise up to speeds that are achievable by only 10 per cent of customers

80 per cent of UK broadband customers feel misled by advertised Internet speeds when purchasing.

This is according to a survey conducted by comparison site Cable.co.uk on 2,000 consumers across an even sample of broadband providers, in November 2016.

Current guidelines permit broadband providers to advertise ‘up to’ speeds that are achievable by 10 per cent of consumers. Those surveyed believe two thirds of consumers should be able to access advertised speeds, before legitimately advertising.

Call for change

The Advertising Standards Agency has called for a change to the way companies advertise broadband speed, and the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) is currently reviewing its guidance to advertisers on broadband speed claims. CAP is due to publish a report later this year.

Cable.co.uk consumer telecoms expert Dan Howdle said: “Broadband remains the only service you can buy without knowing what it is you’re actually going to get. The current system is a lucky dip where everyone pays the same no matter what mystery item they ultimately pull out.

“Currently, you have to find yourself in the bottom 10% speed-wise in order to exit a 12 or 18-month contract without paying substantial cancellation fees. It’s a shocking state of affairs that the ASA is quite rightly looking into carefully.”