UK broadband firms will be made to alter the way they advertise their web speeds, under regulator strategies.
The Advertising Standards Authority says present descriptions of speeds “up to” a particular amount are confusing and will be altered in 2017.
On the other hand, the united kingdom watchdog has to decide how they’ll be replaced.
The announcement comes just over a fortnight after internet providers were ordered to make other changes to their adverts, to make monthly charges clearer.
The business gave a guarded welcome to the newest statement.
“Any new guidance needs to reflect that whilst speed is an important factor, it is not the only reason a customer decides on a bargain,” said James Blessing, chair of the Internet Services Providers’ Association Council.
“Crucially, the ASA’s research has not identified an effective alternative for the present approach to ‘up to’ speed claims.”
‘ bullet ‘
At present, a broadband business can tell customers they are going to get “up to” a specific speed, if a minimum of 10% of all subscribers on the tariff reach it.
But the ASA says a survey carried out on its behalf suggested that while most consumers understood a number that is higher was better, they were uncertain what speed they would probably achieve.
Also, the watchdog says users shown a low degree of understanding of what rates they needed to execute day-to-day jobs that are on-line.
“Certainly the current guidance is not doing the job, but there’s no silver bullet solution,” a spokesman for the ASA told the BBC.
“There are advantages and disadvantages to all the alternatives.”
The three primary options considered to date are to give:
– the typical speed
– the range of speeds that are possible
– the minimal rate
The strategy is currently to hold a short consultation before deciding upon a solution in the spring.