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British consumers surf faster, but honest advertising is still a challenge

Today the UK communication regulator, Ofcom, published a study which shows that UK consumers are achieving 22 percent faster broadband speeds at home than they were 12 months ago. In November 2011, the average actual UK residential broadband speed was 7.6Mbit/s, compared with 6.2Mbit/s a year before.

This increase in spead was mainly a result of consumers moving onto high speed packages. In November 2011, for the first time more than half (58 percent) of UK residential broadband connections had an advertised speed of above 10Mbit/s, up from 48 a year before.

The study also highlights that previous results repeatedly showed a significant difference between advertised speeds and speeds actually received by consumers. In April 2012 new rules will need to be applied which require that speed claims should be achievable by at least 10 percent of the relevant internet service provider’s customer base and they should be based on robust and reasonably representative data.

Adam Scorer, Director of Policy and External Affairs at Consumer Focus, argued that: “It’s good news that customers are getting faster broadband speeds. But there is still often a very clear gap between the maximum speeds advertised by suppliers and what people actually receive. … We hope that new rules from the regulator coming into effect in April will tackle this and that enforcement action will be taken.”

Further information: media.ofcom.org.uk/2012/02/02/jump-in-uk-broadband-speeds/ and www.consumerfocus.org.uk/news/faster-broadband-must-be-followed-up-with-honest-advertising

Source: Ofcom and Consumer Focus