James Middleton

August 2, 2007

1 Min Read
UK broadband not up to speed

In news that may not come as a great surprise to UK broadband users, a Which? study has found that there is a huge gap between advertised broadband speeds and the actual speeds users can achieve.

In April, 14,642 Which? members took part in a survey about their internet service provider (ISP), then in May and June the consumer rights advocate carried out a speed test with more than 300 customers from 27 UK ISPs

More than a third of Which? members have broadband packages offering speeds of “up to” 8Mbps or faster, however the speed test found that customers promised “up to” 8Mbps actually achieved 2.7Mbps on average, with the lowest speed achieved just 0.09Mbps.

The Advertising Standards Agency says that the phrase “up to” is acceptable if most people can get close to those speeds. But Which? believes that the advertised speeds can be misleading and is lobying Ofcom and Trading Standards to investigate the claims of the ISPs.

According to Which?’s twice yearly ISP satisfaction survey, just 30 per cent of Which? members on average are very satisfied with their service. Smaller providers such as Global, Waitrose and Zen come out top, with big names like AOL, BT and Virgin Media rated below average.

“It’s shocking that internet service providers can advertise ever-increasing speeds that seem to bear little resemblance to what most people can achieve in reality. If it’s unlikely you’ll reach the advertised speed it should be made clear up front, so that you know with some certainty what you’re buying,” said Malcolm Coles, the editor of which.co.uk.

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About the Author(s)

James Middleton

James Middleton is managing editor of telecoms.com | Follow him @telecomsjames

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