Ofcom's boss, Ed Richards, has responded to yesterdays calls by the regulators own independent 'Consumer Panel' for clearer advertising of broadband speeds. Richards has reportedly promised new guidelines on the selling of broadband services, which will come into force during early 2008:
"We are keen that any measures are implemented in the shortest time frame possible," said Mr Richards. "At this stage, we have not ruled out the possibility of using formal powers if we consider it would be more effective in delivering our objectives."A spokeswoman for Ofcom said that currently the regulator had no powers to enforce the new arrangements on the selling of broadband but would seek them by beefing up the guidelines net firms must abide by. "This is a considerable consumer issue we are concerned by," said the spokeswoman. "We think consumers should get what they pay for. It's an important decision for them."
We suspect that Ofcom will reveal its proposals and then open them up for wider consultation, although so far there are no firm details on what they’re planning.
Consumers will be hoping that the measures aren't so weak as to have little impact while ISP's will want to ensure that Ofcom recognises the technical difficulty of making realistic performance predictions and work that into its rules.