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Advertising Regulations to crack down on Broadband Speed Cla

Advertising Regulations to crack down on Broadband Speed Cla

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) have opened a 10 week consultation on proposals to tighten rules on how broadband is advertised.

The regulators are planning to impose new conditions forcing ISPs to disclose clear information about peak-time median download speeds, 24-hour national median download speeds, and 24-hour national download speeds available to the 20th to 80th percentile of customers.

These options would also require any commercial company making a claim about broadband speeds to tell users to check with their provider what speed they were likely to receive.

The current guidance on broadband advertising was introduced five years ago. Back in 2012 claims around maximum speed were seen as key, as regulators recommended that ISPs only use maximum speed claims achievable by at least 10% of customers.

However, research commissioned by the ASA last year showed these options confused customers and the majority of people expected to receive a speed close to the maximum claimed, when this is very rarely the case.

CAP director Shahria Coupal said: “We take an evidenced-based approach to our work. Research commissioned by the ASA persuades us that tougher standards are needed to prevent consumers from being misled by advertised broadband speed claims.

“For the next 10 weeks we’re inviting views on four options for change. We’re also remaining open to any other options that better manage consumers’ expectations of the broadband speed they’re likely to receive.

“CAP recognises that advertising can play an early and important part in the journey to choosing a broadband provider. We’re determined to ensure the information it provides, such as broadband speed, is trusted and welcomed by consumers,”

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