There are some new rules about how broadband companies can advertise the speed on their services, and as of next May they're going to have to stop using "unrealistic" speed quotes that almost nobody is going to be able to enjoy.
At the moment Internet providers are allowed to advertise speeds only attainable by 10 per cent of their customers, but the Advertising Standards Authority has declared that this isn't going to be allowed anymore. Instead providers will have to advertise speeds that at least 50 per cent of its customers can get at peak times.
The ASA found that a lot of people were confused by speed claims in broadband adverts, passing those concerns onto the Committees of Advertising Practices. CAP then consulted with Ofcom, ISPs, and consumer groups to help find a better way for providers to advertise their broadband speeds. So that's where the 50 per cent figure came into play.
In addition to the average, CAP is also encouraging ISPs to promote speed checkers in their adverts, so users could go and check their own speeds for themselves and see what they could get from a new service. According to Which? people can expect the adverts to start changing in April, just before the May deadline. It also means we can probably expect to see more variation in advertised speeds, seeing as how every internet provider is different.
This, along with the fact that companies are bundling line rental fees into their advertised prices, can only be a good thing. We all like the internet, and most of us need the internet for 21st century life. Making sure we know exactly what we're getting, and how much we'll have to pay, makes life better for everyone. [BBC News]