ISPs Must Warn Subscribers of Contention Crunches

By Gary Cutlack on at

The UK's many ISPs are about to come under a new and interesting form of cosh tomorrow, when additional rules covering new broadband connections come into force.

The Ofcom initiative says that subscribers switching ISPs from March 1 must be given realistic, real-world connection speeds and not the old "up to" theoretical tailwind/sunny day/4:30am maximums, plus an attempt must be made to explain local contention issues that mean the internet may be slower in the evenings when the kids are streaming their YouTube conspiracy theory videos, mum's buying things off Facebook, and dad's been locked in the bathroom for ages with his tablet.

This then gives customers leverage to get out of bad contracts, as should their speeds drop below this promised level of performance, the ISP has one month to remedy the situation – or let the subscriber out of their package without any penalties or additional fees. [Ofcom]