The need for high broadband speeds at home and on the go falls in line with the fast pace of life. Most of us access broadband religiously each day and it’s never more frustrating than when low internet speeds disrupt what you’re doing online.
Clamping down on internet service providers (ISPs), the ASA asked the Advertising Code writing bodies (CAP and BCAP) to review the broadband speed claims in advertising, leading to a set of guidelines being published stipulating that ISPs be more honest with the customer. Under the new rules, which came into play on the 1st April 2012, internet providers are no longer able to lead on the highest possible internet connection they can offer, but what at least 10% of their service network can actually receive.
We’re all familiar with the deception of ISPs who grab your attention with colossal claims of broadband speeds “up to” certain megabits per second. In actual fact, most of those promises are a myth as the majority of households never experience such high-speed connection, which is exactly what forced the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) to act.
The new move is a step towards protecting the consumer and is why a lot of you have noticed what appears to be a drop in printed broadband speeds. Rest assured, there’s no actual change to the quality or speed of your internet connection they’re now just being sold with more integrity. For the most part it’s a good call, but in the same breath it hasn’t helped to remove the confusion entirely as some of the larger ISPs have removed all talks of broadband speeds altogether, replacing it with more ambiguous phrases that do nothing to inform you of anything.
Terminology like “unlimited” have also been addressed in the guidelines and can only be used if the customer incurs no additional charge of suspension of service as a consequence of exceeding their usage threshold. The ASA maintains that any limitations likely to affect the speed or usage of a service to be moderate and clearly explained in any advertisements.
What do you think of the new advertising guidelines? Have they given clarity or yet more confusion? Share your thoughts with us on the Dekko Technology Blog.
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