Friday, February 3, 2012

Ofcom: Getting Ready for Speed Advertising Guidelines

Few months ago, the UK BCAP (Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice) published a set of guidelines to " bring clarity to advertisers and consumers on the use of "unlimited" and "up to" speed claims in telecommunicatons and broadband ads" (see " UK: Transparency for Unlimited and "up-to" Service Speeds" - here). These guidelines will become effective on April 2012; Do they already help UK subscribers? We can’t tell yet, as Ofcom reports are not aligned with the guidelines criteria.

As Ofcom, the UK regulation body, regulary measures and reports broadband speeds by ISP and access type, it will be interesting to see the effect of the guidelines on actual service levels (see the previous reports - "Ofcom: ADSL Actual Download Speed is Only a Third of Advertized Speed" - here). 
In its current report Ofcom concluded the following. As the statistics do not match the criteria set in the above regulation, it is not possible to analyze if UK ISPs are already fully transparent in their advertised speeds.
  • In November 2011, the average actual UK residential broadband speed was 7.6Mbit/s, compared with 6.2Mbit/s in November/December 2010, and 6.8Mbit/s in May 2011 .. This increase was mainly as a result of consumers moving onto higher speed packages
  • Of the 13 ISP packages covered, Ofcom’s research found that the fibre-based and cable broadband technologies were fastest. Virgin Media’s ‘up to’ 50Mbit/s continued to have the highest average download speeds of approximately 49Mbit/s. BT’s fibre-based service (BT Infinity) delivered average download speeds of around 36Mbit/s, up from approximately 34Mbit/s in May 2011. The service also achieved the highest average upload speeds of 8.8Mbit/s. All other ISP packages did not change significantly from May 2011.
See "Jump in UK broadband speeds" - here

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