Broadband advertising rules really are a mess – and this time even the politicians agree

Written by Jaivik Shah

A coalition of more than 50 cross-party MPs have called for a long-overdue reform in the way that broadband packages are allowed to be advertised in the UK.

The British Infrastructure Group (BIG) – the same one that called for a split of BT earlier this year – says that greater powers are required to keep ISPs in check when it comes to advertising real-world broadband speeds and package options, according to the BBC.

At its core is the problem that it can still be a tedious and expensive process to leave your provider if a service doesn’t live up to expectations; a situation in which consumers have “very few rights and protections,” the group says.

Of course, UK broadband providers failing to advertise packages accurately is a long-standing problem – for more than 15 years, ISPs have repeatedly been reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Authority for inaccurate advertising.

Under current rules, providers are upholding their advertising obligations if at least 10 percent of customers can get those speeds. That’s not a situation that, to my mind, can be considered acceptable. A more accurate way of looking at it is that 90 percent of customers never get what they pay for.

Clearly something needs to change.

About the author

Jaivik Shah

Jaivik Shah is Editor At Large of TechOptimals, He writes about how technology is changing the way we live and work in the 21st century.
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