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ISPreview Poll Finds Most UK People Are Unhappy with Adverts for Broadband Speed

A survey of nearly 820 internet users in the United Kingdom has revealed that 68% of people are unhappy with how broadband ISPs advertise line speed.

London, United Kingdom, July 19, 2017 --( A new online survey of 816 readers (conducted between 1st June and 13th July 2017) has claimed that 68% of people in the United Kingdom are unhappy with how Internet Service Providers (ISP) advertise broadband speeds (just 22% said they were happy and 10% remain undecided), although opinion is divided about the best way to fix the problem.

At present most broadband providers promote a headline speed that must be achievable by at least 10% of their customers (i.e. the fastest 10th percentile) and this figure is usually preceded by an "up to" qualifier, as well as an explanation of any limitations that may hamper the connection.

However, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), which has recently come under pressure from MPs to improve how speeds are advertised, has started consulting upon four alternative methods to resolve the situation. Respondents were asked which of these they preferred and most (26.7%) said they favoured a median (average) speed, based on performance at peak (busy) times, but opinion is split.

* Peak-time median speed - 26.7%
* Range of peak-time speeds available to the 20th to 80th percentile of users - 19.7%
* Unsure - 16.5%
* 24-hour national median speed - 12.8%
* Keep existing method - 12.3%
* Range of 24-hour national speeds available to the 20th to 80th percentile of users - 11.7%

Separately, Ofcom requires members of their 'Code of Practice for Residential Broadband Speeds' to provide customers with a personal estimate of their access line speed during sign-up, although this code is only voluntary and most smaller ISPs have not joined. Nevertheless 67% of respondents to the survey confirmed that they had been provided with such an estimate.

Mark Jackson,'s Founder, said, "Most people who sign-up to a big broadband ISP today should receive a personal estimate of their speed, which makes the question of advertised performance less important. Never the less there's a clear demand for more clarity and all of the ASA's proposals have some merit, although it's important to remember that no solution will ever be perfect."

"Connection speeds can be impacted by a huge number of factors, many of which may be beyond your ISPs ability to control. For example, performance can suffer due to slow wifi, poor quality home wiring, network congestion, copper line distance and the performance of remote internet services."

"On top of that there's some concern that the changes might discourage ISPs from accepting new customers, particularly when people live in areas where the local network is known to be slow, because it might impact the provider's advertised rates. Signs of this happening have already been seen and any spread risks damaging consumer choice."

"Ultimately this is perhaps less about the accuracy of advertisements and more about managing consumer expectations. Sadly the proposals make no mention of upload speeds, which in recent years have become increasingly important," concluded Mark.
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Mark Jackson

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