From next week, adverts from broadband providers will all have to show the average rather than the top speeds they offer – but the actual speed you get now won’t change.
Broadband ads will, from Wednesday 23 May, have to show the average speed received by at least 50% of a provider’s current customer base between 8pm and 10pm – when most people are online.
However, although the use of average speeds is better than just advertising what the top 10% receive, you should still only use it as an indication of the speeds you MAY get. It’s also important to note that its only the ads that are changing – the actual speed your line is capable of is not.
These rules apply specifically to the way broadband download speeds are advertised.
Currently, the ‘up to’ speeds quoted in adverts – such as up-to-38Mb for fast fibre – only have to be achieved by at least 10% of customers. This means the majority of the customer base may receive speeds vastly different – and likely slower – to those advertised.
The new rules abolish this practice and state that speed claims made in broadband ads must be based on “average” speeds at peak times – the download speed available to at least 50% of a company’s customers between 8-10pm.
For fast fibre, for example, instead of seeing ‘up-to-38Mb’, you’ll start to see average speeds of around 34Mb – dependent on the provider.