According to Communications regulator Ofcom, there’s a gradual increase in the difference between the broadband speeds which consumers receive and what is being advertised by ISPs. Although ISPs advertised that the broadband speed would be 15Mbps to 8.2Mbps, however broadband users receive the speed of 6.8Mbps as seen in May 2011. Whereas the difference was just 7.6Mbps evaluated from 6.2Mbps speed received by users and 13.8Mbps advertised speed.
Ofcom is now looking forward to stop ISPs to advertise about speeds as this misleads the customers. Ofcom recommends to give a precise idea of broadband speed which users are likely to receive instead of giving ‘up to’ figure in advertisements. Also the theoretical maximum speed as advertised by the ISPs should precisely match with what majority of the consumers actually receive. The regulator also modified broadband advertising code of practice which now says to include typical speed range and asks consumers to not to put penalty on broadband provider if they receive speed less than estimated range and ISPs fail in fixing the problem. BT Broadband, O2, Sky and Virgin Media have already signed this revised code of practice and others are may get it done in the coming months.
Publishing the research will proof to be motivational for ISPs to invest not in weak broadband networks which often mislead people but in faster broadband networks which will actually give high speeds, said Ed Richards , Ofcom chief executive. According to Ofcom, fibre based broadband deals fairly with difference between the actual and advertised speeds as compared to the copper based ADSL broadband. ADSL customers received 6.6Mbps which was estimated to up to 20Mbps and 24Mbps whereas Virgin Media fibre based broadband 30Mbps averaged 31Mbps speed and BT’s Infinity service provided average speeds of 34Mbps when 40Mbps was the advertised speed.
Despite this growing gap between the advertised and actual broadband speed, the average broadband speed in UK increased by 10 percent making it 6.8Mbps in May 2011 which was 6.2Mbps in November 2010. In a research by Ofcom, almost half- 47 percent of the consumers use broadband packages with advertised speeds of over 10Mbps which is a tremendous increase as compared to figure in April 2009 which was just 8 percent. Ofcom also found that 57 percent of UK homes have access to superfast exchanges or Virgin media cable which was superfast broadband fibre is and not copper ADSL broadband. Ofcom also published a map of UK which clearly shows broadband data for each local authority.