Ofcom Urges ISPs To Display "Realistic" Broadband Speed Estimates

The days of "up to" speeds could be numbered as Ofcom, the government watchdog for the Telecommunications sector, announced that a new voluntary code of practice will come into force as from tomorrow that will force ISPs to give a realistic picture of speeds potential customers can expect.

So far, 45 broadband Internet service providers, representing more than 95 percent of broadband customers nationwide, have signed up to the scheme which will also make it compulsory to explain in clear terms what "fair usage" policies mean.

A number of internet service providers offer unlimited download and upload only for customers to find out that their broadband packages come with restrictive terms and conditions.

Ofcom's chief executive, Ed Richards said: "Ofcom welcomes the fact that so many ISPs have signed and now implemented the code of practice."

Under the new code of conduct, customers will be able to downgrade from a broadband package to another without any financial penalty if their broadband speeds is far lower than the original estimated speeds.

Some companies, like O2 and Be, already offer money back warranties, free estimated speed survey and the ability for their customers to change packages if necessary.

Latest research show that customers can expect on average 2.7mbps for up to 8mbps broadband speeds. Unfortunately, none of the major wireless broadband service providers - T-mobile, Vodafone, Three, O2 or Orange - have signed the code even if it applies to landline broadband.

(ed : O2 has signed the code and has in fact already been implementing many of the recommendations in the code for a while now on their fixed line broadband service (the OFCOM code only applies to fixed line broadband)).

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