The overwhelming majority of participants to a survey carried out by market research company ICM found broadband advertising to be generally "misleading" and "confusing".
The Telegraph reports that 90 per cent of them are left puzzled by the Internet Service Providers' references to "up to" speeds, which in almost all cases, are maximum theoretical numbers that are very rarely reached.
Nine out of ten of those surveyed say that they were unsure of the broadband speed that they received. The rise of double digit packages, either up to 20mbps, 24mbps or above, means that the average broadband speed in reality is unlikely to reach even a third of the promised transfer rate.
Not surprisingly, almost all of the respondents call for the advertising rules to be changed so that the "up to" speeds reflect what an average user can expect.
VirginMedia has put up a webpage called speed honesty where it publishes typical speeds for its package over 24 hours. The latest update was done in July 2010 and showed that most customers should get 90 per cent or more of the advertised speed.