Consumer Panel asks for Ofcom action on Broadband Scandal

The Ofcom Consumer Panel, a body which lobbies for consumer interests, has asked communications watchdog, Ofcom, to ask Internet Service Providers to be more honest about speed limitations on their broadband packages.

The panel found out that speeds advertised as up to were never reached and the average median speed was in most cases closer to a third of what one might expect.

Although the OCP has no formal power, its role as an independent advisory body means that Ofcom could eventually turn OCP's calls into a body of regulations.

A number of websites, tech related groups and magazines like Which?, Five's the Gadget Show and Web User magazine have campaigned to get ISPs to come clean on their advertised speeds.

However, some internet service providers like Be Broadband have proactively enacted proposals made by the OCP such as the possibility to test a user's line to know the maximum theoretical limit or allowing a user to get out of a contract or sign up for a different package if he or she is not satisfied with the service.

In a subsequent letter, Ofcom boss, Ed Richards, praised the Consumer Panel's feedback, saying that it would be talking to the broadband industry "about how best to implement the recommendations."