Ofcom has recommended that ISPs should stop advertising broadband services as being ‘up to’ a maximum speed and instead use a typical speed range (TSR). But will this really make any difference to the average consumer?
The latest research published by Ofcom found that only 14% of users on ‘up to’ 20Mbit/s received average download speeds of over 12Mbit/s, while 58% received average download speeds of 6Mbit/s or less. It recommended that a TSR is used by ISPs in adverts for their broadband services, because that would offer consumers a more informed choice on the basis of speed.
That’s all very well and good if you live in an area with a large choice of providers, not too far from an exchange, or are lucky enough to have fibre connections rather than copper lines, but if you don’t, what difference is the change in advertising actually going to make?
In my experience (having moved fairly recently) the limited choice of ISPs operating in the same semi-rural area offer you around the same speed. The reason being that they are all subject to similar service constraints. Looking at TSRs would not improve my chances of receiving a high-speed broadband service, as, stating the obvious, I can only get what is actually available.
Also, if the TSR is calculated nationally, I don’t see how this will assist people making a decision in a specific area. It is already possible to check your estimated speed on most ISPs’ websites before signing up, just by providing your telephone number and post code. Surely this is more use than a national range?
Basically what I’m saying is yes Ofcom, the advertising can be annoying, but I’d rather you just concentrated on getting me a faster service…