ISPA welcomes today’s changes to the broadband advertising rules announced by CAP as an important way of providing consumers with clear and accurate information about broadband speeds.

The new rules will mean ISPs will have to advertise speeds available to 50% of customers at peak times and be described as ‘average’. The change is in line with ISPA’s response to the CAP consultation and the set of principles that we argued should guide the reform of broadband speeds advertising guidance.

Today’s announcement follows Ofcom’s recent consultation on an updated Broadband Speeds Code of Practice, which includes a number of steps to help consumers understand and address broadband speeds expectations. This includes providing an estimate of the actual speed a customer’s line is capable of receiving before entering into a contract and gives customers with the ability to exit the contract if the speeds fall below a certain level.

We advise consumers to speak to their ISP about steps they may be able to take to improve the speeds they receive as a number of factors can affect the actual speed, many of which are outside of an ISP’s control. These include home wiring, the number of devices sharing a connection and the quality of equipment. When choosing an ISP or broadband service, we also recommend that consumers consider speed alongside a range of other factors, including reliability, quality and price, all areas where ISPA members are continuing to invest and innovate to provide excellent service to customers.

Commenting on today’s announcement, ISPA Chair Andrew Glover said: "ISPA supports today’s change to rules governing the advertising of broadband speeds as an important way of providing consumers with clear and accurate information. The new rules, alongside existing steps of providing speed information at point of sale, the ability to exit a contract and   switching, mean consumers have a number of tools at their disposal to make an informed choice about which ISP or broadband service is right for them”.