Ofcom to act on broadband speeds

Net firms must do a better job of telling customers about broadband speeds or face stiffer regulation. Ofcom has warned following research the telecoms watchdog carried out on how ISPs sell broadband.

It revealed that 74 per cent of customers were not told that the maximum speed on their line was likely to be higher than the speed they would actually get. Ofcom wants to make improvements to how broadband is sold later this year.

The regulator used mystery shoppers to find out what different ISPs say when customers are about to sign up. It found that while 85 per cent were told what the speed on their line would be, 42 per cent had to prompt sales staff to tell them this information.

The mystery shoppers also found that ISPs often gave very wide estimates of broadband speed and sometimes gave different estimates for the same line. Ofcom put this down to the separate testing methods used by ISPs.

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