POV: councils complain over misleading broadband ads

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents 370 local councils in England and Wales, has criticised the way that broadband providers advertise their speeds, saying it’s “misleading” - especially for properties in rural areas.

As it stands providers advertise 'up to' broadband speeds (typically download) which only need to apply to 10% of connections on that package. Good online connectivity is a necessary part of day to day life for many people and we believe they deserve honesty about the services they will receive depending on their location. Therefore, we would encourage all providers to be more transparent when advertising speeds.

The broadband market is a curious one in that customers do not know exactly what they are going to get until they have bought, and "Up To" and "average for postcode" do not deliver the real need they have - certainty about what they are paying for. Do you really care what your neighbours get if you yourself cannot get that? 80% of customers we surveyed want to see providers give estimated minimum, average and maximum speeds (for both download and upload) at an address level.

- Mark Irwin, MD, broadbandchoices

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