Virgin Media has blasted other ISPs for treating consumers 'like mugs' – suggesting that Ofcom's latest broadband figures are a 'damning indictment' for its rivals.

Virgin Media's fibre optic cable network means that it fares well in the speed checks being run by Ofcom – with its services topping the charts by providing close to the advertised speed.

But the 'up to' adverts of many ISPs are hugely misrepresentative according to Virgin Media, and the company has piled more pressure on the Advertising Standards Agency to force average speeds to be put prominently on all adverts.

Damning

"Ofcom's latest report is yet another damning indictment that consumers continue to be treated like mugs and misled by ISPs that simply cannot deliver on their advertised speed claims," said a Virgin Media spokesman.

"The ASA has already highlighted the critical need for change and today's report provides another clear mandate to stop advertising 'up to' speeds that nobody can actually receive.

"Broadband providers have to base their speed claims on the typical real world speeds being delivered to customers and we support Ofcom's call for all ISPs to publish the typical real world speeds they're delivering to customers so people know exactly what to expect and what they're paying for.

"In a nascent market for next generation broadband, the sub-standard fibre optic services being sold are undermining people's faith in fast broadband.

"Consumers shouldn't have to suffer from this speed lottery and have a right to get what they pay for."

High-ground

Although it's easy for Virgin Media to take the high ground on broadband speeds given its now enviable investment in fibre, the points being made are important.

Ofcom's broadband figures show that headline speeds are normally more than double the true average of what people actually get – and as more of us look to broadband connections and start to utilise services that actually need fast connections, this will become a major issue.