A major change in how broadband deals are advertised will come in to force on Wednesday May 23. Instead of displaying their speeds with 'up to' values, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) requires that internet providers show their 'average' speed.
All broadband deals will have to advertise the download speed available to at least 50% of customers at peak times, those being between 8pm and 10pm. This will be what constitutes the 'average' speed for the ASA's purposes.
The ruling came after research that showed UK consumers are likely to be materially misled by the 'up to' speeds that internet providers currently use.
"Our new standards will give consumers a better understanding of the broadband speeds offered by different providers when deciding to switch providers," said Shahriar Coupal, Director of the Committees of Advertising Practice, "Following extensive research and consultation, we hope our new standards will improve customer confidence in future ads."
Slicker than your average?
Although, the ASA requires compliance from Wednesday May 23, Sky broadband has already begun displaying its average download speeds. They are 11Mb for its standard ADSL broadband, 34Mb for entry-level fibre broadband and 57Mb for its fastest Sky Fibre Max internet.
It is expected that the average speeds of other major providers will be similar, although the most affordable super fast fibre broadband from BT Broadband and Virgin Media are traditionally faster than the rest of the UK market.