BT: We shouldn't have to tell people average broadband speeds

BT - clinging on to the Up to advertising
BT - clinging on to the Up to advertising

BT believes that it should not be forced to give the average speed of its broadband on its advertising – after Ofcom's latest figures criticised the practice of highly misleading 'Up to' messaging.

BT were rock bottom of the 'up to 20Mb' services tested by Ofcom, but the company is angry that the communications watchdog – appointed to look after public interests – suggested that it should tell customers the truth about average speeds and give a typical speed range (TSR) for the package.

The reason? Because some people will get better than the average and other ISPs could cherry pick the best customers.


"Moving to typical speed ranges will potentially be highly misleading as the average performance will vary depending on where people live," said BT.

"Enforcing typical speed ranges is also dangerous as it could encourage more ISPs to cherry pick customers who will increase their average, leaving customers in rural and suburban areas under-served. That would encourage digital exclusion rather than tackle it."

BT has also accused Ofcom of flawed methodology in how they gather the data.

"Broadband speeds vary from line to line and so it is meaningless to use one speed for advertising. That is why we use the term "up to", continued BT.

"The most important thing is that customers are told what speed their line is capable of supporting at the point of sale and BT does this."

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.