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Broadband: real speed information promised

Broadband: real speed information promised
Consumers will be better informed about the actual speed of broadband they have bought under new rules announced today.

Consumers will be better informed about the actual speed of broadband they have bought under new rules announced today.

Ofcom’s code of practice has the backing of internet service providers (ISPs) to give more information about line speeds.

Companies covering 95 per cent of the UK’s broadband users have signed up to the voluntary scheme which comes into force tomorrow.

Ofcom has promised to monitor companies over the next six months to ensure they are honouring their commitments to the code.

The code of conduct was drawn up after research found consumers were confused by companies advertising higher broadband speeds than they were able to receive.

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Almost a quarter of people do not get the speed they expect, according to early results from Ofcom research due to be published next year.

The code requires internet firms to give new customers an accurate estimate of the maximum speed their line can support, explain how technical issues could slow speeds and give advice about how to fix such problems.

They must downgrade a customer’s deal at no penalty if line speeds are significantly lower than the original estimate.

Customers must also get timely warnings if they breach the data download caps that many firms impose on customers.

Consumers can check whether their provider has signed up to the code of practice on the Ofcom website.

Anna Bradley, chairwoman of Ofcom’s Communications Consumer Panel, 说: “The new code will help consumers make better informed choices.

It addresses the concerns that we raised with Ofcom and the ISPs last year about broadband speedsabout the mismatch between the speeds that consumers think they are buying and what they actually get.