Ofcom Consumer Panel warns over broadband speeds

Consumer%20PanelOfcom Consumer Panel is urging internet service providers (ISP) to address consumer concerns about advertised broadband connection speeds. The media regulator’s independent consumer interest group has written to six chief executives asking why consumers often do not get the advertised connection speeds they think they are buying.

Chairman Colette Bowe wants the ISPs to come up with solutions that give customers clear information. She says the “up to” speeds advertised in broadband packages are often different from the actual, lower speeds experienced by many subscribers.

She says: “We believe that broadband customers are not at the moment getting enough information.”

Bowe says that at the most basic level consumers need to be able to see what they are buying, what influences the performance of the product or services they are buying and how to do something about it if it doesn’t live up to their expectations.

The panel wants to consider changing their sales practices to include: advising customers what their likely connection speed would be to a specific line; extending the cooling off period allowing customers to test before signing a contract and allowing them to terminate contracts without penalty if advertised speed and quality are not met.

The Consumer Panel was established to advise Ofcom on the consumer interest in the markets it regulates.

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