BT: public frustrated by broadband speeds

BT: public frustrated by broadband speeds

Service providers should give clear information about actual connection speeds, firm says

BT has said that internet service providers (ISPs) should work closely with the regulator Ofcom to give customers clear information about the broadband speed they can get.

BT Wholesale, the UK’s biggest broadband supplier, has admitted that the way ISPs market their products can leave customers frustrated by speeds that bear little relation to those advertised.

Guy Bradshaw of BT Wholesale told Computeractive that customer dissatisfaction shows that ISPs must put rules in place.

“Although it is not up to BT Wholesale to tell ISPs how to market their services, Ofcom is already working on producing a set of rules. There is no reason why ISPs shouldn’t work closely with the regulator,” he said.

The latest calls clearly echo the aims of Computeractive’s Crystal Clear Broadband Campaign, launched in 2007. Our research showed a clear mismatch between advertised speeds and those actually available to customers.

A recent survey from Point Topic also highlighted the huge mismatch between advertised speeds and the speed of actual connections.

Pamela Varley, research analyst at Point Topic, said: "Of the users who reported subscribing to an ‘up to 16 Mbits/sec’ package, only four per cent said that their connection actually provided it."

There are many variables that affect speeds, such as distance from the exchange and line quality, but BT's Guy Bradshaw pointed out that the industry and customers should not get too fixated about speed.

"ISPs need to think about the quality of the connections they give. Customers don't want to see a drop in their connection speeds if they are, for example, downloading a video" he said.