An announcement has just been made which might just make your Christmas if you’re having broadband problems.
From May next year, home broadband providers will have to ensure that at the very least half of all their customers can actually achieve the speeds that are advertised - and that’s at the peak time of between 8pm to 10pm when most of us are online.
The announcement by the Committee of Advertising Practice is part of a crackdown to prevent misleading claims by broadband companies, something we at Which? have been campaigning on for years, so we were delighted with the news.
It’s also a win for our Broadband Speed Guaranteed campaign, supported by more than 120,000 people who signed our petition calling for broadband providers to be more transparent with their advertising.
People don’t just need to know how much they will pay for their broadband, they need to know how well it will work.
And yet broadband firms can advertise on a headline speed that only 10 per cent of customers actually get, leaving a lot us incredibly frustrated.
Broadband is an essential service and we all expect to be able to download films, shop online, or just Skype easily and quickly.
Yet Which? research has shown that more than half of those with home broadband have had an issue with it in the past year.
And that’s why the firms need to be open and honest about what speeds can actually be achieved so people know that what they’re paying for is what they’re going to get.
Not only will that result in less frustration, it could also mean better deals for all of us, because we won’t be paying over the odds for a broadband speed we’ll never get.
Too many people are having poor broadband experiences, and that’s why this kind of change is so vital.
At Which? we’ll also be keeping an eye on what else is being promised - particularly around the idea that fibre will lead to greater speeds - but this first change will hopefully make sure the broadband industry is much more careful with our expectations.
SPEED TRIALS: Our Which? speed up slow broadband page gives loads of tips and tricks from our experts on how to improve your speeds, which could simply be affected by your home setup or router placement.
And you can try our free broadband speed checker to see if the speeds you’re getting match up with what you were promised. Visit www.which.co.uk