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Entanet warns over broadband advertising rules

Microscope contributor
Entanet, the communications provider, has voiced concerns over the new guidelines that will change the way providers advertise broadband speeds from 1st April 2012, writes Linda Endersby.

The new principles published by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) will make the current practice of advertising speeds, based on the maximum the technology could achieve, unacceptable.

Providers will now have to advertise based on speeds that at least 10 percent of their customers actually achieve. In addition this information will need to be updated every six months.

"While we commend the ASA and CAP in their attempt to protect end users from potentially misleading marketing communications and agree with their guidelines on 'unlimited' broadband, we believe the new directives on advertising broadband speeds will only result in greater confusion, says Entanet's Head of Marketing, Darren Farnden.  

The ads will also have to reiterate that speeds may not be achieved due to signal attenuation or traffic management policies.

"End users could end up having to digest and decipher a multitude of different speed statements, based on national or regional campaigns, or peak- and off-peak times, " continued Farnden, "Not only that, the speeds quoted will only be representative of what has actually been experienced by around 10 percent of customers."

Entanet also have concerns over ISPs rejecting orders from rural locations in a bid to keep their headline speeds high.

"We believe the best approach would be for providers to show the percentage of users that achieve a meaningful percentage (e.g. 90 percent) of their sync speed and throughput.," recommends Farnden. "This would highlight where end users are likely to experience poor service because of highly congested networks."

The company will be closely monitoring the impact the new guidelines have within the industry and on end users when they take effect and then plan to illustrate their short-comings to ASA.


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