What are the new ASA regulations for broadband speed?

The Advertising Standards Authority's new set of rules will prevent the public from being mislead over broadband speed claims.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has recently introduced a number of brand-new rules in a bid to prevent the UK’s many internet service providers (ISPs) featuring misleading broadband speed claims within their advertising. 

Our helpful guide is here to walk you through exactly what these major new changes are and whether or not they’ll affect your own broadband service going forward. 

What are the ASA’s new rules?

On 23rd May 2018, the ASA introduced a new rule which states that the UK’s ISPs will no longer be permitted to advertise those “up to” broadband speeds which can only be achieved by a tiny 10% of their customer base. 

Instead, any speed claim now made in an advert must be described as “average” and should only be included if it’s been proven to be achievable by at least 50% of that particular ISP’s customer base between the peak hours of 8pm and 10pm. 

ISPs will now be required to offer more detailed information upfront about the kinds of speeds customers can realistically expect to achieve and make it a lot easier to exit a contract penalty free if these promised speeds aren’t being delivered. 

Although it won’t be legally enforced, the ASA has also recommended that ISPs should make a real effort to mention broadband speed checkers within their advertising. 

Why have the ASA introduced these rules?

To help consumers who’re looking to switch over to another broadband provider gain a considerably more accurate and realistic understanding of exactly what broadband speeds each ISP is offering. 

Recent studies conducted separately by both the ASA and groups like Which? highlighted that all too often, consumers naturally assumed they’d be able achieve a speed close to what was being advertised only to end up receiving something significantly slower.

The ASA’s significant new changes will work to eliminate this major discrepancy so new customers will actually be able to get the exact broadband speed they’re paying for.  

Who will enforce these new rules?

The ASA will take on the responsibility of carefully monitoring the UK’s ISPs to ensure that all of them are complying with the brand-new set of rules. 

Will there be any changes to my service?

No, for better or worse there won't be any changes made to your normal home broadband service. 

Your ISP won’t unfortunately be increasing your broadband speeds, just changing the figures and adjectives that they use in their advertisements to ensure nobody is mislead in the future over broadband speed claims.

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