Ofcom tightens advertising rules for ISPs

Regulations aim to curb misleading claims over line speed.

The UK's Office of Communications (Ofcom) on Tuesday asked internet service providers (ISPs) to give their customers a range of achievable speeds, rather than the up to maximum speed that they currently advertise.

The telecom regulatory authority has set out other new guidelines for ISPs based on research that said there was a huge gap between what the broadband providers are advertising and what they are truly offering.

With the new guidelines in place, consumers will be able to leave their contracts without penalty if their maximum line speed is significantly below the bottom of their quoted range and the ISP is unable to resolve the problem.

The ISP must inform the customer at the outset of the sales process about the estimated maximum line speed, besides giving written information about the service provider's fair usage and traffic management policies, Ofcom added.