Feeds

Downing Street dodges 'unlimited' broadband debate

The latest victory for people's paralysis

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The government has responded to more than 9,000 people who signed a petition against misleading "unlimited" broadband advertising by bouncing them back to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which has already repeatedly refused to act.

The response, posted on the much-vaunted e-petitions experiment in inclusive democracy, says: "For example, if 80 per cent of domestic customers fall well within the limit specified by a broadband provider and the remaining 20 per cent fall outside of it, perhaps because they are using a domestic package for business use, then it ["unlimited"] may be considered a reasonable claim."

The PM's office fails to note that some providers do not publish their specific fair use limits, with consumers often unprepared for threatening letters fired out by firms who say they are using more than their "unlimited" deal limits them to.

The government's response is a list of existing laws and regulations, without any comment on whether describing a monthly package with an unpublished gigabyte limit as "unlimited" is "legal, decent, honest and truthful and prepared with a sense of responsibility", as required. It ends by palming the issue off to the ASA: "The Advertising Standards Authority considers each complaint on a case-by-case basis."

The claims of "unlimited" packages by ISPs, veiled in poorly defined fair use small print, have attracted strong criticism from inside and outside the industry over the last year. Surveys show that public satisfaction with internet providers has fallen, while increased download usage is being driven by the rise of online video.

Last month, Orange was rapped by the ASA for advertising an "unlimited" service, but only because it forgot to include the small print which limits users to 40GB per month.

Details of how to complain to Ofcom are here. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin
Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.