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Brits still getting bull from broadband providers

Fast as an unladen swallow on afterburners, honest

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British broadband providers are still failing to warn punters that the real speeds they will experience are likely to be much slower than heavily advertised maximum speeds.

Mystery shopper research from Ofcom found that three quarters of people were not told that real-world speed would be slower than the fastest possible line speed.

Consumers are not likely to be helped by calling more than one provider - different ISPs make different promises of potential speed for the same phone line. ISPs calculate likely line speed differently and some present a wide range of possible speeds which can lead customers to expect a faster speed than they are ever likely to actually see.

Ofcom said it will change its code of practice by the summer to encourage ISPs to give clearer and more consistent information.

If it cannot reach agreement with ISPs it will consider legislation.

There are more details here.

The regulator said it would carry out a further round of mystery shopping to see if improvements have been made. Ofcom wants customers to be given likely line speed earlier in the sales call and to "find ways of ensuring that ISPs give consumers better information on why and how actual broadband speeds may be lower than headline speeds".

The full research from the first round will be published in July and every six months after that. ®

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