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Ads overseer told to bring down 'up to' broadband speeds

Punters don't believe them

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UK watchdog the Advertising Standards Authority has been advised to ban the advertising of broadband speeds prefixed with the phrase 'up to'.

The Communications Consumer Panel (CCP), a body formed by comms watchdog Ofcom to be its independent ear on the street, warned the advertising regulator last week that "the current approach of advertising 'up to' broadband headline speeds is no longer credible or sustainable, and is causing widespread scepticism amongst consumers".

The CCP called on the ASA's Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) to come up with an alternative measure, such as the minimum speed experienced by at least half of an ISP's customers.

The CAP is already investigating the way ISPs use 'up to' speeds when describing their broadband offerings. Incidentally, it has also taking a look at the use of the word 'unlimited' in mobile and fixed-line data advertising.

Both consultations came to a close last week. Once the committee has pondered input from ISPs and from organisations like the CCP, it will publish its findings. Assuming the ASA accepts them, they will form the basis for the advertising regulations the ASA applies. ®

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