Feeds

ASA tuts at TalkTalk over broadband speed estimator

Tool can stay, but ISP must add warning about potential inaccuracy

High performance access to file storage

TalkTalk got rapped on the knuckles by the Advertising Standards Authority today after it upheld a complaint that its broadband speed checker was rather overestimating the actual speed of web surfing.

A customer had complained that when he typed his postcode into the box, he was told his estimated speed was 3.8Mbps with a range of between 2.1 and 5.3Mbps, but his actual speed ended up being less than 2.1.

However, the internet provider has not been asked to remove the checker, but rather has been asked to make it more clear that the speed estimate can be affected by all sorts of things – such as distance from the exchange.

"We told TalkTalk to ensure their speed checker results were more clearly qualified in future," the ASA said in its judgment. "We also told them to ensure they were in a position to provide evidence to substantiate the impression that was likely to be taken from their future advertising claims."

TalkTalk had argued that it was clear the estimated speed was a total guess because consumers' attention was drawn to a link on "How we estimate your speed?" that told them all the factors that could affect the actual speed they were estimated as having. The ISP also said the results in the speed checker were based on methodology set out in the Code of Practice.

The ASA however, couldn't help but notice that the link was not prominent enough to make it obvious that speeds would vary a lot and most of the time the speeds were turning out to be lower than the estimate.

TalkTalk now has to place information stating that the speeds are simply an educated guess front and centre, but the company is not going to be changing how it calculates the estimates it hands out.

"We are grateful for the guidance provided by the Advertising Standards Authority. The prominence of the speed checker on our website demonstrates our commitment to being completely transparent with our customers about the speeds they can achieve," a TalkTalk spokesperson said in an emailed statement. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.