Feeds

BT fibre 'availability checker' looks into FAR-OFF FUTURE. Again

Repeated murmurings of ad watchdog seemingly fail to strike fear into telco

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

One-time national telco BT misled customers with unsubstantiated claims regarding its broadband download speeds, the UK's advertising watchdog has ruled today.

The company slipped up, the Advertising Standards Authority said, by misleading potential subscribers who used its BT.com website to look up whether its fibre optic product was available in their area yet.

Download speeds quoted on the telecom giant's availability checker site, the ASA concluded, "would be a material consideration for consumers" when shopping around for what broadband product they should sign up to with BT.

But the ad regulator found the website had misled customers because it "included a download claim related to a specific address which was not available to that consumer."

BT attempted to dismiss the complaint by stating to the ASA that it was unable to provide the watchdog with "detailed analysis of non-BT customers' lines" because another wing of its business - Openreach - did not share the information with the retail division.

The ASA said:

Openreach confirmed that they were a functionally separate organisation to BT's consumer facing divisions and that they provided wholesale services to their communications providers and that included information services such as line speed estimates.

Openreach explained that to estimate line speeds, they carried out detailed and large scale statistical analysis of possible speeds and the quoted values seen by the complainant were typical of what could be achieved by the vast majority of superfast broadband lines.

They said the speed estimate ranged from the 80th to 20th percentile for similar phone lines, therefore, 80 per cent of end-users could achieve the quoted speeds. They said they had checked the complainant's line and confirmed that it lay outside the statistical range, and due to a variety of reasons, the complainant would be unable to achieve the quoted speeds.

BT was told to ensure that its online broadband checker service provided accurate information in future. It was also ordered not to allow the speeds claim to appear again in its current form.

This is the third time in recent months that BT has been jabbed by the ASA for misleading folk over when its faster broadband product would be available in their local area.

In January 2013, the regulator upheld complaints submitted by 15 people who had griped about BT because its "availability checker" website for its Infinity and Total Broadband products, in some instances, repeatedly pushed back the dates over a long period of time.

Back then, BT said it was disappointed with that particular ruling, but promised to work more closely with the ad regulator to make sure that the information it provided to customers about its fibre rollout was as clear as possible.

However, in November last year BT was caught fibbing to Manchester residents, after it wrongly claimed that its Infinity product was already available throughout the city.

It would seem history - to paraphrase Shirley Bassey - keeps repeating itself. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights
Virgin Media: UK fans pay the most for the fewest matches
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.