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New broadband regs are step in right direction

Broadband suppliers now have to provide more transparent pricing information under new regulations that have come into effect this week.

The changes, brought in by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), require suppliers to show all costs upfront, rather than separating out line rental costs.

Guy Parker, ASA Chief Executive, said: 

"The effect should be a real positive difference in how consumers understand and engage with ads for broadband services."

However, while the move has been welcomed, many commentators would like to see further reform of the broadband market.

Dave Millett, of independent telecoms brokerage Equinox, said: 

"Whilst this is progress to a degree, it creates a problem for those people who want to buy broadband and phone lines from different suppliers. It also does nothing towards the misleading adverts on the speed of broadband where suppliers can quote the speed that only 10% of their customers get. This is very misleading and the ASA still needs to address this."

Michael Phillips, CEO of price comparison site Broadband Choices, said: 

"From our research it was clear that customers were confused by pricing. This change means that many more customers will now truly know what they are currently paying, what they should be paying, and importantly being able to compare the two costs quickly and clearly, allowing them to save or switch with confidence.
"That said, even more can be done to help consumers get a better service and save money - 80% of consumers would like to see average and minimum guaranteed speeds at their address (rather than just an 'up to' for their postcode), and 77% of consumers would like to receive a notification when their current deal comes to an end."

A new survey conducted by OnePoll for telecoms specialist Toople has found that 62% of business owners don't know if they currently receive the right broadband speed and coverage for their business. And, among both business owners and consumers, 86% are unsure what their typical monthly broadband usage is.

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