Ofcom: we need action not research on broadband speeds
Ofcom has revealed that people don't get the broadband speeds they pay for. Well, duh. Here's a timeline of how we already know that. Their research isn't groundbreaking or new or revealing something for the first time, as is being claimed.
What we need is action: ISPs should be forced to publish a typical range of speeds rather than an upto speed that no one can get.
Why Ofcom is behind the times
Here's a potted history of the last 3 years:
- Sept 2006: ASA rules that ISPs must state that speeds vary significantly, as well as using the words 'up to' on headline speed figures.
- August 2007: Which? (where I was editor at the time) uses a panel of 300 people to show that people with speeds of 'up to' 8Mbps get just 2.7Mbps on average.
- October 2007: Ofcom consumer panel quizzes ISPs over the issue.
- Feb 2008: ASA reminds ISPs that they have to include the 'up to' words in the headline figure as they had started to hids it in the smallprint.
- July 2009: Ofcom reveals that, er, people aren't getting the speed they're paying for, and that those on 'up to' 8Mbps packages are getting just 3.9Mbps on average these days.
The solution is easy. ISPs should be forced to publish a range plus a typical speed.
How they work it out is up to Ofcom.
The money they spent on this latest research could perhaps have been better spent working this out?