PlusNet welcome Ofcom's Broadband Speed Code of Pr...
PlusNet welcome Ofcom's Broadband Speed Code of Practice
Coverage around broadband speed has reached new heights recently. It is clear that many consumers feel misled by claims of speeds ‘up to' a certain level, when in reality the connection often performs well below the expectations set. Today Ofcom (the regulator for the telecommunications industry) announced a voluntary code of practice aimed at all residential broadband providers. They hope this will push ISPs to provide more accurate information about the actual speed expected, so consumers can make an informed choice about the product they are buying before signing up. We already work hard to set a realistic expectation of the speed a potential PlusNet customer can expect, and it goes without saying that we will sign-up to the new Ofcom code of practice in full. We welcome anything that helps consumers make a more balanced choice between the many different service providers and broadband products now available in the UK. We have already scheduled development work for the items in the guidelines which we don't currently provide, although there isn't much more for us to do. We expect that work to be completed well within Ofcom's required timelines. Although the code of practice is certainly a step in the right direction, we would question whether these voluntary guidelines go far enough. As a broadband provider who prides itself on taking an honest and open approach with customers, we have often been frustrated by competitors who seem happy to talk-up their products, engage people in long contracts, and then under-deliver with no consequence. Especially with the recent introduction of ‘mobile broadband' products that rarely achieve close to their advertised speeds on a consistent basis (products which are not even covered by this code of practice), we're hoping to see further revision to the code of practice in the future. One thing we do hope the new code of practice will achieve is to help educate both consumers and the media about what makes a quality connection (where things like latency and stability are often more important than the maximum possible throughput speed). As well as the physical factors that affect broadband speeds, it is good to see Ofcom highlighting that things like average throughput speeds are just as important as the headline speed. Understanding that speed is both a factor borne from physical limitations as well as a result of the investment made by ISPs in their product, should help consumers separate the good from the bad.