Ofcom allows consumers to terminate broadband if it’s too slow

Consumers can leave their broadband providers with no penalty if internet access speeds are too slow, under new plans drawn up by telecoms regulator Ofcom. Ofcom has also urged advertising regulators to develop a new measurement, ‘typical speed range’, on which fair comparisons can be made. Research just published by Ofcom shows that the gap between the advertised speeds of broadband access and the actual speeds experienced by internet service provider (ISP) customers is growing.

A new code of practice on broadband speeds will give customers the right to leave their ISP without paying any contract penalties in the first three months of their subscription if their actual download speeds are far below the advertised speeds.

The new code of practice on broadband speed is voluntary and only applies to those companies which sign up to it, but Ofcom said that the country’s biggest ISPs – BT, Talk Talk and Virgin – have all indicated that they would sign up to it.

The new Ofcom code of practice can be viewed at: http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/telecoms/codes-of-practice/broadband-speeds-cop-2010/code-of-practice/

Ofcom’s research shows that almost one quarter of all broadband subscribers say they receive slower speeds than expected. Slow speeds are the most common complaint to ISPs (27% of all complaints)