Be Unlimited taken to task over broadband adverts
Providers of ADSL2+ services will do well to read the latest adjudication against a broadband provider issued by the Advertising Standards Authority. For full details of the adjudication see www.asa.org.uk.
The provider this time is Be Unlimited and the complaint revolves around complaints that it was believed the headline speed of 24Mbps (Mega bits per second) would not be attainable by most users. The problem with the ADSL2+ services is that the actual line speed possible falls off very rapidly after around 1km of telephone line, but will generally exceed the performance of an up to 8Mbps ADSL service. A previous news item on thinkbroadband.com gives an estimate of the speed coverage for ADSL2+ in the UK.
The ASA in its adjudication has listened to Be, and Be apparently have been very co-operative in providing information to assist the investigation. The ASA in reaching its conclusion accepted that speeds lower than 24Mbps are not likely to affect an end-users broadband experience in a major way, it did consider that especially those who would get speeds around 8Mbps may feel misled.
The end result is that Be will now re-word its disclaimer to make potential customers more aware of the fact that the speed experienced by end-users is very dependent on a number of factors particularly the distance an end-user is from their telephone exchange.
For those looking to order a Be ADSL2+ service, it is perhaps worth mentioning that Be do appear to pre-filter orders, such that they generally do not accept orders from people whose telephone line is considered very long. This was a common practice with BT Wholesale too until 2003, when BT Wholesale started to accept an order for a 0.5Mbps or Max (rate adaptive - up to 8Mbps) service no matter how long the telephone line (there are a few exceptions to this rule).