Broadband News

ASA bans Sky broadband ad

The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint about a Sky broadband advert with a headline of "Reduce your costs not your speed" which appeared in the national press. The ad went on to say:

"If you're in a Sky network area, we don't slow your broadband speed down at peak times - unlike Virgin Media and BT. We could save you money too"

Although Sky don't impose traffic shaping on their network, even if you exceed your fair usage policy, the advert implied that both Virgin and BT do this to all their customers at peak times, when it only actually happens to heavy users. The ASA upheld the complaint from BT and a member of the public deeming this statement to be misleading and has advised Sky not to run the advert again in its current form.

Comments

Ironically the sky ad isn't far from the truth atleast where BT is concerned - not sure about virgin...

  • Rroff
  • over 7 years ago

This advert is 100% correct. BT not only traffic shape different protocols, regardless of usage, they will slow down your speed as well when you approach a rather low limit and are more expensive than sky. This isn't entirely BT's fault as due to OFCOM restrictions it costs sky less to provide a MB of data than it does BT.

  • danman7_200
  • over 7 years ago

Well, it's misleading, *all* ISP's do at least some traffic shaping. Why? Spam. Port 25 /allways/ has a rate limiter.

  • Dawn_Falcon
  • over 7 years ago

Virgin Media traffic shape all users that pass the Traffic Management limit, they don't take an average over a month to see who's a heavy user...

  • haydnwalker
  • over 7 years ago

@ Dawn- not all of them.

  • billford
  • over 7 years ago

Billford - Well yea, there's that wingnut spammer over in Yorkshire. But apart from that...

  • Dawn_Falcon
  • over 7 years ago

Daft. They don't pick up other companies who define unlimited as limited, yet they tell Sky off for explaining the pitfalls of internet with the largest cable company and biggest telephony provider? Wonder if ASA is getting backhanders.

  • reech
  • over 7 years ago

My ISP doesn't shape at all... they operate greylist and standard spam filters on email, but that's it.

  • billford
  • over 7 years ago

ASA, corporate friend. Funny how the likes of BT can blatantly mislead with impunity yet Sky who offer a far better service get a complaint upheld against them.

ASA should be replaced with an organisation who looks out for the consumer.

  • citizenx
  • over 7 years ago

@Dawn I'm not sure I'd call a limit on emails per hour / day / week / year traffic shaping, more controlling connections to their own servers. Operators like Be, VM, et al who have no DPI enforcement on their networks have no control over customers' application level port 25 stuff.

  • Dixinormous
  • over 7 years ago

billford - mm hum.

@Dixi - Well, I would. That's what it is after all. It's now being misused for other things, sure, but..

  • Dawn_Falcon
  • over 7 years ago

Is it? Seems to me it's no more traffic shaping that regulating the number of simultaneous connections on an NNTP server. Traffic shaping is strictly done at the network / transport layer not the application layer, where restriction of SMTP would be done based on how many mails were sent in a certain time period.

  • Dixinormous
  • over 7 years ago

'So BT won't slow down your broadband - as long as you don't do anything particularly demanding, in which case it will' quote from: http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/351640/bt-doesnt-choke-broadband-speeds-yes-it-does

  • cyberdoyle
  • over 7 years ago

This is stupid, Sky haven't said anything that isn't true in their ad.

  • timmay
  • over 7 years ago

@ haydnwalker i'm on 50mb and don't get traffic shaped so VM don't do it on all packages

  • sloman
  • over 7 years ago

I think the point is that any grand statements like this have to be clear and concise.

BT to throttle you that's not in dispute. VM now that's not quite the case, on their 50mb its wrong, and on their other products you don't get slow down provided you don't use more than so much in a certain time period. If you are within the limit's you don't have any slow down.

Because the statement isn't 100% clear and correct in VM's case it should not be allowed to be used in an advert.

  • Drefsab
  • over 7 years ago

Drefsab <quote>BT to (sic) throttle you that's not in dispute</Quote>

If getting an average speed of over 800 KBytes/Sec for a download, on a 7150 profile, is a throttled connection, then I must try downloading in the wee small hours then if I really need speed.

  • rasczak
  • over 7 years ago

Cont.

BT Retail only use traffic management on accounts they have deemed to be abusing the service, the same as Virgin. What parameters BT use to make that decision is not necessarily clear, but if you don't trip them, you don't get throttled. Sky appear to be claiming everyone on BT or Virgin is throttled at peak times regardless of other use, that is patently not true.

  • rasczak
  • over 7 years ago

Why are VM allowed to advertise their product as fibre optic? That seems like a much bigger lie than this.

  • Cockroach
  • over 7 years ago

The ASA go along with VM's view that the "majority" of the connection is on fibre, which is also the case on ADSL :-)

  • herdwick
  • over 7 years ago

I work for an enhanced IT support desk within BT and I can confirm 100% that BT throttle speeds(On bussiness and residential) at peak times on all ports except port 80. They reduce the speed to roughly 15% of what you should be getting. Peak times are (as far as i know) Midday to Midnight on weekdays and 8am to Midnight weekends.

See here for proof

http://www.samknows.com/broadband/pm/PM_Summer_08.pdf

BT's 'fair use' also starts around 50GB for BUSINESS accounts, no idea what the limit is on residential.

  • coroder
  • over 7 years ago

ASA is a complete joke IMO - perhaps like their HD ads recently, Sky should run some ad's explaining what their competitors do block/throttle - that way everything is out in the open

  • CaptainW
  • over 7 years ago

They are quite correct in what they say lol, they have just slowed it down period despite apparently having speeded it up. It can only happen in Broadband , in no other comodity would it be considered acceptable. Perhaps Mandy Pandy can sort that one out to lmao.

  • ruskin0
  • over 7 years ago

I have serious doubts about the integrity of the ASA at the moment, BT are having a lot of decisions in their favour, if the ASA did their homework they would find BT shape all customers not just heavy ones.

  • chrysalis
  • over 7 years ago

Coroder1, If your claims are correct then right now, 10:10 on a Sunday, if I did a download on any port other than 80, I would get a maximum of 85% of potential throughput.
My sync is 7150, converting bits to bytes, doing a straight division by 8 so ignoring any control bits, gives a maximum potential throughout of 893.75 KB/s. 85% of this is 759.68 KB/s. So how did the download I just did on port 81 give an average throughput of over 812 KB/s, with peaks at over 880 KB/s ?

  • rasczak
  • over 7 years ago

Chrysalis, as per my last comment, if it is all users how is it that I am not throttled ? You decide if I am a heavy user or not, about 4 GB in the last week, 6 GB this month though I have been more than usual in the last week.

  • rasczak
  • over 7 years ago

Yes - They upgraded me from 40Gbytes/month to 10Gbytes/month. Needless to say, I ditched them.

When getting a MAC code, their call centre said a lot of people had done the same.

Regards

  • DaveCheltenham
  • over 7 years ago

How do Bt get away with their latest ad then?
Don`t they claim other networks slow down at peak times.

  • drone69
  • over 7 years ago

BT latest ad claims other isps slow down at busy times as you said drone96.
Sky are claiming the same thing except in different words.
BT allowed, sky banned.
Still awaiting a reply from the ASA as to how they concluded both decisions differently, when I rang up I was cutoff when I put the question to them.

  • chrysalis
  • over 7 years ago

rasczak did you see the samknows isp tests?

on BT there was obvious shaping of traffic on non port 80 traffic regardless of customer usage.

  • chrysalis
  • over 7 years ago

@billford. who is your isp please?

  • iratepirate
  • over 7 years ago

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