ASA gives Virgin Media traffic management policy the thumbs up
The changes to the advertising rules for broadband speeds in 2012 has led to changes in the figures advertised by many providers, but Virgin Media was unaffected as through the monitoring by Ofcom they can show that 10% of their customers get speeds above the speeds advertised.
Three complaints, one from a member of the public and one each from BT and Sky were made to the ASA over Virgin Media advertising in relation to the use of 'up to' and the impact of traffic management policies. The complaints were not upheld as by citing Ofcom data and their own monitoring using the same system Virgin Media was able to show that 10% of those monitored got speeds above the advertised levels when averaged over a 24 hour period.
"They said their traffic management policy only impacted a small minority of the very heaviest of their users, whom they believed were technologically informed individuals, aware of traffic management policies, and therefore not average consumers. They believed that their traffic management policy was not a significant factor that impacted the average consumer and that their “up to” claims did therefore not require qualification."Extract from Virgin Media response to ASA
Virgin Media cable broadband services connect at a speed higher than the advertised speed, which means if congestion is at low levels people can easily exceed the speed they bought, this means it is not uncommon to see speed tests of over 100 Mbps from customers on the 100 Mbps speed service. Virgin Media gave the ASA the statistic that the traffic management only affects 2.3% of their customers per day.