Broadband News

BT has wrists slapped over responsive Infinity advert

BT has been struck down three times over a series of TV adverts broadcast back in October 2015 which made various claims about gaming performance, video calling and comparisons between Infinity and Sky services.

For once we recommend reading the adjudication which has a raft of detail presented by BT to substantiate their claims and largely it seems Clearcast was happy with the information but the ASA actually rejected the data or the way it was presented. One interesting point is that as UK broadband connections get faster and maybe more stable is that to claim better gaming performance the difference has to be noticeable, i.e. not just shown in data but be noticeable to a human, or put another way gaming on a Gigabit FTTH connection is unlikely to be noticeably different to a good FTTC connection. Certainly in some rulings providers lose because almost no supporting data is provided, but in this case SamKnows testing, academic papers and other information was used to back up the claims.

BT does appear to have looked carefully at the issues around gaming, and identified upstream jitter as a key element, something that can be problematic for the shared nature of DOCSIS networks at times, and we have seen people leaving Virgin Media for this reason in the past, the problem is proving this all at a level that the ASA will be happy with, and that jitter bad enough to cause gaming issues can be a very localised problem.

One bit of advise for gamers, no matter how good your Wi-Fi router you will always be better off connecting your games console or PC using an Ethernet cable direct to the broadband router - though don't tell your mates as you can then blame the neighbours microwave for getting you killed in a game by causing a blip in the Wi-Fi signal.


The last ASA adjudication proved they couldn't cope with distinctions between traffic management amongst many users (bad) and QoS management when you overload your own line.

Is this another sign of a dumbed-down result? An ASA that can't cope with complexity?

I'll have to read the full adjudication when I've a decent amount of time to see the intricacies here...

  • WWWombat
  • over 4 years ago

Of course the true online real-time gaming fanatic will have moved to a different part of the country (or, even world) to optimise those latency figures...

nb. that's only slightly joking. High frequency traders to, very specifically, look at the best place to put their servers to optimise latency for their online trading.

  • TheEulerID
  • over 4 years ago

Interesting adjudication, One person says their experience of Virgin and BT is the same. ASA looks at copious BT evidence and decides it doesn't cover all possible circumstances, complaint upheld ( No evidence required from complainant)
2nd complaint is upheld as BT evidence referred to "peak hours only, rather than the overall performance of the service"
3rd is upheld due to lack of confidance intervals for the data.
Looks like every ad I have ever seen should be pulled on these. ( and many scientific papers as well!)

  • jumpmum
  • over 4 years ago

Bt and not surprisingly ASA appear to have overlooked one key factor in gaming performance, that being the min/average latency, the lower usually the better experience based on actual findings, and this can be impacted by Who the ISP peers with and how, as this can be directly or via a 3rd party,then there is routing to consider BT are renowned for having odd ball routing in the uk on it's own network, jitter levels do play apart they aren't the whole story

  • tommy45
  • over 4 years ago

Yeah, I left BT several years ago for Sky due to their weird routing. I'm in London. I was with Be ADSL, getting 5-6ms to BBC. Moved to FTTC and was getting 20ms to BBC, and the traceroute revealed some strange hops in possibly Sheffield. Interleaving wasn't a factor. Moved over to Sky FTTC and it was immediately 6ms and has remained thus for several years. I dunno what BT are doing but it was enough for me to move on.

  • driz
  • over 4 years ago

The first move was to BT FTTC if that wasn't clear!

  • driz
  • over 4 years ago

Different issue, but the speed of the needle of the speedtest dial on the current BT TV advert is simply dishonest: I have 72MB with ZEN, and have never seen any speedometer accelerate like that!

  • robbiemurray
  • over 4 years ago

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