Broadband News

Report looking into digital comparison tools published

The Competition Markets Authority (CMA) has recently published it report on Digital Comparison Tools, or put simply those websites that attempt to sell you life insurance through to broadband.

Where DCTs work well, they can offer a very easy consumer experience and useful comparisons. Among the sectors we studied, this seems to work best in car insurance, where DCTs are well established. It works least well in broadband, where DCTs are not in a position to obtain information that would support better comparisons, such as actual broadband speeds.

Extract from report summary

While we are clear that thinkbroadband is not a comparison site, we think we may have the most extensive broadband package listing pages and with the launch of the new site format earlier in 2017 we made a number of changes to improve the experience for those searching for broadband and when visiting sites where they are a pure comparison tools we can find things such as full fibre services not being highlighted and worse in some cases FTTC (fibre) services being listed for people who have zero VDSL2/FTTP/cable option even after searching by postcode.

The CMA report highlighted issues around actual broadband speeds and we already have a raft of data on this hence the wealth of information in the postcode search on our broadband stats site and this knowledge is used to avoid presenting the fastest FTTC services to those who can only get slower products. Additionally our analysis of speed test results means we can show a raft of information every month on how providers are performing.

One interesting problem and it may be partly behind the comments you see now and then about only being able to order FTTP from BT is that we have found some sites listing operators who don't sell Openreach GEA-FTTP currently and this will lead to people thinking its not available as they drill through to operators with the most attractive prices and BT Consumer being the only one they list - our FTTP filter will have BT Consumer in it but also a number of small to medium operators too. A few examples of the useful filtering we do when searching by postcode follow:

Broadband Package Filter for Gigaclear full fibre
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Sample search showing Gigaclear in package search

Broadband Package Filter for GEA-FTTP full fibre products
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Search showing some of the providers selling Openreach GEA-FTTP

Broadband Package Filter with postcode filter removing fastest FTTC products
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Postcode search where only up to 38 Mbps and up to 52 Mbps options are shown as well the slower ADSL2+ options

With the ever changing broadband picture across the UK it is impossible to be 100% accurate but we always welcome feedback from people so we can investigate and correct where appropriate. For other sites who want to improve their own filtering we do have commercial options to help you filter your own listings, there has to be a price to this since keeping everything as up to date as possible does consume time and resources.


Hi, it is a fabulous report your team have done here. However I have spotted a possible issue with the results for my postcode, not displaying Vodafone who do supply us, well according to Vodafone's website, so how do I report this issue to ThinkBroadband as I can't see any "Contact" link? Please could we have a button on the results page like "Feedback" or "Report Issue"? Thanks, from Alex in Bristol.

  • alexbristol
  • over 2 years ago

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