Broadband News

Ofcom Broadband Speeds Code of Practice to use peak time speeds from March 2019

The Ofcom Broadband Speeds Code of Practice is what means when signing up for broadband you are given an estimated speed range for your service before you have handed over payment details and Ofcom has now published a set of changes with the largest being that providers will from March 2019 under the code be required to show the peak time speeds expected, i.e. a move from line access speed to actual throughput.

The main changes appear to be:

  • Code to apply to all fixed line broadband technologies i.e. ADSL/ADSL2+/VDSL2/Cable and FTTP (full fibre)
  • Peak time throughput speeds for consumer services between 8pm and 10pm to be shown on consumer services
  • Peak time throughput speeds for business services between 12pm and 2pm
  • Peak time speeds based on measurements nationally over a 3 month period
  • 30 calendar day limit to time frame for providers to fix speeds to meet point of sale estimate or allow customer the right to exit contract penalty free
  • Other services bought as part of a bundle at the same time as the broadband can be cancelled penalty free too, e.g. telephone, TV
  • Rights to exit should be more prominently displayed

People may be wondering why the switch to peak time speeds has not been aligned with the advertising changes due on May 2018, but a more usual 12 month period is apparently justified by the fact that Virgin Media and FTTP providers who have not had to do much before will be affected and thus there are things that need to be implemented.

Some important caveats appear in the testing regime, the location that any testing done to arrive at the peak time figures should be to a server that is outside the providers network and representative of ordinary traffic with no prioritisation or routing that optimises speeds.

Virgin Media objected to the shift towards peak time speeds and tried to make the case for retaining a 24 hour average, which given the differences we see between peak and off-peak for Virgin Media customers may have been more about worrying about the code increasing customer churn rather than ensuring the best information was given to customers.

There was some objections to the 30 day limit for providers to fix issues and while one can see that where more capacity needs to be ordered and installed to resolve peak time issues this may not be possible, we can also see the flipside of providers who keep promising to fix things but never actually seem to. If your broadband is significantly under performing then suffering bad speeds for 30 days is a long time.

Comments

I think the article title should refer to "peak-time" speeds, not "peak" speeds (which is something different)

  • AndyLaw
  • 10 months ago

So it should and updated.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 10 months ago

Another long overdue, yet inadequate move by Ofgem. And a year's grace for the cowboys to keep selling speeds they know they can't deliver. In no other field of regulated business are consumers' interests so poorly and inadequately defended, and in no other field has the regulator been as conspicuous by its lack of drive and energy. I think its time to split Ofgem into a technical regulator who manages licencing and spectrum types of issue, and a wholly separate consumer regulator across all regulated industries that has some teeth and wants to use them.

  • Andruser
  • 10 months ago

Time that Ofgem made BTw & BTOR own this problem rather then beating up on ISPs who, like end users are at the mercy of inefficiency and inaction of BT.com These changes are shear madness as it involves a multiplicity of interconnections which are significantly outside of the control of ISPs...
+ Local premises to exchange - this is a very different for ADSL vs ADSL
+ Exchange to ISP PoP backhaul- should be similar for ADLS & VDSL
+ PoP to ISP central servers - the one bit of the solution that the ISP directly owns capacity
+ ISP outbound peering links
Ofcom really are total idiots

  • townman
  • 10 months ago

@Andruser & townman - its Ofcom not Ofgem

@townman - firstly you forgot inside premises post NTE which is completely in the control of the consumer. secondly premises to exchange is Openreach (not BTOR just to be pedantic) and they supply the speeds to the ISP who then are responsible for dimensioning and ordering the backhaul.

  • Gadget
  • 10 months ago

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