Broadband News

New rules on speeds may make leaving harder

One side effect from the new voluntary Broadband Speeds Code of Practice announced on 1st March is that the minimum guaranteed speed (often called MGAL for short) is now designed to take into account the impact of peak time speeds. We believe this means the guaranteed speed will be lower, how much lower will vary from provider to provider, the Ofcom worked example uses a figure of 20% and we expect for most providers not suffering undue amounts of congestion that the drop is likely to be between 5% and 15%.

Under the old rules a customer on an 80/20 GEA-FTTC product where Openreach reported the 80th, 20th and 10th percentiles of lines of similar length as 60 Mbps, 55 Mbps and 40 Mbps respectively, which meant with the minimum guaranteed speed aligned to the 10th percentile the guarantee was set at 40 Mbps. Under the new rules the peak time adjustment will lower this, a 20% drop would give a guarantee of 32 Mbps and a 10% drop a speed of 36 Mbps.

This means that for a large number of lines the new guaranteed figure is lower and while the drop is not massive it will be enough that more people will get the 'you are within the guaranteed range' and provider will wash their hands and do no more.

So yes the right to exit after a 30 day window to fix slow speeds is a lot better and extending the guarantee to more providers is welcome plus extending the get out of jail free card to bundled products purchased when you signed up to the service are all positive. The downside seems to be those who were given a guarantee of 30 Mbps previously might find in the next year this changes to a lower figure, how low will depend on the own providers testing.


It might mean its even more important for speed estimates to be something approaching accurate. My minimum speed guarantee is 500kbps due to the unrealistically low estimate from BTwholesale, my normal speed is with a profile of either 3.5 or 4.0mbps.

  • brianhe
  • about 1 year ago

Would this web site consider having an additional speed test that conforms to the Ofcom "The testing to determine peak time drop must be three HTTP concurrent downloads, and run for 5 seconds after initial ramp"?

  • Michael_Chare
  • about 1 year ago

No doubt sponsored by Openreach.

  • Alucidnation
  • about 1 year ago

Initial ramp up and 5 seconds, already doing that and more for most connections, only provider that may fail on is EE which seem to have a very strange long ramp that can take 4 seconds.

On three tests at same time, well we do 1 and used to do 6, but was increased to 8 to try and negate more of the wireless issues people have when testing on faster services.

So yes a three download test could be run, but don't see the point in doing it, since it does not emulate any particular activity unlike the single test.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 year ago

"New rules on speeds may make leaving harder" Well, yes. But also, maybe "not a problem". If prospective customers are being give a much more accurate estimate of the speeds likely on their own line, they're much less likely to be disappointed. And to be real, for the majority of users the achievable line speeds are going to be similar from most providers - a point that suppliers may not be keen to make clear! But this will still penalize providers whose sales teams are overoptimistic on speeds.

  • davidinnotts
  • about 1 year ago

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