By Jason Theodorou

Tests conducted by Ofcom found customers on Orange and BT broadband have received less than one third of the speeds which they were paying for during peak times.

Ofcom’s research has shown that the gap between speeds advertised by providers, and the actual speeds experienced by customers, has doubled from 3m/bits to 6.3 mbit/s. This represents only 46% of the speed paid for by consumers.

Ofcom is expected to bring in a voluntary code across the industry, giving some customers the right to leave a contract with their ISP if their speed is not falling within an acceptable range.

Government watchdog Consumer Focus stressed that Ofcom must closely monitor the conduct of ISPs and ensure that this code is enforced, and accused ISPs of promoting a ‘Ferrari style service, but providing push bike speeds’.

Clodagh Murphy, Director of Eclipse Internet, said: ‘ We have long championed the move towards better informing customers about the services they are buying, and being realistic about line speeds is a key part of this’.

‘As the current industry standard description of the two main ADSL networks is “up to 8Mbps” and “up to 24Mbps”, it’s never been more important for websites and sales teams to ensure absolute clarity on actual performance’.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has recently scaled back a commitment to a nationwide broadband service of 2mbit/s, which was originally going to go live in 2012 but will now be delayed until 2015. The coalition Government has
promised that the UK will have the ‘best broadband network in Europe’.