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Virgin Media to publish monthly broadband speeds

In an attempt to counter what it claims is misleading advertising by rivals about headline broadband speeds, UK cable operator Virgin Media has said it will publish its typical broadband speeds each month.

Citing research from ICM that found that two thirds of UK consumers were frustrated by ISPs routinely failing to deliver on advertised promises, and that 93% wanted to see advertising rules changed to prevent claims being made that failed to match real world experience of the service provided, Virgin Media said it would publish the typical average speeds its customers receive each month across its 10Mbps, 20Mbps and 50Mbps services at virginmedia.com/speedhonesty. Virgin Media defines the typical speed as the average speed received by 66% of customers over 24 hours.

Jon James, executive director of broadband at Virgin Media said: “People are paying for faster and faster broadband but being ripped off by unscrupulous providers who can’t deliver their promised speeds to even a single customer. A change in advertising is urgently needed to build consumer confidence in super-fast broadband and the industry more generally. In the meantime, I hope other ISPs will quickly follow Virgin Media’s lead by disclosing their own monthly performance data so people can make an informed decision about how to spend their money.”

Regulator Ofcom has recently issued a revised code of practice in relation to speed claims at the point of sale of broadband services, but not in relation to advertising.