Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 9th March 2018.

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Photo of Luke Hall Luke Hall Conservative, Thornbury and Yate

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that internet service providers supply customers with the internet speeds that they have advertised.

Photo of Margot James Margot James The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

On 1 March 2018, Ofcom announced a strengthening of their codes of practice on better broadband speeds information. Under the new requirements, providers will have to give customers, at the point of sale, a minimum guaranteed speed and more realistic speed estimates at peak times. If a customer's broadband speed falls below the minimum guaranteed speed, the provider will have a month to improve speed, after which customers will have the right to exit their contract without paying a penalty. The right to exit will also apply, for the first time, to landline and TV packages purchased with the broadband services. The new requirements will apply from 1 March 2019.

Ofcom’s announcement follows the Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) announcement in November last year that numerical speed claims should be based on the download speed available to at least 50% of customers at peak time and described as “average”. The previous position was that advertised “up to” speeds should be available to at least 10% of customers. The ASA’s guidance will take effect on 23 May 2018 after a six-month implementation period, and will apply to residential broadband services.

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