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- Welcomes the Ofcom Consumer Panel’s endorsement of the aims of its Crystal Clear Broadband Campaign -

Computeractive magazine welcomes the recommendations announced today by Ofcom’s Consumer Panel to address the issue of broadband speeds. The proposals put forward very closely echo the aims laid out by the Crystal Clear Broadband Campaign when it launched in September. Computeractive called on ISPs to drop the controversial “up to” clause when advertising broadband speeds and to confirm actual performance level before the consumer commits to a contract.

Two of the key issues raised by the Computeractive Crystal Clear Broadband Campaign have been addressed in the Consumer Panel’s proposals for regulating the domestic broadband industry. It’s suggested code of practice would ensure that:

• ISPs are obliged to outline the theoretical speed at the point of sale.

• Following installation ISPs should contact the customer to clarify the actual speed their phone line is able to support.

• Customers should have the freedom to change package or provider should the service level not meet the theoretical speed as agreed in the contract.

The Crystal Clear Broadband Campaign developed out of a study by Computeractive in August. The magazine surveyed 3,000 readers and found that more than half were receiving less than fifty percent of the maximum speed advertised by their ISP. The campaign has resonated with consumers and since the it began more than 9,500 people have signed the petition on the10 Downing Street website calling for tighter regulation by Ofcom.

In October the Ofcom Consumer Panel wrote to each of the UK’s six leading ISPs in October due to widespread consumer discontent about the “up to” clause.

"At the launch of Computeractive’s Crystal Clear Broadband Campaign we asked Ofcom to prompt ISPs to offer greater transparency in their advertising and to provide some redress for consumers who are contracted to services that are significantly and consistently slower than the advertised maximum” said Paul Allen, editor of Computeractive. “I'm delighted to see both issues addressed in the Consumer Group’s proposals and welcome Ofcom’s acknowledgement that our campaign was an important trigger for their proposals ”

Allen added: “All that is missing from the proposals is a standard speed test, endorsed by Ofcom. Customers should be able to monitor their broadband performance rather than rely on their ISP to provide this information. In the meantime, all consumers can continue to use Computeractive's free speed test application, which can be downloaded from www.computeractive.co.uk/campaign.”

About the Crystal Clear Broadband Campaign
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Computeractive magazine, the UK’s best selling home computing title, launched the Crystal Clear Broadband campaign to challenge the communications regulator Ofcom and the broadband industry to improve clarity in broadband contracts for UK internet users.

The key aims of Computeractive Crystal Clear Broadband campaign are:
• To lobby Ofcom to oblige ISPs to provide clear information about the actual speed customers are likely to receive in the form of a 'typical rate', much like that published by credit card and loan providers
• To ensure that ISPs are required to provide this information clearly before the consumer commits to the contract
• To encourage Ofcom to provide an independent speed testing service for consumers, so they can compare advertised maximum rates against actual speed

Computeractive has been working to bring this issue to the attention of Government by posting a Parliamentary petition calling on the Prime Minister to instruct Ofcom to force ISPs to advertise a typical rate for broadband subscriptions, not just a theoretical 'maximum' rate. A link to this petition is included on the Crystal Clear Broadband Campaign website at www.computeractive.co.uk/campaign

Notes to editors:
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Additional information about the Crystal Clear Broadband campaign can be found at www.computeractive.co.uk/campaign, this includes a link to the online petition.

A panel of Computeractive readers from around the country are available for telephone interviews to discuss their broadband experiences

Further resources for media, including campaign logos, this release and photos of spokespeople can be found at www.computeractive.co.uk/campaign/press

Broadbandchoices.co.uk provided the Speed Test tool and analysed the results.

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About Computeractive
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• Computeractive is a fortnightly title, with a circulation of 216,031. The cover price is £1.49 and the magazine is available throughout the UK or by subscription.
• Computeractive is published by Incisive Media. More information is available at www.computeractive.co.uk

For more information, contact:
Andy Riley (for Computeractive) AxiCom UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 8392 4073,
Email: andy.riley@axicom.com

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of AxiCom in the following categories: Home & Garden, Consumer Technology, Media & Marketing, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.