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Broadband providers should be obliged to advertise speeds in the same way that loan advertisements detail actual percentage rates and repayments, with a ‘typical speed achieved’

Michael Phillips, Product Director, said:

“Ofcom’s report confirms what we have known for some time – consumers aren’t getting the speeds that ISPs are advertising.

Broadband providers should be obliged to advertise speeds in the same way that loan advertisements detail actual percentage rates and repayments, with a ‘typical speed achieved’ rather than a theoretical maximum that no one can receive"

“Our July 2009 customer complaints survey reinforces these findings, where the majority of our respondents indicated that their ISP hadn’t lived up to their claims or the users’ expectations regarding speed performance.”

“This is a big thumbs up for Virgin Media, given their cable network delivered the lowest variance between headline speed and actual speed.”

“And on a positive note, the best of the non-cable ISPs in Ofcom’s research – O2 and Sky – came top in our annual customer satisfaction survey for best overall ISP and best bundled supplier respectively.”

“Ofcom’s Code of Practice should mean that consumers enduring speeds significantly lower than those advertised can insist their ISP places them on a cheaper package. Customers need to exercise their rights”

“Ofcom's findings demonstrate that a first and second class culture of broadband users is emerging. Rural users are continuing to get a raw deal, with Ofcom’s findings showing that in addition to paying more than their urban counterparts, rural users also have to endure considerably slower broadband speeds."

If you are unhappy with your broadband speed, follow’s top tips to speeding up your connection:

1. Test your speed – If you haven’t already done so, use a speed tester to measure the level at which your broadband connection is currently running. This will allow you to see what difference the following suggestions make to your speed. Find one at

2. It’s good to talk – If you are not getting what you expected from your ISP, then give them a call. You may be able to boost your connection speed simply by asking them if there is anything they can do to help.

3. Reposition your router – The position of your router can have a significant effect on the quality of your wireless connection. Place it in an area where the signal will be affected by as few obstructions and little interference as possible. For example, away from appliances which emit wireless signals (e.g. cordless phones) and avoiding barriers (such as walls and doors) between the router and your computer.

4. Disable P2P software – Whilst TV download applications such as BBC iPlayer and 4 On Demand are great for entertainment, they are not so great for your connection speed. These applications often continue to run in the background even when you think you’ve turned them off as they continually upload and download – this will not only slow you down but can also use up your download allowance. To avoid this, check the settings and set the programme to ‘no peer to peer,’ so it wont run when you are not using it.

5. Traffic jams – The time of day at which you go online can greatly affect connection speeds. When lots of people are trying to access the internet at the same time there is increased traffic on the physical phone lines and also each website’s servers. Heaviest traffic is usually in the evenings, so to benefit from the fastest speeds you should try to surf when internet traffic is low, generally in the day time or very late at night. If you have heavy downloading to do, you will get the fastest download speeds during off-peak periods.

6. Switch – After all these measures, if your current package still isn’t giving you the speed you want, it may be time to switch. The speed you will be able to achieve does depend on some factors outside your control – such as your distance from the telephone exchange. Evaluate the time and money needed to improve on your current connection and decide for yourself if I is worth an upgrade. Use our Ofcom accredited comparison calculator at to compare broadband deals and find a more suitable package for you.

For comment, data or case studies contact Polhill Communications on 020 7655 0540

About was launched in 2005 and is the UK’s leading Ofcom accredited broadband comparison calculator.

We offer comprehensive and impartial advice on broadband, mobile broadband and bundled packages (broadband with home phone and digital TV) saving our users over £230 when they switch.

The calculator compares thousands of different combinations of packages and provides results in a clear, intuitive table where users can rank and compare services according to their individual needs. powers over 20 leading comparison services including, and – working hard to save you money

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