Be gets wrists slapped over speed claims

UK broadband operator Be Unlimited, which was acquired by O2 last year, has been slapped down over misleading advertising of its 24Mbps ADSL2+ service.

Rival operator NTL and a member of the public complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over a press ad for Be’s “up to 24 Meg broadband” offering.

The complainants believed that the advertised speed would be unattainable to most users because the further the distance from the exchange, the more the service suffered from severe signal attenuation.

The ASA upheld the complaint and said that in future ads Be is to advise that top speeds vary significantly, in particular because of a user’s distance from their local exchange.

“Although we accepted that speeds of less than 24 Mbps were unlikely to meaningfully affect the users’ overall experience of the service so long as they were over 8 Mbps, we considered that some consumers would reasonably expect to achieve speeds in the range of the headline speed and might feel misled if they could only achieve speeds of around 8 Mbps,” the authority said.

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