Ofcom wants to give Britons the right to cancel their broadband when speed guarantees are broken

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/10/09/next-kill-openreach.html


The most deceptive thing is this: I have a 150Mbit/s unlimited link which is usually over 50Mbit/s. BT keep sending me adverts offering “infinity” broadband which is only max 40/typical 8-20Mbit/s, for “only” £25 a month - with a 20Gbyte cap!
From what I’m finding some people do not understand what this means and get hit with large penalty charges periodically.
Speed is less of an issue than hidden gotchas.

1 Like

A new consultation by the UK telcoms regulator Ofcom will require ISPs to match the speeds they advertise, and if they fail to do so, customers will get the right to unilaterally cancel their broadband subscriptions without penalty

And then what? If the competition is no better at delivering the promised speeds then ultimately all you’re doing is inconveniencing yourself. What if the alternative is more expensive?

I would say it makes more sense for the telecom to discount a person’s bill whenever the speed delivered does not match what a person is paying for, and perhaps give someone the ability to leave for another company should they wish to do so.


I’m sure Ofcom’s plan won’t get derailed in Parliament, and everything will work out in favor of the consumer.


That’s a nice start, but it’s totally worthless when that provider is the only one in the state tha-…

Oh, this isn’t in the US, where we have third-world speeds backed up by regional monopolies? Where the FCC is trying to downgrade the very definition of “broadband” to match what paltry infrastructure those monopolies are willing to invest in? Well, fuck me.


I was lucky never to have BT as my phone provider (Hull had its own independent municipal phone provider - maybe they still do), so maybe I have less cause to hate them than most people, but aren’t they going to be overloaded with irate customers whose problem is not their line’s bandwidth but the fact that they are using shitty routers, or bandwidth-halving extenders, or otherwise are responsible for their own problems?

Yeah, hull is it’s own special kind of weird for telecoms. Having worked helldesk, I’d say the answer to your question is, yes, definitely. my broadband-getting advice for the UK is, if you can, get cable.

1 Like

Andrews and Arnold may not be able to send more bits over Openreach’s shitty copper, but at least they won’t lie to you about it.


I :heart: A&A!

Regrettably, the favorite weasel words are ‘up to’.

When i moved to my current place in July the cable/internet tech was really forthcoming and helpful, he told me that for AT&T (in my area at least) the low tier internet there’s wiggle room in what the internet speed is but for the other tiers you get what you pay for and the range on the high/low end of the speed had tighter tolerances so if they tell you you’re getting a certain speed it’s supposed to be quite close. Could just be BS to encourage people to spend more.

Then again, i have the cheaper tier and happy with it for the most part. I don’t care to pay more for internet at the moment unless i were to get gigabit through a company i trust more like Google.

People should have he right to cancel for any reason at any time.

Don’t want to pay for water? You just stop using it. Don’t want to pay for electricity? Turn everything off. But good luck cancelling cable without spending four hours on the phone arguing over fees only to be charged anyway for whatever they want with no recourse.

When I first moved there I was told they still had wooden switching equipment in some of the exchanges.

1 Like

I’m far from convinced there’s anything to recommend the UK model over the US model. Ultimately, wherever you live, you’re unlikely to have more than one network physically connected to your home (it’s doubtful you’d even want to, all things considered).

If that one network is shitty, what can you do? In the US, you complain to the monopoly and they shrug and suggest you try somewhere else lol. In the UK, you complain to your ISP and they shrug and say that it’s up to BT to fix it. Or maybe, if you pay more, they send you flowers, and apologise profusely, and tell you it’s up to BT to fix it.

It seems like it’d be better if the monopoly were publicly owned, and answerable directly to an elected government. But of course that’s impossible, because private companies are so much more efficient, because of all the competition.

The couple of times i’ve had to cancel internet i lied and said where i was moving that company did not offer services. I also had free cable TV for a year as part of a promotion and when i canceled it the operator started to give me the runaround. I told her i quite literally never watch tv and never used it, she didn’t have a good reply to that and proceeded to cancel the service.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.