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Clearer information on broadband speeds to come

Clearer information on broadband speeds to come

Category: Broadband

Updated: 15/03/2011
First Published: 14/03/2011

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Broadband customers will soon be able to access clearer information on how internet service providers (ISPs) slow down connection speeds.

ISPs have long slowed down internet speeds – particularly during busy periods of internet usage – to make sure their network continues to operate smoothly.

Heavy users who may typically stream large amounts of video content via their broadband connection can also sometimes have their speeds limited in a practice known as throttling.

A new code of practice has will mean that Sky, BT, Virgin Media, Three, Vodafone and O2 will provide information on what traffic techniques they use to slow down connections.

The code, which been drawn up by the Broadband Stakeholder Group, will make clear what impact the practices have on specific internet packages offered by the companies.

"There has been more heat than light in the debate about traffic management over recent years," Antony Walker, chief executive of the Broadband Stakeholder Group, said.

"This commitment to provide clear and comparable information in a common format is very important. It will not only help to ensure consumers are better informed about the services they buy and use, but will also provide a clearer picture for policy makers of the way in which traffic management is actually used in the UK market."

The pilot scheme, which will be reviewed early next year will once again bring the arguments for and against a two-tier internet into focus.

It is thought that many ISPs would favour a system whereby people can pay more for their connection that is not interrupted.

However, critics have argued that people left on the old system would see their levels of service decline and possibly their speeds fall.

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