Guest Blog – Fighting for full fibre

Posted on Aug 01 2018 by Guest | Comments Off on Guest Blog – Fighting for full fibre
Vicky Read

Vicky Read, CityFibre

Our colleagues at CityFibre are taking the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) to court over the use of ‘fibre’ in advertising for part-fibre or ‘hybrid’ broadband connections, arguing that this term misleads consumers and will risk millions missing out on the benefits of “full fibre”, just at the point these enhanced networks at set to be built across the country. This action has been sanctioned by the High Court, who have granted permission for CityFibre to take the ASA’s original ruling to judicial review.

Victoria Read, Senior Policy and Public Affairs Manager at CityFibre explains why this legal challenge is so important for the channel and consumers and the potential impact that could be felt if the rules are not changed.

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New broadband advertising proposals – clearer or even more confusing?

Posted on May 15 2017 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on New broadband advertising proposals – clearer or even more confusing?
Categories : Advertising, Broadband, Fibre

CAP (Committees of Advertising Practice) has opened a public consultation seeking views on 4 new proposals to strengthen the current broadband speed advertising guidelines. We’re pleased to see CAP take this approach but we still have some concerns over their practicality and potential impact.

The consultation will last for 10 weeks, closing on 13th July 2017 and the options they propose (whilst also stating they are open to suggestions) are to base all broadband speed claims on:

  • Peak-time median download speed
  • 24-hour national median download speed
  • Range of peak-time download speeds available to the 20th to 80th percentile of users
  • Range of 24-hour national download speeds available to the 20th to 80th percentile of users

They also encourage the provider to direct consumers towards more specific broadband speed estimators to receive a more accurate idea of the speed actually achievable on their line.

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Will rural customers be left out in the cold again?

Posted on Jan 31 2017 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Will rural customers be left out in the cold again?

Just when we thought things were looking up for rural customers suffering from low speeds and poor service with the Government’s 10Mbps USO plans, it looks like a spanner has been thrown into the works by Sky Broadband’s new advertising approach.

It was recently reported by ISPReview.co.uk that Sky Broadband has changed their Internet access packages and will no longer sell broadband (of any type) to customers unable to support a Minimum Access Line Speed (MALS) of 2Mbps.

Why? Well, this news follows recent changes to the providers’ advertising approach where they now promote average speeds as opposed to the more prevalent ‘up to’ speed approach used by the majority of the industry (including Sky previously).

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Poll: What do you think of the new ASA advertising rules regarding pricing?

Posted on Feb 17 2016 by Claire Dutton-Merrills | Comments Off on Poll: What do you think of the new ASA advertising rules regarding pricing?

Following a brief study into customers’ understanding of advertised broadband pricing, the ASA plans to impose a new set of rules in May that will change how all ISPs advertise pricing of services. We discussed the plans in detail in our article Are the ASA and Ofcom ignoring the UK’s smaller ISPs yet again? but now we want to know how you feel about the proposed changes. Do you think that what’s good for the consumer is good for the industry, or do the proposals need re-thinking to better reflect the industry as a whole? Let us know by participating in our poll and/or leaving a comment below.   


 

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Are the ASA and Ofcom ignoring the UK’s smaller ISPs yet again?

Posted on Jan 26 2016 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Are the ASA and Ofcom ignoring the UK’s smaller ISPs yet again?

News broke late last week that the ASA’s (Advertising Standards Authority) and Ofcom’s recent joint study into customers’ understanding of advertised broadband pricing has found it is ‘likely to mislead’ customers and in response they plan to impose a number of changes on all ISPs from 30th May 2016.

The suggested changes are as follows:

– Advertise all-inclusive up-front and monthly costs; no more separating out line rental

– Greater prominence for the contract length and any post-discount pricing

– Greater prominence for up-front costs

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Is the Which? fight for broadband speed guarantees right?

Posted on Jun 24 2015 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Is the Which? fight for broadband speed guarantees right?

Last year we discussed the campaign being led by ‘Which?’ demanding guaranteed broadband speeds and slating a number of the larger ISPs for not delivering what their headline advertised speeds promised. Unfortunately, whilst we ISP types are well aware that it’s simply not that easy to ‘guarantee’ broadband speeds, Which? has reignited its campaign and whilst its intentions are good, the demands simply aren’t feasible.

Based on a recent report from Ofcom which sampled approx. 2000 connections Which? has used the findings to further promote its campaign to convince the ASA to change the current advertising guidelines governing broadband speeds. Currently, ISPs are required to advertise headline speed claims based on actual speeds achieved by at least 10% of their customer base. Which? argues that this recent survey shows ISPs are not conforming to these guidelines, which the ISPs dispute. It is also demanding a tougher ‘majority’ based calculation, wants providers to back up arguably generic statements such as ‘superfast’ with actual speed information and requests a crackdown by regulators on confusing adverts.

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Meet the author – Darren Farnden

Posted on Apr 17 2015 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Meet the author – Darren Farnden
Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

It’s time to introduce Entanet’s Head of Marketing and keen Opinion author, Darren Farnden…

How long have you worked at Entanet?

I started at Entanet in April 2006 so 9 years now.

 What are your key responsibilities within the business and what are your areas of expertise?

I run Entanet’s small but truly dynamic marketing team. A member of the management team, I’m responsible for ensuring we translate the company’s strategic direction into a plan that supports the business internally and our channel partners externally. This means we take ownership of everything from maintaining a high profile in the market, providing our own sales team and also partners with support and intelligence to help them sell, right through to communication with existing partners and attracting new ones and nurturing their interest. We’re sometimes fondly known as the colouring in department but we know we’d be missed.

With regards to opinion, which topics do you usually cover and why?

I cover quite a range of subjects – obviously anything directly linked to marketing such as the growing opportunities for resellers in social media, adhering to connectivity advertising rules and several of our selling related guides and eBooks. I’ve also previously discussed the Government’s plans to tackle copyright infringement through the controversial DEA and most recently discussed the pros and cons of classifying broadband as a utility.

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Is the upload speed REALLY important?

Posted on Nov 24 2014 by Darren Farnden | 1 Comment

ISPs’ controversial headline speed adverts pretty much exclusively focus on broadband download speeds. After all, that’s what the customers are really interested in, isn’t it?! Not according to ISPReview.co.uk, who recently ran a poll of their readers that found that almost 25% rated upload speed as ‘very important’. So, should ISPs be providing this information more readily?

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

In fairness, ISPreview.co.uk’s readers are probably a bit more tech savvy than many broadband users and therefore are more aware of the increasingly important role upload speeds play in their day to day Internet usage habits. So, are customers really concerned with (or even aware of) the importance of their upload speed?

Changing Internet usage habits

That depends on how they use their Internet connection. If they are using it to support an application that is reliant on two-way data transfer such as VoIP or video conferencing or predominantly upload based such as FTP, then they are likely to be more aware of the importance of a good upload speed. Even in the residential broadband market, where customers are uploading more and more information (e.g. photos) to social media sites or online gaming for example, they will be significantly aware of the impact a faster upload speed can have. Alternatively, if they are predominantly downloading information it may be a less important factor to them.

However, with market trends showing an increasing adoption of hosted services and analysts predicting significant growth in things like the IoT and connected devices, surely upload speed is set to become increasingly important to everyone’s day to day Internet usage.

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Broadband Speed Guarantees – Oh come on Which? get real!

Posted on Nov 18 2014 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | 5 Comments

Which? have once again called for broadband speed guarantees for customers, demonstrating their continued lack of understanding of the complexity of this issue and the multi-tier structure of the broadband delivery market – including Openreach’s critical role in fault resolution.

Back in March, they called on all ISPs to provide a ‘broadband speed guarantee’ which would provide customers with written speed ‘estimates’ at the start of the contract; allow customers to exit contracts without penalty if that speed isn’t achieved (so, actually they want a ‘guarantee’ not an ‘estimate’); fix loss of connection as quickly as possible; refund people for loss of service; and remove the jargon and ‘take responsibility’ for fixing problems. All in all, they wanted a basic SLA for broadband providing guarantees and compensation.

Their latest survey of over 2000 UK adults reportedly found that only 5% of people agreed that broadband speed is advertised in the clearest way and 88% agreed that speed was the second most important factor when choosing a broadband deal (after price). This has led Which? to re-issue their calls for a ‘broadband speed guarantee’ although in fairness, this time they appear to have dropped the request for early contract exit options where the speed provided isn’t achieved.

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The A-Z of industry issues (part 2)

Posted on Jul 02 2014 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on The A-Z of industry issues (part 2)

Here it is, what you’ve all been waiting for……the second part of our A-Z, or should that be K-Z of industry issues!

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

K – Kids and protecting them online

How do we effectively protect our children online? Where does parental responsibility end and parental controls begin? It’s a fine balancing act and an important one. Whilst we commend the largest consumer focused ISPs for providing free parental controls to help guard against unsuitable material for minors, it’s not the end of the story. This needs to be backed up with education and parental responsibility. This site contains some useful advice: http://www.saferinternet.org/safer-internet-day.

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