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TalkTalk broadband speed test tool cleaned up after ASA ruling

TalkTalk has had to make some changes to its broadband speed test tool after a complaint was sent to the Advertising Standards Authority.

In December 2011, TalkTalk’s speed checker told a customer that “Your estimated speed 3.8 Meg. Your estimated speed range is between 2.1 and 5.3meg.”

The complainant, already a TalkTalk customer, had been informed that the maximum speed available to him was less than 2.1Mbps, so the speed checker in this instance was misleading.

TalkTalk says it’s complying with Ofcom’s Voluntary Code of Practice on broadband speeds, which states that ISPs must provide speed tests so customers can find out “in a clear and easily accessible manner, what their estimated access line speed is”.

TalkTalk broadband speed test tool cleaned up after ASA ruling

TalkTalk’s site includes a section which details how the speed checker calculates speed estimates which reads:

“The speed check results we have provided are an estimate based upon the speeds we have measured across all of our broadband customers. The actual speed you achieve could be higher or lower than the estimate we have provided.”

This, according to the ASA, isn’t/wasn’t prominent enough, meaning that results of the speed test could give customers unrealistic expectations of download speeds. The ASA ruling means that TalkTalk had to make changes to the way it presented information.

TalkTalk’s speed checker page currently asks you to plug your test PC/laptop directly into the router, plug the router in the master socket and turn off Wi-Fi – all sensible conditions for making an accurate broadband speed test.

TalkTalk’s speed checker uses the same Ookla speed test tool which powers Recombu Digital’s very own broadband speed tester. The test will give you download and upload speeds along with tips on how to improve your speed. In any rate it’s good to do a number of tests and work out an average speed – don’t just do one speed test and think that you’ll constantly get these download and upload speeds. TalkTalk recommends that you do at least three tests.

Ofcom’s Code also states that ISPs should offer this to customers prior to anything else during sign-up, something which doesn’t happen 100 per cent of the time over the phone…

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