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 BT And Virgin Media Battle Over Broadband Campaign

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PostSubject: BT And Virgin Media Battle Over Broadband Campaign   Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:22 pm

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This week, Virgin Media continued its offensive against misleading broadband advertising, with the start of a new website called Stop the Broadband Con.

Virgin reckons that according to a survey ICM was commissioned to carry out, over 90% of respondents believed that “up to” broadband speeds were misleading, as the reality of such headline speeds is many broadband connections don’t get anywhere near them.

The Stop the Broadband Con site provides a link to speedtest.net, to allow consumers to test their own broadband connection, and it also hosts a petition calling for change in the advertising regulations.

However, BT has had a pop at Virgin over the campaign, calling the company hypocritical to a degree. According to IT Pro, BT said: “Virgin has pitched to customers: ‘You’re not getting the broadband you are paying for.’ However, it is the only ISP that charges based on speed, e.g. up to 10Mbps, 20Mbps, 50Mbps. In fact, in some areas of the site broadband is described simply as ’10Mbps’ or ’20Mbps’.”

Although in fairness to Virgin, it does actually publish its real world speeds on a monthly basis on its website. And those speeds are generally very close to that headline figure, unlike ADSL connections which are sometimes way off depending on phone line quality and distance from the exchange.

On the latter issue, BT also points out that Virgin supplies mainly densely populated areas, whereas BT tries to hook up further out communities (customers that Virgin “doesn’t want”), which brings its speed average down (due to the aforementioned long distance problem).

BT also claimed that most consumers understand what an “up to” speed means in plain English, although that doesn’t change the fact that according to that ICM survey, the vast majority believe that such figures are still misleading.
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