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Welcome:   Sky 1 - Virgin 0 (Rematch Tomorrow)

You may have noticed that in the majority of broadband news roundups over the past few months there has been at least one story about one broadband provider complaining about another broadband provider's adverts. That doesn't look to be stopping any time soon:

Virgin has been told off by the Advertising Standards Authority after they brought a complaint to them regarding the most recent Sky ads for unlimited broadband. Virgin argued that Sky cannot claim to have unlimited broadband because the speed of their service was so slow. The ASA pointed out that this was not misleading because most consumers would be aware that the speed of their Internet did not affect whether their service was unlimited or not. They said that consumers know that unlimited refers to the amount of data and not the speed. Meanwhile, Sky brought yet another complaint to the ASA regarding Virgin which they won. This was regarding their ads for TiVo which claim that they offer free activation for everyone. In fact there is an activation charge on some packages. Some members of the public had also complained about this.

The latest Ofcom Communications Market Report has shown that in the UK, mobile phone users are sending more texts than they are making phone calls. The report looks into all methods of communication from postal services through to email and social media. The result showed that there are now 1.4 million superfast broadband connections in the UK and this represent more than 6% of all connections. It is thought this figure will continue to rise as Virgin Media continues its rollout. Twitter is used by just 8% of the population on a daily basis, while postal services for day to day communications are dwindling. Despite this increase in Internet use, the companies which provide it saw a fall in their revenue for the year. It is thought this is due to a fall in wholesale income. Eight out of ten people have access to the Internet with those aged over 54 having the greatest rise in this number. The average person will spend just over 23 hours online each month.

Research from Interxion has shown that one fifth of those questioned are planning on watching the Olympics and other summer sporting events online. Most people said that they would be using their PC to watch the action, while others would be using their tablet computer or their laptop. It is thought that the broadband infrastructure in London will have a pivotal role to play in the execution of this information. The study found that sports fans expect good sound quality, pictures and broadband speed. Greg McCulloch from Interxion has said that more sporting content will be consumed online this summer than ever before with online services being a genuine alternative to sitting in front of the TV. However, 65% of people have admitted they will be watching the summer sport on TV as normal.

Which? has started a new campaign aimed at ensuring that fixed price deals remain at the original cost throughout the term of the contract. Known as the Fixed means Fixed campaign it was started due to an investigation by the consumer watchdog which discovered that some mobile operators have clauses in their contracts which state that they may increase the price of the contract and that 70% of those on a fixed deal had no idea that this was the case. Usually the contract states that price rises can be in line with the retail price index. This means that as long as this threshold is not exceeded, the customer cannot cancel their contract. This clause has meant that Three has increased their fixed price deals by more than 3% and many other operators have done the same in recent months. Richard Lloyd from Which? has commented that customers find themselves trapped in a contract which they cannot get out of and they cannot move to a cheaper provider without a penalty. He says that Ofcom needs to intervene to stop this. † [last update: 18.07.12]

Related External Sources:

Ofcom reveals availability and uptake of superfast broadband in the UK - www.cable.co.uk
Superfast broadband available to 60% of Uk households - www.thinkbroadband.com
Interxion says 20% of summer sports fans will watch online - www.cable.co.uk
Which? Rails against mobile price rises - www.broadbandgenie.co.uk
Virgin scolded by ASA after failing to get Sky unlimited broadband ads banned - www.broadbandgenie.co.uk


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