The majority of UK consumers find the advertising of broadband speeds to be misleading, according to new research.
80 per cent - four in five - of 2,000 consumers interviewed said the way broadband speeds are advertised was misleading
58 per cent believed the claims made to be 'very misleading' while 22 per cent said they were 'somewhat misleading'.
The survey, by Ofcom-accredited broadband comparison site cable.co.uk, revealed that consumers believe at least two thirds (66 per cent) of consumers should be able to receive the top speed in order for it to be legitimately used in advertising.
However, current guidelines permit broadband providers to advertise 'up to' speeds that are achievable by only 10 per cent of customers.
It was those aged over 45 who were most likely to consider broadband advertising misleading, with 65 per cent stating they find the current system 'very misleading' and 20 per cent 'somewhat misleading'.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has called for a change to the way broadband speeds are advertised to ensure consumers are not misled, and the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) is currently reviewing its guidance to advertisers on broadband speed claims. CAP is due to publish a report later this year.
Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms expert at Cable.co.uk, said: "Broadband remains the only service you can buy without knowing what it is you're actually going to get.
"Currently, you have to find yourself in the bottom 10% speed-wise in order to exit a 12 or 18-month contract without paying substantial cancellation fees. It's a shocking state of affairs that the ASA is quite rightly looking into carefully.”