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Summary:

[qi:058] The UK telecommunication regulatory agency Ofcom has issued its own broadband bill of rights — perhaps we should call it the broadband Magna Carta? Starting today, British Internet service providers that have signed up to the code have to tell customers which speeds they can […]

[qi:058] The UK telecommunication regulatory agency Ofcom has issued its own broadband bill of rights — perhaps we should call it the broadband Magna Carta? Starting today, British Internet service providers that have signed up to the code have to tell customers which speeds they can realistically expect over their broadband connections, rather than the maximum potential speeds offered. This is something we have called for in the past as part of our own consumer-friendly broadband reform, so I’m happy to see ISPs jumping on board — even if they are overseas.

Participation in the code is voluntary, but providers covering 95 percent of the UK population have signed up, according to Ofcom. ISPs must also disclose bandwidth caps and when customers might be nearing such caps. Additionally, those participating in the code need to allow customers to downgrade their service plan without penalty if the speeds don’t match up. Customers can use a test they find online or one provided by the ISP to determine their broadband speeds. Such efforts at transparency are a good first step to making broadband better. AT&T and Comcast, let’s see your proposals.

  1. Glad to see Zen Internet have signed up – I’ve used them for a couple of years after having a really bad time with two ISPs…Not only do they have better bandwith caps for even their lower speed service (e.g. 20Gb for 2-8Mb speed), but they also email me to let me know when I’ve reach 50% of my monthly data.

    It’s shocking how many people are still signing up for deals in the UK which will get you broadband, but will mean you hit your limit after a view visits to any online video. There really needs to be a minimum data amount set for ISPs, and work towards increasing the minimum speeds available if you’re not lucky to live next to a telephone exchange in London, or have cable available.

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  2. Glad to see Zen Internet have signed up – I’ve used them for a couple of years after having a really bad time with two ISPs…Not only do they have better bandwith caps for even their lower speed service (e.g. 20Gb for 2-8Mb speed), but they also email me to let me know when I’ve reach 50% of my monthly data.

    It’s shocking how many people are still signing up for deals in the UK which will get you broadband, but will mean you hit your limit after a view visits to any online video. There really needs to be a minimum data amount set for ISPs, and work towards increasing the minimum speeds available if you’re not lucky to live next to a telephone exchange in London, or have cable available.

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  3. This will be an interesting subject to follow. To me, it sounds similar to how text plans are sold here. I had to clarify several times when I got my iPhone, that no, I did not want a text plan at all. I send emails, not texts and can surely afford to fork over the 20 cents or whatever the fee was when I do. I would love to be able to choose a lower tier plan that matches my actual usage pattern. I hardly think that emails, research, reading blogs and uploading low-res photos to Flickr uses much bandwith at all.

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