Broadband advert rule changes come into effect

Broadband suppliers will now have to show upfront and monthly costs, without separating out line rental prices, according to the changes brought in by the Advertising Standards Authority, reports The BBC.

The rules were originally due to be implemented in May, but firms asked for more time to comply with the changes.

The ASA said customers were now less likely to be misled by adverts.

“The effect should be a real positive difference in how consumers understand and engage with ads for broadband services,” said ASA chief executive Guy Parker.

The move comes after research by the ASA, conducted with regulator Ofcom last year, found that most users could not correctly calculate bills based on the information given in a selection of broadband ads.

People were “likely to be confused and misled” by price claims in the adverts, the ASA found.

To comply with the new rules, broadband providers will now have to:

  • Show all-inclusive, upfront and monthly costs, with no separating out of line rental prices
  • Give greater prominence to the contract length and any post-discount pricing
  • Give greater prominence to upfront costs

Digital and culture minister Culture Matt Hancock welcomed the ASA’s move.

“Making broadband providers show all-inclusive, upfront prices in their advertisements means consumers will be much better placed to make an informed choice when deciding on a service,” he added.