ISPs will be penalised by ASA and Ofcom’s broadband ad restrictions – Entanet

Entanet has attacked plans announced by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and Ofcom to impose new restrictions on broadband advertising, saying they will penalise ISPs.

The comms wholesaler says the requirements will cause confusion, put even more focus on price rather than quality, and don’t take account of how smaller ISPs operate.

Entanet believes the plans to force broadband suppliers to advertise costs that include the line rental will put smaller resellers at a disadvantage.

“Our main concern and disappointment is that once again the ASA/Ofcom strive to apply ‘one size fits all’ type proposals to solve a market problem that has arguably been caused by the larger mainstream providers,” said Darren Farnden, head of marketing at Entanet.

“Many smaller ISPs in the UK broadband channel provide the broadband service without requiring their customers to take line rental in the same package.”

He noted that in some cases, consumers may want to buy line rental and broadband from different suppliers. The new rules suggest that ISPs may be forced to offer both and if this is the case, it will restrict customer choice.

The company also highlights that in its joint study of the market, the ASA and Ofcom have based their findings on views taken from just 300 consumers, when there are 23.7 million fixed broadband lines in use in the UK today.

In an opinion piece on Entanet’s blog, Farnden also detailed how these plans could actually result in consumers being sold more expensive packages: “By at the very least ‘encouraging’ the adoption of ‘bundled’ services, the ASA and Ofcom could be unwittingly increasing costs and restricting choice for consumers who may be sold higher cost line rental services as part of the new ‘bundled’ headline price.”

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