The Local Government Association (LGA) wants the broadband industry to be more honest about what they really can deliver to individual households
Instead of broad-brush ‘Your post code can get up to this level of connectivity,’ it says, ISPs (internet service providers) should be providing house-by-house predictions so that the consumer can make more informed choices between them.
"There is no one place that consumers can compare side by side estimates of the broadband speeds that providers could supply to their home,” says the group, the collective voice of 370 local authorities across the country.
“The quality of digital connectivity can be markedly different from area to area, with some households being able to access superfast broadband speeds whilst others can only achieve substantially less,” added its People and Places Board group chairman, Councillor Mark Hawthorne.
“Residents can only make the most informed choices if they have all the data at their fingertips in one place.”
LGA says national communications regulator Ofcom should have its power extended to demand address level data from broadband firms in order to better scrutinise the accuracy of speed predictions.
It also thinks it’d be a good idea for third parties to have access to real time data on household speeds to offer accurate comparisons to give digital citizens better choice if they feel they should switch supplier.
The call is timely, as this week MPs are debating the Digital Economy Bill, which has some provision to make such a change in ISP operations.
"Councils are working hard to ensure everyone has good quality internet access,” Hawthorne concluded.