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New rules force broadband providers to make pricing clearer in adverts

New rules have come into effect which will force broadband suppliers to make pricing much clearer in their advertising.

Changes brought in by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) mean companies can no longer separate line rental from the monthly cost of an internet connection when advertising their services.

Broadband providers have also been told to give greater prominence to contract lengths and post-discount pricing, and ensure upfront costs are made clear.

Related: How to speed up your internet

The new rules, designed to ensure customers aren’t misled, were originally set to come into force back in May, but providers requested more time to implement the changes.

ASA chief executive Guy Parker said: “Broadband is a service we all take for granted. That’s why some people can get frustrated when they sign-up to a package after seeing an ad, only to find their bills are higher than expected.

Our research found people are likely to be confused and misled by the fixed broadband price claims in ads they see and we’ve responded by tightening our approach.

“From today, we expect to see a change in how broadband providers advertise their prices. The effect should be a real positive difference in how consumers understand and engage with ads for broadband services.”

Research conducted by the ASA and Ofcom last year, showed most users could not correctly calculate bills based on information provided by a selection of adverts, leading to the new rules being set.

The ammendments only affect how pricing is detailed in advertising, and do not relate to how providers can advertise certain speeds.

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