UK ISP BT has today effectively extended the “speed guarantee” on their ultrafast broadband (FTTP and G.fast) packages to the rest of their slower ADSL and FTTC (VDSL2) based services. The new “Stay Fast Guarantee” will see them trying to correct a fault with speeds and then giving £20 back (up to 4 times a year) if they fail.
At present Ofcom’s rules already require ISPs to provide customers with a personalised estimate of their expected broadband download and upload speeds, which includes a Minimum Guaranteed Access Line Speed (MGALS) for your line (here). The code requires supporting providers to try and fix speeds when they fall below the MGALS level and if they fail then the ISP must offer customers the right to downgrade or exit their contract, penalty free.
By comparison BT’s new Stay Fast Guarantee will be offered to both new and existing customers and it initially follows a similar approach. If it’s believed a broadband customer could get a faster line speed, BT will first “remotely optimise broadband performance” without the customer having to do a thing (they don’t say precisely what this means, but it could include various line and profile tweaks).
Alternatively, if required, an engineer can then be sent to find the best solution for that customer. However, if BT has not managed to get a customer’s broadband speeds “back to where they should be” after 30 days of a fault being identified, the user will instead become eligible to receive £20 back, up to 4 times a year.
Kelly Barlow, BT’s Marketing Director, said:
“With our new Stay Fast Guarantee, we don’t just guarantee customers’ broadband speeds, we constantly check and optimise them, so they’ll get reliable broadband speeds all day every day. If a customer’s broadband falls below their personal speed guarantee then we have an expert team of service agents on hand to get things back to normal as soon as possible – ensuring they get the best and most personal broadband experience.”
The provider said they will also ensure customer broadband speeds are being “monitored and optimized remotely 24 hours a day, every day” with support on hand from experts in the UK & Ireland to resolve speed issues quickly. Customers can also proactively check speeds themselves via their My BT account.
The above monitoring most likely reflects the new code that BT has recently added to their wireless routers (Smart Hub etc.), which enables them to monitor the line performance and conduct tests (here). This is necessary in order to be compliant with Ofcom’s recently revised code, but it also means that both the ISP and customers will have access to more reliable performance data about their line (removing the influence of slow WiFi etc.).
Other ISPs are adding similar code / systems to their broadband routers, although not all are offering a money back speed guarantee.