Opinion regarding the reasonable method of indicating the speed of internet access service

Published 16.09.2016

FICORA's opinion describes how FICORA assesses telecommunications operators’ method of indicating the data transfer speed of internet access services in contracts. The method must be in accordance with the EU Regulation and fair to the consumer.

The opinion is based on the EU Regulation on net neutrality and the Information Society Code.

The EU Regulation contains different requirements for defining speed for fixed and mobile broadband connections. A contract must include at least the following facts on the speed:

  • minimum, normally available and maximum speed in the case of fixed broadband
  • estimated maximum speed in the case of mobile broadband
  • advertised speed.

It is stated in the opinion that the specified minimum speed of fixed broadband must be at least 70% of the maximum speed when the maximum speed is not more than 100 Mbit/s. The maximum speed of a fixed connection must be such that the user can expect to receive it at least some of the time.

The normally available speed specified for fixed broadband must be in fair and reasonable proportion to the maximum speed. The availability of the normally available speed during a specified period must be indicated in the contract. FICORA recommends the normally available speed of connections with a maximum speed of 100 Mbit/s to be specified as 90% of the maximum speed so that it is achieved 90% of the time during each four-hour period.

The estimated maximum speed of mobile broadband must be possible to be realistically achieved in actual usage conditions. Therefore, the maximum speed specified for the connection cannot be the theoretical maximum speed of the subscription. The maximum speed may not be lower than the advertised speed of the connection.

This opinion replaces the FICORA's opinion on indicating data transfer rate variation issued in 2011 (in Finnish).

Key words: Internet , Broadband , Mobile broadband , Speed , Guidelines


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