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Virgin Media Slams Misleading Broadband Speed Testers
By: MarkJ - 11 March, 2009 (1:45 PM)

Virgin Media has today released the results of its latest evaluation of web-based speedtests, which found that many such services are still unable to provide an accurate assessment of an ISPs broadband performance. However there were some improvements, with both ourselves and Broadband-Expert now making the grade for testing at up to 50Mbps.

Sadly many other sites were allegedly unable to provide accurate results for regular speeds such as 10Mbps, and were a long way from being able to check faster speeds of 20Mbps and up to 50Mbps (i.e. Virgin Media's three main products):

Jon James, Director of Broadband at Virgin Media said, “We’re dismayed to find that for years, many speedtest and comparison sites have been misleading the public on ISP performance. Consumers rely on these sites for clear advice and honest results.

The fact that many of them cannot accurately measure speeds of 20Mb, and some cannot even accurately measure speeds of 10Mb, demonstrates there is a clear need for more transparency. As ultrafast services such as 50Mb become more mainstream, this issue will need to be addressed quickly.

Readers may recall that Virgin Media first began calling time on inaccurate testers during November last year (original news), when Thinkbroadband was the only site able to test performance of up to 50Mbps (note: our service is now based off TB's excellent tester too).

Virgin Media's own testing over the last couple of months on speeds up to 10Mbps and 20Mbps has revealed some "startling evidence", which suggests that many sites could have been reporting false results on these speeds for years:

Many of these sites profess to be ‘experts’ and some even generate sales from broadband providers so I am sure that consumers would find it alarming that they are unable to accurately represent speeds accurately.

We are pleased, however, that our campaign has kick-started most of these sites into action and we will continue to work with those that are non-compliant to get them to the standard that they need to be,
” Jon James added.

It's worth pointing out that Virgin's Speedtester Page has not yet been updated to reflect the latest results.

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