Ofcom publish research highlighting consumer understanding of traffic management

Ofcom publish research highlighting consumer understanding of traffic management

Ofcom has today published a piece of consumer research looking at how consumers are buying broadband products and their understanding of ISPs’ traffic management policies in relation to this.

The BSG played a key role in facilitating the voluntary code of practice on traffic management transparency launched in 2011 and welcomes Ofcom’s research as an input into how well that voluntary framework is meetings its stated objectives and meeting the needs of consumers.

The aim in developing the code was to ensure that consumers had access to transparent and comparable information, as well as access to any changes in ISPs’ traffic management policies over time.

As such it is encouraging to see that Ofcom’s research demonstrates that the information is transparent and that the quality of the information that consumers can access has improved since the launch of the code.

The BSG and the ISPs that have signed up to the voluntary code welcome dialogue with Ofcom on how the approach can be built upon and will consider the practical recommendations set out by Ofcom (see footnote).

Commenting on the research, BSG CEO Pamela Learmonth commented, “The BSG welcomes Ofcom’s research.  It was always the intention of the code to ensure that traffic management information is transparent and it is encouraging to see that Ofcom’s research has demonstrated that this has been effective.  ISPs remain committed to ensuring that the voluntary approach delivers for consumers and will give due consideration to Ofcom’s practical suggestions as to how the current approach could be improved.  The issue of consumer awareness is interesting and we support Ofcom’s intention to better understand to what extent consumers’ online experience is impacted by traffic management as compared to other factors.???


Click here to view Ofcom’s research

Click here to view BSG resources on Traffic Management




  • Provide an introduction to the Key Facts Indicators (KFIs) that summarises the relevance of the policy and outline how it affects the ISP’s product set;
  • Ensure that technical terms are explained in clear and simple (non-technical) language
  • Provide specific and meaningful measurement criteria for when high usage or ‘fair usage’ policies are applied (e.g. hours of streaming as opposed to MB)
  • Use clear symbols to designate ‘yes’, ‘no’ and ‘not applicable’ responses in the KFI tables