Scott Richie, Director of Northern Ireland’s largest independent business to business mobile and Unified Communications provider, Connect Telecom, has voiced his support for Economy Minister Simon Hamilton’s call to change advertising rules governing broadband suppliers.
Current advertising rules allow broadband providers to promote “up to” download speeds in advertising if they can demonstrate that 10% of their customers can achieve the higher speeds.
Scott Richie said: “Technology is an essential part of our everyday lives, both personally and professionally impacting the way we communicate, and it will continue to grow at a rapid pace.
“As our lives become more digital, the need for faster communications becomes greater, and customers are drawn in by providers which advertise the maximum broadband speeds.
“Unfortunately, very few of these customers will actually ever come close to achieving these speeds as we know broadband performance varies greatly based on location and other factors.
“It is therefore unacceptable for broadband speeds faster than that of what will actually be available to be advertised to customers, and I agree with the Minister that it requires urgent review by the Advertising Standards Authority.
“As the only Vodafone Platinum Partner in Northern Ireland, our unrivalled relationship allows us to work closely to ensure that as a network, Vodafone caters to the needs of its business customers here in Northern Ireland and is realistic in its offering.
“That is the value of using a partner, having the expertise to advise on the best offerings available and tailoring this to our customers.”
“At Connect, we understand the needs of every business, and indeed the possibilities available to them, are different, and we recognise it is our responsibility to work closely with Vodafone in offering the customer the very best IT and telecoms solutions, but based on what is actually available to them.
“At Connect Telecom, we have 4,000 customers across Northern Ireland, England and Scotland who are the central focus of everything we do. Our 40-strong team knows Vodafone’s offering inside out which enables us not only to deliver an excellent service, but also to be innovative in our approach. Like ourselves, Vodafone places great emphasis on providing a service that is superior to that of its competitors.
“For quite some time, consumer groups, Government and regulators have called on providers to abandon separate line rental charges, and earlier this year Vodafone became the first UK broadband provider to scrap separate line rental charges as customers were finding it misleading and confusing.
“Vodafone is a network that performs consistently well across the UK and we see it as our role to ensure our business customers benefit from the best service available to them. This allows them to spend less time thinking about their IT and telecoms, and more time to spend on running their business.
“Telecoms is now so much more than just phones and broadband, and as a business we are very keen to progress in line with Vodafone’s plans to be more than a mobile network but a complete unified communications platform.
“So far, this has led us to develop our Unified Communications & VoIP capability, and we are in beta testing for a cloud based portal integrating Microsoft Office solutions for our customers right across the UK. Moving forward, we will continue to work closely with providers such as Vodafone to continue the delivery of innovative solutions for our customers.”