Shock as O2 tops hand-picked broadband league

A new “survey” shows the desperate lengths broadband providers will go to to get the upper-hand over their rivals.

O2 has issued a press release, proclaiming that it “trumps other internet service providers to take the ‘best service’ accolade” in a new Thinkbroadband survey.

What the press release doesn’t reveal, however, is that O2 hand-picked the ISPs that it chose to be compared against. The mobile giant pitted itself against just five of its rivals – AOL, BT, Orange, Sky and TalkTalk – many of which provide broadband as a “free” extra with other services, such as mobile phone subscriptions and satellite television.

The chosen ISPs are also amongst the least highly-regarded in the industry. Of those five, only Sky managed to creep in to the top 10 broadband providers in PC Pro’s 2007 Broadband award, which compares every leading ISP in the country and this year received more than 20,000 reader votes.

A spokesman for O2 couldn’t explain why the company chose to compare itself with that select list of ISPs, simply claiming that they “are some of the key providers” and that “we just happened to pick those providers.”

The survey results are hardly a resounding vote of confidence in 02, either. Across the three rated categories – speed, reliability and customer service – the sample size of 91 for October is rated as very low, with the warning that the results should be treated with “extreme caution”.

The sample improves in November to a “somewhat reliable” 497 votes, but pales in comparison to the thousands of votes the rival providers are receiving.

Click here to find out who won PC Pro’s 2007 broadband award

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