Telecoms firms can no longer separate the cost of broadband and line rental in their adverts from today under new rules designed to make pricing clearer.

Suppliers will also be expected to give greater prominence to contract length; upfront costs, such as installation fees and router charges; and explaining how much you'll pay after introductory deals have ended.

Until now broadband has often been promoted as "free" in adverts despite customers being forced to sign up to a costly line rental package to get the deal.

The clampdown on such adverts was first announced by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) back in January.

It followed joint research by the ASA and communications regulator Ofcom that found ads for fixed broadband were likely to "confuse and mislead" customers.

Though initially planned to come into force in May, the rule change was postponed after some providers said they needed more time to make the changes.

MoneySavingExpert.com has long campaigned for greater clarity on broadband prices, and when we cover broadband deals we always factor in all related costs to the overall price – see our Cheap Broadband guide for our current top picks.

ASA chief executive Guy Parker says: "Broadband is a service we all take for granted. That's why some people can get frustrated when they sign up to a package after seeing an ad, only to find their bills are higher than expected.

"Our research found people are likely to be confused and misled by the fixed broadband price claims in ads they see and we've responded by tightening our approach.

"From today, we expect to see a change in how broadband providers advertise their prices. The effect should be a real positive difference in how consumers understand and engage with ads for broadband services."

Additional reporting by the Press Association.

Martin Lewis
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