There are promises a plenty of fast broadband speeds nationwide.

A million UK households could soon have access to 24Mbps connections courtesy of BT, while Virgin Media promised at the beginning of the year to boost speeds for its "L" tier package from 4Mbps to 10Mbps.

But there has also been much criticism that broadband customers don't actually always get the broadband speeds that they are promised.

But Ofcom has announced a new ISP code that is hoped will ensure transparency.

It has published the Ofcom Code of Practice, and 32 ISPs have voluntarily signed up, promising to publish accurate connection speeds.

The code means that consumers will get an accurate estimate of the maximum connection speed offered by broadband packages in their area before they sign on the dotted line.

The code also stipulates that if customers are not getting the speeds that they were promised, they can move to lower price packages.

Usage limits will also be flagged up to customers as part of the deal.

"Broadband is a thriving market in the UK. We want to encourage real clarity for consumers about the actual broadband speeds they can receive", said Ed Richards Ofcom's chief executive.

"This voluntary code is a significant step in this direction", he added.

And there are suggestions that the code may be extended to include wireless mobile broadband providers, if calls by the Internet Services Providers' Association (ISPA) are heeded.

"If all internet service providers whether fixed line or mobile broadband follow the code then there will be less confusion for consumers", commented a spokesperson from the ISPA.

However, while praising the move, Moneysupermarket.com told PC Advisor that the current deal will leave the 10% of ISPs who have not signed up unregulated.

It argues that signing up to the code should be mandatory.

In the meantime, Ofcom is going to launch a broadband speed test for consumers to get an accurate idea of speeds across the country.