This could be viewed as just another example of deceptive advertising (that is when service described as "up to X Mbps" is actually only a fraction of X Mbps during the time period that really counts). Note that even competition in a free market doesn't prevent deceptive ads. Just consider the next ad you see for a delicious burger that is shown twice as thick as the real thing. And aren't there already regulations or laws that are supposed to prevent false advertising? If they don't work for burgers, would they work for ISP's? I don't know what the answer is for getting good performance at a reasonable price. It can't be the free market in most of the country because of infrastructure limitations (local monopolies). And the thought of making it a regulated utility scares me too. Or does Google have enough money to save us all?