Ofcom should do more to help consumers switch between broadband packages from different internet service providers, it has been claimed.
According to the Communications Consumer Panel (CCP), the regulatory body's mandatory rules on switching between broadband supplies do not properly extend to local loop unbundled (LLU) providers.
These are ISPs who buy access to BT's ADSL broadband network and install their own equipment local exchanges, meaning that they can manage line rental and service provision.
BT-based ISPs are bound by Ofcom's Migration Authorisation Code (MAC), a unique identifying code which must be provided to customers within five working days and can be used to easily move between broadband providers.
However, the MAC code doesn't apply to LLUs, meaning that consumers can find it difficult to switch away from BT services, the CCP warned.
Anne Bradley, chair of the panel, said: "Where possible, Ofcom should impose on providers that break the rules financial penalties that have a wider deterrent effect.
"This would help to raise the level of compliance across the industry."
Last month, figures published by the Office of the Telecommunications Regulator indicated that there were 5.9 million unbundled broadband lines in the UK at the end of May 2009.