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Consumers and businesses can no longer be locked into broadband contracts which run in perpetuity.

As of this week, new Ofcom regulations have come into force banning automatically renewable broadband contracts.

Historically, some providers have inferred consent to renew a broadband contract from silence, meaning the customer had to notify the vendor of an intention to leave.

According to Ofcom estimates, around 15 per cent of consumers and thousands of small firms were locked into rollover contracts for broadband or phone services.

Under the new regime, consumers will be able to switch broadband provider at any point after their deal expires without a penalty being incurred.

Small business owner Gerald Thomas, who runs a flower shop and newsagents in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, welcomed the change.

"It is a godsend for small businesses that Ofcom has banned rollover contracts," he stated.

"Firms should always be able to shop around to find the best deal."

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