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Ofcom is to introduce new measures to improve customer service standards in the broadband sector.

Openreach is to be made subject to more stringent minimum requirements so they must install new lines and repair faults more quickly.

ofcom high res logo

The organisation must also adhere to minimum standards relating to other measures of performance, such as how frequently faults occur.

Ofcom will also introduce performance tables, so consumers can more easily identify the best and worst operators on a range of performance measures and "shop around with confidence".

Richard Neudegg, Head of Regulation at uSwitch.com, has welcomed the move, saying: "For consumers, the communications market is becoming harder to navigate. A shift towards multi-play deals that bundle together broadband, fixed line, mobile and television could become more common following the recent merger of giants EE and BT. But bundle prices are trickier to compare, and can also make things harder for unhappy customers to leave.

"Many people can save up to £157 a year just by switching their broadband and home phone provider, so we don't want a situation where customers feel afraid to switch because it’s just too complicated or time consuming."

Ofcom has also outlined plans to introduce automatic compensation for telecoms customers when things go wrong.

This means broadband, landline and mobile customers will be automatically refunded for any loss or reduction of service, rather than be forced to seek redress themselves.

The regulator went on to note that more than eight in ten UK premises are now able to receive superfast broadband, with the overall proportion set to hit 95 per cent by next year.

Nevertheless, Ofcom said it "remains concerned" about those who are unable to receive an acceptable service. The watchdog therefore intends to work with the government to deliver a new universal right to fast, affordable broadband for every house and business in Britain.

Sharon White, Chief Executive of Ofcom, said: "People across the UK today need affordable, reliable phone and broadband services. Coverage and quality are improving, but not fast enough to meet the growing expectations of consumers and businesses.

"So today we’ve announced fundamental reform of the telecoms market. This means a better deal for telecoms users, which will improve the services and networks that underpin how we live and work."

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