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The government has outlined plans to make it easier for people to switch their broadband contracts within just a week.

According to Ministers, consumers appreciate quick and reliable switching on an agreed date, but instead feel switching providers is too cumbersome and difficult.

The government has therefore set out proposals that it believes could make seven-day switching a reality, with a view to introducing it in 2017.

Ministers also confirmed that broadband customers would be able to check broadband and network coverage information for individual properties, so they can find out what speeds they are currently getting and what they could receive from other providers.

This information would be displayed on online property search portals, which could potentially make it a highly influential factor when people are moving house.

Sajid Javid, the Business Secretary, believes the changes will give consumers more power over switching broadband providers and make sure they are getting the best deals.

"The government is committed to creating a system that works for consumers and makes markets more competitive," he commented.

Culture Secretary John Whittingdale added: "We are more reliant on broadband and phone services than ever before, so we want it to be as easy as possible for consumers to spot the best deal for them, and switch providers quickly and easily if they want to." 

Mr Whittingdale said the measures the government is introducing will also ensure consumers are better informed about the quality of these services, as well as enable them to receive automatic compensation when "things don't go right".

A consultation on the plans has been opened and both consumers and industry are being invited to express their views.

Commenting on the proposals, Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, said: "Faster switching will encourage more consumers to engage with the market and boost competition - resulting in lower bills, better service and more choice.    "To make a real impact on switching levels in the telecoms sector, consumers looking to move any service - whether it's broadband, mobile, TV or landline - should only have to deal with their new provider in order to switch, as is the case with current accounts.   “What’s clear is that consumers shouldn’t have to jump through endless hoops to get a better deal. Making it easier for people to choose the right deal is a key factor in building consumer confidence. Customers could save over £1,100 by switching energy, car insurance, home insurance, broadband, mobile phone, credit card and current account."

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