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Ofcom to make switching broadband provider across networks easier

Ofcom to make switching broadband provider across networks easier

Switching broadband is already fairly straightforward, but industry regulators Ofcom have been working tirelessly to make things even easier for consumers.

In order to make the telecoms market as fair and uniform as possible, Ofcom is proposing even more regulations to make switching providers easier and to ensure customers always have access to the best broadband services.

What is a broadband network?

The majority of UK internet service providers operate on the Openreach network once owned by BT. This shared network means that switching between providers doesn’t require an installation process and the entire switch can be handled by whichever provider you’re moving to. This includes switches between BT, EE, Plusnet, Sky, TalkTalk and Vodafone.

The challenge comes when switching to a provider that doesn’t operate on the Openreach network, such as Hyperoptic, City Fibre or Virgin Media, who all have their own cable network. These switches are currently a little more complicated and can result in an overlap or gap in service. But not for much longer.

Easier switching across networks

In their statement, Ofcom quoted research which found that 43% of customers who decided not to switch did so because they were worried about arranging two different services to start and end at the right time. What’s more, 37% were deterred from switching because they didn’t want to speak to two different companies.

Ofcom’s proposed changes are in line with the new European Electronic Communications Code which calls for EU member states to make switching telecoms providers easier.

What does this mean for me?

This would likely mean that new providers would be responsible for managing the switch for all customers, whether they are switching between different networks or not.

These new regulations would also require providers to compensate customers if they have an interruption in their service for more than one working day.

Ofcom is planning to publish more information about these new requirements early next year, along with details of when they will be going into effect.

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