Commenting on today’s launch of the Government’s Digital Economy Bill, Richard Neudegg, Head of Regulation at uSwitch.com, says:
On broadband speeds:
“The Government’s USO proposal is a welcome step to help those who fibre services won’t reach after the rollout is completed. But we should remember many will still need to upgrade to fibre to achieve decent speeds. Although this is now broadly available, take up could be vastly improved. Government, Ofcom and the providers need to make sure availability is clear and the market is competitive to encourage people to make use of it.”
On communications switching:
“Switching processes in the communications market are inconsistent and need sorting out. We welcome the Government’s move to provide Ofcom with the remit to act across all communications services. This takes us one step closer to finally seeing an industry-wide move towards a gaining-provider-led switching process.
“It should help us get to a situation where if your broadband isn’t up to speed, your mobile service is patchy, or you want a cheaper or better deal with a different TV provider, the company you’re moving to would handle the switch.
“There’s little reason for the company you’re leaving to make things easy, and the prospect of an awkward conversation with someone on the retentions team is enough to stop some of us moving away.
“But it’s possible to save up to £157 a year for switching broadband provider and £168 for moving mobile networks – so it pays to be disloyal.
“It’s a common-sense move that’s already the done thing in several other markets, including energy and current accounts, and by broadband providers on the Openreach network and, after today’s bill, hopefully the rest will get the chance to play catch up.”
On access to speeds/coverage information:
“The Government’s proposals to open up access to provider data, such as coverage and speeds, are encouraging, and should show people exactly how good available services are in their area before they decide what to buy.
“Allowing people to see comparable specific line speed and coverage information before they buy a broadband package or mobile deal could offer significant benefits to users – and help them make an informed decision when choosing a new provider.”
Find out how you could save over £1,000 a year with uSwitch here.
uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, home phone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, current accounts and insurance.
Energy customers have the option to create an account to automatically monitor the market and notify them when they can move to a cheaper tariff - making future comparisons even simpler and faster. In 2014, uSwitch saved UK consumers over £112m on their energy bills alone.
Broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and to identify the best broadband provider for their postcode.
uSwitch was the first comparison site to achieve the Plain English Campaign’s Internet Crystal Mark, recognising that it has clear language, is accessible and easy to use.
uSwitch has a UK contact centre which is manned by energy and broadband experts. The ‘Send Us Your Bill’ service allows customers to post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH in order to receive a free call back to be guided through the comparison process. Alternatively, consumers can email email@example.com with their postcode and usage details. uSwitch’s address is Notcutt House, 36 Southwark Bridge Rd, London, SE1 9EU.
uSwitch is owned by Zoopla Property Group Plc (LSE:ZPLA), a digital media business that owns and operates some of the UK's most widely recognised and trusted online brands including Zoopla, PrimeLocation, SmartNewHomes and HomesOverseas.