Ofcom introduces tougher measures for UK broadband providers

Ofcom introduces tougher measures for UK broadband providers

Ofcom has introduced new rules aimed at protecting broadband consumers in the UK.

Under the new measures, customers will be able to exit a contract should broadband speeds fall below acceptable levels. It has also introduced new processes designed to make switching broadband and landline providers easier, with plans in place to also help consumers more easily change mobile providers.

The new rules will impact ISPs using DSL technology – such as BT, EE, Sky and TalkTalk. Under existing rules, users could abandon their broadband contract without penalty within 90 days of its start if their home broadband speeds fell below the minimum guaranteed access line speed (MGALS). Under the revised code of practice on broadband speeds, consumers will be able to abandon their contract at any time, providing they have given the ISP a reasonable opportunity to address the issue – for example, a number of weeks.

Ofcom’s new CEO Sharon White is set to outline further details of the new rules in her first speech since taking the role.

“When Ofcom was established, access to a reliable internet connection and mobile phone was a ‘nice to have’. Now it is essential to the functioning of the economy, to the way people work and live their lives,” said White.

“Improving delivery to consumers doesn’t just fall at the feet of the regulator. The delivery of first class communications services is primarily the responsibility of providers.”