After finding around half of UK homes are on a poor broadband deal, regulator Ofcom has announced plans to boost consumer awareness.
Superfast broadband (defined as 24Mbps+) availability has reached 94 percent of premises, but there’s been less than half uptake.
Ofcom’s investigations have found consumers are often able to receive greatly improved broadband for just slightly more cost per month, or sometimes even less than what they’re currently paying.
The regulator has announced several measures to address lack of awareness:
Clearer information. We are proposing that, from next year, broadband companies – as well as mobile, landline and pay-TV providers – will have to tell customers about their best available deal, both when their deals are coming to an end, and every year after that if they don’t change their deal.
Reviewing broadband prices. We are launching a review of broadband companies’ pricing practices – examining why some customers pay more than others, and whether vulnerable customers need extra protections to ensure they get a good deal.
Consumer campaign. A major new information campaign and website, Boost Your Broadband, launches today. Backed by consumer champion Gloria Hunniford OBE, the Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and consumer body Which?, the website uses Ofcom data to tell people what broadband they can get in their area, and offers impartial advice on how to find the best deal today.
Broadband companies have come under fire after hiking post-contract prices up for loyal customers, sometimes up to 90 percent.
Sharon White, Ofcom Chief Executive, said:
“We’re concerned that many loyal broadband customers aren’t getting the best deal they could.
So we’re reviewing broadband pricing practices and ensuring customers get clear, accurate information from their provider about the best deals they offer.”
A website has been set-up at BoostYourBroadband.com to help demystify the broadband market and ensure consumers are getting their best deal ahead of Christmas when household demand rises.
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