Broadband providers have been challenged to make switching broadband providers easier for consumers and for them to work with Ofcom to help make this possible.
Ed Richards, the Chief Executive of Ofcom, said in a speech at “Consumers and Citizens in the Communications Sector” conference yesterday (Monday 16th September) that despite the UK having one of the most competitive communications markets in the world that consumers were still not able to take full advantage of it because of the difficulties and process involved with moving between broadband providers.
Initially what is to be done to help make the switching process simpler for broadband providers who use the BT Openreach network is for the broadband provider who is “gaining” the new customer takes control of the switch and processes the transfer for the customer. They will do the work with the “losing” provider to get the customer switched over as quickly and easily as possible. Although this is a start, Mr Richards wants further actions to be done to make the process even simpler and remove any other issues that consumers face such as switching between different bundles and different networks (for example from a BT Openreach network provider to the Virgin Media network).
In his speech, Mr Richards asked of broadband providers:
“…to transform switching; to remove the inconvenience, delays and uncertainty that currently can bedevil consumers when trying to change their provider.”
He also said:
“a system that enables consumers to take advantage of the increasing competition and innovation available“.
Many consumers pay far more than they need to for broadband and communications bundles because they don’t switch, it is recommended after each time that the current deal reaches the end of its contract for consumers to shop around and see if there are any other deals that would work out more beneficial to them.