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MPs call for poor broadband service compensation

July 31, 2017

By Colin Mann

The British Infrastructure Group of MPs (BIG) has called for UK Government to introduce legislation setting the terms for a broadband Universal Service Obligation, and for comms regulator Ofcom to consider fixed broadband speeds in a new system of automatic compensation.

The recommendations are contained in Broadbad 2.0, a comprehensive investigation into broadband customer services in the UK. The report, co-signed by 57 MPs from across political parties, presents a series of recommendations to the government, industry regulator Ofcom and broadband providers in a bid to improve customer services in the sector.

“This BIG report investigates the current state of broadband speeds and customer services, finding that as many as 6.7 million connections in the UK are failing to reach speeds above the proposed minimum standard,” advised Grant Shapps MP, the Chair of the British Infrastructure Group of MPs. “However, BIG criticises the current available data on broadband speeds, as it does not distinguish between the take-up and actual availability of superfast broadband in the UK.”

“Our report calls on the Government to build on their progress of introducing minimum standards for broadband providers, by progressing secondary legislation that will set the terms for a Universal Service Obligation.”

“BIG also calls on Ofcom, the industry regulator, to consider fixed broadband speeds in a new system of automatic compensation. The voluntary agreements currently in place between broadband providers and Ofcom to ensure that customers are compensated for poor service do not hold providers to account. This means that broadband customers often end up enduring unnecessarily lengthy complaints procedures if something goes wrong with their service.”

“It is unacceptable that businesses and homeowners alike still can’t receive fast Internet, and the lack of minimum standards in the sector represents a worrying picture for post-Brexit Britain’s competitiveness,” he concluded.

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