Ofcom has announced that it is reviewing broadband pricing after finding that almost 50% of UK homes could upgrade to faster broadband service without paying more.
New data has shown that 94% of offices and homes can access superfast broadband, but less than half have signed up for it.
The regulator said that to conform to the new rules, broadband providers must inform their customers that they can get a better deal. Ofcom has developed a new website, Boost Your Broadband, that enables broadband customers to find out which options are available to them. It is encouraging consumers to visit the site so that they can make an informed decision about the type of service that they want to have.
“We are making it really easy for customers to get those new deals,” Sharon White, Ofcom CEO, told the BBC. “We are all very busy; we all know that changing your broadband provider is not the first thing on your list.”
Ofcom is also evaluating ways to motivate consumers to do comparison shopping and prevent operators from taking advantage of both vulnerable and loyal customers.
Beginning next year, regulators may require broadband, landline, mobile and pay-TV providers to notify their customers when they have completed their contracts and give them options on rates going forward.
Ofcom began its review after price comparison service uSwitch revealed that the slowest broadband speeds in the UK came from a street in Gloucestershire, where speeds were 1,889 times slower than those on a street in Birmingham, which had the county’s fastest speeds.