You've got an important assignment to complete, you turn on the computer to do some research and, lo and behold, your broadband is down – sound familiar?
Next, you encounter long phone calls, non-committal estimates of when the problem will be resolved and the deadline for your project goes by the wayside. Well, this could be a thing of the past, as new rules set out by Ofcom come into force on Tuesday.
From July 1, telephone and broadband customers will enjoy both faster line repairs and speedier installations as new performance standards have to be met by Openreach, the company that installs and maintains connections to BT's network on behalf of competing providers.
As the company is eased into the new targets they will initially have to complete around 70% of fault repairs within one to two working days, while they will also need to provide an appointment for around 55% of new line installations requiring an engineer within 12 working days of being notified. Both these targets will eventually rise to 80% by 2016.
If you are in the process of having repairs or installations carried out you will be pleased to know that Openreach will now be required to provide you with information about how long the work is likely to take to complete.
Ofcom will monitor Openreach's performance and if they fail to meet these new targets the company could find itself facing a fine. Customers will also be able to keep a check on the company's performance if they so wish, as from October Openreach will be required to publish quarterly reports on its website showing clear information about how long they are taking to repair faults and install new lines.
This is all part of Ofcom's Fixed Access Market Reviews ensuring broadband customers get a good deal by encouraging competition within the market. Further moves include reducing charges from £50 to £11 when a consumer changes superfast broadband provider and cutting the minimum contract length from a year to one month. These changes should allow providers to offer cheaper and more flexible deals to consumers increasing competition and in turn, hopefully improving value for money and service.
If you are unhappy with your telephone or broadband provider, don't suffer in silence, search out a better deal right away. Use our broadband comparison tool to see what you can get for your money and make sure you're a savvy surfer.
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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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