Ofcom has announced new measures that will require internet service providers (ISPs) to be “more realistic” about broadband speeds and meet minimum speed guarantees within a month.
The UK broadcast regulator said that from March 1, 2019, ISPs must provide more realistic peak-time speed information upfront, reflecting the fact that broadband is typically not as fast when more people are online.
ISPs will also have 30 calendar days to improve internet speeds if they fall below a minimum guaranteed level before letting customers exit their contract without penalty.
Currently broadband customers can exit their contract if speeds fall below the guaranteed level and their provider is unable fix them, but as it stands providers have an unlimited amount of time to resolve the problem before letting users leave.
“Broadband customers must know what they’re signing up to,” said Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s consumer group director. “These protections will close the gap between the broadband speeds people are sold, and what they actually receive.
“To give people extra confidence, we are making it easier to walk away – without penalty – if companies fail to deliver.”
The new measures mark a strengthening of Ofcom’s codes of practise on better broadband speed information. ISPs will have a maximum of 12 months to make the changes before the new requirements come into force on for services purchased from March next year.