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Ofcom: half of UK homes could boost their broadband

Half of British households could switch to faster broadband without paying more according to Ofcom, which announced a range of measures to help people get the best deal.

Ofcom CEO Sharon White

The communications regulator claimed that around four million households with “old-style, basic broadband” have passed their initial contract period and could switch to superfast for the same or less money than they currently pay.

Ofcom is proposing that, from next year, broadband companies – as well as mobile, landline and pay TV providers – will have to tell customers about their best available deal, both when their deals are coming to an end and every year after that.

It is also launching a review of broadband companies’ pricing practices – examining why some customers pay more than others and whether vulnerable customers need extra protections to ensure they get a good deal.

Finally Ofcom today launched a new information campaign and website called Boost Your Broadband, which uses Ofcom data to tell people what broadband they can get in their area. The site also offers impartial advice on how to find the best deal.

“We’re concerned that many loyal broadband customers aren’t getting the best deal they could,” said Ofcom CEO Sharon White. “We’re reviewing broadband pricing practices and ensuring customers get clear, accurate information from their provider about the best deals they offer.”

Ofcom will consult on its plans for customer alerts until February 1. It then expects to publish a final decision “as soon as possible,” with new rules coming into force during the second half of next year.