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Ofcom speeds broadband switching

15 February 2007
Broadband users passionate about saving a few bob can switch to cheaper broadband more easily from Valentine's Day thanks to regulatory changes from telecoms regulator Ofcom.

No broadband provider is now permitted to charge customers for switching, and providers who make the process difficult for customers will face fines from Ofcom.

Although 83 per cent of customers have been able to switch without difficulty to date, that still leaves 40,000 customers in the UK experiencing difficulties with their provider, Ofcom has found.

The Migration Authorisation Code (Mac) - given to customers by their previous supplier to pass onto their new provider – has proved problematic for many.

Some suppliers were procrastinating over sending these codes to customers and deterring them from switching, leaving users without a broadband connection for weeks at a time.

The new regulations require all broadband suppliers to use the Mac system and to supply customers with the code within five days of a request, while the new service transfer should take no more than twenty minutes.

Over three quarters of all homes connected to the worldwide web now operate through broadband.

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