Quitting Broadband Provider in a Sulk Over Speeds Gets Easier

By Gary Cutlack on at

Communications regulator Ofcom is once again trying to make it simpler for everyone to switch broadband providers, updating its ISP guidelines to include the ability to bail out on contracts if actual speeds don't hit the guesstimates offered when signing up.

The regulator has published a new code of practise document [PDF] covering broadband speeds, explaining: "This disparity between actual throughput speeds and headline speeds may have led to some consumers feeling confused and frustrated. With consumers’ interests in higher broadband speeds continuing to rise, in particular due to the increased take up of superfast broadband packages, it is important to remedy any mismatch in their expectations to avoid such confusion and frustration."

One key point is the option for consumers to "...exit their contract without penalty within a three-month period of the start of their contract (or longer if the ISP so chose) if the actual speed was significantly below the estimated speed," meaning those frustrated Speedtest results may actually be of some use when it comes to getting yourself out of a crappy broadband line.

And in an effort to see whether contract-switching is being deliberately slowed or held up by providers Ofcom has launched a monitoring and enforcement programme, one that'll spend the next six months looking at how the UK's many communications providers handle requests to bin contracts and leave. [Ofcom]