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Announcements => News Articles => Topic started by: Bowdon on December 14, 2018, 10:29:42 AM

Title: Ofcom Probes UK Broadband ISP Prices and Tries to Boost Take-up
Post by: Bowdon on December 14, 2018, 10:29:42 AM (

The UK telecoms regulator has today launched a new review of broadband pricing to examine whether loyal (existing) and vulnerable ISP customers are being ripped-off. On top of that they’ve also set out their final proposals for end-of-contract notification letters, which will soon also tell you about the best deals.

Today’s announcement is designed to support the regulator’s new “Boost Your Broadband (” campaign, which is centred around the launch of a basic information site that encourages consumers to take-up a “superfast broadband” (30Mbps+) or faster service. At present superfast networks are available to 94%+ of premises but we estimate that around 40% of lines are still on slow ADSL connections.

A number of factors tend to impact take-up, such as the higher prices charged for faster speeds, as well as customers being locked into long contract terms with their existing ISP and a lack of general awareness (i.e. locals may not know that a faster option exists) or interest in the new connectivity (i.e. if you have a decent ADSL2+ speed and only basic needs then you might feel less inclined to upgrade).

Otherwise Ofcom’s new website is sadly far from perfect, not least because its vague broadband speed checker doesn’t always seem to reflect the presence of alternative network (altnet) providers. In addition, it returns performance estimates for FTTC and ADSL2+ lines that often seem quite overly optimistic.

On other pages they also direct users toward Ofcom’s own accredited price comparison sites, none of which list any alternative network ISPs that may be available in your area or even show the latest “ultrafast broadband” (, FTTP) packages; except from Virgin Media of course. Some of their information and guidance is thus misleading.

On top of that we have some concerns about trying to boost take-up just before Christmas, which is a time of year when ISPs are already under strain due to the holiday period (low staffing) and related seasonal delays.

    Sharon White, Ofcom CEO, said:

    “We’re concerned that many loyal broadband customers aren’t getting the best deal they could.

    So we’re reviewing broadband pricing practices and ensuring customers get clear, accurate information from their provider about the best deals they offer.”

    Margot James MP, UK Digital Minister, said:

    “Our rollout of superfast broadband is reaching thousands more homes and businesses every week and millions of people across the UK can now enjoy the clear benefits that superfast broadband provides. This is a welcome, positive step by Ofcom and I urge people to visit the website, check what services are available in their local area and then see if they can get a better deal.”
Title: Re: Ofcom Probes UK Broadband ISP Prices and Tries to Boost Take-up
Post by: licquorice on December 14, 2018, 10:40:55 AM
Fair enough about ripping off loyal customers, but why do they automatically assume everybody wants high speeds, many people are perfectly happy with ADSL speeds.
Title: Re: Ofcom Probes UK Broadband ISP Prices and Tries to Boost Take-up
Post by: sevenlayermuddle on December 14, 2018, 12:04:58 PM
Several of my neighbours, non techie, just need basic email and the likes.   They don’t need FTTC, and have never bothered switching from basic ADSL.  I have explained the benefits but they just don’t want it or need it.

I really hope they are allowed to stay that way as I do enjoy FTTC, but my speed is only barely adequate for my needs.   I really don’t want the degaradation caused by the additional crosstalk, that would result if everybody were to be forced to switch to FTTC.
Title: Re: Ofcom Probes UK Broadband ISP Prices and Tries to Boost Take-up
Post by: jelv on December 14, 2018, 12:14:53 PM
I can see the turning off of analogue phone and ADSL being an equally resounding success as the turning off of analogue FM radio and switching everyone over to DAB!
Title: Re: Ofcom Probes UK Broadband ISP Prices and Tries to Boost Take-up
Post by: Chrysalis on December 14, 2018, 12:26:40 PM
I have ofcom's app on my own and the speed estimator is in lala land, compared to the CP estimates and sure enough this new website is the same.

They seem to be using the upper clean range which pretty much no CP uses.

For me it estimates 80meg down and 20 up.