North East MSP Mike Rumbles has welcomed an announcement by Ofcom today that broadband providers will have to give a minimum guaranteed internet speed to potential customers, at the point of sale.
Under the new requirements, providers that don’t deliver the minimum guaranteed speed will have 30 days to improve speeds before they must let customers walk away without penalty. This protection also applies to cable broadband customers who experience particularly wide variations in speeds during peak times.
Mr Rumbles said: “The new Ofcom measures are absolutely right. Particularly for homes in rural communities that have been left behind by commercial operators and the Scottish Government’s rollout of fibre internet.
“For too long customers in areas like Aberdeenshire have been promised adequate internet speeds only to find themselves locked into a contract that does not meet their requirements.
“There is still a long way to go and the progress so far has been disappointing. We need far more action by both commercial operators and the Scottish Government to deliver superfast internet to every home but the announcement today marks an important and welcome mile-stone.”
Notes for editors:
- Find the full Ofcom release at: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/media/media-releases/2018/better-information-broadband-speeds
- In future, providers will always have to give a minimum guaranteed speed to a potential customer at the point of sale. If that customer’s speed then drops below the promised level, broadband firms will have one month to improve performance, before they must let customers walk away penalty-free.
- This right to exit a contract will also apply, for the first time, to landline and TV packages bought together with broadband. So, customers won’t be tied to a TV contract bought at the same time as their broadband, if speeds fall short of what was promised, and they decide to leave.
- As an extra protection, internet providers must in future provide more realistic peak-time speed information upfront, which reflects the fact that broadband is typically not as fast when more people are online, during the busy periods of 8-10pm, or 12-2pm for businesses.