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Ofcom imposes 48 hour repair limit on most telecoms faults

by Mark Tyson on 27 June 2014, 12:45

Tags: Ofcom, British Telecom (LON:BT.A)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacf45

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Ofcom's rules for faster broadband and telephone repairs by Openreach come into force on 1st July (next Tuesday). The new rules state that the majority of broadband and phone faults will have to be fixed within 48 hours or Openreach could face sanctions or fines. We first heard of these new rules in December, when Ofcom proposed them. Moves to boost superfast broadband competition in the UK are also to be implemented.

BT's Openreach installs and maintains connections used for broadband and telecommunications for BT and a large number of competing providers. Ofcom's new rules aim to push the network support company to provide more timely repairs for customers who are suffering from poor service or connection problems.

The new rules

Ofcom will implement the following rules from Tuesday onwards;

  • 70 per cent of faults must be fixed within 48 hours of reporting
  • 55 per cent of new line install requests must get an appointment within 12 days (rising to 8 0per cent by 2016)
  • Openreach must be clearer about timescales
  • Openreach must publish quarterly performance reports on the web

The above rules can be relaxed if Openreach service is hindered by factors such as extreme weather conditions. 

Penalties

Ofcom's official guidance (PDF, 599 pages) suggests that any penalties for non-compliance of the above will vary depending upon:

  • the extent to which targets are missed,
  • the duration of problems,
  • any aggravating factors, and
  • the frequency of any breaches.

Fibre supplier switching made cheaper and easier

Ofcom also announced it is implementing some changes to boost superfast broadband competition. Following a European Commission review, the following changes in favour of the customer, will be implemented:

  • The wholesale charge when a user changes superfast broadband provider is to be reduced from £50 to £11.
  • The minimum contract length will be reduced from one year to one month, for greater contract flexibility.

As you can imagine the above points should help end users find and change to better and more competitive fibre broadband contract offerings. I'm moving house soon, to an area with superfast broadband, hopefully these changes will make shopping for a provider even more competitive.



HEXUS Forums :: 14 Comments

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I know many people have had appalling service from openreach with delaying, cancelling and not showing up for appointments, so its about time a regulator stepped in.

I have never really experienced broadband outages for more than a couple of hours tbh so i cant really comment there. The switching rules are certainly welcomed. With regard to contract length, i suspect, to keep overall package costs down, we wont see a lot of difference in the offers we receive from ISPs.
“superfast broadband” i hate that term, what the hell is superfast anyhow ?
It seems politicians love to use it, do they think i makes them sound cool or something :yucky:
If they are using superfast to describe fiber why don't they just call it fiber.

/Rant :rant:
Indeed, 1Mb internet could be called “superfast” if you came from 56k modem. The term is far too open to interpretation, just like anything any politician says, make sure you leave enough room to be able to twist the meaning of your words to fit what people actually want you to mean.

Its the same as the term HD. This was used to describe 405 line B&W television back in its introduction, its used again for 720/1080 (with the additional frustrations of HD-Ready :rolleyes: ). This trend is continuing with the term UltraHD, currently its for “4k” equivalent resolutions, however “8k” resolutions also fit into the same name.

The problem is that politicians are generally just normal people, the kind that would call you when they clicked on that, “free pc cleaning scan” link on a pop up then claim it, “just happened”. They don't understand the reality behind the terminology, they just learn the buzz words so that other normal people can think they know what they are talking about and are doing something really important and valuable about it.
I think i might have gone off topic though…
Corky34
“superfast broadband” i hate that term, what the hell is superfast anyhow ?
“Superfast” = “faster than the bozo next-door/down-the-street” :p
Actually I'd categorise as follows:
<1 Mbps = dialup.
1 - 49Mbps = broadband
50-99Mbps = fast broadband
100-999Mbps = superfast broadband
1Gbps+ = you live in Korea or Japan.
Biscuit
I know many people have had appalling service from openreach with delaying, cancelling and not showing up for appointments, so its about time a regulator stepped in.
More I hear about Openreach the happier I am with Virgin. Last Monday a landscape gardener we got in decided to cut my Virgin cable (because “I didn't think you needed it” :wallbash:), phoned Virgin in the afternoon and by 9.30 on Wednesday the job was done (at £0 to me!).
Moves to boost superfast broadband competition in the UK are also to be implemented.
Erm, how exactly? Surely the only players are BT, Virgin, and 3rd parties buying service from BT - UK definitely needs more in the way of competition! All hail our fibre-toting Google overlords!
crossy
More I hear about Openreach the happier I am with Virgin. Last Monday a landscape gardener we got in decided to cut my Virgin cable (because “I didn't think you needed it” :wallbash:), phoned Virgin in the afternoon and by 9.30 on Wednesday the job was done (at £0 to me!).

The strange thing about openreach is that the service differs across ISPs. The main example i can think of is my friend in London who tried to get BT to install vDSL for 4 months and they kept delaying. He asked plusnet and it was done 2 weeks later.
My results with Plusnet have all been good: 3 installs, all on time, no problems.