Insights Ofcom launches consultation on improving broadband information for customers

Ofcom notes that the coverage of new full-fibre networks is increasing across the UK and that these new networks are co-existing with older networks. In the context of this changing market, Ofcom says that it is “important that broadband customers have enough useful information, at the right time, to help them choose the correct broadband service for their needs”.

However, Ofcom says, some people perceive the broadband market as complex and difficult to understand, partly because of the way in which some information about broadband services is presented. In particular, the term “fibre” is used in an inconsistent way to refer to both new and older networks.

To help Ofcom better understand what people would find helpful when choosing a broadband service, it commissioned consumer research, which found that, when choosing a broadband service, some people would find it useful to have information about the underlying technology used to deliver their services.

The consultation sets out Ofcom’s proposals to help broadband customers make more informed choices. It explains how the regulator thinks broadband providers should tell people about the underlying technology used to deliver their service. For example, broadband providers should only be able to use the terms “fibre” and “full-fibre” on their websites and in contracts if their network uses fibre-optic cables all the way from the exchange to the home, and customers should be given a short, easy-to-understand description of the type of broadband network technology they are signing up to.

The deadline for submitting responses to the consultation is 3 May 2023. To read Ofcom’s news release in full and for a link to the consultation, click here.