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March 4, 2019
The new Code of Practice is part of Ofcom’s work to promote fairness for customers, which ensures people get a fair deal and are treated well by their providers. The Code, which came into effect on 1 March 2019, means broadband firms will always have to give customers a minimum guaranteed speed at the point of sale.
If a customer’s broadband speed then drops below the promised level, companies will have one month to improve performance before they must let the customer walk away, penalty-free. This right to exit also applies to landline and TV packages bought at the same time as broadband.
Broadband providers must also be upfront with customers about what speeds to expect during peak times. This is because broadband is typically not as fast during the busiest times of the day: 8:00pm to 10:00pm for people online at home, and 12:00pm to 2:00pm for businesses.
The new rules apply whether people are switching to a new provider or changing their current package.
They cover all the major broadband firms signed up to the new Code: BT, EE, Plusnet, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media, which together serve around 95% of home broadband customers.
Ofcom has also published a Guide to the new Code.
To read Ofcom’s news release in full and to access the Guide, click here.