Feeds

Ofcom: Make it easier for punters to switch ISPs

But could middleman plan jack up prices?

Security for virtualized datacentres

Broadband and landline customers could soon find it a lot simpler to ditch one telco in favour of another, after Ofcom published its proposals on cutting the hassle out of switching providers for punters in the UK.

The communications watchdog said today that research showed that 520,000 households in Blighty in the past year had their landline or broadband services switched over without consent – a move known in the industry as "slamming".

It added that around 130,000 residential homes had problems with the wrong telephone number during the switching process or when moving house.

"Ofcom’s preferred option is a process where the new provider would manage the switching process, including the transfer of services from the old provider," the regulator said.

"To guard against slamming, the switch would be checked and verified by an independent third party."

The trend among telcos to bundle their services together has further complicated the switching process for consumers, Ofcom noted.

The watchdog found that 23 per cent of customers who switched a bundled service during the past 12 months found the whole process to be cumbersome.

“Smooth switching processes are essential to ensure that consumers can change providers with confidence. Many people think that the current systems are too difficult and unreliable which is why we have made it one of our priorities to tackle this problem," said Ofcom boss Ed Richards.

“Ofcom has improved consumer information on broadband speeds and enhanced competition in the market but it is also essential that people are able to switch easily to exercise their choice.

"Today’s proposals are designed to make the process easier, more reliable and safe from slamming. We believe that the proposals would improve consumers’ experience of switching and ensure that they continue to benefit from competition.”

It's not clear, however, if involving a third party verifier in such a process could inadvertently lead to a hike in prices being passed on to the customer.

Ofcom's consultation ends on 23 April 2012. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin
Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.