Ofcom UK Confirm Small Bundles Tweak to Broadband Speed Code

Broadband speedometer on gray uk background

Ofcom has confirmed that they will update their voluntary disclosures for 2019 Code of Conduct for Broadband ISP Speedswhich, among other things, the current “right to exit‘ (i.e. when an ISP fails to fix a speed issue) so it applies to more aspects of a service package. The changes will go live on December 21, 2022.

Existing code is supported by BT, EE, Plusnet, TalkTalk, Utility Warehouse, Virgin Media and Zen Internet (Sky Broadband are not supported due to “come back later this year’) and essentially requires these ISPs to provide customers with reliable estimates of connection performance (measured at peak times) during the checkout process and also to help resolve problems when they arise.

A NOTICE: Sky Broadband, KCOM, EE and Vodafone currently only support an older 2015 version of the code which is not as strict. A separate code exists for business ISPs.

Under the code, consumers are given the right to cancel their broadband ISP contract without penalty if speeds fall below the minimum guaranteed level (MGAL) for their line and this is not rectified within 30 days by the ISP – see Ofcom Codes of Conduct page for more details.

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The existing code defines a residential area “bundle up“consisting of”bstreet band and Voice Services about the same line (and all other services related to the Broadband connection for their question Delivery). Pay TV, purchased or renewed at the same time as a contract for a broadband service.” However, Ofcom is now revising this definition, which could include a broader list of services than is currently covered, such as: B. mobile services and devices.

So the new definition defines a bundle as: “Broadband services and closely related or related contracts for public electronic communications services, information society services, content services and/or terminals. We consider technical, contractual and financial dependencies as examples of the most common types of connections between services and/or end devices.”

What Ofcom decided

Updating the residential code definition of a bundle.
We have decided to amend the definition of a bundle in the Residential Broadband Speed ​​Code of Practice (the Residential Code) so that a customer’s right to opt out applies to their broadband and bundled services in the same way as their right to opt out applies to their contracted and bundled services, as in set out in the revised terms and conditions.

Updated the business code definition of a small business package.
For small businesses (businesses with ten or fewer employees), similar to the Residential Code, we have decided to change the definition of a bundle in the Business Code of Conduct for Broadband Speeds. This means that small businesses’ opt-out rights will apply to their broadband and bundled services in the same way as their opt-out rights to their contracted and bundled services, as set out in the revised T&Cs.

Retain the existing definition of a bundle for larger companies within the Business Code.
For larger companies, we have chosen to keep the definition of a bundle in the existing business code to ensure that the existing protections continue to exist.

Deadlines for the implementation of these decisions.
We have decided that any changes necessary to comply with the changes to the Codes should be implemented by existing signatories within three months of the date of this statement, ie by December 21, 2022.

Ofcom states that services or equipment are not automatically included in the definition of a bundle as this depends on the nature of the connections between them. The regulator said they “believe that there is unlikely to be a large increase in the number of products covered by the revised version“Definition.

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In short, this is more about making the rules around bundles.”easier for customers to understand and easier for broadband providers to implement‘, although the revised definition for a normal person isn’t exactly the easiest piece of text to understand (e.g. most people have to google to find out what ‘Information society services” actually are). The old definition was more readable and understandable, at least at a glance.

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The regulator doesn’t expect ISPs to “cause significant implementation costs‘ of this change. Vendors now have 3 months to implement it.

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