Heidi Allen MP is encouraging South Cambridgeshire residents to check their broadband eligibility after new figures revealed by Ofcom showed that more than two in five households in the East of England could switch to faster broadband.
Official data from Ofcom shows nine in ten homes and offices (89%) in the East of England can now get superfast broadband, but more than two in five of those have not taken it up and many people are paying more than they need to. Around four million UK households with old-style, basic broadband have passed their initial deal and could switch to superfast for the same – or less – money than they currently pay.
Ofcom has launched Boost Your Broadband, a major information campaign to help people find out how they could get more, for less from their broadband. A new website – BoostYourBroadband.com – allows people to easily check what type of broadband they can get in their area, and offers impartial advice on how to find the best deal. The broadband market is highly competitive, with superfast broadband packages now available from around £20 per month. The new website aims to demystify the broadband market, which some can find daunting due to the choice of deals on offer.
Heidi commented: ‘It’s really easy to check whether you can get faster, cheaper and better broadband. Just go to the website BoostYourBroadband.com, enter your postcode and follow the instructions to see what sort of service is available to suit your needs.’
Heidi continued: ‘This is a good start to Ofcom’s commitment to ensure better broadband service for residents and businesses across the country. Ofcom’s proposals to force broadband companies – as well as mobile and pay-TV providers –to tell customers about their best available deal every year, and when introductory offers are coming to an end will mean a better deal for the end user. Broadband is now our fourth utility service; we need to ensure that it is delivering for consumers and businesses fairly and effectively.’
Ofcom are also reviewing the fairness of broadband companies’ pricing practices – examining why some loyal customers pay more than others, and whether vulnerable customers need extra protections to ensure they get a good deal.
These measures sit alongside others coming into force this year, including better information on broadband speeds when people take out a contract, from 1 March; automatic compensation when things go wrong, from 1 April; and a simple text-message process to allow mobile customers easily to switch provider, from 1 July.
Ofcom is also making sure no-one gets left behind, by implementing the Government’s universal broadband service, which will give people the legal right to request a decent broadband connection.