Is a compensation compromise possible?

Posted on Aug 24 2017 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on Is a compensation compromise possible?
Categories : ADR, Broadband, Ofcom, Regulation

Back in March, Ofcom announced plans to introduce a new automatic broadband compensation system which would award customers set amounts of compensation where they experience delayed repair following loss of service, delays with start of new service or missed engineer appointments. We originally stated that the proposed claim amounts were disproportionately high when you consider most residential broadband services cost around £20 a month and Ofcom were proposing claims of £10 per day for an outage.

Since then the proposals have entered a consultation period and this week the Citizens Advice bureau has slammed ISPs for their counter proposal of slightly reduced claim amounts, calculating that customers could be ‘short changed’ by up to 32% when compared to Ofcom’s original proposal.

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It’s USOs all round in the party election manifestos

Posted on May 31 2017 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on It’s USOs all round in the party election manifestos

It’s election time again, and regardless of your personal political preferences, we thought a brief summary of what each of the major parties has to say about all things Internet related could be useful for our readers.

While we’re not endorsing any particular party in this article and are only reporting the details of each party’s published manifestos with regards to our industry, we found all the pledges to be  somewhat underwhelming. Unsurprisingly to most, as this is them essentially ‘selling themselves’ to the public they’ve clearly scooted over any details around funding or implementation and instead focused on headline-grabbing claims and pledges. Although, they too leave us somewhat flat.

Superfast broadband rollout pledges

A positive to take from this year’s campaign trail is that it’s good to see all three major political parties promising to ensure superfast broadband delivery to the whole of the UK in one form or another.

In summary, Labour has promised 30Mbps minimum by 2022 with hints of 300Mbps within 10 years, the Lib Dems made a similar promise of 30Mbps by 2022 but added a 6Mbps upload and unlimited usage cap with further 2Gbps fibre pledge and the Conservatives are already in the process of introducing their 10Mbps USO and completing their superfast broadband rollout.

However, it’s not anything new and exciting, is it? It’s all been discussed before. The Government recently threw out suggested amendments from the House of Lords to increase the current 10Mbps USO to 30Mbps due to funding and implementation concerns so how exactly do Labour and the Lib Dems plan to overcome these issues? Your guess is as good as ours! As for the Conservative manifesto, as we would expect with the existing Government, it’s just a confirmation of their existing strategies and plans – nothing particularly new there either.

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New broadband advertising proposals – clearer or even more confusing?

Posted on May 15 2017 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on New broadband advertising proposals – clearer or even more confusing?
Categories : Advertising, Broadband, Fibre

CAP (Committees of Advertising Practice) has opened a public consultation seeking views on 4 new proposals to strengthen the current broadband speed advertising guidelines. We’re pleased to see CAP take this approach but we still have some concerns over their practicality and potential impact.

The consultation will last for 10 weeks, closing on 13th July 2017 and the options they propose (whilst also stating they are open to suggestions) are to base all broadband speed claims on:

  • Peak-time median download speed
  • 24-hour national median download speed
  • Range of peak-time download speeds available to the 20th to 80th percentile of users
  • Range of 24-hour national download speeds available to the 20th to 80th percentile of users

They also encourage the provider to direct consumers towards more specific broadband speed estimators to receive a more accurate idea of the speed actually achievable on their line.

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UPDATE: Where there’s blame there’s a claim – really?

Posted on Mar 28 2017 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on UPDATE: Where there’s blame there’s a claim – really?
Categories : Broadband, Ofcom, Reselling

Last week further details emerged regarding Ofcom’s plans for a broadband compensation scheme. In our previous article (Where there’s blame there’s a claim – really?) we clearly stated a number of concerns we have about this and with the release of the additional information from Ofcom, unfortunately many of those concerns remain.

What are the compensation plans?

When a consumer (specifically a residential consumer or SME) with a domestic fixed line broadband service experiences a fault they would be entitled to claim automatic compensation at set rates eliminating the need for any lengthy or difficult claims processes.

Ofcom states the situations allowable for compensation and set rates are:

  • Delayed repair following loss of service – the service has stopped working and is not fully fixed after two full working days = £10 per calendar day that service is not repaired
  • Delays with start of new service – Promised start date for new service is missed = £6 per calendar day of delay including missed start date.
  • Missed engineer appointment – engineer doesn’t turn up for appointment or the appointment is cancelled with less than 24 hours notice = £30 per missed appointment
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30 Mbps Universal Service Obligation (USO) – Achievable or over ambitious?

Posted on Mar 21 2017 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on 30 Mbps Universal Service Obligation (USO) – Achievable or over ambitious?

Last month we learned that the seemingly ever-changing Digital Economy Bill has been subjected to yet another last minute amendment. This time, following its debate in the House of Lords, Lord Mendelsohn successfully proposed increasing the existing 10Mbps USO to 30Mbps – with 6Mbps upload – by 2020. But is delivering 30Mbps by that date realistically possible and is it a necessary requirement, or over-ambitious overkill?

The initial plan was for the current BDUK programme to hit its expected 97% coverage by 2020 and then the 10Mbps USO would ensure the same minimum level of connectivity for the remaining 3%. Whilst specific methods and technologies have not yet been confirmed by Ofcom, achieving the existing 10Mbps USO is widely accepted as realistically possible via a variety of technologies that are expected to be delivered predominantly by BT, albeit with other providers in the mix. However, delivering a minimum service of 30 Mbps to 100% of the UK is a whole new ball game!

Whilst we welcome the desire to increase speeds for consumers and encourage network investment across the industry, we believe this should be achieved through technological developments, not Government-imposed demands.

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