The UK regulator, Ofcom, is a great example of a telecoms regulator actively engaged in guarding the quality of service provided by operators, as well as educating consumers on their rights and how to choose and set-up the best broadband service for their needs.

Ofcom published its second annual service quality report on 03 May 2018, offering a range of fascinating insights into the UK broadband market. Here are just some of the key learnings:

  • The regulator found that, since 2016, there has been a general decline in overall customer satisfaction with their fixed broadband service, down to 80% from 87% in 2016. The top two complaints were poor, or unreliable, broadband connectivity (48%) and slow speeds (47%).
  • Despite the decline in customer satisfaction with traditional fixed broadband services, those with superfast and ultrafast broadband were more satisfied with their service (82% and 86% respectively, compared with just 71% of standard broadband customers).
  • Fast broadband has become essential for a wide range of activities linked to business, entertainment and socialising. The amount of data used by residential broadband customers is up 44% on the year. Average download speeds have also been rising due to the growth and uptake of superfast broadband packages. However, while superfast broadband is now available to 93% of premises, two in five customers are still on standard broadband (Ofcom is to shortly publish the UK Home Broadband Performance report 2018 with data on the performance of UK fixed-line home broadband services).
  • Most major operators offer apps to their customers for testing variables such as speed, as well as running diagnostics and reporting faults.
  • Many customers lose service or experience poor service quality due to issues within their home. This can be due to setting-up of a home network incorrectly, faulty wiring, old or malfunctioning equipment, WI-FI interference and user error. In many cases, effective customer service can resolve the problem quickly, however, providers are being encouraged to provide customers with more information when the service is installed to prevent these issues.

Showing the way

In another example of good practice, Ofcom offers a mobile and broadband checker app that gives consumers tips on how consumers can improve their internet connection. The UK regulator has also published a manual with practical tips on how to improve broadband speeds, together with a comprehensive video guide.

Ofcom are clearly pushing the boundaries of what regulators can do to improve service for customers and the organisation’s efforts should serve as an example to other forward thinking European regulators when it comes to developing new strategy and objectives in the coming years.


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Published on: May 8, 2018

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