MPs demand compensation for poor broadband speeds

Paterniano Del Favero
Luglio 30, 2017

More than 50 MPs are today demanding urgent improvements to Britain's broadband amid warnings millions of connections may not reach a proposed minimum standard.

The report, based on data recorded by telecoms regulator Ofcom previous year, claims that as many as 6.7 million United Kingdom broadband connections may not receive download speeds above the 10Mbps target.

Scotland's broadband connections are the worst in the United Kingdom, according to a report by a group of more than 50 MPs who want to see the introduction of automatic compensation for households who do not get the internet speeds they pay for.

Former Tory party chairman Grant Shapps, who chairs the group of MPs, said: "Although broadband is increasingly considered to be an essential utility, the quality of customer services has simply not caught up with demand".

The MPs want Ofcom to produce better data on the take-up and availability of connections and consider legal, rather than the current voluntary, codes of practice for internet providers.

A spokesman for Ofcom said the code was being reviewed to potentially make it tougher, but there was now no penalty compensation related to speed failures for customers.

In March, Ofcom unveiled proposals to make providers pay for slow repairs and missed deadlines and appointments, which could result in millions of broadband and landline customers who suffer poor service receiving millions of pounds of money back automatically.

An Ofcom spokesman said: "We share concerns that broadband must improve, and we're already taking firm, wide-ranging action to protect customers". The regulator said only about 1.4m households and businesses in the United Kingdom - about 5% of the total - were not able to get a minimum 10Mb service because they were in rural, hard-to-reach locations.

Less than half of all United Kingdom connections are thought not to receive superfast speeds of 24 Mb/s, according to the group's research.

Ofcom previously found 1.4m people have download speeds below 10 Mbs, while the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said millions of people had not signed up to superfast broadband.

BT's subsidiary Openreach, which runs the UK's broadband infrastructure, is poised to outline a plan to the government to spend hundreds of millions of pounds to make 10Mb broadband available to the last 5% of homes that have been left behind in the internet rollout.

"It's a better offer than any compensation package as it places a legal obligation on providers to deliver the speeds that families and businesses need".

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