BT to cut switching prices and fix faults quicker

BT Openreach logo

BT Openreach has been ordered by UK watchdog Ofcom to lower their switching prices and repair line problems within two days of them breaking.

Customers who wish to switch broadband providers will soon have more freedom to do so as the new plans will slash the current switching price from a ridiculous £50 to a much more affordable £11.

ISPs can pay this switching charge but quite often it is passed over to the customer in their monthly line rental bill.

Ofcom want this price cut to encourage users to not be fearful of switching to super-fast fibre broadband suppliers, and to also help encourage more competition and cheaper prices between ISPs.

Dominic Baliszewski, telecoms expert at BroadbandChoices told CNET: "This charge was sometimes passed on to the customer.

"So reducing this should help bring down fibre package costs even more, either through lower monthly costs or the removal of up-front delivery and installation costs."

Ofcom are also proposing that ISPs reduce their minimum contract lengths from one year to just one month in order to increase customer flexibility and drive down line rental prices.

Under the new rules BT must also fix faults in two days or less and replace lines within 12 days of them breaking.

Ofcom insist that a minimum of 80 percent of faults must be fixed within the set timeframe in the first year or BT Openreach could face significant fines.

The regulator is also said to be looking into how Openreach compensate customers for any Internet outages.

Problems in BT Openreach's network do not only affect BT subscribers, the majority of ISPs use Openreach's lines to get broadband into your home, so when your internet goes down it's not always the fault of your ISP.

The proposals will be forward to the European Commission for review and could be implemented as early as June.