UK Telecoms regulator, Ofcom, proposes and launches consultation to introduce new guidance on the usage of the term 'fibre' to describe any type of Network connection other than FTTH (Fiber to the Home). Under the planned new guidance, broadband providers would only be able to use the terms' fibre' and 'full-fibre' on their websites and in contracts if their network uses fibre-optic cables all the way from the exchange to the home.
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Ofcom Consumer Survey
Ofcom said it wants Broadband customers to get clear and more consistent information about their service when signing up for a new connection. According to consumer research conducted by Ofcom, it is found that only 46% of customers who reported being on full-fibre broadband were living in areas where it is actually available. Also, around 27% of broadband customers were confused about the language, and terminology broadband providers use.
Considering the research results, Ofcom now wants more clear and consistent information for broadband users so that customers can take advantage of new full-fibre networks as these become available.
Ofcom has Existing Rules
Although Ofcom has existing rules for broadband providers to describe the service, the regulator believes there is no sufficient clarity and consistency in how the underlying technologies are used to deliver broadband services as described. So to avoid all the confusion and be consumer-centric, Ofcom has proposed new guidance to ensure providers give information on the underlying technology of the broadband connection using one or two consistent terms.
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Inviting views on the proposals, Ofcom's Director of Connectivity, Selina Chadha, shared, "It's vital that customers are provided with the right information to help them choose the best broadband service for them. But some of the industry jargon used to describe the underlying technology supporting their broadband service can be unclear and inconsistent, meaning customers are left confused."
"So today we're proposing to introduce new guidance to ensure that broadband firms give clearer, straightforward information about their services – making it easier for people to take advantage of more reliable, and potentially higher speed technology, as it becomes available."
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Ofcom opened the consultation on Wednesday and is inviting views on the proposals to be submitted by May 03, 2023. The regulatory also shared it aims to publish the final decision later this year.