Ofcom is to review the UK’s digital communications markets. With three quarters of people on the wrong mobile contract and nearly half unhappy with their broadband speed, it’s time for change.
Ofcom has today announced an overarching review of the UK’s digital communications markets. That’s the broadband, mobile and landline markets to you and me, all of which are essential services with low levels of trust and satisfaction. For example, you may remember me sharing the fact that even the banks are trusted more than mobile providers. It’s clearly the right time for a review.
It’s been over 10 years since Ofcom’s last review – and a lot has changed in that time. The iPhone hadn’t been announced, we weren’t using Twitter and tablets had more to do with medication than computing.
The telecoms market is clearly changing at a rapid pace, so it’s right for Ofcom to review whether it’s working for consumers. This is especially the case now that there are high-profile mergers on the cards, which could lead to less competition.
Problems in the mobile and broadband markets
We’ve long been campaigning to improve the telecoms market, from mid-contract price hikes, poor broadband services and unfair charges to unlock your mobile phone.
But these issues are just the tip of the iceberg. Our research this year found that three quarters of people are on the wrong mobile contract for their usage, resulting in a collective over-payment of £5.42bn every single year.
And then we come to broadband speed advertising – eight in 10 people don’t know that only 10% of customers need to achieve the speeds that their broadband provider advertises. Since speed is the second most important factor when people are picking a broadband provider, how could they ever make an accurate decision when the advertising rules are stacked against them.
A better deal for consumers
So it’s definitely the right time for Ofcom to dig into the depths of these essential markets. The regulator now needs to set out how it will deliver a better deal for you and me.
Now’s your chance to send a message to Ofcom. If you could name up to three things that wind you up about your phone or broadband service, what would they be?