Ofcom proposes changes to superfast broadband to promote competition

New regulations would make it easier and cheaper for consumers to switch between providers

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The Independent Tech

Communications regulator Ofcom have proposed new measures that they say will lead to better deals for customers using superfast broadband speeds.

The plans currently under consultation would reduce the minimum length for superfast broadband contracts and slash the fees for switching to the improved services.

New superfast connection speeds use fibre optic cables to provide speeds that are more than double the UK average, though only around 13% of the UK currently uses such connections.

Currently internet providers have to pay for wholesale access to schemes like BT’s Openreach network. This is currently a one-time £50 fee which is essentially passed on to the customer. The new plans would reduce this to between £10 and £15.

In addition to this, access will be available for just a month at a time (the previous minimum contract was a year) allowing for more flexibility for customers.

Ofcom say the changes are to promote completion between rival broadband providers, and that the changes could see the cost of switching fall by up to 80%.

 "These would be expected to flow through to consumer benefits in the form of lower retail prices and easier switching between superfast broadband providers,” said the regulators in a statement