The telecoms regulator Ofcom is moving towards imposing stricter quality of service requirements on BT’s broadband services. Which will come as no surprise to BT Broadband customers.
According to ISP Review, BT could be obliged to get their shit together. Openreach, the part of BT that maintains the broadband network, must:
- Complete around 80% of fault repairs within one to two working days of being notified;
- Provide an appointment for around 80% of new line installations within 12 working days of being notified (around 25-30% of new line orders typically require an engineer visit and the new target of 12 working days would broadly apply to these);
- Report publicly on its performance, which will allow Ofcom to monitor and intervene further if required; and
- Make clear the timeframe in which it is currently completing any remaining jobs, to provide reassurance to consumers about how long the work is likely to take.
This will no doubt be good news for anyone who ever wants to move house, and doesn’t want to go for weeks without an internet connection. Providing more information and sorting out faults quicker will also be welcomed by anyone who has experienced the misery of navigating through BT’s byzantine customer support system.
The moves come as a result of a review into the Fixed Access Market, and the Wholesale Broadband Market. In other words, the somewhat unusual situation in which BT is a private company, but thanks to their legacy as a national telecoms operator having a near-monopoly (through its Openreach subsidiary) on the physical infrastructure that delivers broadband to our homes.