Those of us who have experienced the frustration of a slow,
cancelled or postponed broadband installation will celebrate
Ofcom's new minimum standards for Openreach. The proposed changes
have been notified to the European Commission, and state that
customers waiting for a new line must receive an appointment within
12 working days. That's a lot better than the current lead time of
3 weeks to a month that some customers have been experiencing.
It's not just new broadband customers who could benefit from
Ofcom's draft minimum standard plans. Targets are to be put in
place for line fault fixes too, with the majority of phone and
broadband faults to be repaired within two working days. If
Openreach fails to meet the new targets, it will face sanctions
from Ofcom that could include fines.
What is Openreach?
Openreach is the company that installs and repairs connections
to BT's network. It is primarily responsible for the activation and
maintenance of broadband connections in the UK, as most UK
broadband providers rely on BT's infrastructure in order to
operate, notably excluding Virgin Media, which operates its own
separate cable broadband network.
Summary of Ofcom's proposed Openreach performance
Taken directly from Ofcom's website:
Openreach must in future...
- 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
- Report publicly on its performance, which will allow Ofcom to
monitor and intervene further if required
- 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.
You can read more about proposed
Openreach minimum standards on the Ofcom website.