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Study Warns Cost Could Hinder New UK Broadband ISP Switching Process

Monday, Jul 15th, 2013 (7:40 am) - Score 391

The latest ISPreview.co.uk poll of 536 website visitors has revealed that almost two thirds of respondents find the current process of switching between home broadband ISPs to be confusing and 93% support Ofcom’s (telecoms regulator) efforts to simplify the system. But most people would be put off if this came at a cost.

The current migration system doesn’t work across all platforms and sometimes incurs extra costs or downtime, which can leave consumers feeling both confused and frustrated. As a result Ofcom has been busy developing a “simpler and more reliable” solution (more details) for people who want to switch providers, which is due to be unveiled sometime this summer.

But support for Ofcom’s development of a simplified migration process dropped from 93% to just 26.6% when consumers were asked whether they would continue to support the process if it caused their subscription prices to rise or incurred an extra charge (22.7% were undecided and 50.5% said “No”).

Do you find the current process of switching between broadband ISPs, which varies depending upon service type, to be confusing?
Yes – 62.3%
No – 37.6%

Do you support Ofcoms efforts to simplify migrations with a single system?
Yes – 93%
No – 6.9%

Would you still support a simplified switching process if it required you to pay a small fee or caused your monthly service price to rise by a few pence?
No – 50.5%
Yes – 26.6%
Maybe – 22.7%

The regulator has previously warned that its chosen solution might require some form of Third Party Verification, which would help to protect consumers from abuse (e.g. being switched to another ISP without consent). However such a solution could potentially impose more costs on ISPs and this might thus be passed onto consumers, although it’s currently too early to say.

People would almost certainly benefit from a faster, more effective and universal migration system for home phone and broadband services, yet at the same time most consumers clearly don’t want to see extra costs creating a new barrier to switching.

Meanwhile this month’s new survey asks just how important a modern fixed phone line really is and whether or not you’d get rid of it if you could? Vote Here.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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