Internet Service Providers: Repairs and Maintenance

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 4th December 2020.

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Photo of Catherine West Catherine West Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure Internet Service Providers promptly complete repair work to ensure a reliable internet connection.

Photo of Matt Warman Matt Warman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

To protect telecoms consumers the government has strengthened Ofcom’s powers through the Digital Economy Act 2017. As a result, in April 2019, Ofcom introduced a voluntary automatic compensation scheme for customers of broadband and landline services for when things go wrong, such as missed engineer appointments, delayed start of a service or delayed repairs. BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, Zen Internet, Utility Warehouse and Hyperoptic have all signed up to the scheme.

The scheme is designed to help ensure customers receive appropriate redress when things go wrong and, over time, incentivise companies to improve their service. Following a review of the scheme in August 2020 Ofcom concluded that the scheme was launched successfully, that it now covers around 80% of the broadband market and that it has increased compensation payments to consumers where repairs or installations had been delayed.

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