Vodafone: Broadband

Department for Science, Innovation and Technology written question – answered at on 20 June 2023.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, whether she has made an assessment of the potential implications for her policies of Vodafone broadband outages on 10 April 2023.

Photo of John Whittingdale John Whittingdale The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)

Reliable access to telecommunications and internet services is vital for the operation of essential services and our everyday home, work, education, and social lives. All service providers are responsible for their own networks. However, there are statutory obligations they have to meet set out by Ofcom the independent regulator.

The sector has proven itself extremely robust, and the UK has never suffered a major nationwide loss of telecoms or broadband services. On rare occasions where the sector does experience outages part of these statutory obligations on Vodafone and other providers is to maintain the availability of services and report significant outages to Ofcom. Therefore should thresholds for service failure have been met on this occasion, Ofcom would fully investigate the circumstances and take appropriate action.

There are protections in place for consumers under Ofcom’s voluntary industry automatic compensation scheme (of which Vodafone is a signatory). Following a loss of service, if repairs are delayed by more than two working days, customers may be entitled to compensation of £9.33 for each calendar day.

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