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Ofcom CEO calls on ISPs to comply with new switching rules

Following a ruling last month aimed at making it easier for consumers to switch their broadband provider, Ed Richards, Ofcom's CEO has been forced to reiterate the call on ISPs to fall in line and work with the regulator.

Speaking at an Ofcom hosted event, Richards called on Internet providers "to transform switching and remove the inconvenience, delays and uncertainty that currently can bedevil consumers when trying to change their provider".

Richards also highlighted that consumers cannot take full advantage of the choice available due to difficulties with changing provider, despite the UK having one of the most competitive communications markets in the world.

He went on to challenge the businesses to help deliver "a system that enables consumers to take advantage of the increasing competition and innovation available".

BT Openreach is currently one of the worse offenders, Ofcom said, with the new ruling meaning that the company's complex switching processes must be simplified to a single process where the new provider leads the transfer on behalf of the consumer.

Richards described this initial phase of work to improve the switching experience for consumers as "a step in the right direction", but called for further action from industry to work with Ofcom "to remove the remaining barriers to switching".

Richards concluded by saying that removing these obstacles is essential in ensuring that the communications sector "continues to deliver real improvement in value for money during a time when the cost of living is so important for millions of people across the UK and Europe".