Watchdog calls for a UK broadband customer advocate

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Six out of ten broadband customers in the UK dealt with slow service or had their connection just stop working last year according to a new report from the charitable organisation Citizens Advice

The organisation is calling for the government to appoint a telecoms consumer advocate to give fed-up customers a better way to voice their concerns over sub par broadband service

Of the 4,000 people surveyed by Citizens Advice, nearly 25 per cent said that Internet problems had made it difficult to work or study.  According to the report, customers spend an average of 2.4 hours troubleshooting problems with their Internet connections. 

Chief executive of Citizens Advice, Gillian Guy highlighted the importance of a reliable Internet connection in today's digital world, saying: 

“People now rely on their broadband and mobile connections for the day-to-day running of their lives.  Yet the majority of people continue to face significant disruptions that can waste their time.  A government spokesman said broadband was “no longer a 'nice to have', but a modern necessity, and we all know how frustrating it is when it doesn't work.” 

New measures from regulator Ofcom could be beneficial to protecting consumers who will soon receive compensation when their service does not perform accordingly. 

From 2019 UK consumers will receive £8 a day if their service is not fixed and these funds will appear as a refund on their Internet bill.  Internet service providers will also be held accountable for promises made to consumers when it comes to repairing broadband or landlines and will be required to pay £5 a day if repairs are not made in a timely manner. 

Broadband has become an essential of modern life and businesses as well as consumers rely on having a high-speed connection to the Internet.    

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