As we’ve previously reported and also mentioned in today’s podcast, a number of new European telecoms regulations come into force today. Ofcom has issues a statement that explains how these will affect the UK.
The changes include shorter contract terms, compensation for delays to number porting and improved access to emergency services for disabled consumers.
Contracts: the maximum commitment for new fixed-line, mobile phone or broadband contracts will be a maximum of 24 months. In addition, customers must also be offered the option of a 12 month minimum term.
Emergency SMS scheme: mobile operators must make the emergency ‘text 999’ scheme available to hearing and speech-impaired customers.
Mobile number portability: all customers, from individuals to large businesses, must be able to move their mobile phone number to a new network within one working day. Providers will be obliged to compensate customers if they fail to ‘port’ numbers within one working day.
Ed Richards, Ofcom Chief Executive, said “These changes to the regulations should make it easier for consumers to take advantage of the wide range of competition in the UK communications market. The emergency SMS scheme has proved very successful and is highly valued by hearing and speech-impaired people. It is right that this service should be made permanent in order to safeguard it for the people who depend on it.”