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Busted broadband must be fixed in two days under new rules

Watchdogs want to speed things up so you can get on the Web without waiting, with repairs and new installations to be completed faster.


Sick of waiting ages for someone to come and fix your phone or install your Internet? Watchdogs want to speed things up so you can get on the Web without waiting.

Telecoms regulator Ofcom proposes new guidelines that would ensure new phone and broadband would be installed in less than twelve days, while busted lines would be repaired in a couple of days.

The new rules hold infrastructure company Openreach to new minimum standards, including fixing faulty phone or broadband lines in two working days for around 80 per cent of consumers and businesses having problems.

Openreach is the company that installs and maintains connections to BT's network, which is used by various phone and Internet service providers to pipe the Web into your house. Extreme wet weather conditions in 2012 saw Openreach's performance take a bath, and although a crackdown in 2013 has seen performance return to normal, Ofcom believes Openreach can still do better.

Ofcom will finalise its plans in spring of next year. Should Openreach fail to meet the new standards after 12 months, it could face fines.

However Sky, for one, feels the new guidelines don't go far enough. " While we welcome Ofcom's action to impose minimum quality standards, we're concerned that some of its proposals do not match up to customers' expectations," a Sky spokesperson told me today. "Most people do not regard 12 working days as an acceptable standard for installing a new telephone line and it is well short of the goals we set in our own business. We believe that Openreach can and should be required to do better."

Have you faced a horror story with your Wi-Fi or phone being fixed or installed? Has any ISP particularly let you down -- or impressed you -- with its service? What's your ISP like? Tell me your thoughts in the comments, or install yourself on our Facebook page.