Customers who receive unacceptable broadband speeds from internet service providers will be allowed to leave their contracts early, Ofcom will announce later today.
The regulator’s new chief executive, Sharon White, is also introducing new measures to make switching between broadband and landline companies easier.
In her first speech since joining Ofcom, she will call on ISPs to make their contracts with customers easier to understand, and to handle complaints more effectively.
At the Which? conference, Ms White is also expected to tell providers that they must give the public better information on alternative products, helping them to compare the deals on offer.
She will say: “When Ofcom was established, access to a reliable internet connection and mobile phone was nice to have.
“Now it is essential to the functioning of the economy, to the way people work and live their lives.
“Improving delivery to consumers doesn’t just fall at the feet of the regulator – the delivery of first-class communications services is primarily the responsibility of providers.”
From next week, the process for Britons who are changing broadband providers is going to change, as the transition will be handled by the company that the consumer is moving to.
This is expected to make a “real difference” to internet users, and could encourage more people to take full advantage of competition in the marketplace.
Once the changes have been enforced, Ofcom plans to set its sights on mobile networks, with similar plans that would make it easier for shoppers to switch between providers.