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Phone providers to be banned from charging for caller ID

Phone Providers To Be Banned From Charging For Caller ID

Landline providers will be banned from charging for caller display facilities from 1 October 2018. The change is one of a number being made by Ofcom as it tweaks some of its regulations in order to provide more protection for consumers. Ofcom said caller display features can help people screen nuisance calls.

Some providers, such as TalkTalk and Sky, offer the service to their landline customers at no extra cost but BT charges ?1.75 a month and Virgin Media ?2.25 a month.

As well as having to provide the service free of charge, providers will also need to ensure that the numbers being displayed are valid, dialable and uniquely identify the caller.

They will also be required to identify and block calls with invalid or non-dialable numbers.

Other changes being introduced by Ofcom next year include the requirement for all communications providers to offer disabled customers access to priority fault repair, third party bill management and accessible bills.

These facilities are already in place for landline and mobile services but will be extended to cover broadband.

Firms must also have clear policies in place for identifying vulnerable customers to ensure they are treated fairly and appropriately.

Ofcom’s examples of vulnerable customers include people with learning or communication difficulties and those suffering physical or mental illness or bereavement.

Rules on billing accuracy, which currently cover voice call services, are being extended to include broadband and complaints handling rules are being strengthened in a bid to speed up the complaints process for consumers.

Separately, Ofcom is consulting on its powers to withdraw telephone numbers if they are misused, for example to cause harm or nuisance, or to engage in fraud.

It is also looking at which public bodies can request communications services to be restored in the event of a disaster and how providers should handle cancellation requests from customers.

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References

  1. ^ Close (www.cable.co.uk)

August update on state of broadband coverage across the UK and regions

August update on state of broadband coverage across the UK and regions

Another month has flown by and that means its time to look at the changes in broadband coverage across the UK and see how much of an impact all the work is having compared to the number of press releases that are issued. The same number of regions are included in the data this month, but we have now included the number of premises in each region and the breakdown for the various speed points too, thus making it easier to get an idea of what sort of change each 0.1% in the overall figure actually means.

thinkbroadband calculation of Superfast, USC, USO and Fibre Broadband Coverage1 across the UK, its nations and regions for premises
In descending order of superfast coverage – figures 6th August 2017
(change since 7th July 2017) Area % fibre based
VDSL2 or
FTTP or
Cable % superfast
24 Mbps or faster % superfast
30 Mbps or faster % Ultrafast
100 Mbps or faster % Openreach FTTP % Under 2 Mbps USC % Under proposed 10 Mbps USO North East 97.7% 96.3% (+0.1) 96% 52.8% (+0.1) 0.06% 0.2% 1.3% 927,552 Premises 905,759 893,634 890,447 877,939 600 2,169 12,094 London 97.2% 96.1% (+0.2) 95.9% 71.1% (+0.1) 1.90% 0.1% 0.8% 4,397,679 Premises 4,272,897 4,224,452 4,215,213 3,124,889 83,368 6,563 36,791 East Midlands 98.2% 95.9% (+0.1) 95.4% 58.7% (+0.1) 0.14% 0.5% 1.9% 1,101,327 Premises 1,081,586 1,055,946 1,051,212 645,955 1,498 5,613 20,570 South East 98.1% 95.7% (+0.1) 95.2% 52.4% (=) 1.22% 0.3% 1.6% 2,154,786 Premises 2,113,165 2,063,073 2,052,302 1,129,449 26,216 7,237 34,850 West Midlands 97.7% 95.4% (+0.1) 95% 64.4% (+0.1) 0.28% 0.4% 1.9% 2,767,345 Premises 2,702,906 2,641,404 2,628,726 1,781,983 7,854 11,345 52,155 North West 97.6% 94.8% (+0.1) 94.3% 48.5% (+0.1) 0.99% 0.7% 2.6% 3,895,746 Premises 3,801,455 3,692,854 3,672,825 1,887,588 38,714 28,239 100,225 England 96.7% 94.1% (+0.2) 93.6% 55.7% (=) 1.76% 0.6% 2.5% 23,891,665 Premises 23,105,672 22,472,665 22,350,644 13,313,043 420,025 135,215 602,189 United Kingdom 96.5% 93.4% (+0.2) 92.8% 52.8% (=) 1.61% 0.8% 3.1% 28,515,090 Premises 27,522,375 26,619,513 26,452,838 15,057,164 458,814 229,100 888,860 Rest Of Scotland 95.5% 92.5% (+0.5) 91.8% 47% (+0.1) 0.12% 1% 4% 2,338,003 Premises 2,231,953 2,161,972 2,147,373 1,098,494 2,833 23,718 92,540 East of England 95.8% 92.3% (+0.3) 91.6% 51.6% (=) 0.59% 0.7% 3.5% 2,602,529 Premises 2,492,069 2,401,162 2,384,473 1,342,575 15,241 19,153 90,202 Wales 95.5% 91.5% (+0.2) 90.5% 32.2% (+0.1) 2.48% (+0.14) 0.9% 4.9% 1,321,385 Premises 1,262,556 1,208,819 1,195,809 426,027 32,715 12,351 64,937 Yorkshire and Humber 93.9% 91.5% (+0.3) 91% 53.1% (+0.1) 5.1% (includes KCom Lightstream) 0.6% 3.9% 2,557,428 Premises 2,401,146 2,339,403 2,327,882 1,357,200 130,305 16,172 100,606 Scotland 94.7% 90.8% (+0.5) 90% 42.7% (+1.9) 0.11% 1.4% 5.3% 2,575,926 Premises 2,440,157 2,338,504 2,318,638 1,100,508 2,848 34,913 137,145 South West 95.6% 90.6% (+0.1) 89.7% 44.6% (+0.1) 3.33% 1.1% 4.4% 3,487,273 Premises 3,334,689 3,160,737 3,127,564 1,553,749 116,229 38,724 154,696 Northern Ireland 98.3% 82.6% (+0.4) 80.9% 30% (=) 0.44% 6.4% 11.6% 726,114 Premises 713,990 599,525 587,747 217,586 3,226 46,621 84,589 Highlands and Islands (HIE) 87.2% 73.4% (+0.8) 71.1% 0.08% (=) 0.08% 4.9% 19.6% 226,458 Premises 197,578 166,175 161,009 173 173 11,168 44,368

A week ago we were quoting 904,000 premises as needing work under the proposed Universal Service Obligation and that has now dropped to 888,860 premises as a result of the roll-outs and this reflects the importance when costing solutions or studying proposals to implement the USO that the impact of the continuing roll-outs of superfast broadband is considered. These figures do not include the contribution that fixed wireless is making to the superfast coverage levels from AirBand in Devon or UK Broadband in Swindon yet, they are on the to-do list to be integrated into the coverage analysis.

Scotland has crossed a milestone this month as it has reached the coveage level of 90.01% for premises (and for those not aware premises comprises homes + businesses) at the 30 Mbps and faster level and it will be interesting to see how long current pace of roll-out can be maintained.

Northern Ireland also appears to have woken up from a relative slumber with more cabinets, infill cabinets and little bits of native GEA-FTTP appearing.

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References

  1. ^ Council, Constituency and postcode broadband availability checker (labs.thinkbroadband.com)
  2. ^ Login (www.thinkbroadband.com)
  3. ^ Register (www.thinkbroadband.com)

First Utility offers broadband deals to wider public

First Utility Offers Broadband Deals To Wider Public

First Utility has made its broadband packages available to people who aren’t already an energy customer. The company launched a range of broadband deals earlier in the year for existing customers, but has now opened them up to the wider public. Basic up to 17Mbps broadband is ?18.99 a month with First Utility, including line rental.

Until 28 July, the up to 38Mbps package will cost ?27.99 a month (usually ?31.99) and up to 76Mbps is ?34.99. All First Utility’s broadband packages have an 18-month minimum term and are free from any kind of upfront charges. They come with pay as you go calls, although there is the option to add evening and weekend, anytime or international call packages.

For a limited time, all three plans also come with a six-month subscription to DisneyLife, Disney’s own streaming service that gives you access to hundreds of movies, TV box sets, music and books. First Utility says it will not increase the monthly charge to its customers at the end of their minimum contract term.

Back in March1, First Utility said it was targeting broadband customers who are paying over the odds because they are out of contract with their provider. The company’s UK managing director, Ed Kamm, said: “The parallels between the energy and telecoms markets are striking, with large swathes of households paying far too much for both services.

“We’ve proven that our approach of putting the customer in control results in more money in their pockets and we believe we can do the same with broadband.

“We’ve been successful in unsettling the Big Six in energy and our next target is the Big Four in broadband.”

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We won’t share your postcode with anyone.

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References

  1. ^ Back in March (www.cable.co.uk)
  2. ^ Close (www.cable.co.uk)