New regulations from Ofcom, which are intended to deliver faster line repairs and installations for UK phone and broadband customers, come into force today (1 July 2014), following approval from the European Commission*. The regulations will mean that, as a minimum standard, BT Openreach must aim to repair 70 percent of faults within just two working days.

Askar Sheibani, CEO of UK telecoms repair and support company, Comtek, praises Ofcom’s new rules but argues that they should apply to all network providers:

“Ofcom’s two-day repair regulation is good news for UK connectivity; both consumers and businesses should feel reassured that, in the event that their phone or broadband service suffers an outage, they will be back up and running within a specified timeframe. From today, connection issues are less likely to disrupt business operations, increasing productivity and boosting Britain’s economy as a whole. Indeed, the introduction of these rules could give the UK a competitive advantage, as no other European country has the level of network dependability that Ofcom is helping to ensure.

“My only disappointment is that these regulations only apply to Openreach, rather than all of the UK’s wholesale network operators, as this level of service is required by all phone and broadband customers. But whether they need to comply with these regulations or not, these other operators might soon start to feel the competitive heat, as their customers demand the same repair guarantees that Openreach has been forced to offer. Operators are often at the mercy of their supply chain, where poor quality products and support can cause network problems, and so they must use this new regulation as an incentive to re-evaluate suppliers.”

*http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/telecoms/ga/fixed-access-market-reviews-2014/statement-june-2014/volume1.pdf