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Ofcom to make it easier to switch ISPs

45% of web userss think it's too much hassle

Web users will find it easier to switch between broadband providers under new proposals from Ofcom.

The watchdog is considering how moving between different ISPs or landline providers can be improved, following research which revealed 45 percent of web users believe switching between providers is "too much hassle".

Ofcom says if the new provider takes the lead on the switching process, consumers are likely to receive the least hassle and will also be protected from 'slamming' - a collection of tactics, such as forging signatures, that see consumers switched without their consent.

The proposals are part of Ofcom's latest Annual Plan. The watchdog plans to publish further proposals on the issue in spring next year.

"The broadband switching process is particularly cumbersome, not least because there is often more than one process involved and customers often have to request their MAC code from their existing provider before being able to move to the new one. This slows down what could be a more straightforward process," said Michael Phillips, product director at Broadbandchoices.co.uk.

"Broadband switching should be as simple as energy or any other utility and the process of using MAC codes is often difficult for customers to understand. The 'losing' provider can drag their feet in providing the MAC code and sometimes putting them off switching altogether."

Ofcom also said that half of web users currently bundle their internet connection with TV or landline services.

See also: Ofcom: average broadband speed is 5.2Mbps

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