Fairness for customers is a priority for Ofcom and we have a significant work plan to help achieve this. We want people to shop around with confidence, make informed choices, switch easily and get a fair deal.
As part of this work, we are proposing a new package of measures to protect broadband, mobile, pay TV and landline phone customers and help ensure they get a fair deal.
Our proposals respond to changes to the European regulatory framework. The Government consulted earlier this year on how to reflect these changes in UK law.
We set out some of the main changes we are proposing to make to our rules. Alongside this document, we are publishing a consultation on proposed changes to our accreditation scheme for price comparison websites, including changes to implement new European rules regarding independent comparison tools.
There is more information about one of the proposals in this consultation, emergency video relay, including British Sign Language videos, on this page.
On 24 March 2020, Ofcom published information on the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the sectors it regulates. This recognised the vital role that these sectors are playing, and the need for providers to prioritise support for people and businesses.
We also recognised that our planned work programme would need to be adapted and rescheduled, so that stakeholders can focus on business-critical matters. As part of this, we noted that industry implementation of new obligations may need to be delayed.
The Government and Ofcom continue to work towards transposition of the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) by 21 December 2020. To this end, Ofcom plans to publish a statement on implementation of the end-user rights aspects of the EECC in September 2020, subject to the Government confirming its approach to EECC transposition before then.
However, we recognise that, given the very challenging circumstances we are currently in as a result of the coronavirus crisis, providers are likely to need additional time to make the necessary changes to their systems and processes to bring themselves into compliance with the new rules. We therefore intend to allow providers at least 12 months from the date of the publication of our statement to implement these new rules. We may allow longer where very significant changes need to be made by providers. We will set out the industry implementation deadlines by provision when we publish our statement.
We are providing this update to stakeholders in advance of our final decisions so that providers can take this into account now. Otherwise, they would need to start planning the necessary systems and process changes, which would be difficult given the current need to focus their resources on supporting people and businesses.