Codes of practice

Published: 15 December 2023

Ofcom is committed to a thriving telecoms sector in which companies can compete fairly, and businesses and customers benefit from the choice of a broad range of services. This section covers the codes of practice.

We have updated the broadband speeds codes of practice. The updated codes apply to broadband purchases from 21 December 2022. For more information, see below.


  1. Section 52 of the Communications Act 2003 places a duty on Ofcom to set general conditions to ensure that communications providers establish and maintain procedures to, amongst other things, handle complaints and resolve disputes between them and their domestic and small business customers.
  2. General Condition C4 (GC C4) is the relevant condition for complaints handling and dispute resolution.
  3. Under GC C4.2 communications providers must have and comply with procedures that conform to the Ofcom Approved Complaints Code when handling complaints made by domestic and small business customers. A copy of the Ofcom Approved Complaints Code is set out in the annex to GC C4.
  4. Under General Condition C4.3, providers are obliged to be a member of, and comply with, an approved alternative dispute resolution (‘ADR’) scheme.
  5. There are penalties for non-compliance with General Condition C4. Under Section 96 of the Communications Act 2003, Ofcom may impose a penalty of up to ten per cent of turnover for failure to comply with a formal notification within the time period specified.

GC C4, and the Ofcom Approved Complaints Code, can be found in the unofficial consolidated version of the General Conditions (PDF, 1.3 MB).

From 1 April 2019, broadband and home phone customers will receive compensation from their service provider for delayed repairs, missed engineer appointments and delays with the start of a new service.

The following firms are signed up to the scheme:

  • BT (joined 1 April 2019)
  • EE (joined 4 May 2021)
  • Hyperoptic (joined 28 October 2019)
  • Plusnet (including John Lewis Broadband) (joined 4 May 2022)
  • Sky (including NOW Broadband) (joined 1 April 2019)
  • TalkTalk (joined 1 April 2019)
  • Utility Warehouse (joined 17 February 2020)
  • Virgin Media (joined 1 April 2019)
  • Vodafone (joined 3 November 2021) (for customers on the Openreach network only).
  • Zen Internet (joined 1 April 2019)

See the full code of practice (PDF, 208.3 KB) for more detail.

We have published a review of the first year of the automatic compensation scheme.

More information on what you need to know about automatic compensation is available.

In September 2022, the broadband speeds codes of practice were updated. You can read more about the updates in the 2022 broadband speeds codes of practice which apply to broadband services from 21 December 2022. We also updated our guide for consumers on the broadband speeds codes of practice to reflect these changes.

The main purpose of the changes were to update the previous 2018 broadband speeds codes of practice so that the right to exit – which applies to broadband and other bundled services – are in line with Ofcom’s revised General Conditions of Entitlement (‘revised GC’s, which were implemented from 17 June 2022). The other protections set out in the 2018 codes have been carried through to the 2022 codes unchanged.

Currently, the following providers have signed up to the new codes:


  • BT
  • EE
  • NOW Broadband
  • PlusNet
  • Sky
  • TalkTalk
  • Utility Warehouse
  • Virgin Media
  • Zen Internet (joined in 2021)


  • BT
  • TalkTalk
  • Virgin Media

Note: Since 15 December 2023, Daisy Communications (including XLN) are no longer signatories to the Voluntary Business Broadband Speeds Code of Practice.

If you are a provider and wish to sign up to the codes, or have any questions about becoming a signatory, please email

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