Codes of practice


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 is dedicated to information and research for the telecoms industry. This section covers the codes of practice.

The Voluntary Business Broadband Speeds Code of Practice aims to provide business customers purchasing standard business broadband services with transparent and accurate information on their broadband speeds.

The Code is a voluntary commitment from the Internet Service Providers who are signatories to the Code. They undertake to provide accurate and transparent speed information on standard business broadband services at point of sale, manage business customers' speed-related problems, and allow customers to exit the contract without penalty if speeds fall below a minimum threshold.

Current signatories to the Code are:

  • BT Business
  • Daisy Communications
  • KCOM (Hull business)
  • Talk Talk Business
  • Virgin Media
  • XLN
  • Zen

Links to the voluntary Business Code and a are provided below.

If you are an ISP and would like to sign up to the voluntary Business Code, please see: Voluntary Business Broadband Speeds Code of Practice PDF, 143.0 KB

Guide for Providers: Business Broadband Speeds Code of Practice - a guide for providers PDF, 111.5 KB

Under the voluntary code of practice on broadband speeds, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) agree to give clear information on broadband speeds to consumers when they consider or buy a home broadband service, and to provide redress when speeds performance is poor. Ofcom and ISPs have agreed a revised code which came into effect on 1st October 2015.

Links to the revised code, and a plain English guide for consumers are provided below.

List A shows those ISPs who have confirmed that they have now implemented and are signed up to the 2015 Code. ISPs who have signed up have agreed to abide by the principles and spirit of the Code. This does not guarantee compliance but we expect signatories to commit to honour the letter and spirit of the Code. We will monitor compliance with the Code using measures such as ongoing mystery shopping.

List B below shows those ISPs who informed us, at the time of implementation of the revised 2015 voluntary Code of Practice or at a later stage, that they want to sign up to the Code once they are compliant with the requirements.

If you are an ISP and would like to sign up to the voluntary 2015 Code of Practice, please email Celia.Pontin@ofcom.org.uk

List A

  • BT
  • Sky
  • Virgin Media
  • KC
  • EE
  • Talk Talk
  • Vodafone
  • Zen Internet

List B

  • Hyperoptic
  • Plusnet
  • InTouch Systems
  • The Co-op
  • Post Office

Download a print version of  the Voluntary Code of Practice: Residential Broadband Speeds (Updated) 2015  PDF, 104.1 KB

The 2015 Code is the up-to-date version of the Code, currently in force. For a previous version of the Code and signatories, please see Voluntary Code of Practice: Residential Broadband Speeds 2010 .

Summary

  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 14 (GC14) is the relevant condition for complaint handling and dispute resolution PDF, 449.4 KB
  3. Under GC14.4 communications providers must have and comply with procedures that conform to the Ofcom Approved Code of Practice for Complaints Handling when handling complaints made by domestic and small business customers. A copy of the Code of Practice and accompanying guidance has been provided below.
  4. Under General Condition 14.5 providers are obliged to implement and comply with a dispute resolution scheme ('ADR'). 
  5. There are penalties for non-compliance with General Condition 14. Under Section 96 of the Act, 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.

Documents for print

Guidance Notes to the Ofcom Approved Code of Practice for Complaints Handling PDF, 40.8 KB

The Ofcom Approved Code of Practice for Complaints Handling PDF, 20.9 KB