Broadband speed code

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New measures that will allow customers to cancel their broadband contract if speeds fall below an acceptable level and make it easier to change broadband providers have been welcomed in the Borders.

Outlining the strengthened Code of Practice on broadband speeds, OFCOM has said broadband providers need to provide better information so customers can compare services, make it easier for them to switch their provider, improve their contract terms and handle complaints better.

Sarah Lee, head of policy for the Countryside Alliance, said: “This is very good news for rural people, many of whom pay for speeds they cannot receive because of a lack of infrastructure in their area.

“Broadband is no longer something that’s nice to have but a must have for everyone living in the UK, including those in the countryside.

“For too long rural homes and businesses have been in the slow lane of a two-speed digital economy. Being able to get out of contracts with companies that cannot provide a service and change providers to those who can, could prove very useful, as will better customer service and complaints handling.”

MSP John Lamont said: “Borders residents who have to deal with slow internet speeds know just how important it is to have a fast internet connection. Whether it is for an individual or a business, having broadband is vital in this day and age, and it is no wonder many towns and villages in our region are calling out for better connectivity.”

“Scottish Conservatives want to set up a rural broadband fund open to individuals and businesses and double the amount of funding currently available. While more investment is certainly needed, residents can help improve the service on offer by switching provider when things are not good enough.”