A new code of practice for business broadband providers has been drawn up by Ofcom, with a number of providers already signing up.
Seven broadband providers in the UK have already signed up to the code, which encourages providers to agree to give clear and accurate information to customers on the speeds they can expect before they sign a contract.
The code of practice, which is voluntary, provides guidelines on the responsibilities of the providers. One of the features of the code is the freedom of customers to leave their contract if they are not receiving the minimum business broadband speeds they have been promised. The providers that have signed up currently arrange broadband services for two-thirds of the UK’s SMEs.
The news of the code of practice has been welcomed by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). FSB Policy Director Mike Cherry said that small businesses need to know what broadband speeds they should receive to enable them to plan effectively. He added that reliable and fast internet services are essential for modern business, helping with everything from sales to cloud data storage.
The chief executive of Ofcom, Sharon White, said that the code will help companies to avoid penalties when they leave contracts early if the provider has not achieved the promised speeds.
The code will encourage providers to give clear information in advance to customers. It is estimated that one-fifth of UK SMEs are not getting the business broadband speeds they have signed up for.