Telecommunications: Competition

(asked on 29th March 2018) - View Source

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of problems switching fixed telephony provider on the competitiveness of the fixed voice market in the UK.

Answered by
Lord Ashton of Hyde Portrait
Lord Ashton of Hyde
This question was answered on 16th April 2018

Ofcom, the independent communications regulator, have recently reviewed the voice only (fixed telephony) market. They found that there are some competitiveness issues in this market which have arisen due to a large majority of consumers moving to voice and broadband packages, and as a result major communications providers withdrawing from the voice only market,limiting consumer choice. Ofcom found that the consumers remaining in the voice only market are largely unengaged, with average contracts lasting over 20 years and is therefore working with the largest provider of voice only services (BT), to explore how communications with these consumers could improve their engagement.

Switching issues within the voice only business market mainly relate to the process of porting numbers, which is the ability to retain telephone numbers as you move to a new communications provider. The Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator is independent from Ofcom and industry, and is leading discussions on how to improve porting arrangements. Further details about its role can be viewed at:

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