New guidelines from Ofcom (the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries) will make switching from one superfast broadband supplier to another less expensive. Prior to changes in the rules, when a consumer switched from BT's Openreach (the company that controls BT's phone and broadband infrastructure) the new ISP would be hit with a £50 connection fee. This fee was typically passed on to the consumer.
Under new Ofcom rules, that fee would be dramatically reduced to around £11, a less painful fee that ISPs and customers can deal with. Ofcom has also lowered the minimum-term contract between BT and ISPs from one year to just one month, which will force BT to fix line errors within two working days of being notified of problems (weather permitting, of course).
The new rules take effect July 1.
Ofcom had to take its plan before the European Commission for approval in May. It finally received the greenlight to implement these new rules this week.