With the latest announcement from the UK Telecoms regulator, Ofcom, the end of confusing jargon in the fibre sector could be on the horizon. Albeit that consumers will have to wait until the autumn, at the earliest, for this to be enforced.
However, Ofcom has announced that it recognises the need for clarity around what fibre and full fibre really is. With legacy networks existing alongside full fibre, and with these often being a mix of both, consumers need to be given the right information about what it is they are buying.
Ofcom note, “Ofcom research has found that only 46% of customers who reported being on full-fibre broadband were living in areas where it is actually available.” and, “In addition, more than a quarter (27%) of broadband customers lacked confidence in understanding the language and terminology used by providers.”.
In summary, they are stating that internet providers use clear information, with industry references to the type of network consistent across the sector. So, no more fibre or full fibre unless a connection is actually FTTP. They state, “So, we are proposing new guidance to ensure providers give information on the underlying technology of the broadband connection using one or two consistent terms. Providers should also give a more detailed explanation of these terms in a format that is readily accessible to customers.”
This is great news for altnets, who have spent years campaigning for a clearer message in light of the larger incumbent providers using confusing terminology when selling connections to their customers. The hope is, that with a better understanding of what they are really getting, customers will become more mobile and more likely to make the switch to genuine full fibre.
James Warner, CSO at FullFibre comments on this latest announcement, “After years of suffering confusing jargon, customers can now breathe a sigh of relief that there will be some clarity when it comes to what they might actually be getting when they buy broadband. It has taken far too long for Ofcom to announce this, and it won’t come into force until the autumn, at the earliest, so a few more months of miss-leading the consumer left and then we can all be clear on what Fibre actually is.
“Hopefully this is the start of some clarity and consistency across the sector, which won’t just help the consumer, but start to de-mystify something that should be simple and for the benefit of all.”