Ofcom hits BT with £17.5M fine over emergency call system failure

Ofcom has imposed a £17.5 million fine on BT for its inadequate preparedness in handling a major disruption to its emergency call service last summer. The incident, which occurred on 25 June 2023, left nearly 14,000 emergency call attempts unsuccessful and potentially put lives at risk.

The failure, described as "catastrophic," affected BT's ability to connect calls to emergency services for over 10 hours, from 06:24 to 16:56. During this period, 12,392 different callers were...

Ofcom cracks down on unpredictable telecom price hikes

Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, will require telecoms providers to clearly state any price increases in pounds and pence upfront, giving customers more certainty about their monthly outgoings.

The new regulations are set to take effect from 17 January 2025 and come in response to the growing trend of major UK phone, broadband, and pay TV companies including inflation-linked price rises in their contracts. Ofcom found that this practice left customers without sufficient...

London police make ‘SMS blaster’ arrests

London police have arrested two individuals in connection with a scheme using an "SMS blaster" to send thousands of fraudulent messages. These messages, posing as banks and official organisations, aimed to deceive the public into sharing personal information.

The investigation, believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, uncovered the use of an illegal telephone mast functioning as an "SMS blaster." This device enabled the perpetrators to bypass mobile networks' security...

Ofcom’s consumer protections ‘fall vastly short’

Ofcom has introduced new rules aimed at better protecting UK mobile customers against unexpected roaming charges while using their phone abroad and at home.

Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, EU ‘roam like at home’ rules – and UK law requiring mobile operators to alert customers of roaming charges when they start to roam – have ceased to apply. Since then, many operators have voluntarily continued to send their customers alerts.

However, a review...

BT updates price hike policy ahead of new regulations

BT is overhauling its policy on mid-contract price hikes ahead of strict new regulations being imposed by the UK's communications regulator Ofcom. The company said it will stop linking price rises to inflation and instead specify clearly in monetary terms what increases customers can expect. 

The move comes after Ofcom found last year that the way telecoms companies raise prices lacks transparency and can be confusing for consumers. Under BT's current model, tariffs are adjusted...

Connected Nations: UK full-fibre broadband reaches 17M homes

A record-breaking 17 million UK homes now have access to full-fibre broadband, according to Ofcom's latest Connected Nations report released today.

The report highlights the advantages of full-fibre broadband, emphasising its increased reliability and resilience compared to traditional copper-based networks. 4.6 million households have already made the switch.

Analysis indicates that providers experience fewer faults on their fibre networks, contributing to a smoother...

Ofcom plans to improve mid-contract price rise transparency

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced plans to improve transparency around mid-contract prices.

The regulatory body has expressed concerns about the prevalent practice of mid-contract price rises – often linked to unpredictable inflation – adopted by major phone, broadband, and pay TV companies. In response, Ofcom is suggesting tougher protections for consumers by considering a ban on this practice.

Confusing price rise terms

Ofcom argues that unclear terms...

Ofcom: Over half of UK can access full-fibre, mobile coverage steady

In the latest release of Ofcom’s Connected Nations report, the regulator has provided insight into the state of mobile coverage and broadband availability across the UK.

The report, which delves deep into the accessibility of essential services, brings encouraging news regarding full-fibre broadband accessibility and a steady course for mobile coverage.

Full-fibre reaches majority of UK homes

The standout revelation from the report is the availability of full-fibre...

Brits hit with above-inflation price increases for unreliable broadband

Consumer champion Which? has found that Brits are being hit with above-inflation price increases for their broadband while suffering from unreliable services.

According to the research – which gathered responses from nearly 4,000 broadband customers – 53 percent of respondents had experienced issues such as slow speeds, connection dropouts, outages, and router problems.

The problems were widespread across all broadband providers, with only marginal differences...

Ofcom launches BT investigation after emergency calls disruption

Ofcom has launched an investigation into BT following a national issue that disrupted national emergency services calls on June 25th.

On that day, individuals across the country were unable to connect with emergency services by dialling 999, as advised by the police, fire, and ambulance departments. Instead, they were instructed to call alternative numbers such as the non-emergency 101 line.

According to Ofcom's regulations, BT and other service providers are obligated...