Ofcom chills out on rule enforcement for now

In an update on what the UK telecoms industry is collectively doing to help out coz of coronavirus, Ofcom said it would relax some of its rules for a bit.

The UK comms regulator said it acknowledges the extra effort telcos are putting in to keep the country connected during this unprecedented crisis. On top of that it realises that they, like every other organisation, are facing staff shortages. To encourage them to keep up the good work in spite of everything Ofcom has written to them to say it’s got their back.

“For example, we appreciate activities like end of contract notifications, which providers are required to send when customers are approaching the end of their minimum contract term, might be driving additional traffic to call centres at a time when organisations need to prioritise calls from vulnerable people and those that are having difficulties staying connected,” said the Ofcom announcement.

“So, while we are encouraging providers to send these notifications as normal, we will take a pragmatic approach to compliance with rules like this, recognising the significant challenges providers face at this time and the steps they need to take to respond to the impact of the coronavirus.

“Therefore, for the period that these unique circumstances apply, providers will not need to pay automatic compensation where they are unable to meet the requirements for repairs, installations and home visits in the scheme. This is in line with an exception in the scheme that applies to ‘civil emergencies’.”

Meanwhile, Vodafone is extending its unlimited data offer to all of its customers that work for the NHS, with them getting a text today informing them of the upgrade starting next Monday. So far the UK’s communications networks seem to be dealing with the change well and it’s good to see extra efforts being made to help the NHS worked that are at the front line of the fight.

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