Whilst many people across Northumberland are waiting for superfast broadband to arrive moves are afoot to improve their consumer rights for their normal broadband.
Lib Dem campaigners Julie Pörksen and Fiona Hall MEP have been working on getting a fairer deal for broadband customers. They have been concerned about the poor deal many people get with very slow download speeds but customers paying for a higher speed in their contracts which say ‘up to a Mb speed’.
Julie said: “All the attention lately has been on superfast broadband arriving. Superfast is fantastic for those who have it or are getting it soon but for some there will be a long wait.
“In the meantime lots of local residents and businesses are struggling with very slow download speeds. Yet they are paying for a contract which says up to a higher download speed. This is a serious consumer rights issue.
“Some rural businesses have contacted me to say the current system where companies are allowed to claim high speed is very unfair. One resident even told me he gets 0.7Mbps but pays for up to 8Mbps.
“I am very pleased that the EU is going to stop this unfair treatment of customers by powerful telecoms companies. It is really important that in the UK we put pressure on our Government to adopt this EU legislation as soon as possible.
Which? has started a campaign - www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/action/how-to-complain-about-your-broadband-speed.
Julie said: “I urge residents and businesses to add their voices to the Which? campaign. Consumers are paying for a service which they cannot receive. This needs to be challenged.”