21st December 2016

ITSPA Frustrated by Ofcom Inertia on Business Switching

ITSPA, the trade body for the next generation communications industry in the UK, voiced its frustration today regarding Ofcom’s failure to act in the area of fixed line business switching.

Yesterday it was announced that the system of number portability, which enables subscribers to change provider whilst keeping their existing telephone number will not undergo any significant changes as part of Ofcom’s Review of their General Conditions of Entitlement. Ofcom have instead stated that ‘the onus remains… on industry to reach consensus’ on how improvements can be made to the system. This leaves the telecoms industry immensely disappointed as the current system is simply not fit for purpose, with the UK process lagging behind its counterparts internationally.

Reacting to the news, the Chair of ITSPA Eli Katz stated “We are surprised that Ofcom remains wedded to the position of waiting for an industry-led approach despite the repeated failure of these attempts over recent years. Ofcom had previously suggested in their Review of Digital Communications that the General Condition Review could provide an opportunity for significant changes to be made, so we are exasperated at the decision”.

Katz continued “ITSPA believes that, given the widespread difficulties which are harming consumers and communications service providers, it is now essential for Ofcom to take a leading role in finding a solution to this problem that has affected consumers and the industry for many years. These include clear timescales around providers establishing porting agreements and then actually undertaking the switch. The regulator must intervene in these areas to ensure the whole industry plays ball”.

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