The U.K. government-approved regulatory and competition authority for the broadcasting, telecommunications, and postal industries (OFCOM) recently ruled that people should be able to switch telecom providers easily in order to take advantage of the range of services available. The regulator stresses that “easier switching allows people to shop around with confidence to find the best price and service for their needs. Difficulties in the switching process can put people off moving providers. Effective switching is also important to support competitive investment in, and take-up of, faster and more reliable broadband.”
Meanwhile, the U.K.’s Independent Networks Cooperative Association (INCA), which aims to support the development of the competitive digital infrastructure sector through collaborative activities, believes the U.K. urgently needs a world-class, 21st century digital infrastructure to support a competitive economy, one that will benefit both citizens and businesses.
To realize its goal, INCA signed a service agreement with Lithuanian IT and telecommunication company Mediafon Datapro to deploy its state-of-the-art internet services transfer (CWP) solution. The centralized migration system will connect all internet service providers and network access operators in the country and support managing, executing, and controlling the service migration processes. The company plans to implement its solution in the U.K. in the first quarter of this year.
According to Arūnas Babrauskas, CEO of the Mediafon Group, the brand-new product was developed following the corresponding European Union (EU) directive. The directive stipulates mandatory internet services transfer for all EU member countries.
"In many countries, access to the internet service provision infrastructure and the process of switching operators are limited due to the unequal competitive environment,” Babrauskas said. “The EU has decided to restructure and liberalize this market. This is understandable because, in the long term, the benefits will be felt by all stakeholders, and the price for the enduser should decrease by around 10% to 20%.”
A recent survey in the U.K. indicates 82% of respondents could be persuaded to switch to a smaller, lesser-known provider, particularly if the service was cheaper or of better quality. And, 55% of those who had changed providers did so with the aim of cost saving, while 36% switched due to issues with speed and poor connection.
According to Babrauskas, in the long term, it's not only the consumers who will benefit from the new technology but also the internet providers.
“Service operators receive equal access to market customers, and, as a result, competition is intensifying, the range of services is expanding, and quality is improving,” he said. “The consumer acquires the right to choose any service provider in the country, regardless of the place of internet services usage. This frees up the market, essentially.”