Ofcom launches new advice line for small businesses » SMEInsider

Ofcom launches new advice line for small businesses

The telecoms regulator Ofcom has launched a new service for SMEs to help them get to grips with industry rules and make sure they’re not getting a raw deal.

The advice on offer is specifically tailored for businesses, says Ofcom, and includes information on choosing or switching to a new provider, navigating and negotiating contracts, and resolving complaints with a provider. It also explains the obligations that communications providers have to their business customers relating to landline telephone, broadband, mobile and postal services.

The launch follows research by Ofcom that found that, despite being happy overall with the kind of communications services on offer, more than a third of SMEs lack the confidence to identify which new products and services would benefit their business. 17% also said that the felt ill-informed about how communications services could help their organisation to survive and grow.

What’s more, SMEs that had cause to complain to their service providers reported having limited success. More than half that complained to mobile phone providers and a third that complained to internet providers did not feel that their issues had been resolved.

Ofcom hopes that its new service will enable SMEs to benefit from market competition and innovation, while understanding their rights as a business customer and receiving regulatory protection where necessary.

Ofcom is committed to supporting and protecting the interests of the SME community, a critical sector of the UK economy. We’ve already identified that SMEs are not benefitting as consistently as they should be from high quality digital communications. In particular, there is a greater need for more widespread availability of high-speed broadband and reliable mobile coverage,” said Ed Richards, CEO of Ofcom.

A significant programme of work is under way to ensure the communications needs of SMEs are better met. As part of this, we are today asking SMEs to share their first-hand experiences of communications services to help us further identify problems and tackle them.”