Broadband customers are being urged to check their deal as a new report from Ofcom suggests many are paying too much for the service they receive.
Along with reducing monthly bills, Ofcom has also found that many broadband users could instantly boost their speeds without paying anything extra.
In fact, figures show that 94 percent of UK homes and offices can now get superfast broadband, but less than half have taken it up.
Ofcom says that around four million households with old-style, basic broadband have passed their initial contract period and could switch to a service with much faster speeds for the same – or less – money than they currently pay.
Speaking about the report, Sharon White, Ofcom Chief Executive, said: “We’re concerned that many loyal broadband customers aren’t getting the best deal they could.
“So we’re reviewing broadband pricing practices and ensuring customers get clear, accurate information from their provider about the best deals they offer.”
As well as warning broadband customers to check their deal, Ofcom is also announcing a range of measures to help people get the best deal.
These include demanding that suppliers give clearer information about their best available deals, both when current offers are coming to an end, and every year after that if they don’t change their deal.
Ofcom also wants a review of pricing practices to examine why some customers pay more than others, and whether vulnerable customers need extra protections to ensure they get a good deal.
Finally, there’s the launch of new information campaign and website, Boost Your Broadband. The website uses Ofcom data to tell people what broadband they can get in their area, and offers impartial advice on how to find the best deal today.
Backing the campaign, Margot James MP, Digital Minister, said: “Our rollout of superfast broadband is reaching thousands more homes and businesses every week and millions of people across the UK can now enjoy the clear benefits that superfast broadband provides.
"This is a welcome, positive step by Ofcom and I urge people to visit the website, check what services are available in their local area and then see if they can get a better deal.”
And Alex Neill, Managing Director of Home Products and Services at Which?, added: “Our research has shown that many UK households are paying huge loyalty premiums for staying on the same tariff when they could be paying less for a faster internet service.
“So we're supporting Ofcom's campaign to help the nation boost its broadband.
“If you are unhappy with your internet service, or you think you could be paying too much, you should look to switch provider or try haggling for a better deal.
“A few minutes of your time could potentially save you hundreds of pounds a year.”
The news of this latest broadband price alert comes as Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk, BT and Zen Internet have reached a deal with Openreach whereby customers will receive £8 in compensation for every day outages occur and take longer than 48-hours to fix.
Compensation will rise to £25 if an engineer that is supposed to fix the issue does not arrive on time or cancels 24-hours ahead of when they were meant to fix it.
An additional £5-per-day compensation has been agreed for when new services offered by the UK providers do not begin at the time specified.
The deal was initially reached last year, but Openreach has now agreed with internet service providers how much it will reimburse them for the compensation they pay to customers.
In addition to Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk, BT and Zen Internet, both EE and Plusnet have hinted they could also join the agreement.