Ofcom rules to allow consumers to terminate broadband contracts
Ofcom’s new chief has announced plans to make it easier for consumers to terminate contracts with providers whose broadband services are too slow.
Until now customers were for the most part locked into contracts once the first three months had passed, at which point a penalty fee was imposed if they cancelled their deal within their contract duration. But the new rules will mean that consumers can cancel under certain conditions.
While the new regulations will make it easier for subscribers to quit their existing contracts, it will no doubt also lead to more aggressive marketing from rival providers looking to poach customers from their competition, with much marketing messaging around 'our broadband is faster than yours'.
Ofcom’s incoming chief, Sharon White, has announced the changes to rules, with consumer group Which? welcoming the move.
The new rules apply only to internet providers using digital subscriber line (DSL) technology, meaning that customers of BT, EE, Sky and Talk Talk are affected, but not customers of Virgin Media, which uses a cable-based system.
Jawbone sues rival Fitbit for second time in two weeks over alleged patent infringement
Rivalry is intense in the smart fitness market with the news that Jawbone is suing rival Fitbit for a second time in a fortnight, with the former’s parent AliphCom claiming that the latter infringed on its patents.
Jawbone filed a suit yesterday (10 June) at the US District Court in San Francisco, claiming that Fitbit has infringed on a patent for a "wellness application using data from a data-capable band", adding that it has spent more than $100m on R&D and has hundreds of patents. Jawbone is seeking to stop Fitbit sales.
Fitbit said in a statement: "As the pioneer and leader in the connected health and fitness market, Fitbit has independently developed and delivered innovative product offerings to empower its customers to lead healthier, more active lives. Since its inception, Fitbit has more than 200 issued patents and patent applications in this area. Fitbit plans to vigorously defend itself against these allegations."
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