Thursday , 21 March 2019
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Ofcom fines Virgin Media and fibre network operator MS3 – iNews

Ofcom fines Virgin Media and fibre network operator MS3 – iNews

In brief

  • Ofcom has fined Virgin Media and MS3 a total of £27,000
  • Both companies were late to provide information for an Ofcom market review

Ofcom has fined Virgin Media and fibre network operator MS3 over the companies’ failure to provide information in time for a market review.

The communications regulator issued Virgin Media with a £25,000 fine and the Hull and East Yorkshire-based MS3 with a £2,000 penalty.

Companies are required by law to provide Ofcom with information when requested by a specified deadline.

Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson (Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Ofcom said it asked both companies for details for a report into leased lines, dedicated high-speed data connections used by large businesses, mobile operators and broadband providers, as opposed to the general shared broadband connections used by consumers.

The submitted information was provided after the deadline without a reasonable explanation for the delay, it added.

“We take such failings seriously and have decided to fine both companies,” Ofcom said in a statement.

“We have also reminded them of the importance of responding to formal information requests by the deadlines set.”

Virgin Media has reached an agreement to keep ITV channels on its TV subscription

A third company, CityFibre, was spared a fine after also submitting information beyond the deadline after explaining the delay was down to an administrative error.

“MS3 are disappointed to learn of Ofcoms decision to fine us for allegedly providing information past the deadline for submission,” a spokesperson told i.

“This information was provided to Ofcom on time as requested and has since been proven in subsequent emails. As a smaller ISP/fibre network operator providing competition in a virtually unchallenged part of the UK in Hull we believe it is unfair to penalise us in this way.”

Virgin Media declined to comment.

Ofcom fined Virgin Media £7m for overcharging phone and broadband customers who wished to leave their contracts early in November last year. Mobile network EE was also fined £6.3m.

“Phone and broadband companies can charge customers who decide not to see out the minimum term of their contracts. But under Ofcom rules, those charges must be made clear to customers, and must not make switching to another provider too costly,” Ofcom said in a statement at the time.

“Our investigation found that both EE and Virgin Media failed to comply with these rules.”

Ofcom received the highest volume of complaints about Vodafone’s home broadband services between July and September last year, with Sky’s service receiving the fewest number of complaints.

Virgin Media generated the most complaints for both pay-monthly mobile and pay-TV services.

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