Ofcom, the telecommunications watchdog, claims in the past to have received a high number of complaints from consumers who have switched from one broadband provider to another. Users often face substantial and frustrating delays when switching, and many have found it difficult to obtain a migration authorisation code from their current providers.

Ofcom has now proposed to introduce new regulations aimed at resolving these issues. These regulations will make it mandatory for all telecommunications providers to supply MACs to their customers on request. Currently, MAC requests do not have to be fulfilled by broadband providers; it is a completely voluntary industry initiative, which makes it very difficult for complaints to be made.

Responses to the proposals have a deadline of 5th October 2006, with legislation hopefully following by the middle of next year.

Chris Williams, broadband product manager at comparison and switching service uSwitch.com, said:

"From the consumer's point of view, Ofcom's proposal to make the current voluntary practice of providing a MAC code compulsory for all broadband providers is great news. We hope that their recommendation is implemented as soon as possible to enable customers to take full advantage of the current broadband price war.