ISPA will be responding to the Business, Innovation and Skills Department (BIS) on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) consultation, which is part of the plan to implement the EU ADR Directive. Many ISPA members have expressed concerns over the current process and we welcome any plans to revisit this important issue. ADR is the independent process for consumers and companies to settle disputes and complaints, and under the Communications Act all ISPs are required to be a member of an approved ADR scheme, with ISPA members receiving free membership to the CISAS scheme.

The UK has the world’s most competitive telecoms market, with increasing speeds and more varied services matched with decreasing prices for consumers making broadband the cheapest utility for households. However with the huge growth we’ve seen in broadband, there are sometimes unfortunate incidents where service is below par and ADR is required. We support ADR as it provides peace of mind to both consumers and ISPs the sector has led the way in using ADR.

ISPA members feel the current scheme could be improved, and we will outline these improvements in the consultation. Currently, ISPs need to pay a case fee regardless of whether they win the case or not and there is nothing to dissuade vexatious claims from clogging up the system and creating delays. ISPA members also don’t feel there’s a level playing field, with ISPs unable to go beyond the ADR ruling, but complainants being able to take it further.

ISPA will be running a workshop on ADR with Ofcom and CISAS for members to discuss these concerns.

About ISPA

The Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA) was established in 1995 as a trade association to represent providers of Internet services in the UK. ISPA promotes competition, self-regulation and the development of the Internet industry.

For a list of members or other information about ISPA, please visit our website on or follow us on twitter @ISPAUK. You can also reach us by phone on 0203 397 3308.

The views expressed in this release are those of the Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA) and do not necessarily reflect the corporate policies of the individual companies that are members of the Association or other organisations that may be mentioned in the release.