U.K. telecoms regulator Ofcom has instigated three new regulations designed to benefit mobile phone users.
The first limits the length of contract both mobile phone and broadband providers can offer U.K. consumers. Under its new regulations 36 month deals will be illegal. The new maximum term will be set at 24 months, though the provider will also be legally obliged to offer a 12 month alternative.
The second reform will amend the U.K.'s current laws around number porting. Number porting refers to the practice of keeping your existing number when switching contracts. While the service is currently commonplace in the U.K., under the new regulations networks will be legally bound to have the number transferred and active within one working day.
As an added bonus, Ofcom added the caveat that failure to do so will entitle the customer to "reasonable compensation" from the network provider.
The third and final amendment to the law focuses on the issue of emergency text messaging.
Ofcom's new "emergency SMS" scheme will certain citizens with a valid disability -- mild to severe deafness or speech impairments -- to register with them. After registering the members will be able to contact the emergency services by texting rather than calling 999.