• Communication of 27 November 2023 on the benchmarking of the fixed service and convergent bundle rates on the residential market [Tariffs applied in Q4 2023]

    Publications › Communication -
    The BIPT carries out a national price benchmarking each year. This study takes demand as its starting point, i.e. the needs that different types of telecoms service users have to satisfy.
  • Inflation hampers postal market growth in 2022

    Publications › Press release -
    For the first time, the volume of letter post fell below 100 per capita on an annual basis.
  • Communication of 21 November 2023 regarding the Belgian postal services observatory for 2022

    Publications › Communication -
    The indicators present in this observatory aim at providing a representation of the market structure intended for all the stakeholders of the postal sector (senders, addressees, operators, various intermediate players, etc.).
  • FAQ

    What is Easy Switch?

    Easy Switch facilitates the switching of operators if you have at least one Internet access service or one television service.

    It relieves you from most of the administrative steps in case of a switch. Your new operator takes care of the cancellation of the old contract as soon as his services have been installed at your place.

    The procedure always applies for consumers but companies or non-profit organisations can also appeal to it when, at their previous operator, they: 

    • have subscribed to a tariff plan destined for consumers, or
    • use a standard tariff plan for businesses. This is a “take it or leave it” type of tariff plan: the rates and other parameters are non-negotiable. Generally these tariff plans were or are published on the operator’s website. Here you will find an indicative list of this type of tariff plans per operator.  

    What does Easy Switch?

    • Easy switch facilitates the switching of fixed operators. It is a standard procedure, unless you choose not to use it. In that case, you must terminate your contract by yourself with your previous operator.
    • If you use the Easy Switch procedure, you mandate your new operator to take care of the transfer in your stead, and thus to terminate the previous contract.
    • You only have to mention whether you want to transfer your number (including your mobile number if it is offered with the fixed services) or cancel it. In the absence of indications, the number shall remain with your previous operator (but your contract and/or the price may change).
      Certain operators do not allow you to keep a number without Internet access. If you do not indicate what you want concerning your number, you might lose it.
      So, gather all the necessary information!

    Why use Easy Switch?

    • Easy Switch limits the duration of service interruption: the new operator contacts the operator you are leaving as soon as it is ready to provide you with the requested services. It takes care of the termination of the services and of the contract with the operator you are leaving.
    • Easy Switch limits the risks of a double billing. The operator you are leaving must stop charging you for its services no later than by the end of the day following the day it was informed of the transfer.

    What should I take into account before taking my decision?

    • As a consumer, a company or a non-profit organisation with no more than 9 employees: check whether a fixed-term contract is still active at your previous operator. If you took out your contract less than 6 months ago, your operator may charge you a termination fee. This fee is limited to the subscription fee you would have paid until the 6th month of the contract.
    • Companies or non-profit organisations with an average of 10 employees or more during the recent financial year cannot enjoy this limit. Check in the contract whether, and to what degree, cancellation fees are due in case of a cancellation prior to the expiration of the fixed term!
    • Check if the operator sold you a device at a reduced price with the subscription. In that case, the operator can charge you the residual value of the device. This value must be indicated in a repayment table in the contract (or an annex).. Each month, the same amount must be deducted from the residual value of the device. After 24 months, an operator can never charge you an indemnity for the device.

    What do I have to communicate to my new operator?

    • The customer number your previous operator gave you,
    • The Easy Switch ID with your previous operator:
      You will find that code (a series of numbers and/or letters):
      - online, in your customer page or in the operator app;
      - in your invoice;
      - in the welcome letter or e-mail of your new operator since 1 July 2017.
    • If you wish to keep for 18 months your e-mail address with the name of the provider you are leaving.
      Certain operators allow you to keep the e-mail address without you having to request it. It is therefore recommended to contact your operator for more information.
    • The fixed and mobile number(s) you wish to transfer or cancel with your previous operator.
    • Possibly the period during which you wish the services to remain active with the operator you are leaving, while the services of your new operator have already been activated.
      This can be useful for instance when you move into a new home and change to a new operator.

    What rights do I have when changing to another fixed operator?

    A fixed date on which the new service is activated

    You have the right to agree with the operator on an exact date to activate his services. 

    As soon as the operator knows he will not be able to meet that deadline, he must notify you and agree on a new fixed date with you. 

    If this does not happen, you are entitled to a compensation of 6 euros per day of delay for the installation (the fixed date on which the installation eventually did not take place, is included in the number of days of delay). You need to apply for this compensation with your new operator. 

    Appointment in a half-day time slot

    If the visit of a technician is required, you have the right to make an appointment within time slots of maximum half a day. That way, you do not have to take a whole day off.
    If the technician did not show up at the agreed time, you are entitledto a fee of € 30 per missed appointment. Your new operator has to pay you this fee automatically if the attendance at the agreed time has not been proven by a technician's report.

    A switch without an interruption of service of more than one working day

    The Easy Switch rules instruct the operators to first activate the new services and then deactivate the old services. 
    But sometimes that is technically not possible. For example, when the switch takes place on the same network. In that case, operators have to ensure a proper coordination and minimum disruption of service. 

    If the interruption of service takes longer than one working day (excluding the day of the interruption of service itself), the new operator will automatically have to pay you a compensation of 10 euros per calendar day that the service remains interrupted.

    For example: the old service was interrupted on Thursday; the new service was activated the following Tuesday. You are automatically entitled to a compensation of 30 euros by your new operator. This must be paid upon the first invoice following the migration or via a credit note issued on the occasion of this first invoice.

    What are the other steps if I have requested an Easy Switch?

    • If you have a modem or a decoder from your previous operator, you will probably have to return it.
    • The new operator or his technician cannot return this to the previous operator in your place.

    In which cases is Easy Switch not applicable?

    • If your company or non-profit organisation has a tariff plan that was ‘tailored’ to your company or non-profit organisation; usually such a tariff plan is not listed on the operator's website and the contract was concluded following a request for a quotation. 
    • If you wish to switch operators only for television, but not for the Internet or vice versa (partial migration).
      You must then terminate by yourself the service(s) of the operator you are leaving that you have selected for transfer.
    • If you move and remain with the same operator, the Easy Switch procedure does not apply either.

    When is the Easy Switch procedure only partially applicable?

    If you have taken out services with multiple operators.
    You can only request the Easy Switch procedure for the transfer from an operator you are leaving to the new operator. You must terminate the other services by yourself.

  • FAQ

    Where there is a continuous or regular significant difference between the actual speeds of the Internet access service and the speeds specified by the ISP in the contract.

     

    1. If that is the case, then the ISP should basically take actions to reach the promised level. If these actions do not solve the problem, then you are entitled to other contractual remedial measures, such as compensation for the damage and/or the dissolution of the contract.
    2. Secondly, if you do not achieve a satisfactory result with the operator, you can also contact the Office of the Ombudsman for Telecommunications, which will mediate free of charge in order to reach an amicable settlement of the dispute.
    3. In a third instance (or immediately after a prior written notice of the operator), the court can issue a binding ruling on the non-compliance with the contract.

  • FAQ

    How to accurately measure the actual speed?

    There are speed tests (either from third parties or from operators) to measure the ISPs’ actual speeds. Examples are: 

    You will find several others on the Internet. 

    Once you have selected one, it is in your interest to obtain as accurate as possible evidence of the inadequate speed. 

    The following conditions have a positive effect on the accuracy of the measurements:  

    1. always use the same speed test (this avoids deviations caused by other speed tests); 
    2. establish a fixed connection between the measuring device (laptop) and the modem (this avoids a speed that is too low due to the use of Wi-Fi restricted by walls or other electrical equipment);
    3. make sure that other persons in the household do not use the Internet at the time of measurement (they also take up capacity that cannot then be used for the measurement and thus reduces the result of the measurement);
    4. close all other programs (browser, gaming, music) on the measuring device (laptop) (even those programs use capacity which causes the measurement result to be too low);
    5. measure your speed between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. several times and for several days (to prove continuous or frequent inadequate speed);
    6. take screenshots of all measurements and save them along with the date and time of each measurement.

    The BIPT emphasises that even with all these tips in mind, there are still the limitations of the measuring device itself. For example, to measure a speed of 1 Gbps, the laptop must have a network card capable of achieving a speed of 1 Gbps. With more modern and/or expensive laptops, this is often possible already, but with older and/or cheaper models this may not be the case.

  • FAQ

    Find out first what speed your operator promised you in your contract

    Do not assume that you will get the speeds the operators advertise in their advertisements.

    Fixed Internet service providers (ISPs) have to mention the minimum, maximum and generally available speeds in their contracts and on their websites as well. 

    A BIPT Decision defines how these values have to be interpreted concretely, taking into account the set-up of networks in Belgium:

    • the minimum speed” shall be understood as the value of the speed the access provider will never drop below, unless there is an interruption of service;
    • generally available speed” shall be understood as the value of the speed that an end-user would expect to obtain for most of the time when accessing the service (i.e. for at least 95% of the time);
    • "maximum speed" shall be understood as the value of the speed which the user may expect at certain times, in principle at least once per 24-hour period. 

    The actual speeds shall be between the minimum and maximum speeds and preferably as close as possible to the generally available speed.

  • The BIPT opens up the modem market

    Publications › Press release -
    Users are no longer forced to take their operator’s modem/router when they conclude their Internet subscription.
  • Non-prior stamp price to rise to €1.46 from 1 January

    Publications › Press release -
    These increases are in line with the applicable postal legislation
  • Annual savings of up to €120 compared to the minimum price you would pay with an incumbent operator thanks to the comparison of mobile service tariffs

    Publications › Press release -
    In its latest study based on its tariff simulator bestetarief.be/meilleurtarif.be, the BIPT highlights the consumer-friendly developments observed over the last twelve months on the mobile market, particularly with significant increases in data and the emergence of new formulas.
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