The Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority (JCRA) has published its key findings and recommendations from its Market Study into retail prices for broadband, fixed line and mobile phone services in Jersey.
The key findings are:
- Consumers benefit from a competitive market in Jersey.
- The price people pay for telecoms services in Jersey is below average when compared to other similar-sized jurisdictions.
- Jersey is more expensive than the UK for mobile voice and data services, and selected ‘bundled’ packages but generally less expensive for high speed fixed broadband. However, care needs to be taken when making direct comparisons with the UK because of the higher cost of delivering goods and services in Jersey.
The Market Study, which was carried out by the JCRA with the assistance of Teligen, was started in November 2021 using methodology developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The objective was to understand if Island residents benefit from competitive pricing in an international context for the telecoms services they buy. The study did not include services to businesses nor does the methodology incorporate mobile voice and data roaming charges faced by consumers.
The JCRA makes several recommendations in light of the study:
- The JCRA would encourage consumers to shop around before agreeing their next contract to find the deal that is best for them.
- The JCRA will, in future work programmes, take further steps to address problems consumers may face in switching services between providers.
- The JCRA will consider other service considerations, wider than just pricing, in its future work. A key focus will be on consumer protection, for example, around contractual terms and compensation.
- The JCRA will work with Teligen to track prices on an annual basis, with a full report update carried out after an appropriate period has passed.
Tim Ringsdore, CEO of the JCRA said: “This Study represents a significant piece of work, not just in the level of analysis but also the importance to consumers in Jersey, and to Government. Telecoms are an essential part of modern life and the prices people pay for their services, and the value they get from them, indicate if a market is working well.
The results are in the right direction, but there is still more work to be done to ensure consumers are getting the best value possible from island operators. This will be a focus of our future work programmes.”.
As an independent regulator the JCRA is responsible for promoting competition in the supply of goods and services in Jersey, together with the economic regulation of ports, postal and telecommunications sectors. Competition promotes economic efficiency and benefits consumers through fair prices, desirable goods and services and the opportunity to choose what they want to buy.
With respect to telecoms, the JCRA’s objective is to encourage sustainable competition, which will deliver innovation, value for money and service development for the benefit of consumers. Sustainable competition also means that providers have an incentive to invest and can earn an appropriate return on their investment.
Market Studies are a flexible tool to explore whether a market, or a feature of a market, is working well for Jersey consumers.
 Teligen is a division of Strategy Analytics, it’s focus is on global pricing and benchmarking data across retail telecommunications services. It offers a range of benchmarking services and it’s services are used extensively by regulators and service providers around the world.