Providing new water connections is currently one of only a few areas of the sector where customers in England and Wales can choose their service provider. In this market suitably qualified self-lay organisations (‘SLOs’) or new appointees are able to complete with water companies to provide certain services. On 28 September 2015 we published a consultation document ‘Trust and confidence: self-lay provision of new connections’. The primary purpose of our consultation was to seek views on the reasonableness of assurance terms a water company may offer when entering into a self-lay agreement with an SLO under section 51A of the Water Industry Act 1991 (‘the Act’). We have published a separate Information Notice setting out our general expectations on assurance terms. Our consultation also sought views on other areas that might cause difficulty when organisations need to access water companies’ non-contestable services in order to compete to provide new connections. The responses we received to our consultation identified a series of areas in which stakeholders felt the sector could make improvements in order to remove potential barriers to competition and enable more effective competition that can benefit customers.