On 1 January 2016, Ofcom became the sole regulator (other than in relation to advertising) for on demand programme services (“ODPS”) under Part 4A of the Communications Act 2003 (the “Act”).
The UK Government intends to introduce a broadband universal service obligation (USO) that would give everyone a right to a decent broadband connection on reasonable request.
Ofcom exists to make communications markets work for everyone. To achieve this, we are proposing three main goals: to promote competition and ensure that markets work effectively for consumers; to secure standards and improve quality; and to protect consumers from harm.
In February 2016, Ofcom published its initial conclusions from its Strategic Review of Digital Communications. That document set out a range of actions to make communications work for everyone.
Ofcom is considering whether to update rules in the Broadcasting Code (“the Code”) relating to the protection of children. Specifically, Ofcom is considering whether broadcasters should be allowed to show a wider variety of content more suitable for adults before the watershed, provided that a mandatory PIN protection system is in place.
More Radio Spectrum for the Internet of Things
Providers of Publicly Available Telephone Services (‘PATS’ - fixed and mobile voice services) with an annual turnover in those services of over £40 million are required to obtain approval of their Total Metering and Billing Systems (‘TMBS’) from third-party assessors appointed by Ofcom.
Ofcom’s Business Connectivity Market Review examines the markets for the provision of leased lines to businesses in the UK. Every three years, Ofcom conducts a review of competition in the markets for the provision of leased lines in the UK. Where we find that a provider has “significant market power” (SMP) in a market (i.e. that they are able to act independently of competition) we impose regulations designed to address concerns about the impact of that market power on competition. This document is a consultation in relation to the current review. It sets out our provisional analysis of the market and identifies segments of the market in which we propose that a provider has SMP. The document also sets out what regulations we propose to impose to address such SMP.
This document is an interim consultation within Ofcom’s current Business Connectivity Market Review (BCMR). The BCMR looks at competition in the supply of leased lines, which we have historically defined as dedicated and symmetric fixed line connections purchased by businesses.
Variation of UK Broadband’s 3.4 GHz Licence
Proposal to apply Code Powers to Hyperoptic Ltd - Statutory notification under section 107(6) of the Communications Act 2003
Revisions to Ofcom's guidance on network and service security and resilience in the UK. Requirements in this area, which stem from the European regulatory framework, were implemented in the UK through revisions to the Communications Act 2003.
The availability of spectrum for mobile broadband applications over the next 10 to 15 years will be one of the issues that will be discussed at the World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC- 15). The WRC sets the international regulatory framework for spectrum. These conferences occur every three to four years with an agenda established by the previous conference.
Ofcom has published a Call for Input seeking stakeholder views on the types of information consumers would find useful when comparing the quality of experience of using different mobile services. Publication of such information would allow consumers to make better informed purchasing decisions and therefore drive competition in the market. The information could also assist Ofcom in fulfilling its duties to report on the status of UK networks and services.
Ofcom is consulting on how to protect consumers from price rises during fixed contracts for landline, broadband and mobile services.
Ofcom has published a call for inputs as part of its review of the services available to promote access to communication services for disabled people. Ofcom is exploring a number of measures to enhance the existing obligations on communications providers in this respect as set out under General Condition 15.
Ofcom has published a draft code, under which ISPs would notify subscribers of allegations that their account has been used to infringe copyright and a short statutory consultation on the draft code, setting out reasons for our proposals. The consultation closes on 26 July 2012.
Ofcom has published a consultation on the sharing of costs incurred by the scheme. This consultation closes on 18 September 2012.
Ofcom has proposed a set of measures to make changing broadband and landline providers simpler and more reliable, while protecting consumers from being switched without their knowledge or consent.
Ofcom published proposals to improve text relay services used by people with hearing and/or speech impairments to communicate on the phone. This includes a range of improvements including the ability to hear the other person and see captions to support what they’re hearing; the ability to interrupt a conversation, instead of having to wait until the end of a message; and allowing the use of mainstream equipment such as PCs and netbooks to access services.