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Ofcom Identifies Broadband And Service Priorities For 2016

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Ofcom pledges support for 10Mbps ambition and protection against nuisance calls

Ofcom has published its priorities for the upcoming year, during which it will conclude its once-in-a-decade review of the UK communications market, which could have major implications for providers of mobile, broadband, landline and television services.

The review has been a heated source of debate among politicians and the various service providers, in particular the future of BT’s Openreach division. The outcome is expected in early 2016, and is one of the main areas of focus outlined by the regulator.

Ofcom priorities

networksThe others concern maintaining competition, service quality and protecting consumers and the final plan for the 2016-17 financial year will also be finalised next year, during which it will implement the conclusions of the review. One area it has committed to looking at is Openreach’s service targets.

Among other things, Ofcom has pledged to help the government with its plan to make 10Mbps broadband available to anyone in the UK who wants such speeds by the end of this parliament and says it recognises the challenges of making communications services available to homes and businesses in rural areas – even post.

It has also reiterated promises to make offer better speed and coverage information for fixed and mobile broadband and make it easier to switch providers, especially with regards to mobile and triple play contracts. Nuisance calls will also be tackled, with Ofcom working the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the mobile operators on introducing technical solutions to block problematic numbers.

Ofcom recently represented the UK at the UN-affiliated International Telecommunications Union (IT) World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC-15) in Geneva and yesterday said it was going to delay the planned auction of 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz spectrum following the threat of legal action by O2 and Three.

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