News

Ofcom Review of Universal Service requirements

Ofcom has just published [10 January 2005] its Review of the Unversal Service Obligation. The Universal Service regulation ensures that basic fixed line telecoms services are available to all UK consumers at an affordable price.

Under sections 66 and 67 of the Communications Act 2003, Ofcom requires BT and Kingston Communications to provide a range of universal services including:

  • Public call boxes;
  • Low cost schemes to help those on low incomes;
  • Telephone lines capable of delivering dial up internet access;
  • Special services for people with disabilities.

This consultation seeks views on proposals which are designed to ensure that existing universal services requirements keep pace with developments in technology and with changes to consumers” needs.

Ofcom review of the Unversal Service Obligation

Ofcom approach to new spectrum allocations and liberalisation in mobile

Radio spectrum is a vital resource which underpins the broadcast and telecommunications industries, as well as essential public services such as the emergency services and air traffic control.

Ofcom is today (13 January 2005) seeking views on proposals to make a significant number of spectrum bands available to the market over the next few years. The consultation also outlines options for extending spectrum trading and liberalisation to mobile phone services.

This consultation is part of Ofcom’s wider programme of making greater use of market mechanisms to manage spectrum.

The document invites comments on these issues and on a number of other relevant issues.

Spectrum Framework Review: Implementation Plan

Broadband soars in 2004

If broadband were a jumbo jet, then 2003 would have seen it taxiing down the runway, firing up its engines and preparing for take-off. But this year has seen it soar.

In the spring it literally took to the skies as Lufthansa and British Airways trialled it on flights.

This perhaps said more about how indispensable people were beginning to perceive the technology, rather than how useful sky-high broadband would actually be.

It was flying high and by the autumn, five million Britons had signed up for high-speed net access at home.

Broadband soars in 2004

BSG Seminar: PSB: Beyond Television

PSB: Beyond Television – Public Service Broadband and the new context for communications

Friday 14 January 2005 Lewis Media Centre, 21-24 Millbank, London SW1P 4RS 09:00 – 14:30

In association with Intellect, the BBC, DCF and PACT

The impending collision between the previously separate worlds of broadcast and broadband is getting closer. As this new world approaches what are the implications for what we have traditionally described as public service broadcasting?

  • How should the concept of public service television adapt to the new opportunities opened up by new media platforms such as broadband and mobile?
  • Is now the time to start considering a broader idea of public service broadband content? What would this mean?
  • What role should the BBC and other PSBs play in opening up the broadband opportunity? What is the case to support investment in new media if it meets public value criteria

The purpose of this event was to explore the implications of broadband for public service broadcasting and also to look at the role that the BBC and other broadcasters can play in developing broadband content and driving the broadband value proposition.

  • Session One: Introduction – Building the Broadband Opportunity
  • Session Two: What is Public Service Broadband Content?
  • Session Three: Implications for BBC Charter Renewal
  • Session Four: Implication for the Ofcom PSB Review – Should the PSP be a Full Broadband Proposition?

Please contact us with any queries or for further information.

Ofcom publishes the Communications Market October 2004 Quarterly Update

This is the first in a series of quarterly supplements to Ofcom’s annual Communications Market reports, the first of which was published 11 August 2004.

This research aims to provide a comprehensive picture of the radio, telecommunications and television sectors, with a round-up of recent developments and the latest available data on:

Industry size, structure and financing; Availability, penetration and use of products and services; Consumer attitudes and behaviour.

In addition, the report takes a closer look at some emerging themes in each sector:

The London radio market and the pointers it may offer the rest of the UK; UK broadband internet connections passing 5 million; Regional differences in television viewing.

PWC Report: Rethinking the European ICT Agenda

PriceWaterhouseCoopers was commissioned by the Dutch EU Presidency to produce a report on Rethinking the European ICT Agenda: Ten ICT-breakthroughs for reaching the Lisbon goals. This report, which was published in August is currently being discussed by the EU member states in the context of the next phase e-Europe action plan.