Author - Gulistan Ladha

Contacting phone, broadband and pay-TV companies: vulnerable customers’ experiences

Ofcom has published a research report on the experiences of some customers in vulnerable circumstances who have been in contact with their communication providers, and compares their experience with the measures in Ofcom’s Treating vulnerable customers fairly guide. To accompany the research, Ofcom published a summary document containing key findings from the research and insights from its recent engagement with customer organisations and charities. (more…)

Consultation on regulations to implement the Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Act

The Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Act, which received Royal Assent in March, creates a new route through the courts that operators can use to access blocks of flats and apartments if a landowner is repeatedly unresponsive to requests for access. The Act will prevent a situation where a leaseholder is unable to receive a service due to the silence of their landowner. (more…)

Ofcom Online Nation Report 2021

Ofcom’s Online Nation 2021 report provides a snapshot of 2020.

Key points:

  • 94% of UK households had internet access in March 2021 with 6% of homes (around one and a half million) without access.
  • UK adults spent more than 3.5 hours online each day in 2020 and spent nearly £2.45 billion on mobile apps across the year.
  • Fixed broadband is by far the most common method for connecting to the internet at home at 92%, mobile data at 49% and mobile broadband at 16%.
  • The smartphone is the most-used device for accessing the internet for all age groups apart from those aged 65+ who access via computer mostly. One in ten adults said they use only a smartphone to go online.
  • Teenagers are spending more money online than offline.
  • 59% of UK children use social media by the time they are 11 and 95% by the age of 15.
  • The UK’s online shopping bill increased by almost 50% to nearly £113 billion.
  • In total, online entertainment and audio-visual media generated £5.6 billion in UK revenue.

The full report can be found here.

Detailed Overview of the Gigabit Infrastructure Subsidy Scheme

The government has published ‘Delivering a gigabit-capable UK: Gigabit Infrastructure Subsidy‘ which provides an end to end overview of how the government will manage the Gigabit Infrastructure Subsidy scheme within Project Gigabit.

By way of background, the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review published in July 2018 laid out a vision for a full fibre and 5G future for the UK highlighting the considerable potential benefits to the UK. One key finding was that the UK was in danger of falling behind on rolling out fibre and 5G connections and proposed as part of a wider range of measures an “outside in” procurement approach, named the Gigabit Infrastructure Subsidy. (more…)

UK Home Broadband Performance

Ofcom has published its interactive UK Home Broadband Performance research which looks into the actual broadband speeds achieved by a sample of households across the UK during November 2020. The research is published as an interactive guide and includes data on download and upload speeds, performance by connection type and comparisons between urban and rural broadband speeds. (more…)

Terms of Reference for Ofcom’s Mobile Strategy Review

As outlined in its Plan of Work 2021/22, Ofcom has published the terms of reference for its upcoming mobile strategy review. The aim of the review is to consider the following key areas:

  • What will good outcomes for people and businesses look like in 5-10 years’ time?
  • What impact are changes across the mobile value chain having on the market?
  • To what extent is the market likely to deliver good outcomes for people and businesses?

(more…)

UK Gigabit Programme: Cambridgeshire Public Review

Building Digital UK (BDUK) has launched ‘Project Gigabit Lot 5 Public Review‘ which is seeking information and supporting evidence about gigabit-capable broadband infrastructure within the Cambridgeshire project area.

Connecting Cambridgeshire conducted an Open Market Review (OMR) for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in December 2020. This review process aims to validate the outcome of the OMR to ensure it correctly represents the information provided by suppliers and that the right areas are targeted for government investment. Stakeholders, including broadband infrastructure operators, ISPs, the public, and businesses, are invited to provide feedback about the proposed eligible areas for government investment (intervention). (more…)

National Security and Investment Act  

The new National Security and Investment Act enhances the government’s ability to investigate and intervene in mergers, acquisitions and other deals that could threaten the UK’s national security. The new measures are designed to simplify and speed up the investment screening process for investors and businesses. A new Investment Council will act as an advisory body to the UK government on foreign investment, made up of private sector global senior leaders from a variety of industries, including technology and infrastructure. The Council will operate alongside the recently formed Office for Investment, tasked with landing high-value investment opportunities in infrastructure, clean technologies and R&D.  (more…)

New Wireless Telegraphy (Exemption) Regulations 2021

The new regulations will come into force on 12 May 2021 and will implement the decisions below.

Wi-Fi & other Radio Local Area Network (RLAN) technologies

An extra 500 MHz of spectrum from 5925 to 6425 MHz will be allocated for Wi-Fi and RLAN devices and the Dynamic
Frequency Selection (DFS) requirements in the 5.8 GHz band (5725 to 5850 MHz) is being removed. Both these measures will make more channels available, increase capacity and reduce congestion in existing Wi-Fi bands caused by increasing numbers of connected devices. (more…)