Latest Blog Entries

smartphone addiction

Every so often there are a spate of editorials on how much time is consumed by smartphones and other mobile devices.

Politicians are said to leave their phone at home when they go on holiday so they can think. Journalists fret about getting a message that distracts them from playing with their children.

Don’t be Distracted by Phobbing
Nuissance

OFCOM NEWS

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and Ofcom have published a joint action plan to tackle the issue of nuisance calls and help protect consumers.

The ICO and Ofcom share responsibility for taking action against organisations that generate nuisance calls or messages.The ICO has lead responsibility for tackling those companies who make nuisance marketing calls or send unsolicited marketing text messages, while Ofcom uses its powers to deal with silent and abandoned calls.

COMMITMENT

"Only concerted, joint action can tackle the consumer menace of nuisance calls"
fibre optics

There has been considerable press coverage on the quality and competitiveness of broadband communication infrastructures in England and the UK as a whole.

See: The Register

ACE will ask for an up-date on this issue and ways in which regulation is tied into the issues being raised. We'd welcome input from those with constructive suggestions on these issues.

There has been considerable press coverage on the quality and competitiveness of broadband communication infrastructures in England and the UK as a whole
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Are you ever annoyed by call centre menus that are slow, complicated and often waste much of your time as you go through endless menus, sometimes with no option fitting your problem?

You might also find that more often than not, the menus make it almost impossible to speak with a live human being.

Of course, the idea of getting a menu of options so that your call can be better directed or get a programmed answer on the spot is a good one – in principle.

How the net is empowering consumers
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An upcoming conference on ‘Digital Scotland’ promises to ‘bring together the perspectives of the Scottish government, civic & local authorities, community leaders and key business enterprises to work towards the Government’s 2020 vision of having a world-class digital infrastructure'.

Smart cities, rural challenges, applications of the future, digital services and mobile technologies will all be discussed. The conference is a key activity in Scotland’s Digital Dialogue programme of events.

Smart cities and rural challenges
Advice

The Advisory Committee for England (ACE) is very interested in any feedback on its work.

We rely on members of the public with particular expertise and experience to let us know if we should raise specific topics or rethink our priorities as we seek to advise Ofcom staff on the regulatory issues they face.

TRANSPARENCY

Minutes from these meetings, which are published on the Ofcom website, give an insight into what we are discussing.

Minutes available online
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Following the merger of Orange and T-Mobile to form Everything Everywhere (EE), there was in many cases an initial improvement in coverage and signal strength as EE enabled their customers to roam via both sets of masts.  

However, this has been followed by consolidation/rationalisation of masts, decommissioning many masts and moving equipment to other masts which were considered to provide adequate cover. 

Consumers left hanging on the line
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The UK has risen from 10thto 7thin the World Economic Forum’s ‘Network Readiness Index 2013’.

New study ranks UK 7th best in the world for ICT
Berlin

One of the downsides of being part of an advisory committee is that as individuals, we tend to focus on the negative, the things that aren't just right. Once in a while though it is worth taking a step back and looking at what is going well.

However, in order to do that, I have to reveal a guilty secret - I'm a caravanner. There I've said it. It's out in the open for the first time!

So where is the intersect of caravanning and being a member of the Advisory Committee for England?

Even making caravanning bearable
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There has been media coverage of a report on the variations in the speed of broadband connections within urban areas of Britain.

Writing in the Guardian, Juliette Garside suggests that UK customers are ‘facing a postcode lottery when it comes to Internet connections'. Find a link to the article here and a link to the original report here.

New study reveals disparities in urban broadband