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Russell George (@russ_george) was elected as the Welsh Conservative AM for Montgomeryshire in 2011. He owns a retail business in Newtown town centre. He was elected to Powys County Council in 2008. He is the chair of the Assembly’s Cross Party Group for Digital Communication and Shadow Minister for Agriculture & Natural Resources.

Heightened political interest in communications issues
Slugger

Slugger O’Toole is a news and opinion blog which takes a critical look at regional, national and international politics.

User-friendly approach needed
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The Advisory Committee for Scotland (ACS) discusses a wide range of questions each year as part of its regular advice to Ofcom.

When Ofcom’s annual Communications Market Report (CMR) on Scotland is being compiled, we always comment on the findings before they become public. Now that the CMR for Scotland been published, it’s worth highlighting a few key issues.

TELEVISION PRODUCTION

Local issues brought into sharp focus
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I found Ofcom’s research on the ways in which families are watching more TV together very positive news.

Given the number of TVs in many households, no one would be excused for thinking that everyone must be watching their own TV.

Big screens, high-definition television might be helping to reinvent the living room as a place where the family comes together to share some common purpose. But as their research notes, things are not exactly the same as the 1950s with viewers armed with laptops, smartphones, and tablet computers. What are they doing?

Twitter engages and empowers viewers
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
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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
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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OFCOM NEWS

Ofcom wants new rules that will allow consumers to exit their mobile, landline, or broadband contract without penalty if their provider raises prices part way through its term.

The “exit without penalty” clause is the central proposal in a new consultation document, released this week, which aims to better protect consumers from mid-contract price rises.

OFCOM NEWS
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A recent survey conducted for the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) led to the rather remarkable headline that the British are ‘the most emotionally attached to their mobile phones’.

Advertisers need to be turn on to the possibilities
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OFCOM NEWS

4G services from operators other than EE could be up and running by next May, according to Ofcom.

The communications regulator has released details of the auction process for new 4G licnences, with the bidding process taking place in January.

OFCOM NEWS
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