Views

Current hot topics - tell us what you think.

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
Phone-bmp[1].jpg

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
union-jack-phone.jpg

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
broadband-fibre-optic-300x247.jpg

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
Bill Dutton.png

I presented a lecture in the Lake District on the 23 March to a group of university alumni, many of whom were retired or of retirement age, and living in Cumbria, near the home(s) of William Wordsworth (Notice the Wifi router on the top of William Wordsworth’s desk? - right).

RURAL ACCESS

Rural idyll isn't ideal for broadband
Nuisance.jpg

Ofcom faces a real challenge in regulating unsolicited calls, yet it needs to do more, much more.

From the telephone being one of our finest inventions and an instrument of great convenience and advantage, it is rapidly, and for all too many, becoming the bane of their lives. 

UNACCEPTABLE

Whatever the motive, and however genuine each individual call may be, the aggregate effect of the use of telephone for unsolicited calls has reached completely unacceptable levels. In this there lie several dilemmas for the policy makers.

Ofcom needs to do much, much more
scotland-flag-1_2103925b.jpg

In Scotland, questions are being posed regarding the future regulatory regime for media and communications. In February, the Scottish Government published a report titled Economic and Competition Regulation in an Independent Scotland and this warrants attention.

Ofcom's performance questioned
nuissance_call-bmp[1].jpg

For a year or more already, members of the Consumer Forum for Communications(CFC) have been discussing measures to stem the flood of nuisance calls and texts.

Concerns for privacy and personal data
Internet-Language.jpg

I am sitting in an interesting session at the UNESCO conference in Paris entitled Towards Knowledge Societies (25-27 February 2013), which is a review of the 10 years since the World Summit on the Informaiton Society (WSIS+10).

The session was focused on ‘cultural and linguistic diversity: exporing economic and educational aspects of local content’. The panel dealt with general issues about the Internet and local content, but also touched on the UK, particularly Scotland and Wales.

Infrastructure

Local content improves with internet infrastructure