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Current hot topics - tell us what you think.

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There's been a significant increase in the amount of time children spend online, according to Ofcom's latest report on children's media habits. 

This does not surprise me but there seems to be a growing concern that all this new technology is “dumbing down” our children. Very rarely do we get to read about the great opportunity studies like this provides our next-generation on what is possible.

GCSE study

The results speak for themselves
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Is superfast broadband coming to a place near you, how does the UK compare with the rest of Europe and, in the Race Online, are we sprinting, jogging or walking?

An objective analysis is not helped by the lack of clear definition of superfast broadband with our politicians preferring something flexible and deliverable with votes on the end of it.

Who else will pay for universal access?
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As Ofcom's Advisory Committee for England begins to think about understanding the diversity of cities, it is interesting to see the degree that tweets can provide a perspective on the diversity of language communities. Here is an article about mapping the language communities of London, based on tweets from Fast Company - http://cs.co/6042pH2u As the work points out, it is highly biased toward the English language, given the user community of Twitter.

The diverse language communities of London
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There is a genuine cause for celebration at Ofcom and across the UK as the mobile network operators finally signal agreement, pledging not to bring legal challenges to the launch of 4G auctions.

This might appear to be just one more step in the right direction, but it has culminated years of negotiation with all the key stakeholders in 4G spectrum auction process, and was not at all taken-for-granted by those engaged in the discussions.

Opportunities abound for small businesses
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OFCOM NEWS

Ofcom is to consult on how to protect consumers from unexpected price rises within fixed contracts for landline, broadband and mobile services.

Ofcom launched a review earlier this year into the fairness of certain contract terms. This has identified a number of issues with the effectiveness of the current rules1with which communications providers have to comply, and the potential for consumer harm. 

Consumer Complaints

OFCOM NEWS
Postbox

There's been plenty of press coverage this week of Ofcom’s survey of attitudes to the postal service.

One of the more surprising findings that was picked up is that the majority of households and businesses surveyed are not concerned with keeping first and second-class post, and in fact would prefer to have a single class of service if it were less expensive than the price of first, but delivered in two days.

Challenging Conventional Wisdom about Postal Services
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Alex Salmond, Scotland’s First Minister, set a hare running at the Edinburgh International Television Festival in August when he presented his view of a new post-independence landscape.

http://www.allmediascotland.com/broadcasting/37620/columnist-criticises-salmonds-tv-plans-for-scotland/

Chasing Mr Salmond’s hare
Local tv 1

It is heartening to see the healthy number of bids for local television franchises. They reflect interesting collaborations of players. Universities, film-makers, festival organizers, media development groups, local businesses, and others. Are there some clear patterns emerging?

A sector ripe for research
Telephone complaints

Ofcom’s “name and shame” reports on the best and worst companies based on the complaints it receives gets plenty of headlines.

However, few if any of these stories ever look at the changes over time in complaints.

Consumers' complaints do make a difference
UK and Ireland map

So Scotland has fewer people and more countryside than the rest of the UK? Surely all that means is that new communications technologies will be rolled out rather more slowly in Scotland.

Is there anything else we need to know about Scotland and its population distribution, in order to understand where the communications markets may fail to provide? We all know Scotland has a lot more rural areas than England, England has ten times the population, but less than twice the area of Scotland.

Population density means some areas will never be commercially viable for operators