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.


Local issues brought into sharp focus


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.


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

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

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. 


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
silent calls


Ofcom has announced a plan to tackle the growing problem of nuisance calls, which can cause considerable concern and annoyance for consumers.

The plan comes as Ofcom publishes its annual Consumer Experience Report, which tracks key trends in consumers’ use of communications services to inform Ofcom’s regulatory and consumer protection initiatives.



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

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
Scotland flag


Broadband take-up in Scotland has risen faster than any other UK nation over the last year, jumping 7 percentage points over 2011.

Sixty-eight per cent of homes in Scotland now have broadband, up from 61% a year earlier.

The figures are contained in Ofcom's 2012 Communications Market Report for Scotland.

Giant's Causeway


Northern Ireland has the highest availability of superfast broadband in the UK. These services are available to around 94% of premises compared to 60% for the UK as a whole.

The startling figures are contained in Ofcom's 2012 Communications Market Report for Northern Ireland.

The report also reveals that consumers in Northern Ireland are also becoming increasingly technology savvy.

Brits love to txt


Text-based communications are surpassing traditional phone calls or meeting face to face as the most frequent ways of keeping in touch for UK adults.

The findings were revealed when adults were asked what methods they used at least once a day to communicate with friends and family.

The average UK consumer now sends 50 texts per week – which has more than doubled in four years – with over 150 billion text messages sent in 2011.

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