Current hot topics - tell us what you think.

Olympic rings

With the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics, an unbelievable success in showcasing disability sport, I must once again congratulate Ofcom on the behind the scenes support of communications. No one person or organization wants to take too much credit for such a team effort, but Ofcom was an important member of that team by ensuring that such facilities as the wireless networks enabling cameras and instruments and phones to work so flawlessly.

Success is nobody knowing you were there
watching tv

The success of the Digital Switchover has made room for the launch of 4G mobile communication facilities. In the wake of these developments there are calls for moving all terrestrial (digital) TV signals to the Internet in order to free up even more spectrum for mobile services. This might be the Internet Switchover.

The web could be the new home for TV

Ofcom’s Communications Market Report for Scotland once again underlines that some significant differences exist across the UK. Scots are somewhat less likely to cut back on their communications spend than the UK average – by 47 to 52%.

And, in line with a long-observed trend in Scotland, there is a good half hour’s added TV viewing each week: 4.5 compared to the UK average of 4 hours. TV is by far the most favoured medium in Scotland whereas by contrast, Scots listen least to radio with a distinct preference for commercial stations over those of the BBC.

Not everyone can or is prepared to pay to be online
txt messaging

It is common to discuss the phenomenal popularity of texting.

Who could have predicted the diffusion of this facility, as it does not seem designed for popular use as a communication medium? How could such a clumsy human interface be so usable?

Now we see an even more surprising use of technology as people move away from using their mobile phones as telephones – for voice calls.

It's good to talk but we prefer texting!
dcms logo

A Comms Review website has been launched by DCMS to invite professionals to comment on discussion papers written to inform the upcoming communications review seminars that are due take place through the summer.

The site is at:  If you have expertise in the issues of the review, please do consider this opportunity to comment.

DCMS seminars for Comms Review
Aung San Suu Kyi

There is a growing set of negative news stories focused on some of the business strategies of major Internet companies, such as those that threaten the privacy of personal data. It is important that the general public does not lump some questionable practices of the owners of major Internet companies with the Internet as a whole. For example, two news stories in the weekend papers illustrate the potential of social media to empower individuals.

Problems with social media pale in compaison to the benefits
Welsh face

It is not necessarily one of the most high-profile functions that Ofcom carries out, but it is nevertheless basic to Ofcom's core purpose. The licensing regime for commercial and community radio stations across the UK is part of the nitty-gritty of regulating broadcasting, and I have just been introduced to how the process works for applications from Wales – along with Ofcom's Director for Wales, Elinor Williams – as a first-time member of Ofcom’s Radio Licensing Committee.

Language divides and unites us all
Social media surgery

I heard a wonderful presentation by a masters student, Amy Mcleod, about a Social Media Surgery in Birmingham, which was one of, if not the first, in Britain.

Got an idea? There are people who can help.
Blog man

Here is a third and final note stimulated by the conference I attended in Phoenix, Arizona, put on by the International Communication Association (ICA).

Local media is longer controlled by the few

My last post dealt with ‘augmented reality’, based on the use of smart phones and quick response codes.*

Get ready for advertising overload