Feeds

Ofcom: Where's the broadband beef?

Mobile grumbles down, silent call complaints up

SANS - Survey on application security programs

UK regulator Ofcom has been looking into what customers dislike in their communications, culminating in the publication of the third annual report on what's been riling users most over the last 12 months.

The report covers every aspect of the communications industry, and runs to 167 pages (pdf). Mobile phone users seem remarkably happy, with only three per cent dissatisfied with their service, compared to 25 per cent of broadband users who reckon they aren't getting the speed they deserve. Most of those seem pretty sanguine about things though, as despite poor speeds only ten per cent of broadband users told Ofcom they were unsatisfied with their supplier.

Mobile phone cashback deals, which have been the subject of a crackdown after a couple of high-profile failures earlier in the year, aren't attracting the same level of complaint these days: only 70 people complained in September 2008, compared to 600 in the same period last year.

More worrying is the increase in silent calls, where a computer connects the call expecting a human agent to be available at the right moment, and just leaves the callee hanging if no human is available; to most of us an irritation, but to some rather scary. Those calls are attracting 1,050 complaints a month now, more than three times the level in 2007 despite Ofcom taking action against Abbey and Barclaycard amongst others.

Recipients of such calls can now turn to new leaflets from Ofcom explaining how to complain - though there's nothing revolutionary in the advice. Everyone should join the telephone preference service, which helps but can't stop calls from abroad; though they will send you a nice letter explaining that if you complain.

Silent calls can be hard to identify, and Ofcom recommends reporting the matter to your telephony provider if you can't work out who it is calling you, and provides alternative contacts if that doesn't work.

The complainers' guides are available from Ofcom, and probably worth getting hold of before the removal of termination fees leads to the inevitable increase in cold calling. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.