Feeds

Ofcom insists on emergency roaming

And will teach your gran to love broadband

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Broadband and 999 calls are what the public needs most, according to Ofcom's consultation on Access and Inclusion.

The latest consultation is about getting telecommunications to everyone in the UK, and sets out priorities for Ofcom. The regulator has a mandate to ensure everyone gets to be part of the information age, which goes beyond fixed telephony and digital TV coverage - both already enshrined in law.

Ofcom is very concerned that users lacking coverage with their own network can't make 999 calls at the moment. Oddly enough they used to be able to, but the system was suspended around a decade ago due to an unexpectedly high number of hoax calls. Now that the novelty of mobile communications has worn off for most of us, Ofcom wants the networks to handle 999 calls for their competitors' customers by the end of 2009. This already happens in most European countries, so shouldn't be a technical problem for the operators.

When it comes to broadband, Ofcom has to deal with Lord Carter's report and its commitment to 2Mb/sec for the whole country. Skipping lightly over what "2Mb/sec" actually means (maximum, minimum, average, peak?) Ofcom reckons that 15 per cent of the population can't get those speeds today, though that doesn't seem to be the biggest barrier to entry for the 40 per cent of homes still lacking fast connectivity.

With broadband penetration appearing to reach a plateau at 60 per cent, Ofcom has been asking the public why they don't want broadband. 55 per cent of the unconnected aren't interested in this "internet" thing at all, and just don't want it, 30 per cent can't afford it, and 15 per cent fall into both camps - can't pay, won't pay. Only one per cent of the unconnected would like access, but can't get any form of broadband (satellite excepted) for technical reasons.

Ofcom reckons education is key here: make people understand what they are missing and that 55 per cent will get themselves hooked up, for the good of society as a whole. After all, the regulator points out, increasing "media literacy" is part of its remit.

The consultation is open for comment until June 3. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
Consumers agree to give up first-born child for free Wi-Fi – survey
This Herod network's ace – but crap reception in bullrushes
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
New EU digi-commish struggles with concepts of net neutrality
Oettinger all about the infrastructure – but not big on substance
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.