Feeds

Ofcom insists on emergency roaming

And will teach your gran to love broadband

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
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
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
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.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
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.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.