Feeds

Ofcom fails comms test

How much is that watchdog in the window?

Build a business case: developing custom apps

A report by the National Audit Office found Ofcom could be providing value for money, but could do a better job of actually demonstrating what it is doing.

The NAO believes Ofcom is doing more with less and has saved about £23m over the last five years since it was formed. It spends about £122m a year - which is 27 per cent less than the five regulators it replaced.

But auditors warned that Ofcom failed to properly link its actions with outcomes in the market. It also pointed out that Ofcom does not make public how it measures its success or failure and that "therefore it is not possible for us to assess whether it is meeting its objectives".

Ofcom spends £70m a year on managing radio spectrum, which raises £200m a year for the Exchequer. The NAO said Ofcom lacked the high-level management information to show if this represented value for money or not.

The Audit Office said Ofcom had made good progress in many areas but noted that some subjects were still irritating consumers.

The NAO found 28 per cent of consumers still believe it is difficult to switch providers.

Unsurprisingly, the National Audit Office also criticised Ofcom's lack of action on broadband speeds. The regulator's own research found average UK speeds were 45 per cent lower than those advertised. Ofcom has introduced a voluntary code to try to address the issue.

The final issue is silent calls, which remain a persistent issue causing consumers irritation and anxiety, the report noted.

The NAO recomended that Ofcom introduce an internal performance-measurement system to see what impact their work is having. It should also make public these findings, said NAO.

Ofcom should separately consider the performance of radio spectrum management "to ensure efficiency and value for money are maximised", said NAO.

There are links to the pdfs of the NAO's full report, and executive summary on Ofcom's effectiveness here. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Ancient pager tech SMS: It works, it's fab, but wow, get a load of that incoming SPAM
Networks' main issue: they don't know how it works, says expert
Trans-Pacific: Google spaffs cash on FAST undersea packet-flinging
One of 6 backers for new 60 Tbps cable to hook US to Japan
Tech city types developing 'Google Glass for the blind' app
An app and service where other people 'see' for you
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.