Feeds

Ofcom finalises ambitious annual plan

A little less allocation, a little more action

New hybrid storage solutions

Ofcom has a busy year planned, involving auctions, action and investigations, not to mention taking responsibility for the Post Office too, and all for less money than last year.

In addition to its usual duties, the regulator's plans for the next 12 months include: running the biggest spectrum auction in UK history; managing the spectrum needs of an Olympic games; reviewing the TV advertising industry; consulting on white space radio; reporting on the resilience of the country's infrastructure; and deciding how to deal with copyright infringement on the internet. And all that regulator goodness comes for less than 80 per cent of last year's budget.

The 4G spectrum auction process is currently under consultation, and attracting disapproval from most of the industry in equal measure. Responses are due before the end of May, and will be followed by proposals from Ofcom that seek to appease everyone involved, but if they don't, then those could be followed by legal action from aggrieved operators.

The Olympic Games is a huge undertaking, which will need frequencies reserved for logistics and emergency services, as well as for foreign and domestic media who will be wanting spectrum for wireless cameras, microphones and the like. Ofcom has yet to publish a spectrum plan for the games.

A complete review of how companies buy and sell television advertising would be ambitious at the best of times, and in the next 12 months Ofcom plans to establish how competitive the industry is and reassess the entire regulatory environment around television advertising.

After all that, the analysis of white space radio use is probably one of the easiest things the regulator will be doing – just take the FCC (American) recommendations and copy/paste "state" for "county" and "Mode 1" for "hub"... and that's done.

More complicated will be regulator's first report on the resilience and security of the country's national communications, and its recommendations on what responsibilities should be required of network operators to increase that resilience (if necessary).

And all that is a walk in the park compared to coming up with a plan to address online copyright infringement, as the regulator is required to do by last year's Digital Economy Act. That includes raising awareness of copyright issues, presenting Parliament with quarterly reports on the level of copyright abuse and creating annual summaries of those reports and what it is doing about them.

To do all of this, Ofcom has budgeted £115.8m, which is £26.7m less than last year. That means continuing the pay freeze for staff, and the plan to lay off 170 of them, and lots more outsourcing too.

Ofcom reckons this leaves enough in the till to achieve everything in the plan (47-page PDF/277 KB), and deal with the annual tally of 5,000 interference reports, and 18,000 licences, not to mention all those calls from viewers upset with the result of the X-Factor. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin
Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
Shades of Mannesmann: Vodafone should buy T-Mobile US
Biting the bullet would let Blighty-based biz flip the bird at AT&T
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.