Articles about ofcom

Ur dumped lol: Folk may be able to leave mobile contracts via text

It's considered a cold way to end most relationships, but customers may soon be able to consciously uncouple from their mobile providers by simply sending a text. Ofcom's "text-to-switch" proposals today are intended to make it quicker and easier to switch from one mobile network provider to another. Under the plans, …
Kat Hall, 19 May 2017
Poster for the movie Cable Guy. Copyright:  Columbia Pictures Corporation,

Ofcom chisels away at BT Openreach's cold, dead hands

Ofcom has set out exactly how it plans to prise open BT's grip on the UK's telecoms infrastructure, in a move designed to make it easier for competing telcos to install fibre broadband connections. "Ofcom wants to ensure all providers can lay fibre in BT's ducts as easily as BT itself," said an Ofcom statement. "So we intend …
Gareth Corfield, 20 Apr 2017
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Ofcom pressuring BT to slash wholesale prices for superfast broadband

Ofcom could force BT's Openreach to slash the prices it charges rivals for access to its superfast broadband network under plans that could shave millions off consumer bills. With proposals published by the watchdog today intended to encourage "full-fibre" investment, Ofcom said it wants to cut the wholesale price that …
Kat Hall, 31 Mar 2017
"Bad dog": Owner wags finger at naughty bulldog

Ofcom wants automatic compensation for the people when ISPs fail

Ofcom has begun consulting on the UK government's desire to compensate consumers and SMEs when telco companies fail, as set out in the Digital Economy Bill, even though the Bill hasn't reached the Royal Assent stage yet. Ofcom interprets the crowd-pleasing gesture as involving automatic compensation for delayed services, …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Mar 2017
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Cheap calls gateway operator has been on bail for 7 years

A Kent man has been on bail for seven years over allegations he operated a GSM gateway which allowed consumers to get cheaper calls abroad. Daniel Mahony, 42, is accused of two counts of breaching section 35 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 by operating his GSM gateway without an Ofcom-issued licence. The gateway in …
Gareth Corfield, 20 Mar 2017
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UK.gov 5G strategy 'mostly sensible', says engineering brainbox

Government plans to dip its toe in 5G tech with a £16m test hub as part of its "5G strategy" have been welcomed by one of the most vocal critics of the technology as a pragmatic move. Along with the budget yesterday, the government released its 5G strategy (PDF) further detailing how it would splash the £740m previously …
Kat Hall, 9 Mar 2017
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UK Home Office spy powers unit pretended it was a private citizen in Ofcom consultation

Exclusive The UK Home Office's Investigatory Powers Unit (HOIPU) anonymously responded to an Ofcom consultation urging the regulator to maintain a "security"-related ban on GSM devices that help people get cheap calls abroad. The HOIPU sent its anonymous response, written as if it came from a private citizen and not a government …
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Prisoners' 'innovative' anti-IMSI catcher defence was ... er, tinfoil

Exclusive Prisoners at a Scottish jail evaded an IMSI catcher deployed to collar them making illegal phone calls – by putting up tinfoil after bungling guards left the spy gear visible to inmates. “As you are also aware the invisible grabber at HMP Shott [sic] was visible,” Maurice Dickie of the Scottish Prison Service wrote in an …
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New prison law will let UK mobile networks deploy IMSI catchers

The Prisons and Courts Bill, introduced to Parliament last week, will force UK mobile networks to deploy fake mobile phone masts around the outside of prisons to snoop on mobile phone users. Provisions in the new bill will allow the Justice Secretary to order networks to deploy so-called “IMSI catchers” to prevent, detect or …
Gareth Corfield, 27 Feb 2017
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Blighty watchdog Ofcom has a butcher's hook, clocks spectrum for 5G

Ofcom has identified the spectrum bands in the UK for the much-hyped use of 5G, ahead of the yet-to-be-determined international standards for 5G. The first wave of commercial products is expected to be available in 2020. However, initial pre-commercial deployments are already expected to start from 2018. The Update on 5G …
Kat Hall, 8 Feb 2017
Crown courtroom. Pic: Shutterstock

Ofcom splashed 11% more cash on legal costs with £4.9m war chest

Communications regulator Ofcom splashed an extra 11 per cent on legal costs in 2015/16 compared with the previous year, spending £4.9m seeing off threats from operators. "Our legal costs will normally fluctuate year-on-year, in response to the type and volume of work we undertake, and importantly how companies respond to our …
Kat Hall, 3 Feb 2017
Fibre, image via Shutterstock

Openreach appoints former TUC head to independent board

Openreach has appointed former general secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) Sir Brendan Barber to its independent board. The creation of the board is part of BT's voluntary efforts to set up an independent Openreach entity. By doing so it hopes to avoid Ofcom winning approval from Europe for a legal separation of the …
Kat Hall, 1 Feb 2017
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MEEELLIONs of Brits stick with current broadband provider rather than risk no Netflix

Millions of Brits would rather pay through the nose for services via their existing broadband provider than switch suppliers and risk a prolonged period without access to the web, a poll has found. Some 35 per cent of customers said the fear of broadband blackout would deter them off signing up to another provider, according …
Kat Hall, 31 Jan 2017
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BT's profits plunge 37% following Italian Job

Profits at BT plunged by 37 per cent to £526m for its third-quarter, due to the fall-out from the firm’s accounting scandal in Italy. Earlier this week BT issued a profit warning after it emerged the write-down from “improper accounting practices in Italy" would total £530m as opposed to the original estimate £145m. Shares …
Kat Hall, 27 Jan 2017

Fired Ofcom Remainer bod sues UK gov for withholding his payoff

A sacked board member of UK telco regulator Ofcom is suing the British government for refusing to give him a £75,000 ($92,500) payoff. Bill Emmott wants a judicial review of the decision by Culture Secretary Karen Bradley to fire him after the government took offence at a number of articles that criticized Brexit and slammed …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Jan 2017
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EE slapped with £2.7m fine by Ofcom

EE has been slapped with a £2.7m fine by regulator Ofcom for overcharging tens of thousands of customers. A year-long investigation found that EE made fundamental billing mistakes, overcharging 40,000 customers a total £250,000. Ofcom said EE’s "carelessness or negligence" contributed to these billing errors. It follows …
Kat Hall, 18 Jan 2017

5G? Pff, don't bother, says one-time Ofcom man's new book

Book review All the hype around 5G is hiding the simple fact that we don’t actually need a new mobile specification. That is the central thrust of Professor William Webb’s new book, The 5G Myth: And why consistent connectivity is a better future. Prof Webb’s readable and engaging volume sets out in 140 pages what the 5G myth is and why we …
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Around 1.4 million people have sub-10Mbps speeds - Ofcom

Around 1.4 million people in Blighty are unable to get speeds of 10Mbps, according to Ofcom's annual Connected Nations report. However, that is an improvement on last year, where 2.4 million, or 8 per cent of the population were unable to get 10Mbps. Unsurprisingly, rural areas still lag behind on broadband, with a quarter of …
Kat Hall, 16 Dec 2016

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