Articles about ofcom

Rupert Murdoch pictured in 2014. Pic: Shutterstock

Er, Ofcom, please tell us more about Murdoch's £11.7bn Sky bid

The British government's Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has written to Ofcom asking for extra input before Culture Secretary Karen Bradley decides whether to approve Rupert Murdoch's £11.7bn Sky buyout bid. The DDCMS went to the telecoms regulator "seeking further clarification in relation to representations …
Game of Thrones

Ofcom: Blighty has devolved into a nation of unwashed binge-streaming mole people

Online streaming has freed consumers from the tyranny of gawping at the crap telly other family members insist on watching, with one-third regularly sitting together in the same room to watch different programmes – according to a major report by Ofcom. Of the 2,356 surveyed, only 30 per cent said they sit together with family …
Kat Hall, 3 Aug 2017
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Thanks for U-turning on biz-killing ban, Ofcom – now cough up, say GSM gateway bods

A former GSM gateway operator is threatening to reactivate a £20m legal claim against Ofcom after the UK regulator's past policies killed his company, according to documents seen by The Register. The unnamed operator is asking the telecoms regulator to enter alternate dispute resolution rather than going straight into court …
Gareth Corfield, 18 Jul 2017
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Ofcom pops 37% spectrum cap on mobile providers' domes

Telecoms regulator Ofcom has capped the maximum amount of mobile spectrum a company can own at 37 per cent, ahead of its auction of mobile spectrum later this year. Later this year the regulator will flog licences to use 190 MHz of spectrum in two frequency bands, increasing the airwaves available for mobile devices by almost …
Kat Hall, 11 Jul 2017
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GSM gateway ban U-turn casts doubt on 8-year prosecution in Blighty

The UK's communications watchdog Ofcom has overturned its ban on the use of GSM gateways (COMUGs) for overseas phone calls – leaving one of the longest prosecutions in modern English legal history hanging in the balance. The decision comes after a controversial public consultation exercise held earlier this year, in which The …
Gareth Corfield, 10 Jul 2017

Ofcom fines Three £1.9m over vulnerability in emergency call handling

Brit mobile operator Three has been fined £1.9m after an investigation by UK regulator Ofcom revealed its emergency call service handling was vulnerable to a single point of failure. Ofcom identified the vulnerability when investigating a separate fibre break outage on Three's network in October 2016, which resulted in a …
Kat Hall, 16 Jun 2017

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 …
Tin foil hat

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
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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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