The European Commission has publicly questioned whether the UK's top telecoms regulator has any idea what he's talking about when it comes to, er, telecoms regulation. In a reponse to Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards' letter to the Financial Times today, the commission said: "We note that Mr Richards takes position against a ' …
Ofcom Need A Good
Kicking! They come across as arrogant and seemingly oblivious to current users of the UK's spectrum.
800 Ofcom employees?! What are they all doing for goodness sake?
Let's hope Ms Reding knocks them as hard as she did the rip-off mobile telephone companies.
The various companies and organisations like to imply that there is something different or special about communications in their respective countries but the reality is that they use this to maintain monopolies, high prices and unreasonable control.
I can see uses for an EU Comms regulator...
..for starters it would have prevented nonsense like the incompatible bands for otherwise identical services in different countries. Examples are:
- DAB radio (UK receivers don't work elsewhere)
- the animal tracking band (civil telemetry)
Reding = villain
It should not be forgotten that Viviane Reding won the ISPA award for "Villain of the Year 2007" for her preposterous rules for registering .eu domain names.
Perhaps OFCOM feel that given this track record, her extending her tentacles into UK telecoms regulation is not something to be welcomed...
How very dare they!
Typical of Brussels to imply that Offcom is unable, unwilling or even disinclined to actually regulate the market in the UK. It's as if they think that our stout regulator has been shirking its responsibilities...
The fact that Offcom is the most toothless of toothless 'regulators' is beside the point, its inactivity over various issues (most recently the TV and Radio phone scams) is surely in the greatest traditions of UK watchdogs.
What has OFCOM done for us ?
Unless you live/work in the center of London, OFCOM has hindered the telecommunications market in the UK.
In the years before Ofcom, your BT account manager could phone up the different departments within BT and find out what was happening with your order and, if necessary, push it through the system. Now, whenever you phone up your BT account manager asking what's happened to your order you just get told "That's another department in BT, and I'm not allowed to talk to them"
I can understand what OFCOM has tried to do, but it only works where there is *real* competition for telecoms. For those of us who don't have telecoms competition (i.e. the rest of the UK outside of central London), OFCOM have hindered the provision of telecoms services in the UK.
Example: I've had on order, an ADSL activation from BT for a YEAR. OFCOM's intervention means I can't speak to the arm of BT holding up the work to find out what the f**k they are up to.
Being a slight Euro-sceptic, I find myself asking the frightening question: Could Europe do any worse ?
Re:What has OFCOM done for us ?
While my BT account manager (I don't think I actually have one) can't call BT wholesale about DSL that's fine, because my LLU connection was set up in 12 days, is faster than BT ADSL and cheaper than a monopolised BT system would ever be!
I`ve often wondered what Ofcom actually does all day, having signed up for their newsletters. I`ve also complained to them in the past about various telecom. and broadcasting issues and got pretty well stone-walled. They give the impression of being very fuddy-duddy, creating arbitrary regulations in order to justify their existence and to keep their employees busy. I also wonder, sometimes, whether their grasp of matters technical is not quite what it should be.
Ofcom needs a good kicking
Ofcom has never decided whether it wants to be the consumer's champion or the telecom industry's PR machine. They are useless - one example is their blatant failure to do anything about KC's monopoly in Hull.
And don't get me started on ICSTIS (or PayPhonePlus as they now call themselves...)
Ofcom appears only to protect the interest of the shareholders and fat cat company bosses
the recent dismemberment of BT in wholesale, openrach etc has led to 300-400 percent increases in costs to the customer for BTEES circuits.
Sure virgin and C&W etc wanted a level playing field, but the oncosts have now skyrocketed, in our case it's the council tax payer who is picking up the bill
Its someones fault, why is there still a couple of copper wires to my house badly insulated running from a rats nest of a BT box which probably has actual rats living in it.
Its someones fault and Ofcom would seem a valid target
@ Ofcom needs a good kicking
Just a little addition to your fine comment...
Try formally complaining about OfCom when you have personally experienced just how pointless they are to the consumer - you are not allowed to complain directly about them, you must actually complain to your local member of parliament who then may or may not raise the matter with the commons. An excellent way to hinder complaints about a useless organisation.
On a side note - after getting shafted by DVLA on an old car for which I notified them I had sold they advised:
1) They have no process of escalation other than internally
2) They are charged as upholding legislation so ultimately they audit themself
3) Their word is final and pay or be taken to court - take the problem to the government as they do as they are told.
Outstanding examples of how the government has displaced liability so to the voter they are not to blame.
Continent vs. Imperialistic dogs
Yar! I don't generally make inflammatory remarks. I see the common "very English" theme of "us against them."
Hell, you can do what you want... Some reactions here make me wonder how many brits have a lemming gene.
Wonder when Brussels will grow some balls and really start impose sanctions instead of being so lenient all the time. Yar!
But seriously... Ofcom is scared of the pricing plan that Brussels has set for the coming years, which is supposed to reduce international calls in the EU. If you don't think that's a good idea, and Ofcom should not be meddled with by nasty continentals... don't go for a visit to Dover.
Of course Ofcom is a problem
Any organisation formed by pushing together all sorts of disparate regulatory matters, like Ofcom, would be a problem. How on earth do you balance the differing needs of RF spectrum allocation, stopping the dominance of the incumbent telco, and ensuring that broadcast television programmes meet the necessary standards of taste and decency?
Could our "government in Brussels" do any better? Well, given their proven track record with agriculture, civil and military aviation, satellite GPS, civil liberties, to name but a few, I would venture to suggest that the only improvement they could bring is to spend more money, and to do it less efficiently. Have you noticed recently that whatever the question, the answer is always "more Europe"?
Once we have such an EU regulator, acting as Ofcom's boss, just how easy would it be for Prodi's Italian suggestion to "make blogging easier" to find its way into EU law, and therefore applicable in the UK? As soon as this new (not a constitutional) treaty is signed, all leaders of Member States (eg the UK Prime Minister) will owe their principal allegiance to the EU, and not to the nation state that they lead! It says so in the treaty!
By all means, lets do something about Ofcom - break it up into the previous bodies, and refine them to meet our needs. More Europe is NOT the answer.
A bit crap but better than Brussells
Ofcom have been crap when dealing with scams and poor service problems. The ADR schemes designed to remove telephone and internet complaints from Ofcoms role hasn't worked at all. I'm sure by now they wish they could have got rid of dealing with these issues and focus on something more sexy. However, they are held up as one of the best in the world, just try dealing with the FCC or German/French regulators.
The main battle line is essential who knows best the market (Ofcom) or the regulator/government (EU). When it comes to spectrum (my area of interest) there have been numerous occasions where the EU has championed a particular technology (e.g. ERMES and Galilieo) due to political or certain countries (France/Germany) wishing to protect there own industries only to find out that no one wants to buy the product.
Regarding the cheaper mobile roaming charges Ofcom and other European regulators wanted the wholesale price set which would then enable operators to compete against each other, instead the Commission decided to go for the headlines and fix the retail price. As a result all the companies are likely to charge the same as each other and therefore not encourage competition.
FarkOff. Useless busybodies the whole lot of them
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