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back to article Ofcom: 'Well done Ofcom!'

Ofcom paid tribute to its own munificence today by releasing its annual report on how its stewardship of the UK communications sector has made everyone love their ISP, telco and media. We're all consuming digital junk more than ever before, with an average of 7 hours and 9 minutes per day spent watching TV, txting m8s, on the …

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Boffin

Basic economics and misunderstandings

The demand curve isn't fixed, but instead can shift. So while it's generally true that a change in price will lead to a change in volumes sold, the reverse doesn't necessarily hold. Rather, telecoms operators are quite aware that demand for their services is growing constantly, partially due to lower prices, partially due to network externalities, service combination, and technological progress. Given this constant increase in usage anyway, operators could well find that to profit maximise they would be best served raising their prices.

Of course, this doesn't take into account the fact that wholesale prices are regulated to fall anyway, so of course things will get cheaper ...

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Focom's not really there for us

Two recent brushes with Ofcom have convinced me they are there for the supplier until they really really get pushed. Firstly on silent calls they refuse to ban autodiallers as it may upset the people using them to make silent calls. they're happy to fine the companies if enough people complain but stamping out the problem of companies calling vulnerable people on their own and then hanging up in the first place seems beyond them.

Secondly they allocate UK phone number to non UK/non EEC countries and then telcos charge unsuspecting callers international rates. When I asked Ofcom for a list of mobile codes they have allocated to the Isle of Man - 07642 but there are other codes I believe - (3 charged me for an international call in total disregard of their published price list and Berkshire Trading Standards are not asking them why), not part of the UK or the EU oddly - they said they hadn't got one and it was up to the customer to call their phone company before making a call to check the charges. Great advice Ofcom.

With an organisation so top heavy making them do anything requires a lot of force to overcome the inertia and complaining to Ofcom seems a waste of time.

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Alien

Waidaminnit. 218 minutes of TV per DAY?? EACH???

Please tell me that was a made-up figure inserted by a bored Reg hack. Please, for the love of all that is holy, reassure me that the average person in this country is not REALLY watching the goggletube for over a full day out of every week (218*7 = 1526 mins, 25.43hrs). That's over 55 days a year sat on the couch with one's hand in one's pants!! WTF is happening with the people who make up for those like me, who might watch a 15-mins news broadcast per day?*

*(I look around myself in the street, and the glazed expressions on passers-by answers that question about those who watch my other 203 minutes/day....)

Sheee-ehhh. No wonder the uk.gov are able to pull the stunts they do when everyone's more bothered about the latest happening on HomeNeighbourEastOaks Street instead of what's out their front door.

I defy anyone to find me 25 hours' worth of TV in a week that I would be able to watch without clawing my eyes out (leaving aside the entire question of "would I actually sit still and watch it rather than going to the gym/walking the dog/going to the pub/having a, wait for it, **CONVERSATION**?")

And OFCOM are PROUD of this???????

(There's an alien explanation. There has to be.)

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Flame

I am confused

Ofcom celebrate the fact we are all in watching TV (partly because the streets are so unsafe and we can't afford to go out) and that means we think they are doing a good job.

How does that work??

There are many reasons that we stay in more and watch more TV (did I say there is nothing to do and the streets are unsafe) but I still think Ofcom is a huge waste of space and does nothing for the end user.

It is still vastly expensive in roaming charges with mobiles, there is nothing to chose on TV apart from reality TV, cooking, DIY and soaps which we are all by law required to pay large amounts for, everyone is fixing phone lines until caught out, 0870 numbers (and the rest) are vastly expensive and ISP's lie and rip you off if you do pay for the top rate lines. Or worse sell all your data to the highest bidder.

"That is what consumers demand and what Ofcom helps deliver."

No, what we demand is correct, what we get is years of griping and moaning against ofcom and the companies until someone caves in, usually the customer as nothing changes and we have to live with it in the end.

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Alert

now, I'm sure I'm being naive here...

but I thought Ofcom's purpose was to REGULATE the communications industry, and to ensure that said industry operates within the framework of the law/regulations.

If so, then WTF do they need "hundreds of highly-paid economists" for?

Enlightenment, please.

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Bronze badge

@tim miller

The increasing of prices in a inelastic market to optimise profits is only possible with a monopoly. In theory, in a commodity competitive market then the price will fall to something close to the marginal cost level (although not many markets are truly commodity in that sense). Note that this is where there are not supply constaints - where there are, as in the case of some natural resources or where these are largely under cartel control (e.g. the diamond industry) then different rules apply.

Anyway, as far as the story goes, then Ofcom, like any such organisation, employ people with their own vested interests in promoting their own worth. Such regulatory bodies are not usually inclined to be objective over their true value when the authors of such reports have their own careers and prospects to consider.

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Paris Hilton

Also from the same quango....

Everyone loves Nu Labour and they'll win a landslide 99% in the next election.

Ken Livingston is voted back as Mayor due to his impartial outlook on London.

Petrol is only 25p a gallon still

Betamax tapes are selling well

really, what did you expect...we dont actually do anything, just sabre rattle at BT (who bung us lots of money) when the press get heavy

utter crap report

Paris, cos......well I would, twice ....just to make it well worth the sentence

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Thumb Down

What else....

.. can you expect from a regulator that refuses to regulate. No-one else is going to pack them on the back for the crap job they do, so they have to start spinning to it themselves.

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Bronze badge

except in briton

all telecoms need a BT line except virgim and mobiles, and BT wont give you any sort of line ifyot dont pay the bill when your sacked, so its good news for the recession and the millions that will become unemployed, then in time ofcom will force BT to have a dsl line only, so its good news for the who havent paid BT for the past 20 odd years

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disengenuous J Arthur Rankers

what a cunch of bunts

lickspittle, useless, incompetent, venal, meaningless pushers of the handcart in which this once good country is being sent to hell

what a complete waste of skin, blood, bone and oxygen

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Flame

Jeremy Kyle should be banned!

This report is ridiculous. Let me get this right, they are saying that there are only 5 hours left in the day to do other stuff for the average person?

What about going to work!? Surely the average person works a 7.5 or 8 hour day unless they are unemployed & trying to understand what the Chavs are saying on Jeremy Kyle.

Is the UK really as bad as this these days? Will the last person to leave please turn out the lights.

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Anonymous Coward

@John Loader

Mebbe the mobiles you dialed were used outside the UK? If someone with a 'roamer' goes to say France for the day then their mobile will register as being attached to the French network for the whole day on your bill.

What happens if a freak atmospheric effect means you get a French tower for a few seconds? Apparently some people on the South coast of Blighty have a problem with French tv signals drowning out the UK (terrestrial) signal so maybe something similar has happened?

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Silver badge
Happy

@Mike Crawshaw

Don't panic Mike, I'm watching your share. There are over 600 TV channels and if you record sensibly you can easily find 3-5hrs a day of reasonable quality viewing. If you have kids it is hugely expensive to go out at night, either with them or without them, so we watch telly and drink wine.

And, btw, I don't know which pubs you frequent, but I never watch TV as boring as the conversations I usually overhear when I do go to them. Can't speak for the average viewer tho ...

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Flame

Average TV watching

218 minutes is under 4 hours, isn't it?

An hour or so when you get up in the morning, a couple of hours in the evening before you go to the pub (for those who can still afford it and still want to) and you're almost there.

And as for those of us who watch documentaries (Aircrash Investigation and the UK History channels are NOT "reality tv") or actually prefer watching escapism tv (I mean anything from Dead^H^H^H Eastenders to Criminal Minds, from the Anime and Sci-Fi channels to Hallmark and the movie channels) to sitting down the poub spending money just to go pi** it up against the wall outside as many others do, are we the stupid ones or is it those who spend ever-increasing amounts of their money lining the pockets of the brewery shareholders?

Or maybe I should rot my brain playing GT3 on my cut-down and overpriced PC-clone then go out and mow downa bunch of pedestrians when I find out the hard way that the laws of physics are a lot less forgiving than an X-Box360 and a couple of bottles of strong cider...

Couldn't be bothered to comment on OfCon. They don't take any notice when ISPs break the law, so why should they listen to us complaining?

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Bronze badge

the 9-5

Listen to the radio, get random texts and calls on the way to work, the same through out thd day, watch some mobile tv in the works van, get home amd down the pub until 3am, while the "average middleclass" will be in bed at 10pm

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Flame

Silence of the sheep - Freeview STB, or doorstop?

This Ofcon of which they speak...

Is this the Ofcon under whose regulation the broadcasters, retailers, and manufacturers have been maintaining a news blackout for months about hundreds of thousands of Freeview set top boxes which have recently died or are about to die because of technical changes to the broadcast signal, changes which most retailers won't know about, most helplines won't know about, etc?

Sorry about long URL, even sorrier it's the Daily Mail, but it's either that or DigitalSpy ;)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1044291/Up-250-000-TV-screens-blank-upgrade-leaves-Freeview-boxes-obsolete.html

Or search for Echostar in the DigitalSpy forums seems to find relevant and detailed techy info quite quickly; certainly more quickly than I'll be able to find the receipt for my Echostar doorstop.

Cheers Ofcon, previously it was only your broadband bits I knew to be incompetent...

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Anonymous Coward

Ofcom generates its own win win situations

Since Ofcom only acts on the volume of complaints (evidence based), it relies on consumers to provide the evidence. Since personal experience or anecdotal evidence of dealing with Ofcom will swiftly disabuse anyone of the idea they might get the actual, practical help they need, an ever declining number bother to waste their time in the cause of the greater good. So, no complaints, no evidence, no action (except on scheming up new ways to hamstring the BBC or hand out public money to Nathan Barleys). Which is just the way the industry wants it as it goes on treating customers like arsewipe.

It's the leadership that sets the goals and tone at ofcom, and they are truly self congratulatory second raters who will doubtless feel entirely justified when they take directorships in the private sector.

We Brits may not be lions, but we sure as hell are led by donkeys.

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@ AC (@ John Loader)

When you roam, the person who calls you pays the normal rate for that call - it's the person receiving the call who pays the premium for the privilege of being abroad.

If you're on the south coast there's nothing stopping you from changing your phone's operator setting from "automatic" to "manual" and locking it to your home network so you don't end up accidentally roaming to France before you leave the UK. And if you manually select the "preferred" operator that your mobile phone operator partners with in the country you're roaming in (eg if you're an Orange UK customer then the partner in France will be Orange France) then you'll usually pay less for your calls than if you use a non-partnered network.

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Unhappy

"directorships in the private sector"

It's not *that* long since most of the job jobs at Oftel (Ofcon predecessor for the telecoms bit) were occupied by ex-NTL people. Revolving doors, I believe it's called. Snouts in the trough might be a more appropriate description.

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Paris Hilton

Title ... el tiT

What tremendous value the Oral Felch Club Of M25 is. How lucky we would be as a nation if all our quangos were as dilligent, trustworthy and supportive as them... ah, yes of course... that's the actual problem isn't it.

As for "snouts in the trough" ... indeed squire, and noses firmly held in check by the excessive buttock cheeks of the similarly dedicated brown-noser ahead.

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