The Government has outlined the changes that will need to be made to laws and regulations so that the UK complies with the new EU telecoms rules passed last year. The Government has said that the UK already complies with many of the new or changed rules, but that it will give telecoms regulator Ofcom new powers to demand more …
It's not better.
This won't change anything. All it will do is increase what's already an inefficient and fragmented system. Ultimately, BT still own nearly all the phone lines in the UK.
OFCOM were charged with breaking up the BT monopoly in 1989
Why hasn't OFCOM been disbanded yet. They're not fit for purpose.
Why break the bad habits acquired over years?
Let's face it, the UK government has been ignoring EC Directives for yonks.
Getting rid of the misleading "up to" advertising
"A new provision [of the EU rules], Article 22(3), enables, but does not require, Ofcom to impose minimum quality of service obligations on electronic communications network and service providers," said the consultation.
Does this mean OFCOM will make ISPs state the minimum level of service their customers will get for their money, along with the penalties for failure to deliver?
Re: Getting rid of the misleading "up to" advertising #
Yes please. The advertiser should be obliged to publish the figure that's least beneficial to the buyer, with exactly the same prominence as the intentionally misleading figure they currently publish. No hiding the truth in the small print -- in any statement that involves a misleading headline statement, anything stated less prominently should be treated for legal purposes as not having been made at all.
Lets also look hard about artificial restrictions, like having to pay for an analogue telephone service even if you only want broadband.
The cost of line rental is artificially inflated to cover the cost of providing that analogue telephone service (and, increasingly, the cost of compulsory bundled off peak costs) which broadband users might not necessarily want, especially if they have VOIP. If advertisers had to include line rental in the price they advertise for broadband, the chances are they would suddenly discover they could knock a pound or two off the line rental and leave out the phone service.
Not only that, but if the line didn't have the unnecessary encumbrance of carrying simultaneous analogue calls (which hog bandwidth even when no call is being made) then it ought to be possible to engineer modems that provide faster data rates even on poor lines.
Upto = Misleading? No, not really
Those calling for the abolition of "up to" speeds are missing a salient point. It is impossible to accurately predict what a customer will get in ADSL technology because of the inability to compensate for bad quality home wiring, the bane of all ADSL providers.
Two adjacent properties could receive widely different ADSL broadband speeds even if they are fed by the same street cabinet. The chances of the internal house wiring being of identical topology and quality are slim to non-existent. And so it is completely impractical, unfeasible and unfair on the providers to have to be held to account for "misleading speeds".
But hey! Why spoil a good government soundbite?
Forcing the quoting accurate ADSL speeds under UK or EU statute is an exercise in impracticability. Or would everyone be happier with a speed quote of "from 128Kbps"?
Advertising Standards Authority in the UK
They seem to take a more active approach than Ofcom AFAIK.
"Telecoms regulator Ofcom already has the power to ..."
But it has no will and is UTTERLY USELESS (unless you happen to benefit from its vested interests).
When is it going to be disbanded (as Cameron promised) and replaced by a regulator that:
b) Stands up for consumer rights
c) Acts in the interests of improving the UK's IT infrastructure to become world class
d) Doesn't keep on issuing press releases that are more about blowing its own trumpet and stating the blindingly obvious
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