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back to article Ofcom fails comms test

A report by the National Audit Office found Ofcom could be providing value for money, but could do a better job of actually demonstrating what it is doing. The NAO believes Ofcom is doing more with less and has saved about £23m over the last five years since it was formed. It spends about £122m a year - which is 27 per cent less …

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Beancounters Demand Beans To Count

Yeah, give them some wild Excel stuff which looks nice.

Meanwhile, the grown-ups make a plan for as much Wireless Internet spectrum as possible.

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Grenade

Ofcom does not make public how it measures its success or failure

Of course it doesn't. Otherwise the public would see that OFCOM isn't there to protect their interests, only to ensure a level playing field and a government revenue stream. As long as everyone is ripping off the customer in the same way, OFCOM don't want to know.

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Not done anything?

Ofcom seem to have stymied the Murdoch attempts to take over UK broadcasting, and his attempts to try to hobble the BBC. Both of which appear to protect our interests.

Cos from what i have seen what the news media the US, if we go there, we will regret it.

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Quite the opposite

"Ofcom seem to have stymied the Murdoch attempts to take over UK broadcasting"

OFCOM's actions have helped tighten Murdoch's stranglehold on UK broadcasting. Don't forget, it was OFCOM that initially blocked HD on freeview, giving Sky a head start in that market. When they finally relented, they insisted on using a brand new standard (DVB-T2) that was incompatible with existing HD Ready Digital TVs and compatible kit was rare and expensive. Thanks to OFCOM's desire to sell off the old analogue spectrum and cram the digital spectrum with shopping channels and +1 repeats, there's only room for 4 or 5 HD channels. So given the choice* between a crippled Freeview service or Sky's superior offering, it has always been advantage, Murdoch.

* I'm ignoring Virgin as they just repackage Sky and don't provide universal coverage.

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Regulation

Ofcom need to become a proper hard-nosed regulator, now. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for relaxed regulation in industries that work well and treat their customers with anything more than absolute contempt.

But for the most part the ISP industry in the UK is an entrenched cartel (admittedly as a result of BT wholesaling) of knowingly dishonest operators who lie and mislead their customers, and this needs to be fined and fined until it gets its act together and starts adding value to the UK infrastructure. The time for these worthless voluntary codes of practice ended a decade ago.

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It's not just ISPs

It'd be nice if Ofcom weren't quite so toothless and had the ability to go after cold-calling companies.

Personally, I've had numerous calls from 01183593113 - this turns out to be a finance/credit management/credit consolidation "company" that try to scam you by offering to consolidate your debts or even get you out of paying them entirely, if only you give them a couple of hundred quid up front.

Obviously, I hung up these crooks instantly. I then searched teh intarwebs later to find out what the deal was. I realised that this company wasn't going from a database, and thus in contravention of TPS - instead they seemed to simply have a sequential autodialler that transferred you to an operator once it connected.

I tried to lodge a complaint with TPS, who referred me to Ofcom. Fair enough. Sadly, Ofcom aren't in a position to actually do anything about it. The form you have to fill in asks for all kinds of information, and then says that they aren't really able to do anything about it.

This is in addition to the calls my grandparents (also on TPS) have started to get from some random company who claim to have 'detected viruses and spyware on their computer" and would they like to be transferred to a technical specialist to be charged £50 to have it removed.

This being impressive - their scanning technology is clearly very advanced if they have somehow managed to scan and locate iffy software on my grandparents non-internet connected, not-networked, only connected to the power line computer.

Oh, and also illegal if they've taken to scanning peoples personal computers without consent, and even more illegal if they have managed to do so after bypassing the hardware firewall on the router that most people have etc. etc.

Ofcom either need to get some proper powers to deal with these annoying leeches and disturbers of my balanced humors, or they should just f**k right off.

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@BenR

The telcos are (in)directly responsile for the rotting scumbag leeches who run these autodialers.

1) they make a profit from them as customers.

2) they make an INSANE profit from charging people 5+UKP/mo for NOT removing CLI data on thier line.

3) they make silly amounts of profit running call barring/vettng.

If you complain to your telco they take details and tell you nothing can be done but if you would like to sign up for thier CLI/barring/vetting services...

I know four people who have recently dropped thier landlines because of the actions of the telcos. All this means is that the telcos have to make mroe profit out of those of us left with a line.

Jacqui

p.s. if you have CLI, asterisk or similar does wonders and barring vetting calls.

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Stop

Ofcom motto

"Broadband for everyone. Crap broadand, but everyone can afford it."

Ofcom's pricing controls and margin squeeze tests have starved BT of profits and delayed roll-out of next-generation networks.

Ofcom's pricing controls and margin squeeze tests have encouraged competition and kept prices low for consumers.

So it depends on what you want from a countries network. The UK has had cheap and near universal access to broadband for longer than most other countries. Unfortunately it is lagging behind in the speed stakes.

Which would you prefer:'Most people have an adequate service' or 'A few people have way faster than they need but half the people don't have anything'.

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Anonymous Coward

But does it do the job as well as the five it replaced?

"the National Audit Office found Ofcom could be providing value for money" peresumably depending on the question above. "It spends about £122m a year - which is 27 per cent less than the five regulators it replaced."

Can we say we learned anything useful from this report?

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FAIL

Each time I have contacted Ofcom

my particular gripe has been "a commercial decision on the part of the operator therefore not within our remit."

Only one call to them (which wasn't really a gripe) has got as good a response as "That's interesting, we'll lok into it" when I said how, after they had ordered BT to cut some of their costs (O si sic semper!), BT then proclaimed in their own publicity how good they were, looking after the consumer by dropping their prices. I feel they should have been ordered to state, in equally bold print, that they had been instructed to do so by Ofcom.

I won't bore you with the details of what my actual gripes were, but I for one would like to see Ofcom replaced by something that has teeth and knows how to bite.

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corporate clown's and their "voluntary code"

"Unsurprisingly, the National Audit Office also criticised Ofcom's lack of action on broadband speeds. The regulator's own research found average UK speeds were 45 per cent lower than those advertised. Ofcom has introduced a voluntary code to try to address the issue."

yeah , Exactly like that "voluntary code" will be as affective as a bank charges were they all sign up and say they Will Not take charges from blue book accounts.

that's "blue book" as in Govt. payed legally protected in law benefits payment's, the banks still take the bank charges from these accounts when they say your over drawn though.

"voluntary code" code does NOTHING , Only real legally Enforced in the courts code makes a difference to these corporate clown's

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