back to article Something good about Brexit? Errr, more teeth for Ofcom! – report

Brexit could hand UK watchdog Ofcom more powers to intervene in the retail telecoms markets while simultaneously creating uncertainty over mobile roaming charges, according to a wide-ranging discussion paper. The report, Brexit: implications for digital citizens and consumers (PDF) by charitable body the Carnegie Trust, …

  1. Mark 110

    Threats and opportunites

    It sounds like they were clutching at straws a little on the opportunity front. The return of mobile roaming charges will be the killer for many of us. Just when we finally got rid of them as well.

    1. Semtex451 Silver badge

      Re: Threats and opportunites

      That is shurely down to the networks. If one reintroduces EU roaming charges folk will vote with their feet.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Threats and opportunites

      True but tell me how are you finding your free 2g connection?

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Threats and opportunites

      We can just ban them from putting roaming charges back as part of their license terms if we want to. It only means that they put their prices up to all consumers so that they can't charge extra for roaming - which is what they did when the European rules came in anyway.

    4. Azium

      Re: Threats and opportunites

      The UK government fought hard against Brussels plan to impose the abolition of intra-EU roaming charges. Brexit will be a good opportunity to allow them back.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Threats and opportunites

        The UK government fought hard against Brussels plan to impose the abolition of intra-EU roaming charges.

        Did it? I don't remember that. Is that the ususal evidence-free EU story, or is there some evidence for that?

        I know they didn't make the changes as fast as some people want, and brought them in gradually over about 5 years. And I've read there was disagreement about how long that should be. But don't remember any country outright opposing it - or even which countries were for slower, and which quicker.

        The UK government never came out against it publicly anyway.

        1. chr0m4t1c

          Re: Threats and opportunites

          The UK, Italy, Greece and Spain all voted against it because they have large tourist industries that meant significant drops in profit for their local telecoms providers.

          This was all timetabled to come in during 2015, but held up because of these four. I remember being quite surprised and annoyed that my own government were doing it, but at the time all of the operators were busy building out their 4G capability so I did have some sympathy.

          That said, I can't say if it was UK government policy because I don't know who had the majority of MEPs at the time. Roger Helmer MEP tabled an amendment to reject the agreement on behalf of UKIP, so that was one party definitely opposed to it; you can do your own research about the others.

  2. BeakUpBottom

    Isn't this just fluff?

    Seems to boil down to saying we will have to replace the EU-driven legislation we have with our own homebrewed concoction, and it might be better for the consumer? except we'll have less leverage.

    Isn't that just the screamingly obvious wrapped up with trite speculation?

    They'd do better explaining why the improvements they suggest haven't been done already, as that aint down to Brussels!

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Isn't this just fluff?

      Isn't that just the screamingly obvious wrapped up with trite speculation?

      Yes, 27 pages of maybe, based on something that hasn't been decided yet. I wish I could get paid for writing stuff like that.

  3. wolfetone

    Well, we could have £350 million a day going in to the NHS. But until this Ofcom thing is on the side of a bus, I would recommend everyone ignores it.

    Actually, if it makes it on to the side of a bus, ignore it then too. Everyone else is.

  4. H in The Hague Silver badge

    More regulation?

    "Some of that could be resolved by returning to more [intervening] regulation."

    I ain't no political analyst, but I thought the tenor of the Brexit debate was to "reduce regulations imposed by unelected bureaucrats". So I'm not sure how this sits with that. And if Ofcom has to regulate more,and do work now done by the EU, then that means hiring more bureaucrats. More sodding duplication (as per Medicines Agency, etc.) - just what we need.

    Incidentally, since I've got a spare moment to rant :), 'bureaucrats' are normally unelected, be they some senior official in Brussels or the deputy-assistant-refuse-collection-vehicle-scheduler at your local town council. Politicians are elected, bureaucrats are appointed (ultimately by politicians).

    Time for a soothing cup of tea.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: More regulation?

      I thought the tenor of the Brexit debate was to "reduce regulations imposed by unelected [European*]bureaucrats"

      Because taking back control means HMG can do as it wants. The little people don't get control.

      *Muttered soto voce

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: More regulation?

        @ Doctor Syntax

        "Because taking back control means HMG can do as it wants. The little people don't get control."

        Compared to the EU does what it wants, HMG does what it wants and people have even less control?

        1. Yes Me Silver badge

          Re: More regulation?

          @codejunky

          " HMG does what it wants and people have even less control?"

          Definitely. For example, look at the history of the many Official Secrets Acts. UK governments have a very long tradition of suppressing inconvenient truths, and that's only one area where we the people have less control than in most European countries. EU officials are amateurs compared to all our Sir Humphreys.

      2. Youngone

        Re: More regulation?

        @ Doctor Syntax

        All of which makes me wonder who set up the whole Brexit thing, and who stands to gain the most from it?

        Those at the top of HMG obviously, but who else?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "looser state aid rules"

    I'm calling a typo there. If they are talking about the UK post exit, they meant to say 'loser state'.

    1. wolfetone

      "I'm calling a typo there. "

      I'm calling that Donald Trump wrote the article.

  6. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Huh?

    Ofcom doesn't bother with the powers it _does_ have under EU and UK laws.

    Given that it's only really made any actions at all because the EU put pressure on the UK to actually enforce laws, what makes you think it would do _anything_ post-brexit?

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020