On 25 February, Ofcom, communications regulator in the UK, published the initial conclusions of its Strategic Review of Digital Communications. This is the first major review of the UK communications sector in ten years, setting out plans to improve telecoms quality and coverage for consumers and businesses.
On 26 April, Sharon White, Ofcom’s Chief Executive, met EIF members and friends in the European Parliament to present findings of the Review and discuss regulatory challenges ahead of the EU telecoms reform. Pilar del Castillo, MEP and EIF Chair, hosted this timely debate.
Ms White took the opportunity to present key outcomes of the report and noted that “many of the challenges that we see in the UK appear to be common to other Member States.” She elaborated on the following points:
Universal Service Obligation – UK government plan to make sure no-one is left behind on broadband access - giving everyone a legal right to request a 10 Mbps connection.
Plans for promoting investments in the ultrafast fibre networks.
Better quality of service across the telecoms industry. Ofcom intends to introduce tougher rules on faults, repairs and installations; transparent information on service quality; and automatic compensation for consumers when things go wrong.
Ms White also used the occasion to share her views on the upcoming EU telecoms review.
Vesa Terävä, Head of Unit Regulatory Coordination & Users at DG CONNECT, European Commission, took the floor to present key comments on Ofcom’s review.