What to watch out for – here are the Ofcom changes that you need to know about

Ofcom is the recognized communication regulator in the United Kingdom. It regulates fixed line telecoms, TV, postal and mobile service, radio and video-on-demand sectors plus the airwaves that wireless devices operate in. Ofcom is mandated to make sure that people living in the United Kingdom are offered the best services from telecommunication service providers. Ofcom ensures that clients are protected from sharp practices and scam while making sure that competition is thriving.

Ofcom operates under the Communications Act 2003 and other parliaments Acts set by legislators. Therefore it must act within the duties and powers set upon by the Parliament in legislation. The communication act states that Ofcom’s principal mandate is to guard the interests of the consumers and citizens, where acceptable by promoting competition. Ofcom is accountable to the parliament, and therefore, it sets and enforces regulations for the communication sector.

Ofcom regularly releases its annual plan that includes changes that are expected to take place – including for anyone buying 0800 numbers, or any other SME business range. For the 2017/18, it is not exceptional as the organization has already released the proposed annual plan. Through the proposed changes, Ofcom aims to make sure that businesses and people living in the United Kingdom are getting the best from communication companies. Ofcom is doing this through promoting competition, consumer protection, improving quality and securing standards.

Ofcom has been able to identify three areas that are of particular importance to all stakeholders and the necessary changes will be effected to improve the services offered. Ofcom is aiming towards implementing its conclusions related to the strategic review of digital communication that will help to deliver better phone and broadband services, and creating more options for the businesses and consumers. Ofcom will also complete the integration of its new responsibilities for BBC regulation. Finally, it will award the 3.4GHz and 2.3 GHz spectrums bands that will help to increase the capacity of the United Kingdom mobile network. Ofcom 2017/2018 annual plans highlight all the proposed plans and changes that will take place in this financial year.

The changes will ensure that Ofcom is able to implement the conclusions related to its strategic review of digital communications, which aims to ensure that the communication sector serves the needs of the entire UK population, over the next decade and beyond. The changes will also enable effective competition through reforms in the governance of the Openreach- the network sector of BT that owns major United Kingdom broadband networks. According to Ofcom, this will make sure that Openreach will work more independently from TB groups, and makes decisions that will benefit the wider telecom industry, not just BT clients.

Ofcom is also looking forward to promoting competition by making it possible for BT’s competitors to invest in private infrastructurehttps://www.ofcom.org.uk/manage-your-licence/radio-broadcast-licensing/amend/format-changes-2017 by enhancing access to Openreach’s network of deducts and telegraph-underground tunnels that house the telecom cables. In addition, Ofcom will also consider if regulating BT prices is necessary to encourage choice and availability.

Crucial knowledge on the availability, price ,quality of communications services help to make people navigate the market and choose the best deals according to Ofcom.as from next year, Ofcom will start to publish tables showing each communication service provider quality by determining the best and the worst. This will help consumers to shop around for the best deals and high-quality services. Ofcom also wants to make easy for people to switch easily from one provider to another in order to benefit from the free market. Ofcom will also update its interactive maps to give proper information on broadband and mobile coverage. Ofcom is committed to helping people to switch broadband, landline and pay TV services as a bundle or either on their own.

Ofcom took the regulation of BBC on 3 April 2017 as part of its new responsibility. It is therefore responsible for implementing a new approach to assess the performance of BBC and its distinctiveness output. Ofcom will also ensure that BBC fulfills its mandate to serve audiences in all the four United Kingdom nations and reflect their diversity. Ofcom will ensure that internet and phone services are accessible by everyone living in the United Kingdom including people in remote and rural areas. Ofcom is working with the government to deliver its new plan of providing a decent and affordable broadband connection. Ofcom is also seeking to improve mobile coverage in the whole country and implementing coverage obligations through licensing. The organization has also proposed to introduce a range of measures that will ensure that all the phone and broadband companies will offer a quality service as expected by clients.

Customer protection is also another area that Ofcom aims to improve through the changes in the annual plan for 2017/2018. This will help to make sure that clients get the value of their money and standardization is introduced to protect the consumer. If adopted, the changes will enable Ofcom to deliver its mandate to the people of United Kingdom.

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