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Final Ofcom Plan for 2019-20 Confirms Mobile and Broadband Changes

Monday, March 25th, 2019 (11:45 am) - Score 3,423
ofcom uk telecoms regulator

The UK telecoms regulator, Ofcom, has today published their final annual plan for 2019/20, which summarises all of the major work they intend to do this year (e.g. boosting mobile coverage, new consumer protections, implementing the 10Mbps USO for broadband and promoting investment in “fibre” networks etc.).

The plan itself doesn’t contain any major new developments, although it does delivery a useful overview of their key works areas and includes some new dates for the changes they’re planning to introduce. Ofcom’s budget for the coming year (£124.2m) also remains the same as it was last year and they’re trying to further reduce their “like-for-like budget, in real terms, wherever we can.”

However, we suspect that the UK Internet Service Providers Association will be displeased to note that Ofcom hasn’t done much to address their concerns (here). The ISPA previously noted that the plan lacked a comprehensive understanding of the business ISP market (e.g. inconsistent definitions of business customers across market interventions), was unclear on their approach to regulating the industry post-Brexit (nobody can easily answer this right now) and didn’t consider a more targeted (less general) intervention in the consumer market etc.

You can read the annual plan here and we’ve pasted a summary below of the key broadband, mobile and pro-consumer measures that will be introduced or consulted upon over the coming year to March 2020. Additionally, from April 2019, Ofcom will strengthen their Communications Consumer Panel (designed to be an independent statutory voice of the consumer in the telecoms sector) by increasing its budget (50%). “This will enable it to carry out a broader programme of consumer advocacy work,” said Ofcom.

ofcom annual plan 2019

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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7 Responses
  1. Avatar Dave

    How on earth do they spend £124m per year when pretty much all they do is produce overly long, tedious and boring documents and guidance?

    That’s more than £10m per month.

  2. Avatar 5G Infinity

    e.g. boosting mobile coverage, new consumer protections, implementing the 10Mbps USO for broadband and promoting investment in “fibre” networks etc

    I am not sure how a regulator can promote Investment, that is something government does by introducing through parliament the appropriate mechanisms to stimulate investment, tax breaks, changes in the plannings regime etc all outside of a regulators remit. Next it gets more confusing as a regulator, surely they should police the implementation of DPA, but DPA itself should come from government.

    Same or similar arguements are true in several other areas, eg boosting mobile coverage. This is a government policy decision and managed by the appropriate Dept, finally policed by the regulator using the powers assigned to it.

    • Avatar Joe

      Regulators can def promote investment: (very simplified)

      By regulatory certainty over long(er) time periods.
      By creating flexible rules that incentivise types of activity. ie they highly regulate copper but have basically said they will be largely light tough on new fttp.

  3. Avatar Mark

    All hot air I’m afraid.

  4. Avatar Meadmodj

    There is a lot scheduled for Q1 meaning they are well developed already including how the USO will be funded and language such “unrestricted” access to duct and poles.

    • Avatar Joe

      “There is a lot scheduled for Q1 meaning they are well developed already”

      We can only help but schedules and developed are not gaurantees

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