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Ofcom UK Give the Kiss of Death to FAX Services on BT and KCOM

Tuesday, Nov 1st, 2022 (11:56 am) - Score 2,424
ofcom uk telecoms regulator

The UK communications regulator, Ofcom, has today officially proposed to remove the requirement for telecoms operators to provide FAX (facsimile) services under their legally-binding Universal Service Obligation (USO), which only applies to BT and KCOM.

The related USO was originally set out in 2003, when fax machines were much more prevalent and email and instant messaging were less ubiquitous. On top of that, the move to full fibre (FTTP) broadband lines and all-IP (Internet Protocol) based phone services (VoIP etc.) – whether via copper or fibre lines – will hamper how the old analogue FAX system operates.

FAX can sometimes still to made to work, but the timing and synchronisation that it relies on for the duration of the transmission can no longer be guaranteed to work in the same way. Suffice to say that FAX can no longer be supported and parliament has already removed such services from the USO legislation, following an earlier consultation by Ofcom.

Ofcom’s Statement

“We previously consulted on this subject last year. We considered it was appropriate for fax to be removed from the USO, given its limited ongoing use, as well as the fact that developments in technology now mean there are a range of alternative available for people to use.”

The alternatives they mention include “document sharing services and email“. Ofcom are now inviting comments on their implementation of this change by 28th November 2022, and they expect to publish a final statement in early 2023.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
2 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Alistair Webb says:

    One consideration may need covering. Legal document correspondence is still used today. Previous case law I think made it acceptable, but a suitable replacement may not be readily available? I’d welcome others comments.

    1. Avatar photo Steven Green says:

      FoIP would cover that base

Comments are closed

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