Ofcom shares UK strategy

Ofcom has published a report outlining its strategy to ensure all UK citizens benefit from communications services as much as possible. The report, titled Citizens and Communications Services, examines the availability, accessibility and affordability of said services in the UK.

The regulator stated the report shows progress made in the last decade to keep the communications services market ticking at the right pace with technology advancement and changing consumer and business requirements. Challenges faced by the government, industry and Ofcom itself are also apparently highlighted.

“Like all developed economies, the UK is completely transforming its communications infrastructure,” Ofcom CEO Ed Richards said. “When Ofcom began, fixed broadband and mobile data use were in their infancy. Today, we are on the way towards a transformation of our digital networks, with superfast broadband and 4G mobile data services spreading across the country and take-up rising fast.

“We have made very good progress over the last few years, but there is plenty more to do in the future. We need more investment, better coverage, faster services and higher rates of take-up, with the kind of competition that has positioned the UK well so far.”

According to the report, achievements made so far include telephone landline service in almost all UK premises, almost universally available broadband network, 99% 2G and 3G mobile coverage, and 98.5% DTT (digital terrestrial TV).

“If we can maintain the current rate of progress and continue to improve availability, then there are going to be more exciting and more widespread opportunities for growth and innovation across the UK,” Richards added.

Some of the key points emerging from the report on what still needs to be done included making broadband services more widely available, improving mobile coverage and reliability, protecting the interests of disabled consumers, helping low-income households, and maintaining resilient and reliable access to emergency services.

“Our ability to access, use and rely on communications services determines how fully we can play a part in our economy, society and culture. They oil the wheels of our daily lives,” Ofcom Chairman, Patricia Hodgson said.

“The UK has a strong record of meeting the communications needs of its citizens, but we recognise that there is more work to do. Plans are in place to address issues of service quality and coverage that still affect many people. We are also working hard to address the needs of the most vulnerable in society, particularly those who struggle with poverty or disability.”

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