Businesses considering new telephone systems installations should perhaps take note of the fact that a new review of the telecoms market in the UK has been announced, with watchdog Ofcom set to examine investment, competition, product availability and innovation in the landline, mobile and broadband sectors.
This review will be the second on the part of the organisation, with the first taking place in December 2003 and concluding in September 2005. It resulted in new rules allowing competing providers to access BT’s network so as to offer broadband and phone services to consumers.
Since the last review, Ofcom has changed its approach to regulation, removing retail price controls for competitive telecoms services in 2006 and bringing in new rules to further competition in superfast broadband in 2010. And in 2011, a cap was placed on wholesale mobile rates, which resulted in cheaper calls to mobile phones.
The first phase of this review will look at current and future market factors that could have an effect on digital communications services, as well as regulatory approaches.
Ofcom acting chief executive Steve Unger said: “Our new review will mean Ofcom’s rules continue to meet the needs of consumers and businesses by supporting competition and investment for years to come.”
This follows further Ofcom research revealing that almost one in three broadband connections in the UK are now superfast, a rise of the near one in four that was seen in November 2013. In the six months leading up to November last year, average broadband speeds increased by a fifth.