On 10 July, Ofcom published their Annual Report and
Accounts for the year 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012. This was
a significant financial year for Ofcom. Required by the
Government to implement a 28.2 per cent reduction in budget over
four years, the regulators have front-loaded the majority of the
cuts into the first year. The report confirms that personnel
resources have been hit hard with a reduction of almost 100
Preparation for the auction of the 600MHz, 800 MHz and 2.6GHz
spectrum bands was Ofcom's biggest project by far over the 12
months. Expenditure on spectrum clearance and awards ahead of
the auction exceeded Ł47 million, funded by grant-in-aid from
central government. The auction is anticipated at the end of
The report focuses in particular on the roll-out of superfast
broadband over the year by BT and Virgin Media. Ofcom point
to their role in regulating access to duct and pole
infrastructure, which they envisage will be used in
conjunction with funding from DCMS to further extend the reach of
next generation networks.
Ofcom note the consumer protection measures they
have taken. These include the introduction of regulation
to prevent automatically renewable contracts and continued work to
reduce the mis-selling of landline services.
Certain future projects highlighted in the report are likely to
bring significant changes in the coming year: the 4G spectrum
auction; potential mobile roaming price caps and other measures to
address mobile customer "bill shock"; and sweeping
changes to the non-geographic numbering regime, including proposals
to make 0800 numbers free-to-caller from mobiles.
here to view the Ofcom Annual Report and Accounts.
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