UPDATE: Where there’s blame there’s a claim – really?

Posted on Mar 28 2017 | Make a comment

Last week further details emerged regarding Ofcom’s plans for a broadband compensation scheme. In our previous article (Where there’s blame there’s a claim – really?) we clearly stated a number of concerns we have about this and with the release of the additional information from Ofcom, unfortunately many of those concerns remain.

What are the compensation plans?

When a consumer (specifically a residential consumer or SME) with a domestic fixed line broadband service experiences a fault they would be entitled to claim automatic compensation at set rates eliminating the need for any lengthy or difficult claims processes.

Ofcom states the situations allowable for compensation and set rates are:

  • Delayed repair following loss of service – the service has stopped working and is not fully fixed after two full working days = £10 per calendar day that service is not repaired
  • Delays with start of new service – Promised start date for new service is missed = £6 per calendar day of delay including missed start date.
  • Missed engineer appointment – engineer doesn’t turn up for appointment or the appointment is cancelled with less than 24 hours notice = £30 per missed appointment
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‘Growing up on the Internet’ – Education is key!

Posted on Mar 23 2017 | Make a comment

This week the House of Lords’ Communications Committee published a new report, ‘Growing up with the Internet’ which looks at how children should be protected online and sets out a number of new recommendations for industry and Government.

Key recommendations from the report are:

    • We recommend that all ISPs and mobile network operators should be required not only to offer child-friendly content control filters, but also for those filters to be ‘on’ by default for all customers. Adult customers should be able to switch off such filters.
    • Those responsible for providing filtering and blocking services need to be transparent about which sites they block and why, and be open to complaints from websites to review their decisions within an agreed timeframe. Filter systems should be designed to an agreed minimum standard.
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    30 Mbps Universal Service Obligation (USO) – Achievable or over ambitious?

    Posted on Mar 21 2017 | Make a comment

    Last month we learned that the seemingly ever-changing Digital Economy Bill has been subjected to yet another last minute amendment. This time, following its debate in the House of Lords, Lord Mendelsohn successfully proposed increasing the existing 10Mbps USO to 30Mbps – with 6Mbps upload – by 2020. But is delivering 30Mbps by that date realistically possible and is it a necessary requirement, or over-ambitious overkill?

    The initial plan was for the current BDUK programme to hit its expected 97% coverage by 2020 and then the 10Mbps USO would ensure the same minimum level of connectivity for the remaining 3%. Whilst specific methods and technologies have not yet been confirmed by Ofcom, achieving the existing 10Mbps USO is widely accepted as realistically possible via a variety of technologies that are expected to be delivered predominantly by BT, albeit with other providers in the mix. However, delivering a minimum service of 30 Mbps to 100% of the UK is a whole new ball game!

    Whilst we welcome the desire to increase speeds for consumers and encourage network investment across the industry, we believe this should be achieved through technological developments, not Government-imposed demands.

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    Where will the BT/Openreach soap opera end? And do we need a separate Openreach for business?

    Posted on Mar 17 2017 | Make a comment

    The recent saga concerning the separation of BT and Openreach has set many industry observers speculating about whether it will have any real impact. Only time will tell. But perhaps a further and more important question is whether or not the interests of UK businesses will be well-served in the future when the dust has settled and the storyline has moved on.

    Besides competition, there is another good argument for tearing BT and Openreach asunder. It might actually be good for BT in the long run, as it means the company won’t have to fight on as many fronts.

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    Is telephony fraud the UK’s forgotten crime?

    Posted on Mar 14 2017 | Make a comment

    Telephony fraud is unfortunately nothing new but with the opening of the new National Cyber Security Centre, ITSPA have seized the opportunity to demand that GCHQ work together with industry to combat the issue and make telecoms fraud a priority.

    ITSPA argued that “Government, law enforcement and industry need to be more joined up to help combat telephony fraud, which remains a significant problem and is estimated to add 2% to the average user’s phone bill.” said Eli Katz, Chair of ITSPA.

    She added “Telephony fraud is in some ways the UK’s forgotten crime. Due to the difficulties in bringing forward successful prosecutions due to the highly international element of crime, it often goes unreported by the telecommunications industry, resulting in law enforcement and Government devoting a disproportionately low level of resource to the area. ITSPA continues to work to encourage industry to report instances of telephony fraud to ensure that the crime receives the attention it deserves.”

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