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14/12/2018 13:06:38  

You know, they've paid for the phone a few times over now...

UK regulator Ofcom wants ISPs and networks to tell customers when they're contract is up and inform them of better deals. The consultation (PDF) was launched today alongside a review of broadband prices.…

14/12/2018 10:06:19  

Ofcom says it is unfair new subscribers get deals on average £13-£15 cheaper each month

The UK media regulator, Ofcom, is to crack down on broadband providers who rip off loyal customers by offering better deals to new subscribers.

The regulator is aiming to tackle a so-called “loyalty penalty” whereby long-standing customers are effectively penalised for sticking with their contracts. TalkTalk estimates that on average, across the market, existing customers pay £13 to £15 more each month than new customers, as much as £180 a year.

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12/12/2018 07:05:28  

Internet speeds in millions of households not fast enough to meet a typical family’s needs

More than a quarter of UK homes do not have fast enough broadband to cope with a typical family’s internet needs, such as downloading films and watching series on Netflix, according to a report.

Just over 26% of the UK’s estimated 28 million households are getting by on speeds of less than 10Mbps, the level the media regulator, Ofcom, says is the bare minimum requirement for a modern household.

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05/12/2018 12:05:22  

Just 8 telcos applied, most didn't meet critera

BT will likely remain the sole broadband universal service provider for most of the UK because smaller ISPs didn't meet Ofcom's qualification criteria and Hyperoptic pulled out of the running.…

04/12/2018 19:04:44  

Ofcom has censured a radio station for playing Lil’ Louis’ 1989 acid house classic, which features orgasmic moaning. Is it a backwards step?

These days it’s easily replicated by accidentally leaving two tabs open in your browser window, but 30 years ago it fell to Chicago house practitioner Lil’ Louis to collide wobbly techno and orgasmic moaning, and in doing so he landed an international hit with the acid house belter French Kiss.

The track was played on radio at the time, but if you’re a DJ thinking of dropping it in 2018: don’t. This week, music blog Chart Watch UK pointed out that Ofcom censured the modest east London digital station 883 Centreforce after investigating a complaint about “sexual noises” in a midday show broadcast during the school summer holidays.

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03/12/2018 19:05:35  

Media regulator to determine whether Iran International broke broadcasting standards

A London-based satellite news station is being formally investigated by Ofcom after broadcasting an interview with an extremist group that claimed responsibility for a terrorist attack in Iran.

The media regulator said it will consider whether Iran International, which is based in west London but broadcasts to a Farsi-language audience around the world, broke broadcasting standards by airing the footage in September.

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30/11/2018 17:04:17  

Whether it was practicing mindfulness, playing a video game or FaceTiming a loved we’d like you to share your photos and stories

As the digital world takes over every aspect of modern life, it is increasingly difficult to feel as if you can truly switch off. An Ofcom report published in August concluded that a decade of smartphones has left people in the UK “dependent” on digital devices: we check our phones every 12 minutes when awake.

There is evidence suggesting that excessive screen time is impacting on everything from the way we sleep sleep to our sex lives. But how are you supposed to be able to remember how to chill out when you actually look away? It is no wonder that stress and anxiety is on the rise, with constant notifications leaving us in a permanent state of alert.

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30/11/2018 07:05:10  

Campaign says confining debate to Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn would breach BBC guidelines

The People’s Vote campaign has formally complained to the BBC and Ofcom over plans to hold a televised Brexit debate without including a supporter of a second referendum.

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have agreed to take part in a discussion of the prime minister’s Brexit plan on national television next Sunday evening, although there is disagreement between the two political parties over whether the BBC or ITV should host the debate.

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28/11/2018 09:04:08  

Ofcom to cap 118 call charges, saying two-thirds of users unaware they can cost £20

The price of directory inquiries calls will be capped from April to protect consumers from excessively high charges, with some firms currently charging almost £20 for a 90-second call.

Directory inquiries numbers – which all begin with 118 – are still used by more than 1 million people, many of them elderly, with nearly two-thirds unaware of how much the calls cost.

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23/11/2018 19:03:26  

And that means smartphones will need to get smarter

Ofcom's top tech bod, Mansoor Hanif, recently gave the Wi-Fi industry a roasting, telling them to shape up to 5G or face sliding into irrelevance. New network data from around the world shows that slide has already begun.…

23/11/2018 01:04:15  

Brits are ditching DVD players and desktop PCs and are increasingly turning to newer technology such as smart TVs and smart watches, Ofcom research has found. From the research: Shoppers in the UK are predicted to spend billions of pounds again this year on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and much of that is expected to be spent buying tech online. So, Ofcom has crunched the numbers on which tech devices people have been buying in recent years, and which ones they're getting rid of. Ownership of digital devices such as smart TVs, smart watches and smartphones has grown significantly in recent years, as more people need a constant connection to the internet -- internet users say they spend an average of 24 hours a week online. By contrast, MP3 players, DVD players and desktop computers seem to be falling out of favour as smartphone use continues to grow, particularly for browsing and streaming. Meanwhile, the popularity of tablets and e-readers seems to have peaked. Ownership of both is significantly higher than it was seven years ago, but has levelled out in the last few years.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

22/11/2018 15:03:10  

Gadget snapshot reveals tablet-weary, phone-mad Britain

Comms regulator Ofcom has highlighted what devices and digital services Britons use ahead of the UK's annual shopping orgy. The data was actually released in its vast compendium of consumer habits, a tome so large details sometimes get lost.…

16/11/2018 12:02:10  

EE: We're sorry, Ofcom. Virgin: Why, that's... unjustified and disproportionate!

The UK's comms watchdog claims to have slapped a £13.3m penalty on EE and Virgin Media for fleecing customers who wanted to exit their broadband or mobile phone contracts before they were due to expire.…

16/11/2018 09:01:32  

Nearly 500,000 broadband and phone customers affected by excessive exit fees, says Ofcom

Virgin Media and EE have been fined a combined £13.3m by the regulator Ofcom for overcharging nearly 500,000 phone and broadband customers who wanted to leave their contracts early.

Ofcom said both companies broke consumer protection rules by failing to make clear the charges customers would have to pay if they ended their contract early and by levying “excessive” fees to leave.

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16/11/2018 07:57:15  

The companies overcharged phone and broadband customers leaving their contracts early, Ofcom says.
15/11/2018 10:02:27  

Court of Appeal rules it's wrong to assume regulator should pony up for cases it loses

The Court of Appeal has ruled that legal costs from BT Openreach's dark fibre bunfight against UK telcos will be reconsidered by the Competition Appeal Tribunal.…

02/11/2018 21:56:01  
02/11/2018 13:55:21  

The broadcast regulator has recommended a public interest test to assess the impact of changes.
25/10/2018 11:58:57  

Media regulator says BBC is losing viewers and listeners to commercial rivals and online-only offerings

The BBC is facing an existential crisis as a result of its failure to reach younger audiences in the face of competition from commercial rivals and online-only offerings such as YouTube and Netflix, according to Ofcom.

The media regulator found that young people were increasingly turning away from the corporation’s TV and radio services and that the BBC is “not currently doing enough, quickly enough” to turn this around and ensure it has a future audience for its output.

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