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19/02/2020 17:54:14  

But will you see your phone bills decreasing?

Ofcom must repay £218m to the UK's four main mobile network operators (MNOs) after overcharging them for spectrum access, the Court of Appeal ruled today.…

17/02/2020 15:54:57  

Station fined £75,000 after it let George Galloway breach impartiality rules on what it described as a ‘niche’ show

Rupert Murdoch’s talkRadio attempted to avoid a substantial fine for repeated breaches of broadcasting rules by arguing it had very few listeners, very few advertisers, and would face financial pressures if had to pay a substantial financial penalty.

The regulator Ofcom ultimately rejected this argument and imposed a £75,000 fine on the radio station, pointing out that talkRadio was ultimately owned by Murdoch’s News Corp, “a global media company with substantial revenue”.

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14/02/2020 16:53:17  

That's phone, broadband and pay TV

Starting from tomorrow, telcos who fail to offer their customers their best deals will find themselves on Ofcom's naughty step, potentially helping millions of customers in Britain.…

14/02/2020 07:52:34  

New Ofcom rules will force companies to offer the best deals when contracts end

Millions of customers could save up to a £1bn a year on the cost of their landline, broadband, TV and mobile packages, under new Ofcom rules forcing companies to offer the best deals when their contracts come to an end.

The broadcasting and media regulator’s new rules, which come into force from Saturday, could benefit the estimated 20 million customers who are paying over the odds because they are out of contract and not aware of better deals.

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13/02/2020 20:52:24  

News Media Association asks UK government for ‘harmful content’ opt-out for news publishers

Newspaper groups fear the government’s proposals to crack down on damaging social media content could inadvertently result in censorship of their own websites.

The Daily Mail is among the outlets that have warned about the government’s proposals to ask Ofcom to ensure British websites do their best to reduce online content that is legal but harmful to society.

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13/02/2020 13:52:32  

Activism can be lonely in rural areas, but social media lets lone children’s voices be amplified

In a remote village in north Norfolk, nine-year-old Amelia Bradbury has been standing alone outside her school gates every Friday for months. Like hundreds of thousands of young people across the world, she is following Greta Thunberg’s lead and campaigning for action on the climate crisis – but, far from any of the big city demonstrations, she’s having to go it alone.

“I was quite scared the first time because no one was doing it with me,” says Amelia. “But I’m doing this because I care about something. I really want people to listen to me and to make a difference.”

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12/02/2020 19:52:14  

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12/02/2020 15:52:50  

Ofcom awarded powers to police harmful content on social media – because the pr0n block went so well

UK comms watchdog Ofcom is to be handed new powers to police social media's handling of harmful content.…

12/02/2020 14:51:15  

Today the Government is officially announcing its plans to censor companies that host “harmful content such as violence, terrorism, cyber-bullying and child abuse” on the internet. The proposals will give the state quango Ofcom broad powers to censor the internet. By lumping in the subjective concept of “cyber-bullying” with genuine crimes, the scope for censorship is incredibly […]

The post Government Proposes ‘Most Censorious Online Speech Regime in the Western World’ appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

12/02/2020 12:53:51  

Watchdog to broadly oversee two specific areas covering illegal and harmful content

The government is to appoint Ofcom as an internet watchdog, giving it the ability to fine social media companies that do not protect users from harmful content. The culture secretary, Nicky Morgan, and the home secretary, Priti Patel, said Ofcom’s existing position as broadcasting regulator made it suitable to enforce rules to keep the internet safe.

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12/02/2020 10:52:44  

Ministers unveil plans to block harmful content, while guaranteeing free speech

Ofcom will be put in charge of regulating the internet, the government has announced, with a new range of powers intended to protect users from “harmful and illegal content” online.

The announcement comes as the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport publishes its response to a consultation over the online harms white paper, unveiled last April.

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12/02/2020 01:12:06  

Culture secretary to present legislation despite concerns it could lead to censorship

The broadcast watchdog, Ofcom, is to be handed responsibility for policing online platforms under government plans to be unveiled this week, it is understood.

The government intends to present its draft legislation on online harm to MPs on Wednesday despite concerns from some critics that it could lead to censorship.

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11/02/2020 23:48:10  

Tech firms will need to ensure that illegal content is quickly removed from their platforms.
09/02/2020 09:51:46  

We are more connected than ever, but we rarely seem to really speak to each other. So, Rebecca Nicholson decided to try

Like most people I know, my Weekly Screen Report is obscene. Every Sunday, when the notification pops up to tell me the hours I have wasted, mostly texting, I think about all the things I could have done. Finished Middlemarch. Started Middlemarch. But as I have my phone in my hand, I scroll through Instagram instead. I send an article or a joke to a friend, a picture of the dog to the family WhatsApp, catch up on someone else’s night out. Recently, I clocked up – and I’m ashamed as I write this – six hours and 29 minutes of phone usage in a single day. I have had days where I’ve barely been awake that long. Messages is my most used app. I am talking all the time.

But I am rarely talking. For the chatterboxes among us, this is a time of upheaval. The long, spontaneous chat on the phone is going the way of the fax. The percentage of households with a landline that’s used to make calls is declining every year, from 83% in 2016 to 73% in 2019; the number of calls made on house phones plummeted by 17% in 2018 alone. We still use our mobiles to talk – in 2018, Ofcom surveyed mobile users for three months and found only 6% of them never made a single call – but we are not talking in any great depth. The same study found that over 80% of calls were shorter than five minutes, and the majority were under 90 seconds. I looked at my own recent call list: three minutes, two minutes, five minutes at a push. What can you say in that time? You can only make the point you’ve called to make.

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07/02/2020 11:51:24  

From rewatching 1990s TV shows to replaying classic computer games, taking the safe option when it comes to entertainment can help audiences rediscover themselves

Never before has civilisation produced so much new pop culture. From the plethora of TV shows on competing streaming platforms to the seemingly infinite choice offered by online music and gaming services, the wealth of new material being released each month is staggering. Yet when it comes to cultural consumption, audiences are increasingly choosing to seek out classic, safe bets – forgoing the next big thing in favour of the last big thing.

According to UK media watchdog Ofcom, the single most-watched programme in the first quarter of 2019 was the 1990s sitcom Friends. In the US, the top Netflix spot has long been held by the US version of the Office, which first aired 15 years ago. Meanwhile at the box office, sequels and reboots abound. Last year’s top five grossing films in the UK included the remake of the Lion King, Toy Story 4, Frozen 2 and Star Wars: Episode IX – the Rise of Skywalker.

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04/02/2020 01:13:19  

Survey also finds more parents feel internet carries more risks than benefits for young people

Ofcom has credited the “Greta effect” after recording an increase in the proportion of 12-15-year-olds taking part in online activism for environmental and political causes.

Almost a fifth of children in the age group gave support to causes or organisations by sharing or commenting on social media posts last year, up by eight percentage points on 2018, and one in 10 signed an online petition. Greta Thunberg began her school climate strikes in August 2018.

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04/02/2020 00:46:56  

A report by Ofcom also found that 3-8 year olds are watching YouTube for eight hours a week on average.
02/02/2020 00:59:23  

The ex-Ofcom boss takes over this week – at a time when the partnership’s cherished traditions are under heavy pressure

John Lewis will turn over a new leaf this week when its new boss, Dame Sharon White, formally takes the throne at the troubled retail group.

The position is only filled every decade or so, and White is only the sixth incumbent – and the first woman – in nearly a century. The crown will be passed by outgoing boss Sir Charlie Mayfield at an august ceremony at one of the retailer’s country piles, on the banks of the Thames in Berkshire.

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31/01/2020 09:50:05  

Dividend cut could be a necessary sacrifice if Ofcom and the government throw it some carrots

Boris Johnson’s qualified approval of Huawei’s 5G kit was “an important clarification”, said BT, putting a positive gloss on a decision it says will cost it £500m over five years. But there was no clarity for BT shareholders worried about the dividend. The Huawei whack is another reason to think it’s for the chop.

A key detail in the government’s 5G policy was missed in the political noise: the 35% market share cap on Huawei equipment will apply from January 2023, sooner than expected. A five-year deadline would have been far more comfortable for BT. The company is now obliged to accelerate a “rip and replace” job on its EE network, which is currently heavy with Huawei 4G boxes that could also have been used in 5G roll-out.

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28/01/2020 11:49:14  

Young people want content shared on social media platforms they actually use. The BBC must keep up, or lose them

One morning in November, in the midst of an already excruciating election campaign, I woke up to what felt like a fever dream. My group chats were all on fire, filled with friends sharing the same video clip: of Laura Kuenssberg, on the most recent episode of the BBC’s Brexitcast, wildly botching the definition of the common internet term “shitposting”.

Related: BBC at risk of losing young audiences, according to Ofcom

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27/01/2020 16:48:03  

Jo Brand caused outrage last year with comments that seemed to incite throwing battery acid over politicians. At the time, Nigel Farage told Guido that “This is incitement of violence and the police need to act”, whilst Theresa May called on the BBC to “explain why it considers this to have been appropriate content for […]

The post Ofcom Take No Action Against Jo Brand’s Battery Acid Comment appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

27/01/2020 15:45:00  

The regulator says her comments "had potential to offend" but were "unlikely to encourage crime".
21/01/2020 15:48:48  

With Tony Hall stepping down as director general, we asked to hear your thoughts on what’s next for the corporation

I suppose it’s fanciful, but I’d like to have them care less about audience figures and trying to please everyone. Usually when they take a risk and do something because they think it’s good, rather than because they feel it’s what people want, it works. I’d like them to stop trying to stir things up (e.g. Question Time and the Today programme), stop being so damn nervous about presenters giving opinions (the Naga Munchetty row) and don’t worry when they’re doing something basically entertaining but not necessarily educational.

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10/01/2020 00:42:24  
08/01/2020 16:45:41  

Yearly review promises FTTP for rural bods, price check on network wholesaler Openreach

Ofcom today published new proposals that aim to see fibre-to-the-premises broadband become more ubiquitous, particularly for users in rural areas and finally kill off the old copper network.…