The UK government has set out its new strategic priorities for telecoms regulator Ofcom to support improved mobile coverage, broadband investment, and a better deal for consumers.
The measures will be instrumental in helping to deliver the Government’s commitment to nationwide full fibre broadband coverage by 2033 and increasing geographic mobile coverage to 95 per cent of the UK by 2022.
Consumers rely more than ever on fixed and mobile connectivity in their everyday lives. However, concerns around mobile coverage, availability of high speed, reliable broadband, and unfair business practices in some areas, has led to lower customer satisfaction than in other sectors.
In a consultation being published today, Government has set out its strategic priorities for Ofcom which will improve digital infrastructure and customer satisfaction, including:
DCMS Secretary of State, Jeremy Wright, said: “As the UK’s telecoms regulator, Ofcom has a critical role in realising our shared connectivity aspirations for the UK. As well as ensuring the necessary improvements to broadband and mobile services, consumers must also be protected. I urge Ofcom to tackle harmful business practices and remove barriers to switching.”
As set out in the Digital Economy Act in 2017, Ofcom will be required to take account of the Government’s new Statement of Strategic Priorities (SSP) when carrying out its regulatory duties. This will bring the legislative framework for Ofcom into line with other sectors such as energy and water for the first time.
The SSP follows the publication of the Government’s Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review (FTIR) in July 2018 and reflects the conclusions of that review. The FTIR set out a national, long-term strategy for digital infrastructure in the UK, with the aim of securing world-class connectivity that is gigabit-capable, reliable, secure and widely available.
The SSP sets out Government priorities in four areas that Ofcom will now have to reflect in their work going forward:
The consultation closes on March 27th.