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Ofcom sets out 2021/22 priorities

December 11, 2020

UK comms regulator Ofcom has published its proposed 2021/22 Plan of Work, outlining its priorities for the next financial year.

It is publishing these proposals as the coronavirus continues to present challenges for people and businesses across the UK. “Throughout the pandemic, we have seen that high-quality, reliable communications services have been more important than ever to people’s lives,” it states.

Accordingly it is setting out its proposed strategic priorities to make sure Ofcom plays its part in addressing the challenges of today, and the future.

Strategic priorities for the next financial year:

  • Investment in strong, secure networks. Supporting ongoing investment in faster broadband and better quality mobile networks. Includes working with industry to ensure the UK’s vital communications networks are safe, secure and resilient.
  • Getting everyone connected. Working to ensure people and businesses can access key communications services – including in the hardest to reach locations. Includes monitoring delivery of the universal broadband service and the Shared Rural Network. We will also work to make sure the universal postal service is sustainable for the future.
  • Fairness for customers. Continuing its work to ensure broadband, phone and TV customers – particularly those who are vulnerable – can shop around with confidence, switch easily and are treated fairly.
  • Supporting and developing UK broadcasting. Supporting the UK’s vibrant media sector, including public service broadcasting, and helping them to meet the changing needs of viewers and listeners. Ofcom will also continue to monitor and report on the BBC’s performance.
  • Preparing to regulate online harms. Ofcom will complete the introduction of the new regime regulating UK-established video-sharing platforms. The UK Government has also stated that it is minded to appoint Ofcom as the regulator for online harms and it is preparing for this potential new role.

In addition, it will also take steps to ensure it is well positioned to carry out its duties both now and in the future. This includes:

  • Strengthening Ofcom for the future. As its sectors and its duties are increasingly shaped by online services, it will evolve its skills, develop innovative working practices and build a diverse workforce that reflects the whole of the UK.
  • Developing new partnerships. It will develop new – and build on existing – domestic and international partnerships with regulators, academia, governments, industry and organisations across sectors we regulate.

Ofcom welcomes responses to the proposed Plan of Work by 5pm on February 5th 2021. The final plan is set for release in March 2021.

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