Ofcom publishes draft Annual Plan
Helping communications markets work for consumers and promoting effective and sustainable competition will be two of Ofcom’s priorities over the coming year.
The priorities are included in the draft Annual Plan, which is published today and looks at Ofcom’s work programme from 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013.
Priorities for the year
Ofcom’s proposed priorities for 2012/13 are to:
Promote effective and sustainable competition. This includes promoting investment and competition in super-fast broadband as well as ensuring effective competition in the business connectivity and landline markets.
Promote the efficient use of public assets. This includes the release of prime chunks of spectrum and safeguarding the necessary frequencies for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Help communications markets work for consumers. This includes ensuring all communications providers supply clear information so that broadband customers can make informed choices and enable consumers to switch providers easily. Other work will also include securing the universal postal service and determining the needs of postal users, as well as assessing the provision of communications services in each of the UK nations.
Provide appropriate assurance to audiences on standards. This includes carrying out a review of regulation of video on demand and considering future approaches to content regulation.
Contribute to and implement public policy defined by Parliament. This includes advising the Government on measuring media plurality, contributing to the Leveson Inquiry and implementing the provisions around online copyright infringement. It also includes working with the Government in promoting widespread super-fast broadband and reducing mobile not-spots in the UK.
Delivering more with less
Over the past year Ofcom has taken on new and revised duties and responsibilities.
The most significant of these is its new role in regulating the UK’s postal services which Ofcom took over from Postcomm on 1 October 2011, following the recommendations of the 2010 Hooper Report.
Ofcom taking over postal regulation resulted in a number of efficiencies in the organisation. This has led to a reduction of around 2% in the overall cost of regulation across all sectors.
Ofcom has also been given new responsibilities under the Digital Economy Act to address online copyright infringement and, in May 2011, Ofcom implemented the revised provisions of the European Framework for Electronic Communications.
Ofcom also carried out a comprehensive review of its financial requirements this year, as requested by the Government.
Ofcom needs to deliver on all of its commitments (excluding postal services) within a 28.2% real term reduction target over four years. So far, Ofcom has achieved savings of 22.5% and has clear plans to achieve the full 28.2% reduction required over the four-year period.
Ofcom is holding public consultation events on its draft Annual Plan across the UK, click here for details.
The consultation closes on 17 February 2012.
Ofcom will publish its Annual Plan at the start of the next financial year in April, along with details of its budget.
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