Ofcom consults on plans for 2008 and 2009

Ofcom today unveiled its draft plan of action for the coming two years, which reveals that the watchdog intends to focus on convergence and the different regulatory rules and tactics demanded by this technology.

In addition to safeguarding public interest as platforms and services converge, Ofcom plans to promote competition and innovation in such markets, including ensuring that BT meets the requirements of the Telecoms Strategic Review.

"Ofcom was created in anticipation of convergence across the various communications services. At that time, we were only just beginning to see some of the transformations yet to come. Four years later, we are in a world where convergence is truly upon us. The way we go about our personal lives, how we participate in society as citizens and how we act in the marketplace as consumers are all changing profoundly. These changes have far reaching consequences for all sectors of the economy, but they are felt especially in the communications sector," said Ofcom's chairman David Currie and chief executive Ed Richards, in the foreword of the plan.

"...The opportunities and challenges presented by convergence are no less significant for industry. The business models of companies in the communications sector are being transformed. Many new players are entering the market, and some have been highly successful in only a few years. At the same time, many traditional businesses are benefiting from new opportunities and extending their reach to new platforms. But the fast pace of change makes for a challenging market environment for new entrants and long-established companies alike."

The regulator is also releasing new spectrum and supporting trade and liberalisation.

The consultation, which closes on 19 February, will be backed by a series of public events.

"We are keen to hear the views of all our stakeholders, including those representing consumers, small and large businesses, and government, as well as companies in the communications sector," the foreword concluded. "We would very much encourage anyone with an interest in Ofcom's work programme to contribute and respond to this draft annual plan. We will publish responses to this consultation within our final annual plan in April 2008."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.