“Reform is long overdue” says Three, TalkTalk, Consumer Futures, and Which?
Whilst the European Commission pushes for a single telecoms regulator; the UK’s, Ofcom, battles against a bureaucratic-like system where its important decisions are caught in a constant fight around big companies’ lawyers (and ultimately ends up falling flat on its face.)
This harms the entire industry as mobile operators essentially remain unregulated and free to take advantage - or not meet the certain standards / targets expected by customers.
Which? and Consumer Future’s support is unsurprising, but that of mobile operators Three and TalkTalk is a pleasant inclusion to a letter sent at the end of last month to secretaries of state - Vince Cable and Maria Miller - asking for regulatory reform.
In a blog post today, Three wrote: “We are asking the government to update the rules to make it harder for reforms to be blocked on technical details, so that the focus is on the right outcome for consumers.”
Of course this stance makes great publicity for Three; but it’s a step in the right direction which other operators have refused to take thus far - as the company naturally pointed out:
“Back in 2007 Ofcom decided UK consumers should have the right to move to a new operator without having to ask permission from the old.
But Vodafone, backed by O2, Orange and T-Mobile, made a legal challenge to Ofcom’s decision and nearly seven years later you still have to go back to your old operator to switch your number to your new one.”
Whilst it’s not as grand a change as a single telecoms regulator and market -- one which Neelie Kroes has been pursuing with a foremost priority of ending mobile roaming fees across the EU -- it’s an important step-forward to creating a stronger regulator with the influence and ability to make necessary changes.
What do you think about the letter asking for regulatory reform?
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