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UK — Ofcom publishes report on internet safety measures

July 24, 2014 Comments off

Ofcom publishes report on internet safety measures
Source: Ofcom
Ofcom has today published a report for Government outlining measures the UK’s largest internet service providers have put in place to help parents protect children from harmful content online.

This follows an agreement between the Government and BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media, the four largest fixed line internet service providers (ISPs), announced in July 2013. Each ISP committed to offer new customers ‘family-friendly network-level filtering’ by the end of December 2013.

This is the second of three reports the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has asked Ofcom to produce on internet safety measures to protect children. The DCMS asked Ofcom to look at the approach taken by each ISP to implement family-friendly filtering services which block content that may be inappropriate or harmful for children, rather than assess the effectiveness of the filters.

The report also describes measures taken by ISPs to present a pre-ticked ‘unavoidable choice’ to new customers on whether or not to activate the filter, and includes initial take-up data among new customers offered filters.

The filters apply to all web based internet content, on any device that is connected to the fixed broadband network in the home.

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UK consumers believe that they can’t do without the internet and mobile phones, new Ofcom research reveals

July 23, 2014 Comments off

UK consumers believe that they can’t do without the internet and mobile phones, new Ofcom research reveals
Source: Ofcom

The study examined which communications services UK consumers consider ‘essential’ in their day to day lives and whether they are affordable, particularly for the most vulnerable in society.

This forms part of Ofcom’s on-going work to ensure consumers receive value for money from their communications services. Encouraging and promoting consumer participation in the communications markets is also a key priority for Ofcom.

There was broad consensus among consumers on what ‘essential’ means in relation to communications services.

People said the ability to contact the emergency services, keep in touch with family and friends, or access information, education and entertainment were among the key functions of essential services.

Overall, the study found that telephone services, in particular mobiles, and internet access were most essential to UK consumers. Some 61% of consumers rated voice services (mobile or landline) as essential, 59% considered mobile voice or text services as essential, while 57% regarded personal internet access as essential.

The research also revealed that certain services are considered essential by some, but less important by others, with age being a key factor. Landline telephone services are considered essential by people aged 75 and above (61%), compared to just 12% of 16-24 year olds. However, accessing the internet via a smartphone was considered essential to 53% of 16-24 year olds, but to no one aged 75 and above.

Ofcom has today published research on consumer attitudes and trends in violence shown on UK TV programmes

July 21, 2014 Comments off

Ofcom has today published research on consumer attitudes and trends in violence shown on UK TV programmes
Source: Ofcom

Ofcom has today published research on consumer attitudes and trends in violence shown on UK TV programmes.

The research supports Ofcom in its role in protecting TV viewers, especially children. It looks at how violence on TV has changed since Ofcom issued guidelines to broadcasters in 2011 to avoid programmes being shown before 9pm that might be unsuitable for children.

The research comprises two separate reports. The first study focused on public attitudes towards violence on TV among people from a range of ages and socio-economic groups.

The second was an analysis of four popular UK soap operas, which looked at instances of violence, or threats of violence, and people’s views on them.

News consumption in the UK – 2014 report

June 26, 2014 Comments off

News consumption in the UK – 2014 report
Source: Ofcom

This summary report provides key findings from Ofcom’s 2014 research into news consumption across the four main platforms: television, radio, print and online, and highlights where these have changed since 2013. Further detailed information is available in the chart pack which accompanies the document. It is published as part of our market research range of publications that examine the consumption of content and attitudes towards that content on different platforms. The aim of this report is to inform an understanding of news consumption across the UK, and within each UK nation.

The report details various findings relating to the consumption of news; the sources and platforms used, the perceived importance of different platforms and outlets for news, attitudes to individual news sources, the definition of news and interest in topics, and an overview of local media consumption. It provides details of our cross-platform news consumption metric – ‘share of references’. The report also compares findings related to news consumption with those from 2013, where possible.

UK — How broadband coverage varies between cities

June 19, 2014 Comments off

How broadband coverage varies between cities
Source: Ofcom

Some people living in urban areas are still putting up with very low broadband speeds, according to an Ofcom study that reveals a varying picture of coverage and take-up across major cities.

While lower broadband availability, take-up and speeds are commonly associated with rural areas – something Ofcom has researched before – the new study aimed to understand whether cities had similar problems.

The results show that superfast broadband coverage varies widely between major urban areas, with Derry/Londonderry in Northern Ireland the best performing city for superfast broadband availability at 99%.

UK — New advice for consumers on preventing nuisance calls

June 10, 2014 Comments off

New advice for consumers on preventing nuisance calls
Source: Ofcom

Consumers now have easier access to information about preventing and dealing with nuisance calls and messages, following the launch of new consumer guides from Ofcom.

The first guide is a short online educational video that offers tips and advice on nuisance calls. It is available with subtitles to help people with hearing impairments.

The second guide provides advice on preventing nuisance calls in an ‘Easy Read’ format, designed to be easily understood by people with learning disabilities.

Easy Read presents information clearly and simply, using pictures to support the meaning of the text. It can also be helpful for those with a limited knowledge of the English language.

The new guides are part of Ofcom’s work to help ensure consumer information about nuisance calls and messages is accessible to a wide audience. Recent Ofcom research revealed that a third (32%) of consumers were unsure of where to get advice on preventing nuisance calls.

UK — Ofcom reveals most complained about major telecoms providers

May 7, 2011 Comments off

Ofcom reveals most complained about major telecoms providers
Source: Ofcom

The most complained about major telecoms providers were today revealed by Ofcom, based on all consumer telecoms complaints received by Ofcom between October 2010 and February 2011.

On average, Ofcom receives 450 telecoms complaints per day about a range of issues including mis-selling, billing errors, lack of service and customer service problems, which reflects the complexity of the telecoms market.

Ofcom believes that publishing regularly this information about the telecoms complaints it receives will:

  • encourage competition, by letting consumers know about the individual performance of providers;
  • be useful for consumers: alongside other things, this data may be relevant to those considering a new service or provider; and
  • incentivise telecoms providers to improve their performance.

In addition to information about telecoms complaints, consumers may wish to consider a range of information when thinking about a communications service, such as price and network quality of service. For example, Ofcom accredits price comparison websites and also publishes information about broadband speeds.

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