19 April 2006

Consultation on Ofcom's Consumer Policy

My response to the Ofcom consultation on "Consumer Policy" was presented today.

My response

The full response - This includes answers to the consultation questions and an Appendix covering the issue of Silent Calls in detail.

The Appendix only - My comments on Ofcom's Silent Calls Policy, as presented in the consultation document.

Summary of my response

Ofcom has two distinct "principal duties" under the Communications Act. Put simply, and in the wrong sequence, there are:

(b) to regulate relevant markets so that they deliver the best possible deal for "consumers".

(a) to further the interests of "citizens" in relation to communications matter, other than those represented by markets delivering the best possible deal for consumers.

As organisations such as HM Customs and Excise, Kitchens Direct and the AA do not operate in markets regulated by Ofcom, stopping them from making Silent Calls cannot be part of Ofcom's policy in relation to its duty to "consumers".

This is reflected in the nature of the persistent misuse powers, which only cover specific cases, unlike Ofcom's powers to create specific regulations for those operating in communications services markets.

Ofcom deliberately confuses these points seeking to evade its responsibilities.

My contact details

You can contact me for advice, information or anything else at:

Silent {dot} Calls @ ntlworld {dot} com