Ofcom (the Office of Communications) is the regulatory authority covering the telecoms, broadcasting and postal industries in the UK. Their powers derive from the Communications Act 2003.

Areas of interest

Digital Economy Act

Ofcom are responsible for implementing the Digital Economy Act 2010

Telecoms regulation and net neutrality

Ofcom are in charge of telecoms regulation including protecting the openness of the Internet, to the extent they desire. They have a power introduced under the EU Telecoms Package to create minimum service levels for the Internet.

Broadcast regulation

Ofcom deal with terrestrial broadcast regulation, including the technologies used to send and receive TV broadcasts. They approved a weak DRM scheme for the information included with HD broadcasts, such as programming information and subtitling. This will limit the devices and technologies that commonly receive HD broadcasts to those that abide by licensing conditions, which will for instance limit time shifting and recording of broadcasts. The demands for these license conditions came from Hollywood companies and were supported by the BBC.


Ofcom deal with spectrum allocation.

Whitespaces consultation

They are currently consulting on the use of spectrum "whitespaces" and the devices that may use them.[1]

Video-on-demand services

Ofcom has regulatory responsibility for on-demand video services. (From 2010 to 2015 this was shared with ATVOD.)

External links

See also