Spectrum, broadband, customer switching and online piracy Ofcom’s telecoms priorities for 2011/12

I hope all readers noticed the date for Friday’s blog post (taken down on 2 April) and are not planning on bidding in the teleportation spectrum auction. Avoiding the obvious pitfall of announcing anything serious on 1 April, Ofcom today published its Annual Plan for 2011/12.

As a regular, if not avid, reader of such plans I am pleased to see that the shock of cost reduction has finally brought some focus to Ofcom’s activities.  This is the first plan from Ofcom since the UK Government’s post-global financial crisis October 2010 Spending Review. Ofcom has committed to a real-terms saving of over 28% over the next 4 years with much of the savings being delivered in the first year. Ofcom is reducing headcount by 170 and stopping some of its ‘fluffier’ activities such as encouraging digital participation, whilst paring down others (such as market research) to delivering what is needed, rather than what might be interesting or desirable.

Focusing on the telecoms priorities, these are:

There are, of course, other significant activities planned (details in chapter 4 of the Ofcom plan) from which I would highlight: