Saturday, 30 May 2020

Ofcom revises its annual work plan in wake of pandemic

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Thursday 30 April 20

With so much work disrupted as a result of the coronavirus, the regulator seemingly had little choice but to revise

Ofcom has today published a revised version of their annual work plan that was originally published in January.    Delays and disruption caused by the coronavirus have affected every aspect of the telecommunications industry…

Ofcom has today published a revised version of their annual work plan that was originally published in January. 
 
Delays and disruption caused by the coronavirus have affected every aspect of the telecommunications industry, and the changes in Ofcom’s new plan reflects this, with alterations to their broadband, mobile, and regulatory timelines.
 
The specificity of these revised timelines varies significantly. For example, responses to the consultation on investment and competition in full fibre broadband sphere, which were initially expected to be submitted by the 1st of April, has now been put back to the 22nd of May.
 
In contrast, plans to award additional spectrum to operators (such as in the 700MHz and 3.6–3.8GHz bands for 5G) have been revised to just ‘2020/2021’, with no more detail provided.
 
The true impact of coronavirus-related disruption for operators is very hard to calculate, but a slew of quarterly financial updates have shown that while the industry is faring better than many, these are still difficult times. This is especially true when it comes to 5G, with many forced to delay their 5G spectrum auctions or even postpone them indefinitely, as well as limit delaying operator’s deployment. 
 
 
How can the UK telecoms industry bounce back from the pandemic’s economic impact? Hear from industry-leading speakers are this year’s Connected Britain
 
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