Ofcom reacts to the unprecedented competition facing Public Service Broadcasters

In light of the prevalence of global on-demand and internet content services (such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube), Ofcom has today announced a range of measures to ensure that the Public Service Broadcasters (PSBs) in the UK remain easy to find on TV guides, there is high quality content for children and teenagers, and has also launched the start of a national debate on the future of public service media (Small Screen: Big Debate).

Breaking these aspects down: Continue reading

ICO fines EE £100,000 for sending text messages to customers without their consent

The ICO has fined EE £100,000 under the Data Protection Act 1998 (“DPA“) for sending text messages to customers without their consent, in breach of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (“PECR“).

Background

In February and March 2018 EE sent direct marketing text message to customers informing them that they would soon be eligible for a handset upgrade, and that they could “countdown” to their upgrade date using the “My EE” app. The text message also promoted other features of the My EE app.

In March 2018, EE sent a second batch of messages to customers who had not downloaded or interacted with the My EE app following the first message.

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ECJ rules VoIP service is an “electronic communications service”

On 5 June 2019 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) clarified that a voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) service is an “electronic communications service” (ECS) for the purpose of the Framework Directive (2002/21/EC) and is therefore subject to the applicable regulatory framework.

In light of rapid technological change and continued convergence across the TMT sector, the case of Skype Communications Sàrl v Institut belge des services postaux et des télécommunications (IBPT) (Case C-142/18) EU:C:2019:460 (5 June 2019) provides much needed guidance, particular for over-the-top services, on which services fall within the remit of the Framework Directive.

The EU telecoms regulatory framework is principally derived from four key directives – the Framework Directive creates the framework within which these directives sit and, in particular, defines the principle concepts of electronic communications networks (ECNs) and ECSs. Continue reading

Collaborate and Diversify: Connectivity in the Digital Age

Transformation in the global telecoms ecosystem is gathering momentum. It is driven by evolving technologies, growing customer appetite for hyperconnectivity and a new breed of competitor.

In their quest for a place within this fast moving landscape, traditional telecoms companies will need to reinvent themselves and become more relevant to the digital age customer.

Collaboration and diversification will drive opportunities and growth, enabling providers to achieve speed and scale while transitioning to new, profit-enhancing activities.

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Managing cyber security risks in the telecommunications sector

Cyber security remains in the public eye with multiple incidents and vulnerabilities reported affecting telecoms companies. Telecoms companies need to continue to focus on the risks and consider updating their pro-active defence and cyber security response plans to reflect the increased legal, operational, technical and regulatory risks they are facing.

The evolution of the cyber threat has not escaped the attention of governments around the world. In 2018 the Network and Information Security Directive (NISD) as well as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be implemented in the EU. The NISD, which is due to be implemented by May, will require operators of core “digital infrastructure” and certain “digital service providers” to ensure that their network and information systems meet minimum standards of cyber security. Continue reading