Ofcom kick off digital UK review
They've realised that, over the last decade, the market for mobile, landline and broadband had transformed dramatically and that, under their review, they'd be looking at "various potential mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and partnerships in the sector."
The last time Ofcom got stuck into all this, we ended up with new rules which allowed competing telecoms companies to access BT's network on equal terms, so there'd be more competition with phone and broadband services.
"We have seen huge changes in the phone and broadband markets since our last major review a decade ago," said Steve Unger, Ofcom’s acting chief executive. "Only five years ago, hardly any of us had used a tablet computer, high-definition streaming or 4G mobile broadband."
"The boundaries between landline, mobile and broadband services continue to blur, and people are enjoying faster services on a growing range of devices. Our new review will mean Ofcom’s rules continue to meet the needs of consumers and businesses by supporting competition and investment for years to come."
There's been some furrowed brows about the whole thing, with concern thrown at BT's acquisition of EE, which saw analysts worrying that Europe could be waddling toward a "remonopolisation" of the telecoms sector.
"A decade ago, Ofcom failed to break up BT and instead created Openreach,” said Dido Harding, the chief executive of Talk Talk. "Whilst the last 10 years have seen a lowering of prices and increased take-up, it is increasingly clear that the current market structure is not fit for purpose."