FCS Call for Transparency and a Level Playing Field

The FCS chairman Adrian Grilli in his annual report to the FCS calls for more transparency and a level playing field to ensure UK customers can access new services and the industry is able to deliver them.

FCS provides the regulatory voice for competitive players and new entrants in the communication services sector.

“There’s so much innovative potential in the market and so much regulation!” says Adrian Grilli

“Competition and regulation dominate our FCS activities. New players can only enter the market if they can be guaranteed connectivity and access on fair and equitable terms. Existing organisations trading in the market place cannot tolerate competition from companies engaged in manipulative and unfair trading practices. “Transparency” and “level playing field” are watchwords of fair and equitable competition.

“There are a number of specific areas where the regulation of the communications services market needs action in order to boost the competitiveness of the UK market. The first port of call is Ofcom and in the FCS Industry Forum Policy paper issued today we highlight 5 areas that are of major concern to our members.

“Radio spectrum- the spectrum market is a great idea but there has to be a way of ensuring the mission critical users have certain access to spectrum in future; auctions are not the only effective spectrum allocation mechanism

“Competition in the mobile market- a fresh review of the established market by Ofcom is welcome- we identify mobile number portability and number build as areas for reform as well as a mechanism for the regulation of oligopolies.

“Number Translation Services- a rigorous review of the impacts of changes to Ofcom’s policies on 087 numbers to business and end-user organisations is needed. We do not believe that linking 0871 numbers to Premium Rate Services is the route to address call centre concerns. In PRS the call charges pay for the service provided whereas in NTS the call charges are funding access to the service

“Migrations- As convergence between technologies grows action is needed by Ofcom to rationalise migration processes to ease the transfer of customers between suppliers and encourage tariff transparency.

“Complaints processes- Establishing a proportionate complaints mechanism against Ofcom decisions, particularly for smaller industry players that cannot afford the current processes of an appeal to the Competition Appeals Tribunal or a judicial review is a challenge that the UK needs to address.

“We look to Ofcom and the Department for Business to take up these challenges in the coming year to build a greater, innovative and vibrant competitive communications market into the next decade.”