The Office of Communications

Tony Prosser

in The Regulatory Enterprise

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780199579839
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191594472 | DOI:
The Office of Communications

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This chapter applies the arguments developed in Chapter 1 to the Office of Communications (Ofcom), responsible for regulating telecommunications and broadcasting. Its origins as a replacement for a number of different regulators are described, as are its functions and duties, emphasizing its dual responsibilities to further the interests of both citizens and consumers. Relations between Ofcom and central government and the European Union are analyzed. There is detailed examination of its role in promoting competition and consumer choice in both electronic communications and broadcasting, and discussion of Ofcom's role in protecting freedom of expression as a human right in broadcasting. Its work on universal service is also discussed as a means of promoting social solidarity. Finally, there is discussion of Ofcom's procedures for deliberation, in particular its developed consultation arrangements and use of co-regulation.

Keywords: regulation; telecommunications; broadcasting; freedom of expression; consultation; citizens; consumers

Chapter.  10893 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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