International Institute of Communication
Shaping the Policy Agenda
London Conference 9-10 October 2013
Ed Richards, Chief Executive, Ofcom, UK
What are you trying to achieve? – question to regulators from business
Rise of global “league table-ism”
Better to understand specificities of markets – typically (but not always) national – than to draw up global league tables
Six ideas for improvement:
1. Ubiquitous connectivity and universal minimum connectivity- fixed and mobile
2. More and better innovation- relationship between spectrum, networks and devices becoming critical – requires reform of spectrum management – property rights/unlicensed spectrum balance – sharing spectrum e.g. with defence
3. Informed, engaged and active consumers – what are actual broadband speeds, range of coverage, quality of service etc. – ease of switching, transparency of data (4G)
4. Dynamic market on both demand and supply sides – two poles of argument: a battle of giants/no regulation vs. continuing importance of last mile/ need for monopoly and
/or more regulation – how to promote more investment in fibre while promoting competition – environment for content as well as networks
5. Converged regulatory and policy framework – promise of convergence now being realised – policy environment has not caught up – need for greater policy consistency in context of triple/quad plays
6. Adoption of new services and networks – getting a better information base on what decisions are being made/not being made e.g. not going digital (about 15-20% of populations)
What exists in regulation is 85% the product of history and 15% the product of contemporary analysis (response to question) – how to think beyond accreted layers of policy and regulation designed for older times.
Converged regulatory and policy framework – Convergence Review (Chris Chapman question) – sectoral differences in the digital economy are melting – are other countries making progress here? Most permeable boundaries are (1) content regulation responsibilities – “safe” broadcasting/connected TVs; and (2) privacy, data protection, uses of “big data” – absence of a settled institutional framework.
Randall Stephenson, Chair & CEO, AT&T
How to build high-speed Internet access by multiple means?
Economics of investment in fibre continue to improve
How to do the new stuff (all IP, all wireless, all cloud) and what to do about the “old stuff” – AT&T getting out of providing POTS by 2020
Content by 2020 will largely sit in the cloud rather than on devices
Video traffic now 53% – May be close to 100% by 2020
Mobile number will be primary identifier for people
Revenue per household is increasingly coming from monetising data rather than from direct payment for services from consumers/households
Regulators may be the inhibitors of this transition – FCC not on top of this in the US context
Are you regulating services or regulating technologies? – should be the former and not the latter.