Ofcom on the ‘Internet of Things’

Ofcom has announced measures today to help ensure adequate spectrum is available for the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT), and to encourage investment and innovation in this developing technology. The IoT is set to enable large numbers of previously-unconnected devices to communicate and share data with one another, a process known as ‘Machine-to-Machine’ communications (M2M). Ofcom is allocating 10 MHz of VHF spectrum which will enable certain IoT devices to connect wirelessly over long distances. Access to spectrum in this range could open new opportunities and bring benefits to consumers, especially those in remote and rural parts of the UK. The frequencies being made available span the 55-68 MHz, 70.5-71.5 MHz and 80.5-81.5 MHz bands.

Ofcom has also published...its 2016/17 Annual Plan outlining its programme of work for the next financial year. Ofcom’s goal is to make communications markets work for everyone. To help achieve this, Ofcom has three main objectives: to promote competition and ensure the markets work effectively for consumers; to secure standards and improve quality; and to protect consumers from harm. The Annual Plan follows consultation with a wide range of stakeholders and consumers, and builds on plans established through Ofcom’s Strategic Review of Digital Communications. In addition, Ofcom has also published details of its budget and funding for 2016/17.

Also published...is an Ofcom slide-set containing research into the frequency of disruption experienced by viewers across all platforms, as well as the type of disruption experienced by DTT viewers (using rooftop aerials). It also aims to understand if DTT viewers (accessing via rooftop aerials) are aware of who to contact when they experience television reception problems and to evaluate how satisfied viewers who experience reception problems are with the help they receive. "Click Here" for the slides.

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