Memorandum submitted by edNET
We welcome the opportunity to contribute to
the debate on what we hope from the merged OFCOM, from both edNET
and our customers' perspective.
We have one fundamental concern with the proposed
structure of the OFCOM organisation template. The term consumer
panel blurs the hierarchy of consultation, as this (we hope) is
to incorporate retail, wholesale, and incumbent consumer interests.
We would propose a simpler and more transparent structure of consultation
to OFCOM as follows:
Use of quarterly physical meetings should be
supported by online mailing lists with web-based archives for
reference. This also allows the discussions for ACs and ASCs to
be transparent to one another, even if they are not subscribed
to these lists. Online discussion is key to minimise the costs
and time associated with consultation.
This structure allows for direct dialogue between
consumers and industry, as well as transparency of the issues
faced by industry in delivering to consumers, and the issues foremost
to prioritise on behalf of their customers.
It would hopefully also allow for transparent
representation of issues to OFCOM, with the agenda of the representing
individuals or organisations clearly known to all.
The key issues we face are transparency of consultation
to any interested parties (using the OFCOM website as the starting
point, and pointing interested parties at the relevant forums
for getting involved with the process).
There must be clarity for representation between
suppliers, service providers (which has to include media companies
etc), and incumbents (again, if you want a technology-neutral
format to the OFCOM approach, it has to recognise incumbents in
each technology mediumarguably a tricky task).
The meeting in London in October 2001 made clear
that those from each sector (be it consumers or industry) have
different agendas and need for representation. As such, the delineation
and clarity of representation is important.