For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Monday, 29 December 2003

NEW DOG ON GUARD, SO TAKE CARE HOW YOU COMMUNICATE

Today in the United Kingdom the Office of Communications (Ofcom), the new super-regulator for the television, radio, newspaper and telecommunications industries, assumed its full powers. Ofcom has been formed through the merger of five separate watchdogs: the Office of Telecommunications (Oftel), the Radio Communications Agency, the Broadcasting Standards Commission, the Radio Authority and the Independent Television Commission. The new body, which will wield great power over Britain's communications sectors, publishes its first annual plan on 19 January. Even before doing so, Ofcom has already commenced a review of public-service broadcasting before the renewal of the BBC charter. This review will decide whether the BBC should continue to be sole recipient of the compulsory licence fee which is levied on all UK TV owners whether they watch the BBC or not. A further review could result in a market to buy and sell airwaves for mobile phones, radio and TV broadcasting, two-way radios and pagers.

The IPKat agrees that the previous five-way split between industry-specific supervisory bodies stopped making sense once media convergence set in and the same content could be disseminated through different communications channels. Ofcom will however be judged by its performance, which we all await with eager anticipation.

More on media convergence here, here and here
Media regulation in the United States: click here for the FCC

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