Ofcom doesn't know small business: small business never heard of Ofcom. Who cares?

by Guy Kewney | posted on 18 November 2004

You could say that it is amazing: a third of UK SME sized businesses have picked up on the fact that the communications regulator, Ofcom, is about to reveal the results of its Strategic Review of Telecoms.

Guy Kewney

Or, you could look at it the other way, and remark that Ofcom has a serious visibility problem if (as a survey shows) only one in ten of surveyed businesses could name Ofcom as the UK telecoms regulator and 34% thought that Oftel, Ofcom's predecessor (which ceased to exist in December 2003) was still the body who ran this public service.

The message which is truly scary, is this: "Of the 79 submissions to Phase One of Ofcom's consultation on its Strategic Review, which closed in June, none were made by medium businesses using telecoms services."

Larger businesses were represented by a submission from the Confederation of British Industry, and the interests of consumers were represented through Ofcom's own Consumer Panel. But the voice of small and mid-sized business, which often rely on telecoms services to boost productivity, was conspicuous by its absence.

The survey was carried out by Continental Research for Viatel, the pan-European business communications company, of companies between 25 and 200 employees in size. Their ignorance of Ofcom seems to be matched by Ofcom's indifference to them.

Full Viatel press release here

Ofcom has the best interests of business at heart... what are they, though? - You can discuss this article on our discussion board.