Ofcom changes billing rules

Ofcom are holding a consultation that closes on 18th Oct 2010 about changing the rules how Communications Providers or CPs (who earn more than £40m pa) have to have their billing systems independently checked for accuracy.

Currently CPs can use the Oftel Guidelines from 2003 or the Ofcom Guidelines from 2008, now Ofcom are mandating the Ofcom 2008 Guidelines, but with changes to the way some tolerances are measured.

Though important, it only affects the bigger CPs in the UK.

The full consultation is available here and the on-line response form is here.


Project Canvas becomes Youview

The hotly debated TV service known as Project Canvas has now come out of hiding to be called Youview TV Ltd and known as Youview.

Youview has several main partners, the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, BT, TalkTalk and Arquiva with innovation partners from Cisco, Humax and Technicolor.

Youview will be available through a set-top-box which connects to your TV aerial and your broadband connection offering access to standard TV services (which can be watched as they're broadcast or after). The standard services will be free, though PayTV options will also be available giving access to movies and other premium content (like shows).

The obvious company that isn't a partner is BSkyB and they tried to kill Project Canvas off initially as a major threat to their PayTV services.

Youview has also published various technical documents which should allow anyone to develop for the platform, provide content services and even build set-top-boxes. How open they'll actually be is as yet unknown as only the original players are currently content providers.

In the US Apple TV (with it's reduced price of $99 for the box) is seen as a threat to traditional broadcasters and more so with services such as google_ad_client = "ca-pub-6436042832350334"; google_ad_host = "ca-host-pub-1556223355139109"; google_ad_host_channel = "L0007"; google_ad_slot = "7906232303"; google_ad_width = 468; google_ad_height = 60;

Ofcom consults on WTR

Ofcom is holding a consultation on wholesale termination rates to what where known as OLOs (or other licensed operators) as in everyone apart from BT and Kingston Communications in Hull. BT and Kingston are separately covered as they have SMP (significant market powers), BT for the whole of the UK and Kingston in Hull.

As every operator controls the termination rates to their numbers for operators connecting to them, they have SMP to those connections and Ofcom wants to ensure those termination rates are fair and reasonable.

The consultation is available here and it's possible to respond on-line.

Ofcom reduces the permitted power for UWB

Ofcom has published a consultation on reducing the permitted power in the 4.2 to 4.8 GHz band for UWB devices. The power is being reduced from -41.3 dBm/MHz EIRP to a maximum mean EIRP density of no greater than -70 dBm/MHz (unless interference mitigation techniques are used, in which case the original power limits can be maintained).

On automotive and railway vehicles the limits are being reduced from -53.3 dBm/MHz to -70 dBm/MHz (unless interference mitigation techniques are used).

This is in-line with harmonised European spectrum regulation.

The full consultation is available here.

It's possible to respond on-line and the consultation closes on 18 October 2010.

UWB (or ultra wide band) is a system whereby signals are spread across multiple parts of the spectrum, so it appears as background noise for non-UWB devices however as a lot of spectrum is used (as in a wide band) a lot of information may be transmitted allowing multi-gigabit/s data to be sent over short-distances. UWB is suitable for in-room transmission of video signals and wire replacement systems.


Ofcom wants to increases spectrum for outside broadcast units

Ofcom is holding a consultation on whether to allow increased spectrum for satellite earth stations (or to be specific Transportable Earth Stations or TES).

The current usable band is 13.78 - 14.5 GHz known as the "Ku band" and Ofcom wants to make the 5.925 - 7.075 GHz band (known a "C band") and 27.5 - 27.8185 GHz, 28.4545 - 28.8265 GHz and 29.4625 - 30 GHz collectively known as the "Ka band" available. C band users will mainly be foreign broadcasters reporting on UK events.

The new allocation will approximately triple the available bandwidth available.

The consultation closes on 11 October 2010 and interested stakeholders can apply on-line here.