back to article Ofcom insists on emergency roaming

Broadband and 999 calls are what the public needs most, according to Ofcom's consultation on Access and Inclusion. The latest consultation is about getting telecommunications to everyone in the UK, and sets out priorities for Ofcom. The regulator has a mandate to ensure everyone gets to be part of the information age, which …


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  1. Shaun Blagdon

    They could do it tomorrow

    Why wait until the end of the year to implement emergency call roaming. It's one single parameter to change in the Core.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We want to spy on everybody

    The government is obviously upset that it cannot spy on all the population until we have 100% signed up to broadband and mobiles (It already can with landlines). It is a good distraction to blame it on the 999 calls.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    I never knew emergency roaming was ceased.

    I'm stunned - have OfCom actually made a sensible decision ?

  4. Llanfair


    I do hope that means we can use a mobile up in Snowdonia and other mountains for emergency use.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dangerously misleading

    I only discovered the inability to make emergency calls off-network when I tried and failed to make one - phones' displays have continued to say 'emergency calls only' when there's no home network. Luckily someone else was at the scene on a different network.

    But I don't entirely understand the rationale of the block - was the idea just to reduce the number of hoax calls by a factor equal to the number of networks? Or was there more?

  6. Steve
    Black Helicopters

    Thinkpol ahoy....

    I guess that the 55% who aren't interested will be "encouraged" to believe that they want the Internet via the usual means - if they fail to want it after their re-education at the "Minstry of Love", then I'm sure that the can be forcibly deported so that we can claim 100% broadband penetration!

    Come on, lets make people understand what they are missing - spam, pr0n, crooks, viruses etc, who wouldn't want to be a part of that!

  7. Anonymous Coward

    mobile broadband

    After ditching my fixed line during a change of address, and yet to get a new provider in the new house, i have been using a 3g usb stick.

    At speeds of 7.2Mbs, i managed to max out the 3gb limit within a day and i am now facing a 400 quid bill for 20 GB of data that i bit torrented.

    Ofcom are very out of touch... its not about getting broadband in the UK, its about getting a fair deal on Broadband.

    I phoned Virgin Media about getting BB installed but they could not or would not answer the simple question "Will you throttle my connection and when for what reason".

    Their sales monkey could only repeat the mantra "Its 10 meg on a fibre line so faster than BT's 10 Meg".

    Oh and they also told me catagorically "Linux does not work on broadband"....

  8. adam
    Paris Hilton

    2mb ??? - I wish

    I cant even get 2mb/sec.

    My virgin media connection is supposed to me 20mb but i get about 0.5 - 1mb - even though after 25 engineers later, my neighbour 20 feet away enjoys full 20mb.


    Paris, well cos she always enjoys full throughput ;)

  9. Anonymous Coward

    @Shaun Blagdon

    If the mobile operators did everything that quickly, then they would raise the expectation that they could do _everything_ they are asked to do that fast.

    They're not renowned for doing something that doesn't make them money, very quickly.

    Flames because that's why you might call 999.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    A new UK charter?

    Repeat after me:

    "A public asset should be freely available to the public"

    Ordnance Survey please take note.

  11. Paul

    edukashun edukashun edukashun

    Look Ofcom, if people don't want it maybe you should take them at their word. It seems that in a world of consumer choice the unacceptable option is to choose nothing.

  12. Arnold Lieberman
    Thumb Down

    Oh jeremy

    You were a silly boy for using BT over 3G, haven't you read all those stories of people doing exactly that, but whilst roaming? Just be thankful your bill is £400 not £40000.

    As for "persuading" the other 55% to go online, I can assure you that my 68 year old mother has not a single flicker of interest or inclination to get involved, and why should she? Bloody communists, all they're interested in making the sheeply conform.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Ofcom are out of touch.

    They haven't even sorted out broadband for the people who CAN get it in city centres, what hope is there for anyone in the country?

    My Virgin Media "Mother of all Broadband" 10Mb/s service maxes out at 1.5Mb/s and is often down to 300kb/s.

    I can't forsee universal 2Mb/s access any time soon, all the UK's ISP's simply can't provide it consistantly or reliably.

    Don't get me started on their Voluntery codes, a complete failure. Name one ISP who complies with the code in full. I'll wager you can't!

  14. Anonymous Coward

    we are draggin our feets as usual

    not much to say here - unfortunately this ignorance of the world often results in the discovery when people in disbelief realise that things can work in a smooth and efficient way in every day life elsewhere.

    In the UK any progress focusing on the needs of the ordinary citizen is embarrasingly slow and often far behind our European neighbors. We are looking at ourselves as world leaders when it comes to "anti-terrorist" political actions (regulations and legislation) and also in the lead of the "think of the children" agenda. As these agendas are run in a patronizing and completely disconnected way from every day life of the people of Britain they tend to end up in both very embarrasing but also counterproductive results. I believe that this is mostly due to our amazingly deep-rooted ignorance of the non-english speaking world.

    Or perhaps we are a population best recognized in the world by its wide diversity of ignorance and our great leaders excell by insisting in the promotion of their own personally well managed (at best) and focused ignorance...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @jeremy 09:41 GMT

    Why on earth did you download over 3GB of data when they clearly tell you that is their limit?

    Even I know that their price per MB thereafter is extortionate.

    You should see the roaming charges per MB.. On o2 it's something like £1 per MB.

    I bet you wish you just legally purchased the software/movies you were downloading.

  16. John Hughes

    999? What is that?

    Do you mean 112?

  17. Jon

    Some ruin it for all

    I imagine the "hoax" calls described were from people that could only call 999 so wanted the operater to let their wife know they would be late for tea or some other rubbish. If you look at the trivalities people call 999 it amazes me. Like when we had the snow the other week, local radio were urging us to only call 999 for real emergencies. I thought that is what it was for anyway.

    What I don't understand is why don't other networks let you use their masts for a small surcharge and warn you before (similar to what they annoyingly do for 0800 number). That way people wouldn't call 999 to know what they are missing on eastenders as it is the only contact.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    @ Ofcom are out of touch

    "My Virgin Media "Mother of all Broadband" 10Mb/s service maxes out at 1.5Mb/s and is often down to 300kb/s."

    I am full of envy..... my Virgin Media "Mother of all Broadband" connection is usually maxing out on 178 kb/s, sometimes less, never ever more - I would be in heaven if I could reach 300 k...

    Actually I would be in heaven if I knew what I can get reliably on any one day... and yes mine is a complete cable TV package inclusive an ethernet connected cable modem.

  19. Law
    Paris Hilton

    Why would you??

    Why would you virgin media people stick with them if you have NEVER got more than 2mb for a 10mb connection?? I'm getting it installed next week because adsl 2 isn't in my area yet, but I promise you I will be taking advantage of the 30 day money back guarentee if I don't get anything near the 20mb I've been promised...

    Unfortunately BT have forced me to give Virgin another chance... if it turns out to be another f*ck up, looks like I'm on 1.5mb bband for the next year at least... sigh...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    2 Mb/s?

    NTL, VirginMedia, Sky, ... all seem swifter to me.

    On this computer Sky BB worked tickettyboo but BT BB total, well 700 b during an online QT or Flash seems a bit naff.

    Surely Sky and BT are using the same hardware up to a point?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    if you can't dial 999 (or can you dial 112?)....

    if you can't dial 999 then why does my mobile handset say "Emergency calls only" when I travel outside my home network (this can even happen inside my house!), this is distinct from "No network" when no providers are within shouting distance.

    I always thought that 112 is the emergency number on a mobile as they are made for a pan european market and that 999 itself has never worked... they go through to the same place so whats the beef?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    10 years??

    Ofcom are never exactly quick on their feet (unless they are ensuring a tidy profit for their corporate mates), but 10 years to sort out roaming 999? You would think this was so obvious and basic they could have done it some time ago.

    Maybe more time should be spent on this and less on stuff like screwing the Lifeboat service and mountain rescue for exorbitant spectrum fees. Muppets.

  23. dreamingspire

    Another thing that turns people off

    Having just cleaned up a system for some friends because it was laden with viruses and trojans, and then installed Internet Security software (at a price, of course, for full protection), along with advising them to do the maintenance (I shall have to call round once a month to check on it), it is clear that a necessary next step is for all systems sold to have a full IS suite pre-installed with a one year validity, that maintenance and operation has to be a lot easier (invisible even), and that the end user annual cost has to drop down to OEM levels (drop by at least 75%).

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