Government consults on smart data scheme for UK telecoms

Proposed ‘Open Communications’  scheme would require broadband and mobile companies to provide their customers  with data about their telecoms service such as usage stats, prices and speed. 

For years now, the internet has been an engine of the economy, enabling innovation in everything from finance to green energy and music to manufacturing. It’d led to new ways of working and connecting with one another. It’s such a part of everyday lives that fast, reliable and secure connections are essential.

turned on flat screen monitor

Photo by Chris Liverani

That’s why the government has been looking at the potential of a smart data scheme, known as ‘Open Communications’, so that UK consumers can make more informed choices about the services they buy. It’s now keen to consult those working in the sector to better understand the benefits and challenges that might result from such a scheme. 

The consultation is keen to receive the views of those who use or work in particular services: 

  • Connectivity services 
  • Businesses or public institutions who procure telecoms services 
  • Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 
  • Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) 
  • Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) 
  • Technology companies who might seek to use such data or are already within the scope of a smart data scheme (for example price comparison websites and banks) 

The focus is on three core elements of the proposed open communications scheme: 

  1. Which organisations should participate 
  2. What data should be made available 
  3. How that data should be shared 

The consultation is especially interested to receive insights on the extent to which such a scheme might encourage consumer engagement in the telecoms market, the potential costs to telecoms providers in participating in such a scheme, and the broader impact such a scheme might have on competition. 

The consultation closes at 11:45pm on November 13, 2023. For further details, including how to respond to the consultation, see Open Communications: a Smart Data scheme for the UK telecoms market. 

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