Communication Service Providers handle the crucial business of voice and data traffic over the UK’s fixed copper and fibre network infrastructure.
FCS policy work on behalf of the Communication Service Providers channel is based around six fundamental principles:
Free and competitive markets:
Fighting for a level playing field on access to WLR, fibre access and mobile minutes. Ensuring the SME supplier agenda is fully understood by public sector buyers. Arguing for market conditions which encourage new and competitive players to enter market, and for wholesale packages which enable specialist comms providers to create innovative business-specific packages to suit their customers’ needs.
Transparency of competition:
Ensuring Ofcom / BEREC is aware of the need to allow the vibrant, entrepreneurial reseller community to flourish.
Seeking solutions which enable communications provders to bundle mobile functionality seamlessly with other communications, and to bill customers on a consistant basis. Ensuring business customers who offer premium-rate numbers do not end up advertently subsiding the regulatory costs associated with consumer use of chat lines, gaming services or TV vote lines.
Regulation which recognizes the distinct nature of the business-to-business market place:
Agreeing specific service level improvement processes for Openreach business-to-business customers with Ofcom and OTA. Fighting for regulatory protection and impact assessments which assess the risk of unintended consequences to business customers.
Equivalence of Access:
Raising members’ concerns over BT/Openreach legacy systems and poor number porting with Openreach Commitments Monitoring Office, Office of Telecoms Adjudicator and Ofcom. Representing SME suppliers with government officials framing initiatives like the PSN procurement framework and BDUK voucher scheme. Campaigning for structurally separated utility model for mobile and broadband, with resellers simply leasing capacity from utility operators of fibre network or mast sites.
Industry best practice, where the industry itself sets the appropriate performance/ quality levels:
Championing a common industry position to Ofcom on gaining provider-led number switching. Maintaining industry-authored standard for Call Data Records. Brokering common approaches to end-of-life and recycling/reuse obligations.
Working alongside emergency services communications professionals to sanity-test the use of ‘LTE’ mobile functionality to deliver mission-critical voice at times of widespread mains power failure.