Added by Chris Pateman | Wednesday 23rd April 2014
Talking with Ofcom is all very well. But when it comes to the strategic present and future of business-grade comms, we need to move up the policy-making food chain a bit.
Until now, the voice of business-to-business comms has not really been heard or understood by policy-makers. Which means when it comes to the really big strategic issues our industry faces – fighting for radio spectrum for docks and utilities, or securing business-grade alternatives to the Openreach fibre
roll-out -- business is always on the back foot.
Policy-makers and regulators need to understand how important communications is to Britain’s businesses. At the moment, they think ‘comms’ just means voters streaming video on to their TVs or writing them letters about on-line child pornography. This blindness extends even to Ofcom, whose terms of reference are dictated by EU-wide policies to protect ‘citizens and consumers’, but make no mention of businesses.
Politicians all say how committed they are to the technology-driven service-led economy of the future. But they fail to grasp the vital link between world-class UK businesses and the world markets in which they are to trade. No comms, no growth. We are not just one industry among many, clamouring for policy-makers’ attention. We are the one vital enabling industry without which nothing else happens.
FCS members have to live every day with the results of well-intentioned consumer legislation being applied to commercial relationships and business lines. Or spectrum allocations which take no account of the crucial enabling role portable radios play in enabling ports, sports events, energy companies and building sites to function.
Your FCS Board don’t think there’s any point moaning about how unfair all this is. If politicians only hear one side of the story, you can’t blame them for getting a distorted picture. It’s up to the industry to redress the balance.
Hence our decision to re-launch FCS in a bold new politician-friendly wrapper.
• FCS is already the industry’s longest-established and most widely representative trade organisation.
• FCS represents suppliers and resellers of voice and data solutions over business radio, business telecoms, business mobile and business broadband.
• FCS has no special interest in arguing one technology over another.
• FCS has been dealing with Ofcom and its predecessors for over 30 years – and enjoys an enviable track record in achieving solutions which recognise the needs of the business to business providers.
• FCS has the very broadest pool of experienced and seasoned industry professionals to call upon in understanding and interpreting the dynamics of our developing and converging marketplace.
• FCS is the guardian of recognised industry codes of best practice for CDR records, radio mast site engineering and in-vehicle radio installation.
• FCS already enjoys strong partnerships with fellow industry organisations like INCA, TUFF, MESF and Action 4 -- ensuring reliable, well-informed and responsive inputs even on specialist or minority interest issues.
It means a new logo and a brand new website for FCS. But not a change of focus. We are and always will be committed to representing our members at the practical, technical, engineering level. That vital, detailed work will continue. This re-launch is about taking all that detailed experience and using it to inform bigger-picture positions about free markets, competition and societal value that policy-makers will recognise. This is about giving the business to business communications sector the voice it needs.
FCS is committed to providing a focus for the business to business communications industry to take pride in its crucial role in the UK economy, and to take control of its own destiny. If we don’t, we can’t expect anybody else to do it for us.
Chris Pateman. CEO.
Chris can be contacted via e-mail [email protected]