Campaign for Unmetered Telecommunications

Saying it as it is (16 November 2000)

We got a call out of the blue from OFTEL about a week ago. It had received our response to the first stage of the 2000-1 consultation on dialup Internet access and decided, based on the responses received, to develop a quick questionnaire for consumer groups.

We are pleased at this, as the initial OFTEL consultation paper contained very few hooks to hang answers on, and have no hesitation in telling OFTEL things as they are in our view. It is a shame that the questions, which are very much to the point, were not in the consultation paper.

The only real omission is that OFTEL is assuming 'consumers' to be Internet users already; there is nothing about the motivations of those starting to use or considering whether or not to use the Internet, an area of research which nobody seems to have looked into to any degree. We have raised that issue with OFTEL.

Considering oversight of Internet Service Providers, things are also starting to move; look at the topics of the next two OFTEL Internet Forums, the first being 11 December, which we will be attending.

You can read our responses to the questionnaire [25KB Acrobat file], with the questions themselves. Please note that we also spoke to OFTEL at great length yesterday: the written document formed the basis of that conversation.

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