Government and Ofcom should develop a meaningful set of metrics that represent the coverage people actually receive and use these to determine a mobile universal service obligation

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  • Government and Ofcom should develop a meaningful set of metrics that represent the coverage people actually receive and use these to determine a mobile universal service obligation setting out the minimum service level people should expect to receive.
    • a) Ofcom, government and mobile operators should report their coverage so that they are genuine and meaningful reflections of the services enjoyed by customers. Metrics should be measurable and based on the reality of service and coverage provided to customers, not based on simulated or predicted performance. Ofcom should set out how this is best achieved by the end of 2017.
  • Ofcom and government should use these metrics as the basis of future interventions such as spectrum licence obligations or voluntary agreements with operators.
  • Government, Ofcom or the Advertising Standards Authority should take action if operators advertise or report coverage in a way that does not reflect services being delivered to consumers on an everyday basis.
    • b) Mobile services are increasingly viewed as essential, underpinning our daily lives and the digital economy. Government must deliver a view by the end of 2017 on what aspects of mobile services are considered “essential”. It should then establish how this “essential” level of service provision can be made available through a mobile universal service obligation regardless of the network to which a customer is subscribed. Government should engage with Ofcom and industry to establish the best delivery mechanism, whether through spectrum licence obligations, enabling roaming, enabling cross operator Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), through government procurement or a mix thereof.
  • Government with the assistance of Ofcom should deliver this as soon as is practical but no later than 2025.

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