Ofcom’s turbulent future

This morning’s Observer column

So Ed Richards has inherited the earth, and all the media beasts therein. On the face of it, the new chief executive of Ofcom has an imposing remit. He is charged by the 2003 Communications Act (of which, as the Prime Minister’s chief policy wonk on such matters, he was undoubtedly the prime author) ‘to further the interests of citizens in relation to communications matters’, and ‘to further the interests of consumers in relevant markets, where appropriate by promoting competition’. This means he is the regulator of the electromagnetic spectrum, telecoms companies, internet service providers – and TV and radio broadcasters (except the BBC).

…Looks impressive, doesn’t it? My advice to Richards is to enjoy it while it lasts. His Ofcom empire is built on sand, and the tide is coming in…

Later… Bill Thompson wrote a nice pseudo-retrospective essay about OFCOM’s dim future.