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Office of Communications (Ofcom) or Office of Telecommunications - Government Department


Office of Communications (Ofcom) or Office of Telecommunications - OFTEL - Regulator for the UK telecommunications industry


About the Office of Communications (Ofcom) or Office of Telecommunications - OFTEL

Please Note: Office of Telecommunications (OFTEL) is now Office of Communications (Ofcom)

Office of Communications (ofcom) are an independent organisation which regulates the United Kingdom’s broadcasting, telecommunications and wireless communications sectors. They also set and enforce rules on fair competition between companies in these industries.

Ofcom's legal duties
Their main legal duties, as set out in the United Kingdom Communications Act 2003, are to ensure:

  • the UK has a wide range of electronic communications services, including high-speed information services
  • a wide range of high-quality television and radio programmes are provided, appealing to a range of tastes and interests
  • television and radio services are provided by a range of different organisations
  • people who watch television and listen to the radio are protected from harmful or offensive material
  • people are protected from being treated unfairly in television and radio programmes, and from having their privacy invaded
  • the radio spectrum (the airwaves used by everyone from taxi firms and boat owners, to mobile-phone companies and broadcasters) is used in the most effective way

Ofcom are funded by:

  • fees from industry for regulating broadcasting and communications networks
  • grant-in-aid from the Government

Ofcom answer to the United Kingdom Parliament but they are independent of the UK Government. The Government Departments that sponsor them are the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.


Riverside House,
2a Southwark Bridge Road,

Telephone: 020 7981 3000 or 0300 123 3000
Fax: 020 7981 3333 or 0300 123 0811

To speak to a member of the Ofcom Advisory Team

Telephone: 020 7981 3040 or 0300 123 3040
Textphone: 020 7981 3043 or 0300 123 2024
Welsh line: 020 7981 3042 or 0300 123 2023