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Saturday, February 24, 2007


Well, the polls have closed and the votes have been counted and I reveal the ridiculous:
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to force Ofcom to allocate the unused radio spectrum after the analogue switchover to HDTV services.
received a meager 4,893 votes – that means that only a small proportion of people who work, directly and indirectly, for the BBC voted for poll. Too funny…

It also goes a small way to prove my suspicions that despite the noise generated in the media, obscure spectrum related issues just do not register on the antennae of the Great British Public. Certainly when I bring up forthcoming spectrum auctions in my local bar, no-one seems particularly interested to join the debate.

To put this vote in perspective, look at this e-petition from the inspired single-issue saynoto0870.com site:
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to compel all organizations using non-geographic numbers (e.g. 0845, 087* prefixes) to also publicize an equivalent geographic number (e.g. 01* / 02* prefixes) where they can be reached (and which can usually be called more cheaply than an 0845 / 087* number).
is at the time of writing at 17,939 votes.

However, I do believe that the market will function correctly and it will not be long before people start publishing the geographical number alongside the non-geographical number. I see more and more that people are fed up with being ripped off with 0870 charges. The trend in telecoms is towards fixed price bundles and it won’t be long before the hidden cost of customer support is included in the bundle.

I had to laugh the other day when calling British Gas on a Home Care issue: on the letterhead was a non-geographical number and directly under it was a geographical number for “international” callers. As if, I would use the non-geographical number which costs me money and contributes to Charles Dunstone retirement fund…