The day-to-day activities of citizens are becoming increasingly dependent on their ability to use telecommunications services, such as mobile phones, broadband or landlines. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the essential nature of online connectivity and access to internet data, with many people relying on internet access for working from home, staying informed, or interacting with welfare services, and friends and family.
For clients of the Scottish Citizens Advice network, their mobile phones have become increasingly important in accessing vital online services; with one in five of our clients accessing the internet only through their smart phones. Having a reliable, consistent and affordable mobile connection is essential for clients to access services such as Universal Credit journals and online banking.
- Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) are pleased to see Ofcom’s continuing focus on the affordability of telecommunication services and on ensuring that vulnerable consumers are treated fairly.
- We believe that the internet will play an increasingly larger role in the delivery of public services and the ability of consumers to access new products and services. Consumers will require high quality, reliable mobile services to access these.
- We express specific concerns regarding the level of competition, choice and quality of service received by vulnerable and rural consumers, who may not experience the benefits of competition in the same way other consumers do.