Westminster eForum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +044 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.

Key issues for the retail mobile and broadband market - consumer protection, infrastructure and competition

Morning, Wednesday, 17th June 2020

Online Conference


***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference is bringing together key stakeholders and policymakers to examine key issues for the retail mobile and broadband market.

It takes place with Ofcom’s work programme for 2020/21 including plans to protect consumers, enhance services and adapt regulation - and with the planned Consumer Protection White Paper expected to be published later this year.

Key areas for discussion:

  • Policy and regulatory priorities for the retail mobile and broadband sector;
  • The retail telecoms market of the future: what does a competitive and innovative sector - that delivers for consumers and remains attractive to investors - look like, and how to get there;
  • Designing infrastructure and service delivery to meet customer need, and to react to changing behaviour and business requirements;
  • Removing barriers to switching, better informing consumers, encouraging price transparency and reducing loyalty penalties - including case study from the retail energy sector; and
  • Supporting consumers and businesses in the response to COVID-19 - including what is being done to protect vulnerable customers and what more is needed to help people stay connected at a time when it matters most.

Why this is relevant now - the context:

  • Growing focus on policy and regulation in the area of consumer protection and empowerment;
  • Plans to develop 5G and fibre infrastructure further outlined in Ofcom’s annual report;
  • The Wholesale Telecoms Market Review prioritising the provision of choice, value and quality - and encouraging network competition - in meeting growing demand for future broadband services;
  • The Smart Data Review - which focuses on how data portability can be used to improve consumer experiences;
  • Prospects for setting up a new independent consumer advocacy body;
  • Ofcom’s response to stakeholder comments on its fairness framework for UK telecoms providers which sets out the regulator’s approach to assessing whether consumers are getting a good deal;
  • Changes to the European regulatory framework - which underpins the regulation of the UK’s telecoms sector, aimed at securing a high level of consumer protection; and
  • A package of measures that have been agreed between the DCMS and major fixed and mobile providers which seek to support consumers working for the NHS and using its services.

The agenda:

  • Consumer protection, regulation and telecoms services
  • Pricing, switching and broadband and mobile consumers
  • Case study: strategies for protecting the interests of consumers in the retail energy market
  • A market that serves consumers: design and delivery of new infrastructure and services, increasing choice and reducing switching barriers, and responsive support for customers - including in light of the COVID-19 crisis
  • Supporting a vibrant and retail sector into the future - innovation in service delivery, driving competition, attracting investment and preparing for the Copper Switch Off
  • Consumer protection in mobile and broadband - key steps for policy

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

This one looks no different. Places have been reserved by officials from DCMS; HMRC; the National Audit Office; the Department for International Trade and The Scottish Government.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speakers

Melissa Giordano

Deputy Director, Telecoms Policy and Legislation, DCMS

Rich Sullivan-Jones

Audit Manager, Regulation, Consumers and Competition, National Audit Office

Keynote Speakers

Melissa Giordano

Deputy Director, Telecoms Policy and Legislation, DCMS

Rich Sullivan-Jones

Audit Manager, Regulation, Consumers and Competition, National Audit Office

Senior speaker confirmed from Ofcom

Mary Starks

Executive Director, Consumers and Markets, Ofgem


Kevin Hollinrake MP

Vice Chair, Parliamentary Internet, Communications and Technology Forum

Rt Hon Alun Cairns MP

Officer, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Broadband and Digital Communication


Matthew Upton

Director of Policy, Citizens Advice

Richard Neudegg

Head of Regulation, uSwitch

Diane Mullenex

Partner, Pinsent Masons

Alex Blowers

Director of Regulatory Affairs, CityFibre

David Rodman

Executive Director, Public Policy & Regulatory Affairs, Virgin Media

Hamish MacLeod

Director, Mobile UK

Ed Dodman

Director of Regulatory Affairs, Ombudsman Services

Richard Spencer

Panel Member, Communications Consumer Panel

Ali Law

Director of Policy, UK and Ireland, Sky

Jonny Bunt

Director of Regulatory Affairs, BT