Ofcom fines sky-rocket as phone firms bear the brunt

Oliver Gill
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Keeping an eye out: Ofcom has had a busy year (Source: Getty)

Fines hand out by the Ofcom have rocketed in the last year with phone companies being slapped with multi-million pound fines.

The regulator today also revealed the total annual remuneration of chief executive Sharon White jumped by 14.7 per cent to £430,309.

Ofcom has a broad remit, regulating the broadcasting, telecommunications and postal industries. In the year to 31 March it dished out penalties of £50.6m compared with £1.4m in the previous 12 months.

Some £42.3m of this year's fines came in one block, issued to BT after it failed to pay compensation to other internet firms for broadband installation delays. However, if this is excluded fines issued increased by 500 per cent to £8.4m.

Read more: Broadband A-Team assembled to create "step change" in Britain's internet

Fines are paid into the Treasury's UK Consolidated Fund Account and mixed in with tax receipts to pay central government expenses.

Who's on Ofcom's naughty step?

Firm Fine (£)
Vodafone 4,625,000
Club TV Ltd 65,000
Mohiuddin Digital Television 75,000
EE 2,700,000
Plusnet 880,000
BT 42,300,000
Total 50,645,000

Ofcom's financial statements detailed total income rose to £140m from £121m with the regulator building up an annual surplus of more than £1.5m.

As two giants Ofcom regulates – BT and Royal Mail – toy with the idea of shutting their pension schemes, the regulator closed its schemes to further accrual in June 2011. In its latest valuation the scheme was in surplus to the tune of £1.3m.

Read more: Watchdog Ofcom slaps BT with largest fine in UK telecoms history

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