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Jul 04

Telecoms watchdog seeks rural volunteers


TELECOMS watchdog Ofcom wants rural people to tell it about the broadband challenges they face.

Ofcom said it wanted to find out more about the “rural broadband experience” by encouraging rural people to join its research panel.

Ofcom said it existed to make communications markets work for everyone. One of the ways it did so was by conducting research to find out about the customer experience across the UK.

Each year, Ofcom reports its findings in its flagship Connected Nations report – which provides a snapshot of the state of the UK communication network.

To inform this and wider work, Ofcom is calling for volunteers to sign up to join its expanded research panel of broadband customers.

Ofcom said it was “particularly looking to sign up more people who live in rural areas in order find out more about the challenges they face”.

Potential participants are encouraged to sign up via Ofcom’s partner’s website at https://signups.samknows.com/ofcom/.

Volunteers who meet Ofcom’s sample requirements will be sent a unit to plug into a mains socket and connect to their home broadband router.

Further details of the sign-up process are set out below.

1. Broadband users sign up to take part in the research by completing an online form on SamKnows, Ofcom’s technical partner’s website here: https://signups.samknows.com/ofcom/.

2. SamKnows compares these volunteers to Ofcom’s sample plan, which is designed to ensure that the panel is statistically robust and nationally representative. Please note that not all of those who volunteer to take part in the research will be selected.

3. Those who fit Ofcom’s sample plan will be asked to complete an online end-user licence agreement.

4. Volunteers are then sent a whitebox hardware measurement unit that they plug into a mains socket and connect to their home broadband router using the provided cable.

Please note that the whitebox will not interfere with the panellist’s connection as it only runs tests when the connection is not in use, and it does not monitor what the panellist uses their connection for.

Further detailed information about the process can be found at https://signups.samknows.com/ofcom/faq.

If you have any questions or would like further information about this work, please contact Jose Kurian at jose.kurian@ofcom.org.uk