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EDITOR’s BLOG 03-07-15 A summer storm approaches

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Hello and Happy Friday! The sultry heat and heavy air. The threat of a storm brewing. A sudden over-interest in regulation. Yep, the British summer has arrived. While we swelter in temperatures any Southern European would consider “jumper weather”, thoughts across the industry are turning to regulation – and it looks like there could be quite an interesting debate brewing.

Ask any industry and they will probably tell you that they are over-regulated – that’s capitalism for you – but someone has to keep businesses in check or chaos reigns. However, the PPP judicial review that happened over Christmas has really got tongues wagging in the telemedia sector.

Many feel that the old way of doing things is wrong and that the JR leaves an ideal pause for there to be a line drawn under the past and a new order instigated that not only is more fair, but actually encourages services to blossom, rather than frightens them into submission.

This week we have a Guest Opinion from Declan Petit at MCP about how there is a need to really shake up the way competitions are regulated: there is a disconnect between consumers wanting to take part in them and the regulation of them being so onerous that no one really wants to run them.

This represents just one small part of the interactive industry, but is symptomatic of how the regulatory culture around these services is no longer really fit for purpose.

In the up-coming issue of Telemedia magazine (out in late July), we are going to hear again and again this same cry that regulation now discourages business rather than encourages it and that there is – with PPP, MNO guidelines, The FSA, ASA and more all involved in various aspects of telemedia and charge to mobile – too many people proscribing what can be done.

This is counter to how most industries work: most business sectors have regulators that are there to protect consumers, sire, but they also want to encourage the development and growth of the businesses they represent. For too long this has not been the case in telemedia. For too long it has been war.

And the need to sort this out has never been more pressing. The rise of charge to mobile – which sits on the cusp of mass market adoption as the world finally gets into mobile payments – rests almost entirely on there being a regulatory environment that protects consumers and protects businesses using C2M, but also which promotes C2M to both consumers and businesses.

The industry has to do its bit, but the industry bodies that also impinge on it – in main regulators – have to get behind it. There is everything to win here, as our top story points out, but it could all still be lost in the fog of war. It really is a time for a change. Think about that this weekend while you watch the rain lash your barbeque.

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