Goodbye fax machines: Ofcom drops obligation for providers

  • Published
  • Posted in Tech News
  • 2 mins read

Ofcom has confirmed that telecom providers will no longer be required to offer fax services to customers. Under the universal service obligation (USO), BT and KCOM (in the Hull area only) have to provide phone services at an affordable price. This included fax machines, but no longer.

The Ofcom logo on a white and purple background

The USO was last changed in 2003 and fax machines were more popular at the time so it made sense to have them covered by the USO. Now, they’re hardly used by anyone but it’s costing BT and KCOM money to offer these services. By removing the requirement, these providers may be able to lower costs for customers.

Neowin reported on this issue back in November after Ofcom proposed the rule change but now the regulator has confirmed the plans. If you still use a fax machine, Ofcom says that the service won’t disappear overnight but that you should really look for an alternative method of relaying documents such as email.

For younger readers that never used fax machines and are unsure how they work, they essentially allow the sender to scan a paper document, an image of which would be sent over a phone line to another telephone number, and then the document would be printed out on another sheet of paper on the receiver’s fax machine. Now, you can just take a digital copy of a document and send it as an email attachment.

News Article Courtesy Of Paul Hill »