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Ofcom has launched an "overarching review" of the UK's digital landscape, in light of the "huge changes" seen in the telecoms sector in recent years.

The media regulator's Strategic Review of Digital Communications will examine competition, investment, innovation and the availability of products in the broadband, mobile and landline markets.

Ofcom is seeking to ensure communications providers and services continue to meet the needs of consumers and businesses.

The review will consider a range of issues, including incentives for private-sector investment, competition and innovation 'bottlenecks', and the potential for deregulation in some areas.

This will be Ofcom's second major assessment of the wider telecommunications sector - the  first began in December 2003 and concluded in September 2005.

It led to the introduction of new rules regarding wholesale access to BT's phone and broadband network.

Ofcom said the market has transformed over the last decade, adding that its review will consider the implications of key developments, plus those expected in the future.

It believes plans for significant network investment - such as those announced by Virgin Media last month - and the potential for various mergers, acquisitions and partnerships within the industry are particularly relevant to its research.

Steve Unger, Ofcom Acting Chief Executive, said: “We have seen huge changes in the phone and broadband markets since our last major review a decade ago.

"Only five years ago, hardly any of us had used a tablet computer, high-definition streaming or 4G mobile broadband."

He claimed that the boundaries between landline, mobile and broadband services "continue to blur", with people enjoying faster services across a growing range of devices.

"Our new review will mean Ofcom’s rules continue to meet the needs of consumers and businesses by supporting competition and investment for years to come," he added.

Ofcom plans to engage with a wide range of industry stakeholders over the coming months, including industry and consumer groups, the UK government and devolved administrations.

This phase of the review is expected to conclude with a discussion document in summer 2015, before an initial report is published towards the end of the year.

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