Talk:Telecommunications in the United Kingdom

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WikiProject United Kingdom (Rated C-class, High-importance)
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Purpose of page[edit]

--JRL 07:49, 16 August 2005 (UTC)It's not clear what the purpose of this page is. Granted, there are similar pages for France and Germany, which contain limited info, lacking up-to-date data, as this page is. There are no comprehensive links to sources where up-to-date data may be found. Given that this data changes often (in the case of internet statistics, for instance), might it be better just to link to good sources?

It seems to be one of over 200 'Communications in ...' articles. See category:communications by country and Communications in Europe. These seem to have been cribbed from the CIA Factbook or en masse. An article of this sort is intended as an 'overview'. As such it should actively avoid detail, and just give the overall big picture, with links to detail elsewhere.Spliced 12:17, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

Also the page duplicates very detailed data on the telephone numbering system which is contained in a separate article. Wouldn't it be better just to link directly to this? I'd be inclined to remove most of this section in any update.

Agreed.Spliced 12:17, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

Very few people are going to come to this page from a direct search: so presumably its main viewers will be those who come from the UK topics page. The page is not however linked to from the main United Kingdom page.

Over the course of the next week I will try to update the main media categories with up-to-date figures. I think there is a case for a standarised page for all countries which details the main communications data, rather as the CIA Factbook does, but with full links to other articles (BBC etc) and some commentary on the usage levels and history (establishment date etc.) Jpkaye 09:25, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

It was linked to from United Kingdom. Someone added the detailed info on the telephone numbering system yesterday. I think like a lot of the CIA factbook based pages this needs lots of work - and across all countries. Secretlondon 10:33, 10 August 2005 (UTC)
It was unlinked from United Kingdom on 24 July when they replaced miscellaneous topics by an infobox. I think it needs adding in somewhere. Secretlondon 10:40, 10 August 2005 (UTC)
Your suggestions sound great to me. It was me who added the telphone numbers, trying to bulk it up, but I admit that it is too detailed. However, I think we should have a three paragraph or so summary (without all the tables) of what is in the telephone article, with "Main Article: ..." under the heading. --βjweþþ (talk) 10:36, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

--JRL 11:42, 12 August 2005 (UTC)==Pisstake or not?== User:jrleighton added stuff today which seems to me to be a pisstake, so I took it out. He says it isn't a pisstake and has put it back. What does anyone else think? Spliced 10:25, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

I came across the article and took it at it's face value "Communications in the UK". A note on the article said that it needed expanding, so I put some more framework on there. Perhaps I am mistaken, and the article is only to refer to electronic communications, in which case, the article needs renaming, and perhaps leaving the more general communications article with the generalities.--JRL 10:37, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

I think, following up my earlier comments, that there are indeed difficulties with the title for these articles. If they are all derived in the first instance from a CIA Factbook dump, then as the articles on individual countries and their media have expanded, there is less reason for these separate articles to exist at all under a catch-all topic heading.

If it is felt that they do have a purpose and they do continue a separate existence, then I think they should be standardised as a template for all countries/nations.

I do believe, though, that even then it would not be appropriate to add what are essentially semiotic elements to these articles. I agree that 'communications' is a very broad description and can include all forms, I just don't think that there can be anything usefully comprehensive or encyclopaedic in adding what can only be patchy or idiosyncratic sections on voice, written or visual. Jpkaye 11:27, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

I understood the purpose of the article to be to briefly describe the different forms and a brief description on each. Admittedly what I wrote isn't in immense depth, but in the brief time that I wrote what I wrote the intention was to put more framework to the article to assist with it's expansion. Having now looked at other countries "communication" articles, I see that it is non standard, but on the other hand, perhaps a brief summary on communication would be useful, with links to other articles where necessary so that specific topics can be explored in more depth. Surely the over-riding principle is clarity of the content of the article with it's title, and not to conform to an established (i.e. the CIA style ) format which isn't necessarily clear. Thoughts ?--JRL 11:42, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
I don't hold any brief for the CIA style. Possibly our problem comes from the idea that this article needed expanding. It certainly needs updating with more recent statistics, and this can be done without too much effort.
I've also sampled some of the other 'Communications in..." articles, and they all just seem to give basic statistics for the main categories, usually with old data, and with little commentary. This sort of data presentaion in my view is anyway best done via comparative tables, with added statistics to show relative levels (numbers per head/household etc.). Maybe Wikipedia doesn't accomodate this well? Jpkaye 12:56, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
It's difficult to see what the original rationale for these articles was. I guess the idea was to provide a potted summary for each country in the manner of the CIA factbook. I suppose that could be of use to someone wanting to learn key facts about an unfamiliar country, but seems to have little other purpose. In which case the article should be kept concise and to the point, be kept consistent with the other country pages and avoid detail. In other words, it needs improving rather than expanding.
The article needs bringing up to date: e.g. submarine coaxial systems and microwave are pretty much dead in the trunk network - it's almost all fibre now. Also, I think it would make sense to split it up amongst a number of headings such as infrastructure, services and regulation, because increasingly different services (voice, internet, broadcasting) use overlapping infrastructure. Spliced 13:55, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
I can't agree with the reverts to remove 'voice', 'visual' etc... Maybe what was before needed immense improvement, but the bottom line is that the article is badly titled. Look at the article Communications to see how communications are defined in Wikipedia. I propose that either the article is expanded to include all forms of communication, or (the more likely option) to rename it as "telecommunications in the UK". Keeping the article as it is cannot be an is labelled as one thing, but in fact only discussing a small subsection of the titled subject.--JRL 07:49, 16 August 2005 (UTC)
I removed that stuff because there didn't seem to be any support for its retention. What does anyone else think? --Spliced 10:41, 16 August 2005 (UTC)


Disregarding what has been said above about whether this article really should be here or not (I feel it should, not only because there are hundreds of articles of 'Communications in...' and because there is loads of information available), here are a few things I think should be expanded or added to the article as it stands currently. Any other suggestions?

  • History - more about deregulation/private companies in TV and phone lines/internet and a brief description of Ofcom
  • Future - Broadband figures and projections - government backing of expansion. BT's 'firm within a firm'? Post Office deregulation and privatisation. Also, Post Office strikes.
  • Links to similar articles - eg Transportation in the United Kingdom (previous UK COTF) - a link to UK Topics isn't really good enough, I feel.
  • Facts and Figures - tables and graphs illustrating the changes in UK communications (ie users of Internet or Broadband, numbers of mobile phones etc) Also, market shares for phone line subscribers, internet (pie charts) etc.

Thoughts? Ta, Mark Lewis 20:55, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

Your ideas seem good. --βjweþþ (talk) 09:04, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

Some potential sources:

  • [1] - ecommerce (ONS)
  • [2] - (ONS)
  • [3] - (ONS)
  • [4] - note the source!
  • [5] - broadband
  • [6] - broadband (BBC)
  • [7] - broadband (BBC)
  • [8] - mobiles {MOA)
  • [9] - mobiles (MOA)
  • [10] - more mobiles than people

And another:

Name of page[edit]

This page is not about communications in the United Kingdom; it is about telecommunications in the United Kingdom. -- Picapica 12:34, 29 August 2005 (UTC)

Well, unless anyone objects, I think it should be moved. --βjweþþ (talk) 20:10, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
I concur with Picapica - there always was something annoying me about the title! Although there are many, many other similar articles for different countries all beginning with Communications in... Mark Lewis 21:31, 30 August 2005 (UTC)

Thank you. It's not just me being a pedantic old fuddy-duddy, then (no offence intended to those who agree with me on this proposal!). I was genuinely puzzled, the first time I read the article, why an article on "communications" in the UK made no mention of roads, railways, waterways, letter and parcel post, or the press.

I feared that there might be the objection, as touched on -- but not supported, I am relieved to see -- by Mark, of the existence of many other articles about telecommunications presently called "Communications in...", but 100 wrongs don't make a right. Someone doubtless originally used "communications" as an erroneous synonym for "telecommunications" and the mistake has been copied.

I propose to move the article, unless anyone convinces me I should not, at the end of this week. -- Picapica 23:37, 30 August 2005 (UTC)

Almost certainly the title comes from the CIA Factbook, which uses "communications" for telecommunications, and "transportation" for covering miles of railways, numbers of ships, and so on. Wikipedia imports a lot of CIA factbook information. Telsa 11:02, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
Or we could make it about Communications ... by adding post, couriers, railway, semaphore and bonfires on hilltops. (The latter are for a history section!) -- SGBailey 11:47:29, 2005-08-31 (UTC)

The deed has been done. (Now where did I put that tin hat?) -- Picapica 20:08, 5 September 2005 (UTC)