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It had about 600 staff and covered all aspects of spectrum management, including international negotiation, spectrum monitoring, regulation, research and licensing.
Its history dates back to 1918, when the Wireless Telegraphy Board was set up to co-ordinate interference problems affecting radio communications in the English Channel.
It went through a number of name changes until in 1990 the Radiocommunications Division of the DTI was launched as the Radiocommunications Agency, under the Government’s Next Steps programme.
Oftel, the Office of Telecommunications, was officially created on 1 August 1984, established by the Telecommunications Act 1984.
The first Director General of Telecommunications was Professor Bryan Carsberg, appointed in July 1984, who was empowered to appoint staff to manage Oftel.
Oftel was a non-ministerial Government department with close historic ties to DTI.
It raised the majority of its funds from a levy on telecommunications companies.
For current information, please look in the main body of the Ofcom site as these links are for historical information only.
Ofcom was formally established on 29 December 2003.
It replaced five organisations: Oftel, the ITC, the Radio Authority, the Radiocommunications Agency and the Broadcasting Standards Commission.
All the publications issued by these five bodies and their predecessors are available from [email protected] - please contact us by email if you cannot find a publication in the archives.
This diagram represents the position at 29 December 2003, when Ofcom was created.
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It does not include Postcomm, which merged with Ofcom in 2011.