Ofcom this week found itself under fire from broadcasters - after revealing that its operating costs
Ofcom this week found itself under fire from broadcasters - after revealing that its operating costs of£164m would be 27% higher than the five regulators it is replacing.Ofcom chief executive Stephen Carter unveiled the figure this week ahead of the regulator's official opening on 29 December and warned that Ofcom's licensees would have to pay more to meet the additional costs.He said that, based on like-for-like running costs, Ofcom would be 5% cheaper than the regulators it is replacing - but additional responsibilities and set-up costs had added to the total annual operating costs for next year.The costs included£8m to pay for additional duties added to Ofcom's remit during the passage of the Communications Act,£8m in VAT payments and£20m in loan repayments to fund its move to new headquarters on Southwark Bridge, London.Ofcom also revealed that the average salary of its 880 employees is£36,127 - less than several of the regulators it is replacing - and that 28 Ofcom staff are earning£100,000 or more.Carter said he had been "transparent and open" with all licensees about the increased costs and none of them had complained. Exactly what they will each have to pay will be decided in the first quarter of next year.He said that Ofcom had never been about creating cheaper regulation.But one broadcaster said: "These are swingeing rises in cost for the industry. There will be a lot of unhappy people looking at these figures who are sceptical that Ofcom will be worth a 27% rise in their bills."Another broadcaster commented: "This is the first time we've seen these figures. We need to see what the actual charge will be."