Changes to General Conditions and Universal Service Conditions

Published: 24 February 2011
Consultation closes: 7 April 2011
Status: Closed (statement published)

On 24 February, we issued our consultation on the changes we needed to make to certain General Conditions ('GCs') and Universal Service Conditions ('USCs') by 25 May 2011 in order to implement the revised EU Electronic Communications Framework ('the Framework') in the UK.

Thirty three stakeholders responded to our consultation, which closed on 7 April. Having fully considered their responses, this statement sets out our conclusions and changes to the GCs and USCs.

We have also taken account of the conclusion of the UK Government's (the Department for Culture, Media and Sport - DCMS) recent statement which set out its own approach to making amendments to the Communications Act 2003 (the 'Act'), the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003, in order to implement the Framework . Some of our proposed changes depended upon their alterations to the legal framework - in particular the changes made to the Act via the statutory instrument laid in Parliament on 5 May 2011.

Ofcom has received a number of enquiries from stakeholders regarding the proposed scope of General Condition 4 ('GC4'). We consider it important to provide clarification on this issue as stakeholders may be considering taking action now in order to ensure that they meet the 25 May implementation deadline.

Stakeholders have raised queries that Ofcom intends the revised GC4 to apply to providers of an electronic communications service wider than those who provide a "public electronic communications service". In particular, there are questions whether it is Ofcom's intention that GC4 would apply to organisations that maintain a private communications network that is not available to the public, such as a company using a private branch exchange ('PBX') to route calls to and from its employees.

For clarification, it is Ofcom's proposal in the consultation that the modifications to GC4 will only apply to providers of a public electronic communications service, which Ofcom considers is apparent from a reading of the proposed modifications (including, for example, the amended definition of Communications Provider).

Supporting documents


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