Complainant: Ofcom own-initiative investigation
Investigation against: British Telecommunications plc (“BT”)
Case opened: 11 November 2015
Case closed: 4 January 2017
Issue: Whether BT has complied with its obligations under General Condition 18.5(a) to set its porting charges on a cost-oriented basis and based on the incremental costs of providing portability
Relevant Instrument: Chapter 1 of Part 2 of the Communications Act 2003.
Ofcom has now closed the investigation concerning BT’s compliance with its cost-orientation obligations under General Condition 18.5 (GC 18.5).
The investigation was opened following publication of Final Determinations in disputes brought by Gamma Telecom Holdings Limited and Vodafone Limited which concerned whether BT had set its average porting conveyance charges (APCCs) in line with GC18.5.
In the Final Determinations we found that BT’s charges to Gamma and Vodafone for APCCs from January 2015 did not comply with the requirements of GC18.5(a) and we concluded that BT should amend its charges accordingly and make repayments to Gamma and Vodafone.
We opened this investigation on 11 November 2015 to consider BT’s compliance with its obligations under GC18.5 more widely. We put the investigation on hold following BT’s decision to appeal the Final Determinations. On 4 November 2016 the Competition Appeal Tribunal handed down its judgment, which dismissed the appeal.
On 2 December 2016, BT informed Ofcom of its approach to implementing the Final Determinations and confirmed that it will act in compliance with the principles set out in the determinations in respect of all communications providers. In particular, BT provided assurances regarding its intentions to contact all affected communication providers to agree arrangements for paying any backdated APCC adjustments that are due.
We are satisfied with the assurances that BT has provided in respect of complying with the principles set out in the dispute determinations and making repayments to any affected communications providers. Given this, we have decided to close the investigation.
Text when case was opened
Ofcom has today opened an investigation into BT’s apparent non-compliance with General Condition 18.5, which requires that porting charges be reasonable and based on the incremental costs of providing portability.
Number portability enables subscribers to retain their telephone number(s) when they switch between communication providers (CPs). Porting charges are levied between CPs to recover certain costs associated with number portability.
On 29 September 2014 Ofcom set out guidance (the “Guidance”) as to how CPs should set these porting charges to meet the requirements of GC18* and BT amended its porting charges on 1 January 2015 following the Guidance being published.
Ofcom has decided to open an investigation that will examine whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that BT has failed to set its porting charges from 1 January 2015 in line with the cost-orientation requirements under GC18.5 and the Guidance.
Ofcom has today also issued its Final Determinations in disputes brought by Gamma Telecom Holdings Limited and Vodafone Limited which concerned whether BT had set its average porting conveyance charges (“APCCs”) in line with GC18 and the Guidance.** The investigation that we have opened today is separate from these disputes.
Case Leader: Kathryn Searle (Kathryn.email@example.com)
Case Reference: CW/01172/11/15