Modifying who is subject to the Premium Rate Services Condition

  • Start: 11 May 2011
  • Status: Closed
  • End: 22 June 2011



1.1 PhonepayPlus delivers the day-to-day regulation of premium rate services (PRS) through a Code of Practice (the 'Code') approved by the Office of Communications ('Ofcom'). Under the Communications Act 2003 (the 'Act'), Ofcom can set conditions (the "PRS Condition") which specify which providers (with respect to which services) must comply with directions made by PhonepayPlus. Ofcom can enforce a failure by any provider to comply with such directions. This is known as Ofcom's backstop powers. Ofcom set the PRS Condition in December 2003. This has since been subject to a number of amendments and currently applies to a subset of Controlled PRS providers defined as Communications Providers.

1.2 On 1 September 2011 the PhonepayPlus Code of Practice (12th edition) (the 'new Code') will come into force. Under the new Code, PhonepayPlus will, for the first time, hold all Controlled PRS providers responsible for actions that are within their control. The shift in regulatory responsibility marked by the new Code, as well as the new rules governing the content/promotion/operation of PRS, were consulted upon extensively by both Ofcom and PhonepayPlus.

1.3 Ofcom signalled when approving the new Code that to ensure its successful implementation it would be appropriate to re-consider who should be legally required to comply with PhonepayPlus directions under the PRS Condition. It did this via its consultation "Modifying who is subject to the Premium Rate Services Condition" published on 11 May 2011 in which it proposed that:

  • the PRS Condition should be amended to require all Controlled PRS Providers (instead of only a subset as at present) to comply with directions made by PhonepayPlus for the purpose of enforcing the Code of Practice, and
  • the proposed amendment to the PRS Condition gives effect to this intention.

1.4 The consultation closed on 22 June 2011. Ofcom received responses from eight stakeholders representing the telecommunications industry and consumers. The responses were supportive of the proposals.


1.5 Having carefully considered the responses to the consultation, Ofcom has now decided to proceed with the proposed modifications to the PRS Condition. This statement therefore includes a notification amending the PRS Condition to mirror the regulatory remit of PhonepayPlus under the new Code. All Controlled PRS providers will now be subject to the PRS Condition, providing Ofcom with the power to require such providers to comply with enforcement directions made by PhonepayPlus.

1.6 Ofcom considers such an amendment to the PRS Condition to be necessary to ensure the successful implementation of the new Code. Widening the scope of the PRS Condition will strengthen the ability of PhonepayPlus to take enforcement action against those providers that fail to comply with sanctions imposed under the new Code.

1.7 Ofcom is also satisfied that the statutory requirements for modifying the PRS Condition are met in respect of the amendment. In that regard, Ofcom believes widening the scope of the PRS Condition is consistent with the principles of transparency, proportionality and non-discrimination.

1.8 This modification to the PRS Condition (which is outlined in Annex 2) will be effective from 1 September 2011, the same date that the 12th Edition of the PhonepayPlus Code of Practice comes into force.

Main documents

Supporting documents

Supporting documents

Supporting documents

loading icon


Responder name Type
Action4_response_PRS_Condit1.pdf (PDF File, 16.9 KB) Organisation
AIME_response_PRS_Condition.pdf (PDF File, 31.8 KB) Organisation
BT_response_PRS_condition.pdf (PDF File, 15.1 KB) Organisation
CAB_response_PRS_condition.pdf (PDF File, 73.1 KB) Organisation
Colt_response_PRS_condition.pdf (PDF File, 15.1 KB) Organisation
Load more