Statement: Implementation of the new European Electronic Communications Code

Published: 27 October 2020
Consultation closes: 30 November 2020
Status: Closed (statement published)

Statement published 17 December 2020

In October 2020, we confirmed a package of new customer protections that implement changes to European rules. At the same time, we consulted on some minor changes to our existing rules, to ensure clarity and consistency in the terminology and definitions used within them. We also consulted on some minor changes to reflect the end of the transition period under the EU Withdrawal Agreement.

Today we have published our final decisions on these minor changes, as well as our final notification of the changes we are making to our regulatory rules to implement the customer protections in the European Electronic Communications Code and revised consolidated versions of our rules.

Please note that the below version of the General Conditions, including the date it comes into effect, has been superseded as a result of Ofcom’s decision Quick, easy and reliable switching: Statement on changes to the General Conditions (published 3 February 2022). All amendments to General Conditions C7 and B3 (and associated provisions in C1.20, the Annex to C1 and the definitions), including those which were previously confirmed and due to come into effect on 19 December 2022, will come into effect on 3 April 2023. A consolidated version of the Revised General Conditions (unofficial consolidated version) 3 April 2023 is available. The 19 December 2022 version of the General Conditions will remain on this page for reference.

These slides (PDF, 338.9 KB) are designed to provide a high-level summary of some of the upcoming changes to our General Conditions (and associated guidance documents) as a result of implementing the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC). They are designed to sign-post some of the key changes and provide links to the relevant documents that contain the full details of all the changes.

Please note that the below version of the General Conditions, including the date it comes into effect, may be superseded as a result of Ofcom's consultation on General Condition C7 (PDF, 1.8 MB) (published 28 September 2021).

We proposed in that consultation that amendments to General Conditions C7 and B3 (and associated provisions in C1.20, the Annex to C1 and the definitions), including those previously confirmed, should come into effect from 3 April 2023.

Through engagement with providers we have received questions about Ofcom’s expectations for how providers should apply the General Condition C1 guidance (PDF, 523.8 KB) when dealing with changes to charges for roaming services. This letter (PDF, 195.6 KB) seeks to provide some additional clarification as to how providers can apply the requirements of the new General Conditions C1.14 and C1.15 with respect to roaming services.

We have today published a revised version of Annex 5 to our October 2020 statement in order to make a correction to Table 4 of the Annex. The correction reinserts reference to General Condition (GC) C2.19 (which was erroneously omitted) and clarifies that GC C2.19 continues to apply in respect of those customers to which GC C1.3 (regarding the provision of Contract Information) will not apply. We have also clarified that the changes to GCs C2.18 and C2.19 (new GC C2.15) relating to the provision of Contract Information under GC C1.3 will come into effect in June 2022, alongside new GC C1.3.

In May 2019 we confirmed new rules that mean broadband, phone and pay TV customers who are out-of-contract must be sent reminders every year showing them the best deals available. And in December 2019, we proposed a further package of measures to protect customers and help ensure they get a fair deal. These measures and proposals responded to changes to the European regulatory framework, which the Government has confirmed will be implemented by 21 December 2020. We are now consulting on two revised proposals before we publish our final decisions in Autumn 2020.

We invite responses to this consultation by 11 September 2020. We intend to publish a statement setting out our decision on the revised proposals contained in this document, as well as those set out in our December 2019 consultation, in Autumn 2020.

On 24 March 2020, Ofcom published information on the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the sectors it regulates. This recognised the vital role that these sectors are playing, and the need for providers to prioritise support for people and businesses.

We also recognised that our planned work programme would need to be adapted and rescheduled, so that stakeholders can focus on business-critical matters. As part of this, we noted that industry implementation of new obligations may need to be delayed.

The Government and Ofcom continue to work towards transposition of the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) by 21 December 2020. To this end, Ofcom plans to publish a statement on implementation of the end-user rights aspects of the EECC in September 2020, subject to the Government confirming its approach to EECC transposition before then.

However, we recognise that, given the very challenging circumstances we are currently in as a result of the coronavirus crisis, providers are likely to need additional time to make the necessary changes to their systems and processes to bring themselves into compliance with the new rules. We therefore intend to allow providers at least 12 months from the date of the publication of our statement to implement these new rules. We may allow longer where very significant changes need to be made by providers. We will set out the industry implementation deadlines by provision when we publish our statement.

We are providing this update to stakeholders in advance of our final decisions so that providers can take this into account now. Otherwise, they would need to start planning the necessary systems and process changes, which would be difficult given the current need to focus their resources on supporting people and businesses.

We have amended some references to ‘ultrafast broadband’ to provide greater clarity on the services to which some of our proposals apply.

Main documents

Supporting documents


Back to top