Ofcom regulates the accuracy of bills issued by providers of electronic communications services through General Condition C3 of its General Conditions. The condition requires providers of Regulated Services with a relevant annual turnover in excess of 55m to seek and obtain approval of their metering and billing systems from independent third-party assessors (Approval Bodies) against a prescribed standard. This system of approval arrangements represents the Ofcom Metering and Billing Approval Scheme.
The Ofcom Metering and Billing Direction (PDF, 388.2 KB) sets out the requirements for gaining approval under the condition and is essentially a technical standard intended to ensure compliant systems will deliver accurate bills.
Approval Bodies approve and audit a Communications Provider's metering and billing systems and monitor compliance with the requirements of the Ofcom Metering and Billing Direction. At present, there are three Approval Bodies:
Visit the Approval Bodies' websites to find out about the Communication Providers Approved or seeking Approval to the Ofcom Metering and Billing Direction.
To become an Approval Body, applicants must be accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service to ensure that they meet the international standard ISO17065: 2012 to carry out the Metering and Billing Approval Process as defined in the Ofcom Direction.
To ensure equitable treatment of all Communication Providers within the Scheme and a universal interpretation of the Scheme's requirements, all of the current Approval Bodies belong to the Metering and Billing Approval Bodies' Forum (MABABF).
To reflect changes in the communications market and experience of operating the Direction, Ofcom reviewed the Direction. A statement setting out our conclusions from the review was published in September 2017. The changes to Metering and Billing Direction were set out in Annex 15 of that statement (PDF, 715.7 KB).
On 17 December 2020 we published a statement (PDF, 412.1 KB)on changes to the general conditions and related definitions to implement the end user rights provisions of the European Electronic Communications Code (EEEC), and our decision to make minor changes to the Direction for clarity and consistency with definitions updated in the General Conditions, which will take effect on 17 December 2021. The updated version of the Direction reflecting these changes will be published on this webpage after the changes come into effect.