The Ofcom Metering and Billing Direction (31 July 2014)
On 31 July 2014, Ofcom published a statement on the Ofcom Metering and Billing Direction. This document concluded our review of the Metering and Billing Direction (‘the Direction’) and set out the changes being made to it.
The statement confirmed the main proposals we made in our consultation in February 2014. The new Direction will continue to be mandatory in respect of retail and wholesale services and voluntary for data services. Other targeted changes will ensure providers have the appropriate processes and controls in place to produce accurate bills for customers.
The Direction is a technical standard intended to ensure that communications providers’ systems deliver accurate bills to customers. All communications providers with a turnover of more than £40 million a year for providing landline and mobile voice services are required to comply with the Direction.
In defining the Ofcom Metering and Billing Direction, in accordance with which the Communication providers have to obtain approval, GC11 currently refers to the 2008 Direction. In light of the withdrawal of the 2008 Direction and the making of the 2014 Direction, we proposed in a consultation published on 11 August 2014 (‘the August 2014 consultation’) that the definition should be amended so that it refers to the 2014 Direction
Under General Condition 11 all communications providers with a turnover of more than £40 million a year for providing landline and mobile voice services are required to seek and obtain approval of their metering and billing systems from third-party assessors against the prescribed standards set out in the Ofcom Direction. This complex of approval arrangements represents the Ofcom Metering and Billing Approval Scheme.