The General Authorisation Regime

The former telecommunications licensing regime was replaced in 2003 by a general authorisation regime with General Conditions of Entitlement, which apply to all communications providers, and specific regulatory conditions, which apply to individual operators. This area sets out the General and Specific conditions.

The General Conditions

The General Conditions were first introduced in July 2003 under the Communications Act following the withdrawal and revocation of Telecommunications Act licences. These conditions are currently the main regulatory regime for communications networks and service providers in the UK and apply to all communications providers or all communications providers of a particular type.

Consolidated version of general conditions as at 28 May 2015 (including annotations) (PDF, 454.6 KB)

General Condition 22: Service migrations and Home-moves  (PDF, 97.4 KB)

General Condition 23. Sales and marketing of mobile telephony services (PDF, 27.2 KB)

On 19 September 2017, Ofcom published a statement about changes that we have decided to make to the general conditions of entitlement, in order to ensure the general conditions are up to date and reflect Ofcom’s current priorities. The revised general conditions will come into force on 1 October 2018, and the current conditions will be revoked on the same date.

Specific Conditions

In contrast to the General Conditions, Specific Conditions are regulatory conditions which apply only to individual communications providers. These conditions can include universal service conditions which apply to universal service providers, access-related conditions which govern access and interconnection to networks, and significant market power conditions put in place to address competition issues following a market review.

Guidelines on the general conditions

Customer Codes of Practice for handling complaints and resolving disputes

Specific conditions

Information on telecoms competition regulation

Current regulation, including market reviews and charge controls, relating to Ethernet and Leased Lines, Mobile Call Termination, and Residential and Business Narrowband and Broadband Access and Fixed Telephony. Ongoing and previous regulation is also available in this section.