Telecoms industry guidance
Guidance and contact information on standards, specifications and other requirements for the telecoms industry.
There has been an increased level of interest in capital structures of certain infrastructure businesses, many of which tend to be subject to economic regulation. There are several reasons which explain this increased interest. First, in some regulated sectors, shareholders have made higher returns than assumed by regulators when setting regulated charges by making greater use of debt financing. Second, the choice of capital structure could reduce financial resilience, and we have seen a number of company failures in recent years (Monarch, Carillion).
We are seeing some regulators respond to these debates. Ofwat recently set out decisions on measures designed to ‘put the water sector back in balance’. These include a requirement on water companies with relatively high levels of debt to share with customers some of the benefits perceived to be accruing to equity investors.
The issues Ofwat’s decisions aim to address are of relevance to other regulated sectors. While in principle, capital structure choices are a matter for management, there are instances where these choices are relevant to policy-making. This brief statement sets out our views on these issues.
Membership to an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme is mandatory for all Communication Providers, as stated within the general conditions. There are two ADR schemes – Ombudsman Services: Communications (OS), and the Communications and Internet Services Adjudication Scheme (CISAS). Providers should contact the ADR schemes and decide which one they want to be a member of.
Section 124S of the Communications Act 2003 requires providers of mobile phone services to offer bill limits to customers from 1 October 2018. To assist providers implementing this obligation, this letter sets out our understanding of how the legislation will work (PDF, 231.6 KB) in practice.
If you have any questions about implementing this obligation, please contact Tom Cherry by email on email@example.com or by phoning 020 7783 4429.
The Guidelines set out a series of principles that should be respected by Communications Providers in the provision of Calling Line Identification Facilities and the conveyance of calling and connected line identities when End-Users make or receive a Call.
The Relevant Activity Guidelines for the purposes of administrative charging (the guidelines) is intended to help those persons liable to pay administrative charges (under S38 of the Communications Act 2003) to establish their gross turnover from relevant activities for the purposes of administrative charging. The guidelines were first published as a statement with the designation pursuant to section 34 and 38 of the Communications Act 2003. The purpose of the revision to the guidelines is to provide more contemporary examples from a technological perspective.
The definition of "relevant activity" for the purposes of administrative charging
Version 2 - March 2014
The legislation that applies to telecoms providers requires them to take measures to protect the security and resilience of their networks and services. Ofcom has the power to intervene if we believe a provider is not taking the appropriate measures. This document provides guidance to the relevant providers on what we expect them to do to meet their obligations.
When a security or availability incident occurs which has a significant impact on the operation of a network or service, the legislation also requires the provider to report this to us. This document explains which sorts of incidents providers should report, and what we consider to be a significant impact.
This document replaces our previous guidance - Ofcom guidance on security requirements in the revised Communications Act 2003 - which we published in May 2011. We have made some changes to the incident reporting process to improve the quality of information we receive and to reflect the change in the relative importance of different types of services over the last few years. We have made reference to a new European document which provides additional detail about the range of well-established security measures we expect providers to consider. Finally we have included several topics which may pose particular security risks and which we therefore expect providers to take account of.
Because of the dynamic nature of the telecoms market, and the changing threats to security and resilience it faces, we will continue to review this document regularly, and if required, update it again.
Ofcom asked the industry body UKWISPA (UK Wireless Internet Service Providers Association) to recommend an approach that could be used by their members and by other Fixed Wireless Operators (WISPs) to report on the coverage of their networks.
As a result, this document sets out technical guidance to help WISPs when responding to Information Requests from Ofcom. This guidance has been prepared in consultation with members of UKWISPA and Ofcom. We have published this guidance on our website for full transparency to the WISPs.
The objectives of this guidance are to:
- help WISPs to prepare data that can be relied upon by Ofcom and the users of their collected data;
- provide specific guidance about the observed performance characteristics of commonly used FWA products;
- help WISPs to consider Quality of Experience within their coverage reports;
- help WISPs to calculate fixed wireless link performance in a point to multipoint network; and
- provide guidance on the impact of obstructions and the importance of the type of height data used when modelling coverage
As new equipment becomes available and new frequency bands become popular, this guidance may be updated and therefore the information included should only be used as a guide.