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.
New build super-fast broadband networks represent a unique opportunity to invest in telecoms infrastructure. Ofcom is keen to ensure that prospective new investors are able to make the most of these opportunities and consumers gain maximum benefit from the delivery of new high speed services.
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.
Providers of Public Electronic Communications Networks (PECNs) are required to publish the technical specifications of their customer interfaces under the terms of the Radio Equipment and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive (R&TTE, 99/5/EC). In agreement with operators and manufacturers working in the Network Interoperability Consultative Committee (NICC), Ofcom has produced the Guidelines for Interface Publication Issue 3.
The specifications of relevant interfaces provided by PECN Providers are available through the links below, which will take you out of the Ofcom web site.
If you have any queries regarding the contents of a Provider's specification(s), then these should be raised directly with the Provider concerned. Questions concerning Providers' publication obligations should be emailed to Neil.Nasralla@ofcom.org.uk
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.
Roaming providers are required to notify Ofcom if they choose to apply a Fair Use Policy to regulated retail roaming services (Article 5 (2) CIR), or if they take measures in relation to the organised resale of SIM cards (Article 5 (6)). Providers may also submit an application to Ofcom if they wish to apply surcharges to ensure the sustainability of its domestic charging model (Article 6c (2) Roaming Regulation). See details on how to submit a notification/application.
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 publishes guidance on provisions in the law relating to unfair terms in consumer contracts. Please note that the applicable guidance is dependent upon the date at which a consumer contract was entered into.
Terms in consumer contracts entered into on or after 1 July 1995 and before 1 October 2015 are subject to the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.
Terms in consumer contracts entered into on or after 1 October 2015 are subject to the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
Archived information and guidance on the General Conditions of Entitlement, the regulatory rules that all communications providers must follow to operate in the UK. This information was superseded on 1 October 2018.