Joint Committee on Draft Communications Bill Report


(a) The main Board

28. Provision for the composition of the main Board of OFCOM is made not in the draft Bill that we are considering, but in section 1 of, and the Schedule to, the Office of Communications Act 2002. That Act provides that the Board of OFCOM shall have at least three, but no more than six, members, although the Secretary of State may make orders to vary the size of the Board, increasing its size when it assumes regulatory functions. The Chairman, Deputy Chairman and other non-executive members are to be appointed jointly by the Secretaries of State for Trade and Industry and for Culture, Media and Sport. The Chairman and non-executive members will appoint a Chief Executive, with the approval of the Secretary of State, and the Chief Executive will be a member of the main Board.[45]

29. The Government has argued during proceedings on the Office of Communications Bill and subsequently that the main Board should remain small, with a strategic rather than representative function.[46] Based on the experience of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Culture, Media and Sport Committee has also supported the proposition that a small Board functions most effectively.[47] The Voice of the Listener and Viewer suggested that OFCOM's content regulation role, which the FCC does not embrace, makes such a comparison flawed.[48] Some evidence and contributions to the online forum argued that the main Board should be enlarged to make it more representative of society as a whole and of the different parts of the United Kingdom in particular.[49] Tessa Jowell said that she hoped "that every member of the main Board will accept that they have a responsibility to act on and consider the interests of communications across the United Kingdom".[50] We share this view. We agree with the Government that it would be wrong to expand the Board's membership for representative purposes that could well detract from its strategic role.

30. However, we consider that, on other grounds, the current limit on Board membership of six will prove untenable. The Board will face an enormous range of demands and a considerable workload. It will need to meet regularly and we expect that it will wish to ensure that it maintains, at all such meetings, whatever quorum it sets for itself and the arrangement whereby non-executive members outnumber executive members. Accordingly, we recommend that the Secretary of State make an order under section 1 of the Office of Communications Act 2002 to increase the maximum number of members of the Board to nine, and consult the incoming Chairman of OFCOM on the number of members of the Board to be appointed before OFCOM assumes its regulatory functions.

(b) The Content Board and media literacy

31. The Government has responded to concerns about representation and lay involvement in content regulation by making a proposal in the draft Bill that was not foreshadowed in the White Paper - namely, for the establishment of a Content Board. Clauses 17 and 18 provide for OFCOM's main Board to appoint the Content Board, to be chaired by a non-executive member of the main Board who is not its Chairman. The proposed establishment of the Content Board was welcomed by the existing regulators, both as a means of ensuring wider lay input into content regulation and as a way of enabling the main Board to concentrate on strategic issues and economic regulation.[51]

32. The central difficulty with the provisions of Clauses 17 and 18 that emerged from our evidence is the uncertainty as to whether the Content Board is to be an advisory or an executive body. Professor Eric Barendt considered that the draft Bill was unclear on this issue and saw a danger that the Content Board would be little more than "window dressing".[52] Channel 5 envisaged the Content Board having the lead executive role in all aspects of content regulation and "a degree of autonomy", with the main Board's involvement in broadcasting issues "limited to strategic economic issues".[53] The BBC, on the other hand, appeared to see the Content Board as only "an advisory body".[54] ITV was similarly concerned that the Content Board might be "a silo operating independently of the main OFCOM Board" and argued that major decisions by the Content Board on substantive issues ought to require the express approval of the main Board.[55] Professor Steven Barnett and Professor Jean Seaton argued for a different emphasis, proposing that there be "an unambiguous expectation that Content Board decisions are accepted and implemented unless the main Board has exceptional reasons for overriding them".[56]

33. Notwithstanding the suggestion from some quarters that the Content Board should be a purely advisory body, there is no doubt that the intention of the proposed provisions is to allow OFCOM's main Board to confer executive as well as advisory functions on the Content Board.[57] However, the Policy document that accompanies the draft Bill does little to illuminate where the dividing line might fall between the advisory and executive functions of the Content Board.[58] This ambiguity appears to be intentional, reflecting a view shared by the Government and the current regulators that the legislation should leave the main Board great flexibility in respect of its relationship with the Content Board.[59] Tessa Jowell argued that the balance between the Content Board's executive and advisory functions would be determined over time, but she appeared to envisage the Content Board having an advisory role in respect of broadcast standards.[60]

34. We have concluded that the ambiguity in the proposed legislation on the functions of the Content Board is unsatisfactory. While we would not wish to see the main Board's discretion wholly circumscribed, there is a danger that, even before OFCOM assumes its regulatory functions, the Content Board will have become all things to all people - an advisory body to some and an executive body with wide-ranging functions to others. In consequence, the main Board is likely, from time to time, to be criticised for whatever disposition it chooses. In particular, we consider that the burden of broadcast standards regulation is too great to be placed on the main Board and too important to fall between two stools. We recommend that the final Bill endow the Content Board with executive and determinative responsibility for the functions of OFCOM relating to programme standards for television and radio services under Clauses 212 to 220, including all functions relating to individual complaints with respect to fairness and privacy under Clause 219. We further recommend that the Content Board be assigned the main day-to-day role in respect of the public service remit for television and OFCOM's specific functions in relation to licensed public service television broadcasters, but subject to the ultimate decision-making authority of the main Board.

35. Three other issues arose in evidence relating to the Content Board. First, Channel 4 was concerned that there should continue to be a close and substantial relationship between the Content Board and the main Board and proposed that there should be a requirement that at least two members of the main Board serve on the Content Board.[61] This is a valuable safeguard to guarantee that the Chairman of the Content Board is not typecast on the main Board as the sole representative of content issues. We recommend that Clause 17 be amended to require at least one non-executive member of the main Board in addition to the Chairman of the Content Board to be a member of the Content Board.

36. Second, Professor Eric Barendt proposed that the Content Board be granted the power to publish its views to ensure that it could act "in a transparent way so that there can be real public debate about its conclusions and its recommendations".[62] Both the BBC and Channel 4 were concerned that this might open the way to a clash within OFCOM or dual regulation.[63] Provided that there is a clear distinction of the Content Board's executive and advisory functions, we view this fear as misplaced. If, as Tessa Jowell envisaged, the Chairman and other members of the Content Board make regular Select Committee appearances, it is unrealistic to suppose that the distinct views of the Content Board would not be made known.[64] Over and above its contribution to OFCOM's annual report, we recommend that the Content Board be given a right to publish its views when it considers it appropriate to do so.

37. Third, concern was expressed by Internet service providers that the provisions of Clause 18(2) would enable the Content Board to undertake functions relating to content transmitted by any electronic communications network, rather than the Board's work being confined to licensable and regulated content services as defined in Part 3 of the draft Bill. They were concerned that this might lead to examination and then regulation of Internet content by the back door.[65] While we appreciate concerns about "regulatory creep", we consider that it is right that the Content Board seeks to gain a full understanding of the development of content in sectors subject only to the general law and voluntary self-regulation in order to apply meaningful and enforceable standards to licensed and regulated content. Provided that such a role remains distinct from the executive, regulatory functions of the Content Board in respect of standards on licensable content services, we support the proposed provisions for the Content Board to play a role in examining content transmitted by means of all electronic communications networks.

38. Our support for the current proposal is reinforced by indications that the Government envisages a pivotal role for the Content Board in performing OFCOM's function relating to media literacy.[66] Clause 10 proposes a role for OFCOM in developing public understanding of the nature and characteristics of material published by means of the electronic media, including technologies for controlling and regulating access to such material. Documents accompanying the draft Bill makes it clear that OFCOM will promote understanding of filtering and rating systems and technologies, in relation both to licensable and non-licensable content.[67] Some organisations expressed concern about the scope of the powers under Clause 10 for OFCOM to play a leading role in the development of technologies and to impose costs on industry accordingly.[68] However, it is noticeable that the provisions of Clause 10 and the potential for OFCOM to play an active role in this field were welcomed by three relevant self-regulatory bodies - the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services (ICSTIS), the Internet Watch Foundation and the Internet Content Rating Association.[69] Tessa Jowell saw media literacy as an important function of OFCOM, albeit one that was "not yet sufficiently developed". She also saw this as a function to be pursued by the Content Board.[70] We welcome and support the proposed function of OFCOM in relation to media literacy in Clause 10 of the draft Bill. We recommend that executive responsibility for this function be assigned to the Content Board.

(c) The Consumer Panel

39. Clause 96(1) of the draft Bill requires OFCOM to establish and maintain arrangements for consulting customers about OFCOM's functions. The remainder of that Clause and Clause 97 provide for the establishment of a Consumer Panel to advise OFCOM. The White Paper included a commitment to establish such a Panel to "ensure that consumers' concerns about service delivery and related issues are clearly articulated, not only internally within the regulatory machinery, but in public".[71] The proposals also seek to meet the requirement of Article 33 of the EC Universal Service Directive that "national regulatory authorities take account of the views of end-users, and consumers (including, in particular, disabled users) … on issues related to all end-user and consumer rights concerning publicly available electronic communications services".[72]

40. The Consumer Panel is designed in part to supersede the existing arrangements under section 54 of the Telecommunications Act 1984 for six advisory panels to represent the interests of consumers, particularly those with least power in the market, in relation to the functions of Oftel.[73] As both the location of the relevant Clauses in Chapter 1 of Part 2 of the draft Bill and the provisions of Clause 96(2) indicate, the Consumer Panel is designed principally to advise OFCOM and others on consumer issues relating to the provision of electronic communications networks and services. David Edmonds, the Director General of Telecommunications, envisaged the Consumer Panel playing an important role in this field.[74] Nevertheless, the Panel's "primary focus on service delivery", and the provisions of Clause 96(3) that propose the Panel's advice on a broader range of topics will be tendered only at OFCOM's instigation, lie at the root of a range of concerns evinced in evidence about the scope of the Panel's remit and the body's independence.[75]

41. The first concern related to the scope of the consumer interest that the Panel is entitled to represent. At present, despite its title, the Consumer Panel is to be concerned with the interests of those who are customers of a communications provider, or associated facilities.[76] This is unjustifiably narrow. Our earlier recommendation about the merits of the term "consumer" rather than "customer" and the need for a broad understanding of the former term apply particularly in the context of the remit of the Consumer Panel. We recommend that Clause 96 be amended to enable the Consumer Panel to advise on matters relating to the interests of all consumers in the marketplace, rather than the customers of particular providers.

42. The Panel is required to represent the interests of "domestic and small business customers", where a small business is defined as an undertaking in which no more than fifty people work.[77] However, Clause 97 gives no indication as to how small business interests are to be reflected in the composition of the Panel and this has led some to the view that the interests of non-domestic users might be better reflected in a separate Panel.[78] We see no case for the creation of a separate small business panel. However, it is important that the interests of small businesses, as well as those of domestic customers, are reflected in the composition of the Consumer Panel.

43. Criticism has been directed at the proposed relationship between OFCOM and the Consumer Panel. Clause 97(7) places an important duty on OFCOM to publish reasons for disagreeing with the Panel's advice or opinion. However, some organisations were critical of OFCOM's entitlement to withhold confidential information from the Consumer Panel, believing this unduly circumscribed the Panel's independence.[79] It was also suggested that the Consumer Panel ought to have an explicit power to establish committees, to ensure that a range of disabilities could be represented, for example.[80]

44. The Communications White Paper stated that the Consumer Panel "should be independently appointed to advise OFCOM".[81] A number of organisations questioned whether the system of appointment proposed in the draft Bill was sufficiently independent, since members of the Panel are to be appointed by OFCOM, although the approval of the Secretary of State will be required.[82] In comparison, for example, the national advisory bodies established under section 54 of the Telecommunications Act 1984 are appointed by the Secretary of State. It was suggested that similar arrangements be put in place for the Consumer Panel as a guarantee of its independence and credibility.[83] In a contribution to our online forum, David Harrington of the Communications Management Association suggested that the Panel should elect its own Chairman. There was matching concern that OFCOM's power to remove Panel members (albeit subject to the Secretary of State's approval) might lead to OFCOM seeking to remove any member of the "awkward brigade" who disagreed with OFCOM policy.[84] The Consumers' Association was content with the proposals for appointments, noting that comparable arrangements had been made for the Consumer Panel established under section 10 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.[85]

45. Several organisations challenged the rationale for the proposed restriction on consideration of content issues by the Consumer Panel. First, it was seen as illogical to establish a single regulator for the electronic communications sector but constrain the Consumer Panel's remit in part of that sector: content and service delivery were "inextricably linked" and a convergent regulator needed a convergent Consumer Panel.[86] Second, the restrictions were seen as undermining the Panel's independence.[87] Third, it was suggested that there was a direct consumer interest in elements of content provision: "it would be a very strange world if consumers were only interested in the means of delivery and not the quality of the goods or services which they then have given them".[88] Finally, it was argued that the Consumer Panel's independence from OFCOM placed it in a position distinct from that of the Content Board and that the Panel could undertake a consumer advocacy role in respect of content complementary to, but distinct from, the regulatory role.[89]

46. Others supported the proposed restrictions and questioned the suitability of the Consumer Panel to contribute effectively on content issues. Professors Barnett and Seaton contended that "the more inchoate area of content regulation requires a different expertise and perspective which lies outside the natural purview of consumer protection bodies".[90] Professor Vincent Porter of Voice of the Listener and Viewer also thought different ranges of expertise were required and saw a danger of "mixing chalk and cheese".[91] Public Voice similarly believed that detailed comment on the type, nature and range of content should remain the province of the Content Board.[92] Both broadcasters and existing regulators were concerned at the potential for overlap and confusion if the Consumer Panel were given an unlimited remit with respect to content.[93] The Broadcasting Standards Commission emphasised the importance of clarity in the division of labour and the ITC proposed a detailed prescription to distinguish the Content Board's role on behalf of the citizen from the Panel's role on behalf of the consumer.[94]

47. Patricia Hewitt saw it as very important that the Consumer Panel had "a strong independent voice, particularly in situations where there may be a very strong or very powerful industry and business voice in a different direction". She considered that, by making appointments subject to Ministerial approval, "we do help to guarantee that they will have the operational independence they need and a public profile of their own".[95] We welcome the Government's commitment to the role and independence of the Consumer Panel, but we do not consider that the current proposals provide sufficient safeguards for this independence. Although OFCOM itself must have consumer interests at the heart of its work, the Consumer Panel, within its defined remit, ought to be the conscience, not the creature of OFCOM. We recommend that Clause 97 be amended so that all appointments to the Panel and all removals from it are the responsibility of the Secretary of State, having regard to the advice of OFCOM. We further recommend that the Consumer Panel be able to elect its own Chairman and to determine any committees of the Panel.

48. We are conscious that in due course convergence may blur what appears today as a clear distinction between the delivery of services and their content. Nevertheless, a distinction can be drawn between the interests of viewers and listeners in standards of broadcast content (as set out in those matters which the OFCOM Board has specifically charged the Content Board to concern itself with) and other aspects of OFCOM's work including the delivery of services (including broadcast services) to consumers. We share the view expressed by Patricia Hewitt that the Consumer Panel will have a great many important issues to tackle that are directly related to the consumer interest.[96] The interests of the citizen in the nature of broadcast content should, first and foremost, be represented by the Content Board. If that Board is seen to fail in its task, there may be pressure for the Consumer Panel to examine such issues. We nevertheless support the current proposals in the draft Bill, whereby certain issues could be examined by the Consumer Panel at the instigation of OFCOM's main Board.

(d) The economic dimension

49. As Patricia Hewitt rightly observed, the process of creating OFCOM faces the challenge that broadcasters fear OFCOM may be "a bunch of philistine economic regulators", while others are concerned OFCOM may be "a group of people concerned with cultural interests who will have no knowledge or awareness of the economic importance of competition".[97] One of the purposes of establishing the Content Board appears to have been to allay the first set of concerns - namely, that the cultural dimension to the single regulator's work would be neglected in the pursuit of effective economic regulation. Some evidence suggested that the proposal for a Content Board has had an equal and opposite reaction: fear amongst those primarily concerned with networks and services and economic regulation that the functions with which they are concerned have been down-graded through the creation of a Content Board. As Stephen Carter, Chief Operating Officer of NTL, put it:

    "History would suggest that we are more confident as a nation of broadcast regulators than we are as a nation of competition regulators, and … the proposal … to create a Content Board … raises a question about whether the economic issues are going to be given due prominence and due consideration".[98]

50. NTL's preferred solution to the problem it identified was the creation of an Economic Regulation Board, organised on similar lines to the Content Board, to which economic regulation issues would be delegated.[99] made a comparable proposal for a Competition Board to exercise OFCOM's functions under the Competition Act.[100] David Edmonds was sceptical about such proposals, believing that economic regulation would be the core function of OFCOM and thus not easily delegated, a view echoed by BT.[101] We agree with those who believe that delegation of certain content functions to the Content Board will enhance the capacity of the main Board to concentrate on economic regulation.[102] In those circumstances, we see no rationale for an economic or competition board with executive functions.

51. We also heard suggestions for an industry or economic advisory panel to ensure that OFCOM is kept abreast of industry opinions and receives advice on the possible unintended consequences of regulatory action.[103] The Government's reason for not balancing the representation of domestic and small business consumers through the Consumer Panel with a formal mechanism for larger business appears to be that "industry lobbies the regulator hard in pursuit of its interests".[104] This is true, but does not amount to a transparent process. The Consumer Panel is designed to give effect to the requirements of Article 33 of the Universal Service Directive from which we have already quoted partially. But the same Directive also requires the regulator to take account of the views of manufacturers and service providers on consumer issues. OFCOM will doubtless wish to consider how best to fulfil this requirement of the Universal Service Directive. Paragraph 14 of the Schedule to the Office of Communications Act 2002 gives OFCOM a general power to establish committees. It may wish to exercise this power to establish an industry or economic advisory panel, but we do not favour a further fettering of OFCOM's internal structures by placing such a requirement on the face of the Communications Bill.

(e) Employment and training

52. Clause 11 of the draft Bill imposes a duty on OFCOM relating to the promotion of training and equal opportunities in broadcasting. Clause 224 requires OFCOM to include in broadcast licences conditions relating to the same matters. For cable and satellite broadcasters and local radio broadcasters this is a new and additional regulatory burden. The Government believes the imposition of this burden to be justified on the grounds that "broadcasting is a powerful medium and important to social cohesion, but does not currently reflect our multicultural society, either in terms of programme content or employment". The Government acknowledges progress made in promoting equal opportunities and training by voluntary initiatives, but "believes that without statutory requirements in licences, there is a risk that the progress made may not be maintained and built upon".[105]

53. The Satellite and Cable Broadcasters' Group has questioned the logic of OFCOM having additional licensing powers in the field of equal opportunities where broadcasters are already subject to the general law.[106] Others welcomed the duty, particularly Skillset.[107] BECTU and Equity considered that the term "broadcasting" in Clause 11 was unduly restrictive for the purposes of performing such duties in convergent industries.[108] The Communication Workers Union proposed that the duty under Clause 11 be extended to all those providing services regulated by OFCOM.[109] The Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) similarly saw no logical reason for networks and services subject to general authorisation to be excluded from the duty under Clause 11, or for smaller employers to be exempt from the licence requirements under Clause 224. According to the RNIB, "for the provisions in the Communications Bill to reinforce the notion that firms can discriminate below a certain threshold is nonsensical and not a message the Government should want to send out".[110] We understand that the limits set by the EC Directives on the conditions that may be imposed on providers of electronic communications networks and services prevent the extension of these powers.

54. The House of Lords Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform, in their memorandum submitted to this Committee, raise a distinct issue about the power granted to the Secretary of State in Clause 11(6), subject to negative resolution procedure, to extend the equal opportunity provisions to types of equal opportunity not covered in the Clause as it stands; Clause 224(8)(a) makes comparable provision in respect of licence conditions. The Government claims these powers would only be exercised to align communications law with new general legislation - on age or religious discrimination, for example. Like the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee, we see no good reason for such alignment not to be part and parcel of any such new discrimination legislation.[111] We would prefer to see the powers granted under Clauses 11(6) and 224(8)(a) removed; if retained, we recommend that they be subject to affirmative resolution procedure.

(f) Representation of nations and regions

55. One of the Government's aims in the draft Communications Bill is to ensure that the interests of the nations and regions of the United Kingdom "are represented in OFCOM in a more coherent and effective way" than under the existing arrangements developed by and for the different regulators.[112] One of OFCOM's general duties is to have regard to "the different interests of persons in the different parts of the United Kingdom".[113] The Government has resisted the notion that this should entail a distinct representational role for the main Board, and we support the Government's approach.[114] In the absence of such provision, a significant representational burden falls on the Content Board and on the Consumer Panel.

56. Clause 17(4) of the draft Bill requires that four members of the Content Board be appointed to represent the interests and opinions of people living in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Clause 17(5) imposes the challenging requirement that the English representative appointed for this purpose should be "able to represent the interests and opinions of persons living in all the different regions of England". The ITC stated that, in anticipation of OFCOM's role, it would develop its viewer consultative councils in the nations and regions into more representative Content Panels, able to inform the Content Board about interests particular to different parts of the United Kingdom. The ITC also saw merit in the establishment of streamlined Councils in the Nations and Regions, to be chaired by the relevant member of the Content Board, and providing a link to the devolved administrations.[115] We welcome the proposal for national and regional Councils reporting to the Content Board through the designated national members and we recommend that formal provision for their establishment be made on the face of the Bill. We further recommend that, in establishing such Councils, OFCOM be required to have regard to the views of relevant devolved institutions.

57. It is also envisaged that the Consumer Panel will have a duty to represent the interests of each part of the United Kingdom, although the provisions concerning its membership are less prescriptive than those for the Content Board.[116] There can be no doubt that distinct consumer issues will arise for Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. In Northern Ireland, for example, mobile phone users suffer particular problems as a result of the land border with another country.[117] These distinct issues have led some organisations to advocate the creation of committees for each part of the United Kingdom.[118] We have already recommended that the Consumer Panel be granted a power to establish such committees as it considers appropriate. We expect that this power will be exercised to establish consumer committees for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

58. In the last Parliament the Culture, Media and Sport Committee recommended "that there be a legislative obligation upon the new regulator to maintain a network of offices in the nations and regions of the United Kingdom".[119] Following that recommendation, "the Government has given commitments that OFCOM will be expected to establish offices in each nation".[120] Several submissions expressed concern that this commitment may not hold once the independent regulator is up and running.[121] The Scottish Advisory Committee on Telecommunications pointed to the example of the Office of Fair Trading closing its office in Scotland in the absence of a statutory safeguard. It would be unacceptable for a regulator of the crucial importance of OFCOM to fail to maintain offices in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the regions of England. In these circumstances, and notwithstanding our general view that the internal organisation of OFCOM should not be dictated by statute, we recommend that OFCOM be placed under a statutory duty to maintain offices in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

59. The Policy document accompanying the draft Bill states that "OFCOM will be expected to carry out consumer and audience monitoring research to ascertain the opinions of people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and will report regularly through specific advisory and consultative machinery to the relevant Secretaries of State".[122] Some submissions argued that there should be more formal involvement for devolved institutions such as the National Assembly for Wales and the Scottish Executive, through participation in appointments and formal reporting obligations.[123] We are conscious of the fact that Parliament has already decided that the overwhelming majority of functions for which OFCOM is responsible should not be devolved. Nevertheless, it is right that the Bill provides further assurance that specifically Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland interests will not be neglected. We recommend that OFCOM be required to include in its annual report accounts of its activities in Scotland, in Wales and in Northern Ireland.

45   Section 2 and Schedule, Office of Communications Act 2002; Explanatory Notes to the Office of Communications Act 2002, para 9. Back

46   HC Deb, 7 May 2002, col 37; Policy, para Back

47   HC (2001-02) 539-I, para 24. Back

48   Ev 308, para 6. Back

49   Ev 518, para 2.1; Ev 537, para 20; Ev 609, paras 2.1-2.2. See also letter from the Chairman of the Constitution Committee of the House of Lords to the Chairman of this Committee, Annex 6; contributions from Lara Celini (Edinburgh Media Policy Group) and Robert Beveridge (Napier and Edinburgh Universities). Back

50   Q 964. Back

51   QQ 1, 2, 37, 112. Back

52   Ev 167, para 2; Q 485. Back

53   Ev 233; Q 677. Back

54   QQ 536-537. Back

55   Ev 188, xii. Back

56   Ev 440, para 3ii; see also Ev 620. Back

57   Clause 18 (2); Q 573. Back

58   Policy, paras 4.1.1 - 4.1.5. Back

59   QQ 2, 37. Back

60   Q 958. Back

61   Ev 206, para 4.83; Q 579. Back

62   Ev 167, para 2; Q 485. Back

63   QQ 538, 579. Back

64   QQ 958, 976. Back

65   Ev 101, para 10.5.1; Ev 137; Ev 111; Ev 119; QQ 342, 343, 359. Back

66   HC Deb, 7 May 2002, col 37; Q 954. Back

67   EN, para 30; Policy, paras - Back

68   Ev 539, para 2.10; Ev 556; Ev 137. Back

69   Ev 489; QQ 388, 394 Back

70   Q 954. Back

71   Cm 5010, para 7.5.3. Back

72   Directive 2002/22/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 March 2002 on universal service and users' rights relating to electronic communications networks and services (hereafter Universal Service Directive), Article 33, paragraph 1. Back

73   Clause 21(5); EN, para 51; Ev 550, para 1; Q 108. Back

74   Q 115. Back

75   Policy, para 4.2.3; Ev 536, para 10. Back

76   Clause 96(8). Back

77   Clause 96(2) and (8). Back

78   Ev 552, para 15; Ev 574, para 14. Back

79   Ev 469-5; Ev 522. Back

80   Ev 537, paras 16-17. Back

81   Cm 5010, p 73. Back

82   Clause 97(1) and (2). Back

83   QQ 319, 809; Ev 561, para 7; Ev 537, para 14; Ev 96, para 3.2; Ev 532; Ev 522; Ev 319; Ev 552, para 12. Back

84   Clause 97(7); Ev 537, para 14. Back

85   Ev 470. Back

86   Ev 536, para 10; Ev 320; Ev 574, para 10; Q 808. Back

87   Ev 319. Back

88   Ev 468; Ev 551, para 11; Q 806. Back

89   Ev 469-470; Q 807 Back

90   Ev 440, para 3iii. Back

91   Q 803. Back

92   Ev 313, para 9.3. Back

93   QQ 40, 549, 678; Ev 233; Appendix 108. Back

94   Q 41; Ev 6. Back

95   Q 962. Back

96   Q 962. Back

97   Q 954. Back

98   Q 213. Back

99   Ev 61; Q213. Back

100   Appendix 105. Back

101   QQ 77, 312. Back

102   QQ 1, 112. Back

103   Ev 131, para 17; Ev 66; Memorandum submitted by COLT; Ev 538, para 2.6; Ev 481; QQ 217, 266, 371-372. Back

104   Cm 5010, para 7.5.3. Back

105   RIA, paras C3, C75 - C83. Back

106   Ev 540, para 6.5. Back

107   Ev 619. Back

108   Ev 328, paras 29 - 30; Q 858. Back

109   Q 858. Back

110   Ev 530, para 2.13. Back

111   Annex 6, para 5. Back

112   Policy, para Back

113   Clause 3(2)(g). Back

114   Policy, para Back

115   Ev 7; QQ 4, 5. Back

116   Clause 97(3). Back

117   Ev 537, para 15; Ev 561, para 11; Ev 523 Back

118   Ev 578, para 7; Ev 552, para 13; Ev 521, paras 6-24; Ev 537, para 15; Ev 561, para 11. Back

119   HC (2000-01) 161-I, para 34. Back

120   Policy, para Back

121   Ev 561, para 14; Ev 537, para 19; Ev 523. Back

122   Policy, para Back

123   Ev 561, para 13; Ev 537, paras 18-20; Ev 609-610, paras 2.3-2.5; contribution to online forum from Robert Beveridge. Back

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