House of Lords portcullis
House of Lords
Session 2002 - 03
Internet Publications
Other Bills before Parliament

Communications Bill


Communications Bill



Explanatory notes to the Bill, prepared by the Department of Trade and Industry and

the Department for Culture, Media and Sport are published separately as HL Bill 41—



The Baroness Blackstone has made the following statement under section 19(1)(b) of

the Human Rights Act 1998:

I am unable (but only because of clause 314) to make a statement that, in my view, the

provisions of the Communications Bill are compatible with the Convention rights.

However, the Government nevertheless wishes the House to proceed with the Bill.

HL Bill 4153/2


Communications Bill




Part 1

Functions of OFCOM

Transferred and assigned functions

      1        Functions and general powers of OFCOM

      2        Transfer of functions of pre-commencement regulators

General duties in carrying out functions

      3        General duties of OFCOM

      4        Duties for the purpose of fulfilling Community obligations

      5        Directions in respect of networks and spectrum functions

      6        Duties to review regulatory burdens

      7        Duty to carry out impact assessments

      8        Duty to publish and meet promptness standards

      9        Secretary of State’s powers in relation to promptness standards

Media literacy

      10        Duty to promote media literacy

OFCOM’s Content Board

      11        Duty to establish and maintain Content Board

      12        Functions of the Content Board

Functions for the protection of consumers

      13        Consumer research

      14        Duty to publish and take account of research

      15        Consumer consultation

      16        Membership etc. of the Consumer Panel

      17        Committees and other procedure of the Consumer Panel

      18        Power to amend remit of Consumer Panel

HL Bill 4153/2

Communications Bill



International matters

      19        Representation on international and other bodies

      20        Directions for international purposes in respect of broadcasting functions

General information functions

      21        Provision of information to the Secretary of State

      22        Community requirement to provide information

      23        Publication of information and advice for consumers etc.

Employment in broadcasting

      24        Training and equality of opportunity


      25        General power to charge for services


      26        Secretary of State guarantees for OFCOM borrowing

Provisions supplemental to transfer of functions

      27        Transfers of property etc. from pre-commencement regulators

      28        Transitional functions and abolition of pre-commencement regulators

Part 2

Networks, services and the radio spectrum

Chapter 1

Electronic communications networks and services


      29        Meaning of electronic communications networks and services

Notification by providers

      30        Advance notification to OFCOM

      31        Designations and requirements for the purposes of s. 30

      32        Notification of contraventions of s. 30

      33        Enforcement notification for contravention of s. 30

      34        Penalties for contravention of s. 30

Administrative charges imposed on providers

      35        Fixing of charges

      36        Supplemental provision about fixing charges

      37        Notification of non-payment of charges

      38        Penalties for non-payment of charges

      39        Suspending service provision for non-payment


Communications Bill



      40        Enforcement of directions under s. 39

Register of providers required to notify or to pay charges

      41        Duty of OFCOM to keep publicly accessible register

Conditions of entitlement to provide network or service etc.

      42        Power of OFCOM to set conditions

      43        Persons to whom conditions may apply

      44        Tests for setting or modifying conditions

      45        Procedure for setting, modifying and revoking conditions

      46        Directions and approvals for the purposes of a s. 42 condition

      47        Delivery of copies of notifications etc.

General conditions: subject matter

      48        Matters to which general conditions may relate

General conditions: customer interests

      49        Conditions relating to customer interests

      50        Approval of codes of practice for the purposes of s. 49

      51        Approval of dispute procedures for the purposes of s. 49

      52        Orders by OFCOM in the absence of conditions under s. 49

General conditions: telephone numbers

      53        The National Telephone Numbering Plan

      54        Conditions to secure access to telephone numbers

      55        Conditions about allocation and adoption of numbers

      56        Telephone numbering conditions binding non-providers

      57        Modification of documents referred to in numbering conditions

      58        Withdrawal of telephone number allocations

      59        Numbering reorganisations

      60        General duty as to telephone numbering functions

General conditions: must-carry obligations

      61        Must-carry obligations

Universal service conditions

      62        Obligations to be secured by universal service conditions

      63        Designation of universal service providers

      64        Subject-matter of universal service conditions

      65        Tariffs etc. for universal services

      66        Directories and directory enquiry facilities

      67        Review of compliance costs

      68        Sharing of burden of universal service obligations

      69        Report on sharing mechanism


Communications Bill



Access-related conditions

      70        Permitted subject-matter of access-related conditions

      71        Specific types of access-related conditions

      72        Conditional access systems and access to digital services

      73        Modification and revocation of conditions imposed under s. 72

Privileged supplier conditions

      74        Imposition of privileged supplier conditions

SMP conditions: procedure

      75        Circumstances required for the setting of SMP conditions

      76        Market power determinations

      77        Proposals for identifying markets and for market power determinations

      78        Delivery of copies of notifications under ss. 76 and 77

      79        European Commission’s powers in respect of proposals

      80        Special rules for transnational markets

      81        Review of services market identifications and determinations

      82        Review of apparatus market identifications and determinations

      83        Cases where review required

SMP services conditions: subject matter

      84        Conditions about network access etc.

      85        Conditions about network access pricing etc.

      86        Conditions about network access in exceptional cases

      87        Conditions about carrier selection and pre-selection

      88        Conditions about regulation of services etc. for end-users

      89        Conditions about leased lines

SMP apparatus conditions: subject matter

      90        Conditions about apparatus supply

Enforcement of conditions

      91        Notification of contravention of condition

      92        Enforcement notification for contravention of conditions

      93        Penalties for contravention of conditions

      94        Amount of penalty under s. 93

      95        Power to deal with urgent cases

      96        Confirmation of directions under s. 95

      97        Suspending service provision for contraventions of conditions

      98        Suspending apparatus supply for contraventions of conditions

      99        Procedure for directions under ss. 97 and 98

      100        Enforcement of directions under ss. 95, 97 and 98

      101        Civil liability for breach of conditions or enforcement notification

OFCOM’s duty to intervene on network access issues

      102        Consideration and determination of network access questions


Communications Bill



Electronic communications code

      103        Application of the electronic communications code

      104        Procedure for directions applying code

      105        Register of persons in whose case code applies

      106        Restrictions and conditions subject to which code applies

      107        Enforcement of restrictions and conditions

      108        Enforcement notification for contravention of code restrictions

      109        Penalties for contravention of code restrictions

      110        Suspension of application of code

      111        Procedure for directions under s. 110

      112        Modification and revocation of application of code

      113        Notification of cessation by person to whom code applies

      114        Transitional schemes on cessation of application of code

      115        Compulsory acquisition of land etc.

      116        Power to give assistance in relation to certain proceedings

Regulation of premium rate services

      117        Conditions regulating premium rate services

      118        Approval of code for premium rate services

      119        Orders by OFCOM in the absence of a code under s. 118

      120        Enforcement of s. 117 conditions

      121        Suspending service provision for contraventions of s. 117 conditions

Offences relating to networks and services

      122        Dishonestly obtaining electronic communications services

      123        Possession or supply of apparatus etc. for contravening s. 122

      124        Improper use of public electronic communications network

Persistent misuse of network or service

      125        Notification of misuse of networks and services

      126        Enforcement notifications for stopping persistent misuse

      127        Penalties for persistent misuse

      128        Statement of policy on persistent misuse

Powers to deal with emergencies

      129        Powers to require suspension or restriction of a provider’s entitlement

      130        Enforcement of directions under s. 129

Restrictions in leases and licences

      131        Restrictions in leases and licences

Information provisions

      132        Information required for purposes of Chapter 1 functions

      133        Information required for related purposes

      134        Restriction on imposing information requirements

      135        Notification of contravention of information requirements

      136        Penalties for contravention of information requirement

      137        Suspending service provision for information contraventions


Communications Bill



      138        Suspending apparatus supply for information contraventions

      139        Procedure for directions under ss. 137 and 138

      140        Enforcement of directions under ss. 137 and 138

      141        Offences in connection with information requirements

      142        Statement of policy on information gathering

      143        Provision of information by OFCOM

Abolition of telecommunications licensing etc.

      144        Repeal of provisions of Telecommunications Act 1984

Local authority powers in relation to networks and services

      145        Powers of local authorities in connection with networks

Grants for networks and services in Northern Ireland

      146        Grants by Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment

      147        Grants by district councils

Interpretation of Chapter 1

      148        Interpretation of Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Spectrum use

General functions relating to spectrum use

      149        General functions of OFCOM in relation to radio spectrum

      150        United Kingdom Plan for Frequency Authorisation

      151        Duties of OFCOM when carrying out spectrum functions

      152        Advisory service in relation to interference

      153        Directions with respect to the radio spectrum

      154        Procedure for directions under s. 153

Reservation of spectrum for multiplex use

      155        Special duty in relation to television multiplexes

Recognised spectrum access

      156        Grant of recognised spectrum access

      157        Effect of grant of recognised spectrum access

      158        Charges in respect of grants of recognised spectrum access

      159        Conversion into and from wireless telegraphy licences

Crown use of the radio spectrum

      160        Payments for use of radio spectrum by the Crown


contents continue
House of Lords home page Houses of Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries

© Parliamentary copyright 2003
Revised 7 March 2003