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Session 2002 - 03
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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—EN.


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 8853/2


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

Accessible domestic communications apparatus

      10        Duty to encourage availability of easily usable apparatus

Media literacy

      11        Duty to promote media literacy

OFCOM’s Content Board

      12        Duty to establish and maintain Content Board

      13        Functions of the Content Board

Functions for the protection of consumers

      14        Consumer research

      15        Duty to publish and take account of research

      16        Consumer consultation

      17        Membership etc. of the Consumer Panel

HL Bill 8853/2

Communications Bill



      18        Committees and other procedure of the Consumer Panel

      19        Power to amend remit of Consumer Panel

International matters

      20        Representation on international and other bodies

      21        Directions for international purposes in respect of broadcasting functions

General information functions

      22        Provision of information to the Secretary of State

      23        Community requirement to provide information

      24        Publication of information and advice for consumers etc.

Employment in broadcasting

      25        Training and equality of opportunity


      26        General power to charge for services


      27        Secretary of State guarantees for OFCOM borrowing

Provisions supplemental to transfer of functions

      28        Transfers of property etc. from pre-commencement regulators

      29        Transitional functions and abolition of pre-commencement regulators

Part 2

Networks, services and the radio spectrum

Chapter 1

Electronic communications networks and services


      30        Meaning of electronic communications networks and services

Notification by providers

      31        Advance notification to OFCOM

      32        Designations and requirements for the purposes of s. 31

      33        Notification of contraventions of s. 31

      34        Enforcement notification for contravention of s. 31

      35        Penalties for contravention of s. 31

Administrative charges imposed on providers

      36        Fixing of charges


Communications Bill



      37        Supplemental provision about fixing charges

      38        Notification of non-payment of charges

      39        Penalties for non-payment of charges

      40        Suspending service provision for non-payment

      41        Enforcement of directions under s. 40

Register of providers required to notify or to pay charges

      42        Duty of OFCOM to keep publicly accessible register

Conditions of entitlement to provide network or service etc.

      43        Power of OFCOM to set conditions

      44        Persons to whom conditions may apply

      45        Test for setting or modifying conditions

      46        Procedure for setting, modifying and revoking conditions

      47        Directions and approvals for the purposes of a s. 43 condition

      48        Delivery of copies of notifications etc.

General conditions: subject-matter

      49        Matters to which general conditions may relate

General conditions: customer interests

      50        Conditions relating to customer interests

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

      52        Approval of dispute procedures for the purposes of s. 50

      53        Orders by OFCOM in the absence of conditions under s. 50

General conditions: telephone numbers

      54        The National Telephone Numbering Plan

      55        Conditions to secure access to telephone numbers

      56        Conditions about allocation and adoption of numbers

      57        Telephone numbering conditions binding non-providers

      58        Modification of documents referred to in numbering conditions

      59        Withdrawal of telephone number allocations

      60        Numbering reorganisations

      61        General duty as to telephone numbering functions

General conditions: must-carry obligations

      62        Must-carry obligations

Universal service conditions

      63        Obligations to be secured by universal service conditions

      64        Designation of universal service providers

      65        Subject-matter of universal service conditions

      66        Tariffs etc. for universal services

      67        Directories and directory enquiry facilities

      68        Review of compliance costs

      69        Sharing of burden of universal service obligations


Communications Bill



      70        Report on sharing mechanism

Access-related conditions

      71        Permitted subject-matter of access-related conditions

      72        Specific types of access-related conditions

      73        Conditional access systems and access to digital services

      74        Modification and revocation of conditions imposed under s. 73

Privileged supplier conditions

      75        Imposition of privileged supplier conditions

SMP conditions: procedure

      76        Circumstances required for the setting of SMP conditions

      77        Market power determinations

      78        Proposals for identifying markets and for market power determinations

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

      80        European Commission’s powers in respect of proposals

      81        Special rules for transnational markets

      82        Review of services market identifications and determinations

      83        Review of apparatus market identifications and determinations

      84        Cases where review required

SMP services conditions: subject-matter

      85        Conditions about network access etc.

      86        Conditions about network access pricing etc.

      87        Conditions about network access in exceptional cases

      88        Conditions about carrier selection and pre-selection

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

      90        Conditions about leased lines

SMP apparatus conditions: subject-matter

      91        Conditions about apparatus supply

Enforcement of conditions

      92        Notification of contravention of conditions

      93        Enforcement notification for contravention of conditions

      94        Penalties for contravention of conditions

      95        Amount of penalty under s. 94

      96        Power to deal with urgent cases

      97        Confirmation of directions under s. 96

      98        Suspending service provision for contraventions of conditions

      99        Suspending apparatus supply for contraventions of conditions

      100        Procedure for directions under ss. 98 and 99

      101        Enforcement of directions under ss. 96, 98 and 99

      102        Civil liability for breach of conditions or enforcement notification


Communications Bill



OFCOM’s duty to intervene on network access issues

      103        Consideration and determination of network access questions

Electronic communications code

      104        Application of the electronic communications code

      105        Procedure for directions applying code

      106        Register of persons in whose case code applies

      107        Restrictions and conditions subject to which code applies

      108        Enforcement of restrictions and conditions

      109        Enforcement notification for contravention of code restrictions

      110        Penalties for contravention of code restrictions

      111        Suspension of application of code

      112        Procedure for directions under s. 111

      113        Modification and revocation of application of code

      114        Notification of cessation by person to whom code applies

      115        Transitional schemes on cessation of application of code

      116        Compulsory acquisition of land etc.

      117        Power to give assistance in relation to certain proceedings

Regulation of premium rate services

      118        Conditions regulating premium rate services

      119        Approval of code for premium rate services

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

      121        Enforcement of s. 118 conditions

      122        Suspending service provision for contraventions of s. 118 conditions

Offences relating to networks and services

      123        Dishonestly obtaining electronic communications services

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

      125        Improper use of public electronic communications network

Persistent misuse of network or service

      126        Notification of misuse of networks and services

      127        Enforcement notifications for stopping persistent misuse

      128        Penalties for persistent misuse

      129        Statement of policy on persistent misuse

Powers to deal with emergencies

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

      131        Enforcement of directions under s. 130

Restrictions in leases and licences

      132        Restrictions in leases and licences

Information provisions

      133        Information required for purposes of Chapter 1 functions

      134        Information required for related purposes


Communications Bill



      135        Restrictions on imposing information requirements

      136        Notification of contravention of information requirements

      137        Penalties for contravention of information requirements

      138        Suspending service provision for information contraventions

      139        Suspending apparatus supply for information contraventions

      140        Procedure for directions under ss. 138 and 139

      141        Enforcement of directions under ss. 138 and 139

      142        Offences in connection with information requirements

      143        Statement of policy on information gathering

      144        Provision of information by OFCOM

Abolition of telecommunications licensing etc.

      145        Repeal of provisions of Telecommunications Act 1984

Local authority powers in relation to networks and services

      146        Powers of local authorities in connection with networks

Grants for networks and services in Northern Ireland

      147        Grants by Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment

      148        Grants by district councils

Interpretation of Chapter 1

      149        Interpretation of Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Spectrum use

General functions relating to spectrum use

      150        General functions of OFCOM in relation to radio spectrum

      151        United Kingdom Plan for Frequency Authorisation

      152        Duties of OFCOM when carrying out spectrum functions

      153        Advisory service in relation to interference

      154        Directions with respect to the radio spectrum

      155        Procedure for directions under s. 154

Reservation of spectrum for multiplex use

      156        Special duty in relation to television multiplexes

Recognised spectrum access

      157        Grant of recognised spectrum access

      158        Effect of grant of recognised spectrum access

      159        Charges in respect of grants of recognised spectrum access

      160        Conversion into and from wireless telegraphy licences


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