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  Industry Information
 

Bullet

Numbering
Bullet New EC regulatory framework
Bullet General authorisation regime
Bullet Network & interconnection
Bullet International information
Bullet Broadcasting & convergence
Bullet Customer interfaces
 
   
 
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The general authorisation regime Layout image
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Background information:

Administrative Charging

Regulatory actions/documents under the New Regime:

The Public Register of Telecommunications Licences

Contact details of communication companies - These details are now out of date and can be obtained from the Ofcom website.


Background information:

End of the Licensing Regime.

On 25 July 2003 the UK implemented a new EU framework for the regulation of electronic communications networks and service providers.

The framework sets out a harmonised and technology neutral regime for the regulation of communications companies across the EU, which will provide industry with greater certainty and a transparent more uniform approach across the member states. The regime is based on five EU Directives that cover interconnection and access, data protection, universal service, authorisation of electronic communications networks and services and a common regulatory framework.

The requirements of four of the Directives have been taken forward in the Communications Act 2003, and following the enactment of the Communications Act and the change in regulatory regime certain parts of the Telecommunications Act 1984 have been repealed.

The General Authorisation Regime

For communications networks and service providers the most significant operational change is the ending of the licensing regime and the withdrawal and revocation of Telecommunication Act licences.

Prior to the 25 July any company operating in the UK had to do so under the appropriate telecommunications licence. The process required most companies to apply to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for a licence before being able to operate and supply services to consumers.

The licensing regime has now been replaced by a general authorisation regime with the General Conditions of entitlement (that is, conditions which apply to all) and specific conditions (that is, conditions which apply to individuals).

The general conditions can be viewed here

The General Conditions

The difference between the Licensing Regime and the Authorisation regime is that all communications providers will only need to look to one set of general conditions to ensure they are complying with the law.

There will not be different ‘licences’ containing different conditions any longer. This also means that communications providers are responsible for ascertaining which of the general conditions applies to them and their operations – they will not be issued with a personal licence, which sets out their obligations.

The obligations themselves are similar to those contained in current licences, although they have been redrafted in line with the new EC Communications Directives and the Communications Act.

Regulatory Actions under the New Regime

Oftel has had to revise or issue new guidelines and Directions in line with the new regime. If you are considering providing electronic communication services or network facilities in the UK you may wish to refer to documents in our publications section which specifically relate to the new regime, with the following being particularly useful:

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