actions/documents under the New Regime:
The Public Register of Telecommunications Licences
details of communication companies - These details are now out of date and can be obtained from the Ofcom website.
the Licensing Regime.
On 25 July 2003
the UK implemented a new EU framework for the regulation of electronic
communications networks and service providers.
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.
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Act 1984 have been repealed.
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.
regime has now been replaced by a general authorisation regime with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).
general conditions can be viewed here
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.
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.
Actions under the New Regime
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: