by the Department of Trade and Industry
1998 (S.I. 1998/3170)
The Committee considered the
above instrument at its meeting on 26 January and requested the
submission of a further memorandum on three points
(1) Regulation 2(2) provides
that expressions used in both the Regulations and in the Directive
(O.J. No. L24, 30.1.98, p. 1) shall have the same meaning in the
Regulations as they have in the Directive "except where the
context otherwise requires". An explanation of the significance
of that exception was sought.
The Directive contains a number
of provisions which contain references to "lines"; see
articles 3.2, 8 and 9(b). It seems clear that the expression "line"
is intended to mean any link over which a call is transmitted,
whether or not that link is a line within the natural meaning
of that expression. The definition of "public telecommunications
network" in article 2 is in terms of the conveyance of signals
"by wire, by radio, by optical or by other electromagnetic
means" and article 3.1 contains a reference to mobile networks
which necessarily rely upon radio links. Only the conveyance of
signals by wire, or, probably, by fibre-optic cable, would appear
to be conveyance by line within its natural meaning. And "line"
is defined in terms reflecting its natural meaning in paragraph
1(1) of Schedule 2 to the Telecommunications Act 1984 (c. 12).
It was considered helpful to make explicit that "line"
in the Regulations has the wider meaning and includes any relevant
link and, accordingly, express provision is made in regulation
2(3) to the effect that a reference to a line includes a reference
to anything which functionally corresponds to a line. Regulation
2(3) demonstrates the need for the words "except where the
context otherwise requires" in regulation 2 (2) since "line"
in paragraph (3) has its natural meaning.
(2) Regulation 4(1) states
that a consent or notification is, so long as it remains in force,
to "have effect according to its tenor". An explanation
of the purpose and effect of, and the necessity for, that provision
The words in regulation 4(1)
"so long as it remains in force, shall have effect according
to its tenor" should be read together. If those words had
been omitted it is submitted that it would be arguable for example,
that a notification given for the purposes of regulation 6(2),
regulation 7(3) or (4)(a) or regulation 9(3) or (4)(a), once given,
remained effective for all time. The purpose of the words referred
to above is to make it clear, beyond argument, that a notification
only has effect so long as it has not ceased to be in force by
being withdrawn or otherwise.
(3) The effect of the
amendment to section 1(6) of the Telecommunications Act 1984 made
by paragraph 1 of the Schedule 1 to the Regulations is that the
Director General of Telecommunications' expenses in consequence
of the Regulations will fall to be paid out of money provided
by Parliament. It was asked whether those expenses would be significant
The outgoings of the Director
in consequence of regulations 7 and 9 are likely to be of significant
amounts. But they should be more or less completely offset by
receipts of fees, in view of the provisions of regulations 7(5)
and 9(5). Any net expenses in consequence of regulations 7 and
9 should therefore not be significant. The only other provisions
of the Regulations which could give rise to expenditure by the
Director are regulations 14 and 15. The Director's staff are of
the opinion that, in the first year, that expenditure is unlikely
to exceed £5,000 and in all probability will be considerably
1st February 1999