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Communications Bill


Communications Bill
Part 2 — Networks, services and the radio spectrum
Chapter 1 — Electronic communications networks and services

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                    “number” includes data of any description.

 54    Conditions to secure access to telephone numbers

     (1)    General conditions may impose such requirements as OFCOM consider

appropriate for securing that every end-user of a public electronic

communications service is able, by means of that service—

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           (a)           to make calls or otherwise transmit electronic communications to every

normal telephone number; and

           (b)           to receive every call or other electronic communication that is made or

transmitted to him using such a service from apparatus identified by a

normal telephone number.

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     (2)    A normal telephone number is one which—

           (a)           has been made available, in accordance with the National Telephone

Numbering Plan, as a number to be used for the purpose of identifying

the destination for, or the recipient of, electronic communications; and

           (b)           is for the time being—

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                  (i)                 a number adopted by a communications provider to be used for

such a purpose; or

                  (ii)                a number in use for such a purpose by a person other than a

communications provider to whom it has been allocated in

accordance with conditions under section 56.

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     (3)    In this section “electronic communication” has the same meaning as in section

53.

 55    Conditions about allocation and adoption of numbers

     (1)    General conditions may include conditions which—

           (a)           prohibit the adoption of telephone numbers by a communications

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provider except in cases where the numbers have been allocated by

OFCOM to a person;

           (b)           regulate the use by a communications provider, for the purpose of

providing an electronic communications network or electronic

communications service, of telephone numbers not allocated to that

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provider;

           (c)           impose restrictions on the adoption of telephone numbers by a

communications provider, and on other practices by communications

providers in relation to telephone numbers allocated to them;

           (d)           impose requirements on a communications provider in connection

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with the adoption by him of telephone numbers;

           (e)           require an allocation of particular telephone numbers to be transferred

from one communications provider to another in the circumstances

provided for in the conditions;

           (f)           impose such requirements and restrictions on a communications

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provider from whom an allocation is required to be transferred as may

be provided for, in relation to the transfer, in the conditions;

           (g)           require payments of such amounts as may be determined by OFCOM

to be made to them by a person in respect of the allocation to him of

telephone numbers;

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Communications Bill
Part 2 — Networks, services and the radio spectrum
Chapter 1 — Electronic communications networks and services

    56

 

           (h)           require payments of such amounts as may be determined by OFCOM

to be made to them by a person in respect of transfers of allocations

from one person to another; and

           (i)           require communications providers to secure compliance with such

rules relating to the use of telephone numbers by their customers as

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OFCOM may set out in general conditions or determine in accordance

with provision made by the general conditions.

     (2)    General conditions may also—

           (a)           provide for the procedure to be followed on the making of applications

to OFCOM for the allocation of telephone numbers;

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           (b)           provide for the information that must accompany such applications

and for the handling of such applications;

           (c)           provide a procedure for telephone numbers to be reserved pending the

making and disposal of an application for their allocation;

           (d)           provide for the procedure to be followed on the making of applications

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for telephone numbers to be reserved, and for the handling of such

applications;

           (e)           regulate the procedures to be followed, the system to be applied and

the charges to be imposed for the purposes of, or in connection with, the

adoption by a communications provider of telephone numbers

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allocated to that provider;

           (f)           regulate the procedures to be followed, the system to be applied and

the charges to be imposed for the purposes of, or in connection with, the

transfer of an allocation from one person to another.

     (3)    The conditions that may be set under subsection (1)(d) include conditions

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imposing requirements with respect to the provision of information for

purposes connected with—

           (a)           the compilation of directories; and

           (b)           the provision of directory enquiry facilities.

     (4)    The procedure to be followed on the making of an application for the allocation

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of numbers that are available for allocation in accordance with the National

Telephone Numbering Plan must require OFCOM’s determination of the

application to be made—

           (a)           in the case of an application made in response to an invitation in

accordance with subsection (5), before the end of six weeks after the day

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on which the application is received; and

           (b)           in any other case, before the end of three weeks after that day.

     (5)    Where OFCOM are proposing to allocate any telephone numbers, they may—

           (a)           invite persons to indicate the payments each would be willing to make

to OFCOM if allocated the numbers; and

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           (b)           make the allocation according to the amounts indicated.

     (6)    General conditions providing for payments to be made to OFCOM in respect

of anything mentioned in subsection (1)(g) or (h)—

           (a)           must set out the principles according to which the amounts of the

payments are to be determined;

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           (b)           may provide for the payments to consist of a lump sum in respect of a

particular allocation or transfer or of sums payable periodically while

an allocation remains in force, or of both;

           (c)           may provide for the amounts to be determined by reference to—

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 2 — Networks, services and the radio spectrum
Chapter 1 — Electronic communications networks and services

    57

 

                  (i)                 any indication according to which the allocation has been made

as mentioned in subsection (5); or

                  (ii)                any other factors (including the costs incurred by OFCOM in

connection with the carrying out of their functions by virtue of

section 53 and this section) as OFCOM think fit.

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     (7)    General conditions may—

           (a)           make modifications from time to time of, or of the method of

determining, the amounts of periodic payments falling to be made by

virtue of conditions containing provision authorised by this section;

and

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           (b)           make different provision in relation to different descriptions of

communications provider and different descriptions of telephone

number.

     (8)    Nothing in subsection (7) authorises the modification, after it has been fixed, of

the amount of a periodic payment fixed in accordance with arrangements

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made in relation to numbers allocated as mentioned in subsection (5)(b).

     (9)    Payments that are required to be made to OFCOM in respect of anything

mentioned in subsection (1)(g) or (h)—

           (a)           must be paid to them as soon as they become due in accordance with

the conditions imposing the obligation to pay; and

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           (b)           if not so paid, are to be recoverable by them accordingly.

 56    Telephone numbering conditions binding non-providers

     (1)    OFCOM may set conditions under this section that apply to persons other than

communications providers and relate to—

           (a)           the allocation of telephone numbers to such persons;

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           (b)           the transfer of allocations to and from such persons; and

           (c)           the use of telephone numbers by such persons.

     (2)    The conditions that may be set under this section include conditions imposing

obligations corresponding to any of the obligations that may be imposed on

communications providers by general conditions making provision for, or in

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connection with—

           (a)            the allocation of telephone numbers;

           (b)            the transfer of allocations; or

           (c)           the use of telephone numbers.

     (3)    Subsection (10) of section 42 applies to OFCOM’s power to set a condition

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under this section as it applies to their power to set a condition under that

section.

     (4)    Sections 44 to 46 apply in relation to—

           (a)           the setting of conditions under this section and the modification and

revocation of such conditions; and

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           (b)           the giving, modification or withdrawal of any direction, approval or

consent for the purposes of a condition under this section,

            as they apply in the case of general conditions and in the case of directions,

approvals and consents given for the purposes of general conditions.

     (5)    It shall be the duty of a person who—

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           (a)           is not a communications provider, but

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 2 — Networks, services and the radio spectrum
Chapter 1 — Electronic communications networks and services

    58

 

           (b)           applies for the allocation of a telephone number, or is allocated such a

number,

            to comply with any conditions set under this section.

     (6)    That duty shall be enforceable in civil proceedings by OFCOM—

           (a)           for an injunction;

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           (b)           for specific performance of a statutory duty under section 45 of the

Court of Session Act 1988 (c. 36); or

           (c)           for any other appropriate remedy or relief.

     (7)    Subsection (6) does not apply in the case of a person against whom the

obligations contained in the condition in question are enforceable (by virtue of

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his having become a communications provider) as obligations imposed by

general conditions.

 57    Modification of documents referred to in numbering conditions

     (1)    This section applies where numbering conditions for the time being have effect

by reference to provisions, as they have effect from time to time, of—

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           (a)           the National Telephone Numbering Plan; or

           (b)           another document published by OFCOM.

     (2)    OFCOM must not revise or otherwise modify the relevant provisions unless

they are satisfied that the revision or modification is—

           (a)           objectively justifiable in relation to the matters to which it relates;

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           (b)           not such as to discriminate unduly against particular persons or against

a particular description of persons;

           (c)           proportionate to what the modification is intended to achieve; and

           (d)           in relation to what it is intended to achieve, transparent.

     (3)    Before revising or otherwise modifying the relevant provisions, OFCOM must

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publish a notification—

           (a)           stating that they are proposing to do so;

           (b)           specifying the Plan or other document that they are proposing to revise

or modify;

           (c)           setting out the effect of their proposed revisions or modifications;

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           (d)           giving their reasons for making the proposal; and

           (e)           specifying the period within which representations may be made to

OFCOM about their proposal.

     (4)    That period must be one ending not less than one month after the day of the

publication of the notification.

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     (5)    OFCOM may give effect, with or without modifications, to a proposal with

respect to which they have published a notification under subsection (3) only

if—

           (a)           they have considered every representation about the proposal that is

made to them within the period specified in the notification; and

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           (b)           they have had regard to every international obligation of the United

Kingdom (if any) which has been notified to them for the purposes of

this paragraph by the Secretary of State.

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 2 — Networks, services and the radio spectrum
Chapter 1 — Electronic communications networks and services

    59

 

     (6)    The publication of a notification under this section must be in such manner as

appears to OFCOM to be appropriate for bringing the contents of the

notification to the attention of such persons as OFCOM consider appropriate.

     (7)    In this section—

                    “numbering conditions” means—

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                  (a)                 general conditions the making of which is authorised by section

54 or 55;

                  (b)                 conditions set under section 56;

                    “the relevant provisions”, in relation to the Plan or document, means the

provisions of the Plan or document by reference to which (as they have

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effect from time to time) the numbering conditions in question have

effect.

 58    Withdrawal of telephone number allocations

     (1)    Where OFCOM have allocated telephone numbers for the purposes of any

numbering conditions, they may withdraw that allocation if, and only if, the

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case is one in which the withdrawal of an allocation is authorised by this

section.

     (2)    The withdrawal of an allocation is authorised (subject to section 59) if—

           (a)           consent to the withdrawal is given by the person to whom the numbers

are for the time being allocated;

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           (b)           the withdrawal is made for the purposes of a transfer of the allocation

required by numbering conditions;

           (c)           the withdrawal is made for the purposes of a numbering reorganisation

applicable to a particular series of telephone numbers;

           (d)           the withdrawal is made in circumstances specified in the numbering

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conditions and for the purpose of securing that what appears to

OFCOM to be the best and most efficient use is made of the numbers

and other data that are appropriate for use as telephone numbers;

           (e)           the allocated numbers are numbers that have not been adopted during

such period after their allocation as may be specified in the numbering

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conditions; or

           (f)           the allocated numbers are comprised in a series of numbers which have

not to a significant extent been adopted or used during such period as

may be so specified.

     (3)    The withdrawal of an allocation is also authorised where—

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           (a)           there have been serious and repeated contraventions, by the person to

whom the allocation is for the time being allocated, of the numbering

conditions; and

           (b)           it appears to OFCOM that the taking of other steps in respect of the

contraventions is likely to prove ineffective for securing future

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compliance.

     (4)    The withdrawal of an allocation is also authorised where—

           (a)           the person to whom the allocation is for the time being allocated is not

a communications provider; and

           (b)           it appears to OFCOM that contraventions by that person of numbering

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conditions makes the withdrawal of the allocation appropriate.

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 2 — Networks, services and the radio spectrum
Chapter 1 — Electronic communications networks and services

    60

 

     (5)    OFCOM’s power to set conditions specifying circumstances for the purposes

of subsection (2)(d), and their power to withdraw an allocation in the specified

circumstances, are each exercisable only in a manner that does not discriminate

unduly—

           (a)           against particular communications providers;

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           (b)           against particular users of the allocated numbers; or

           (c)           against a particular description of such providers or users;

            and the purposes for which those powers may be exercised do not include the

carrying out of a numbering reorganisation of the sort mentioned in subsection

(2)(c).

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     (6)    Where OFCOM are proposing to withdraw an allocation in exercise of the

power conferred by virtue of subsection (2)(e) or (f), they must—

           (a)           give a notification of their proposal;

           (b)           consider any representations made to them about the proposal within

the period of one month following the day on which the notification is

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given; and

           (c)           ensure that the withdrawal (if OFCOM decide to proceed with it after

considering those representations) does not take effect until the end of

the three months beginning with the end of the period mentioned in

paragraph (b).

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     (7)    A notification for the purposes of subsection (6) must be given in such manner

as OFCOM consider appropriate for bringing it to the attention of—

           (a)           the person to whom the numbers to which the proposed withdrawal

relates are for the time being allocated;

           (b)           every person appearing to OFCOM to be a person to whom

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communications are or may be transmitted using one of those numbers

for identifying the destination or route;

           (c)           every person who uses one or more of those numbers for obtaining

access to services or for communication; and

           (d)           every other person who, in OFCOM’s opinion, is likely to be affected

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by the proposal.

     (8)    For the purposes of this section there are repeated contraventions by a person

of numbering conditions to the extent that—

           (a)           in the case of a previous notification given to that person under section

91, OFCOM have determined for the purposes of section 92(2) or 93(2)

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that a contravention of a numbering condition did occur; and

           (b)           in the period of twelve months following the day of the making of that

determination, one or more further notifications have been given to

that person in respect of contraventions of numbering conditions;

            and for the purposes of this subsection it shall be immaterial whether the

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notifications related to the same contravention or to different contraventions of

the same or different conditions.

     (9)    In this section “numbering conditions” means—

           (a)           general conditions the making of which is authorised by section 55; or

           (b)           conditions set under section 56.

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