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Session 2002 - 03
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Communications Bill


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

    131

 

 139   Procedure for directions under ss. 137 and 138

     (1)    Except in an urgent case, OFCOM are not to give a direction under section 137

or 138 unless they have—

           (a)           notified the contravening provider or contravening supplier of the

proposed direction and of the conditions (if any) which they are

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proposing to impose by that direction;

           (b)           provided him with an opportunity of making representations about the

proposals and of proposing steps for remedying the situation; and

           (c)           considered every representation and proposal made to them during the

period allowed by them for the contravening provider or the

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contravening supplier to take advantage of that opportunity.

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

giving of the notification.

     (3)    As soon as practicable after giving a direction under section 137 or 138 in an

urgent case, OFCOM must provide the contravening provider or contravening

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supplier with an opportunity of—

           (a)           making representations about the effect of the direction and of any of

its conditions; and

           (b)           proposing steps for remedying the situation.

     (4)    A case is an urgent case for the purposes of this section if OFCOM—

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           (a)           consider that it would be inappropriate, because the contraventions in

question fall within subsection (5), to allow time, before giving a

direction under section 137 or 138, for the making and consideration of

representations; and

           (b)           decide for that reason to act in accordance with subsection (3), instead

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of subsection (1).

     (5)    The contraventions fall within this subsection if they have resulted in, or create

an immediate risk of—

           (a)           a serious threat to the safety of the public, to public health or to national

security;

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           (b)           serious economic or operational problems for persons (apart from the

contravening provider or contravening supplier) who are

communications providers or persons who make associated facilities

available; or

           (c)           serious economic or operational problems for persons who make use of

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electronic communications networks, electronic communications

services or associated facilities.

     (6)    In this section—

                    “contravening provider” has the same meaning as in section 137; and

                     “contravening supplier” has the same meaning as in section 138.

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 140   Enforcement of directions under ss. 137 and 138

     (1)    A person is guilty of an offence if he provides an electronic communications

network or electronic communications service, or makes available any

associated facility—

           (a)           while his entitlement to do so is suspended by a direction under section

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137; or

           (b)           in contravention of a restriction contained in such a direction.

 

 

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

    132

 

     (2)    A person is guilty of an offence if he supplies electronic communications

apparatus—

           (a)           while prohibited from doing so by a direction under section 138; or

           (b)           in contravention of a restriction contained in such a direction.

     (3)    A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—

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           (a)           on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory

maximum;

           (b)           on conviction on indictment, to a fine.

     (4)    Sections 91 to 96 apply in relation to a contravention of conditions imposed by

a direction under section 137 or 138 as they apply in relation to a contravention

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of conditions set under section 42.

 141   Offences in connection with information requirements

     (1)    A person who fails to provide information in accordance with a requirement of

OFCOM under section 132 or 133 is guilty of an offence and shall be liable—

           (a)           on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory

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maximum;

           (b)           on conviction on indictment, to a fine.

     (2)    In proceedings against a person for an offence under subsection (1) it shall be

a defence for that person to show—

           (a)           that it was not reasonably practicable for him to comply with the

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requirement within the period specified by OFCOM; but

           (b)           that he has taken all reasonable steps to provide the required

information after the end of that period.

     (3)    A person is guilty of an offence if—

           (a)           in pursuance of any requirement under section 132 or 133, he provides

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any information that is false in any material particular; and

           (b)           at the time he provides it, he either knows it to be false or is reckless as

to whether or not it is false.

     (4)    A person guilty of an offence under subsection (3) shall be liable—

           (a)           on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory

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maximum;

           (b)           on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding

two years or to a fine, or to both.

     (5)    Proceedings for an offence under subsection (1) may be brought in respect of a

contravention by a person of a requirement imposed under section 132 or 133

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only if—

           (a)           OFCOM have given the person a notification under section 135 in

respect of that contravention;

           (b)           the period allowed under that section for doing the things mentioned

in subsection (3) of that section has expired without the required

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information having been provided; and

           (c)           OFCOM have not imposed a financial penalty under section 136 in

respect of that contravention.

 

 

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

    133

 

 142   Statement of policy on information gathering

     (1)    It shall be the duty of OFCOM to prepare and publish a statement of their

general policy with respect to—

           (a)           the exercise of their powers under sections 132 to 133; and

           (b)           the uses to which they are proposing to put information obtained under

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those sections.

     (2)    OFCOM may from time to time revise that statement as they think fit.

     (3)    Where OFCOM make or revise their statement of policy under this section,

they must publish that statement or (as the case may be) the revised statement

in such manner as they consider appropriate for bringing it to the attention of

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the persons who, in their opinion, are likely to be affected by it.

     (4)    It shall be the duty of OFCOM, in exercising the powers conferred on them by

sections 132 to 141 to have regard to the statement for the time being in force

under this section.

 143   Provision of information by OFCOM

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     (1)    OFCOM must comply with a request made by a person for the purposes of this

section—

           (a)           to notify the person whether or not a notification is required to be

submitted by him under section 30;

           (b)           to notify the person whether a notification submitted by him for the

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purposes of that section satisfies the requirements of this Chapter;

           (c)           to provide the person with such information about his rights as may be

necessary for the purpose of facilitating the negotiation by him of his

right to network access; or

           (d)           to provide the person with such information as they consider necessary

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to enable the applicant to apply for a direction under section 103 to be

made in his case.

     (2)    A request for the purposes of this section must be made in such manner as

OFCOM may require.

     (3)    OFCOM is not required to comply with a request under this section if (without

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having been asked to do so) they have already given that person the

notification or information for which he is asking.

     (4)    Any notification or information which under subsection (1) must be given or

provided by OFCOM must be given or provided before the end of the period

of one week beginning with the day on which the request for the notification

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or information was made to OFCOM.

Abolition of telecommunications licensing etc.

 144   Repeal of provisions of Telecommunications Act 1984

The following provisions of the Telecommunications Act 1984 (c. 12) shall

cease to have effect—

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           (a)           sections 5 to 8 (licensing provisions);

           (b)           sections 9 to 11 (public telecommunications systems);

           (c)           sections 12 to 15 (modification of licences);

 

 

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

    134

 

           (d)           sections 16 to 19 (enforcement of licences); and

           (e)           sections 27A to 27L (standards of performance of designated public

telecommunications operators).

Local authority powers in relation to networks and services

 145   Powers of local authorities in connection with networks

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     (1)           A local authority may borrow money for the purpose of providing a public

electronic communications network or public electronic communications

service.

     (2)    A local authority may—

           (a)           provide a public electronic communications network part of which is

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outside their area; and

           (b)           provide a public electronic communications service even if some of the

persons to whom they provide the service are outside their area.

     (3)    In this section, a ‘local authority’ means—

           (a)           in relation to England, a London borough council or a district council;

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           (b)           in relation to Wales, a county council or a county borough council;

           (c)           in Scotland, a council constituted under section 2 of the Local

Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994 (c. 39).

Grants for networks and services in Northern Ireland

 146   Grants by Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment

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     (1)    The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment may, in accordance with

this section, make payments to persons engaged in, or in commercial activities

connected with—

           (a)           the provision of electronic communications networks and electronic

communications services in Northern Ireland; or

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           (b)           improving the extent, quality and reliability of such networks or

services.

     (2)    A payment shall not be made under this section unless in the opinion of the

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment—

           (a)           the making of the payment is likely to achieve—

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                  (i)                 one or more of the purposes set out in subsection (1); and

                  (ii)                any other purposes prescribed by regulations made by that

Department with the approval of the Department of Finance

and Personnel; and

           (b)           the amount of the payment is reasonable having regard to all the

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circumstances.

     (3)    Payments under this section shall—

           (a)           be of such amounts, and

           (b)           be made subject to such conditions (including conditions as to

repayment),

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            as the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment may determine.

     (4)    This section extends only to Northern Ireland.

 

 

 
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