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Communications Bill


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

    50

 

           (d)           conditions for giving effect to determinations or regulations made

under section 69;

           (e)           conditions requiring or regulating the provision, availability and use,

in the event of a disaster, of electronic communications networks,

electronic communications services and associated facilities;

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           (f)           conditions making such provision as OFCOM consider appropriate for

securing the protection of public health by the prevention or avoidance

of the exposure of individuals to electro-magnetic fields created in

connection with the operation of electronic communications networks;

           (g)           conditions requiring compliance with relevant international standards.

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     (2)    The power under subsection (1)(a) to set conditions for protecting the interests

of the end-users of public electronic communications services includes power

to set conditions for that purpose which—

           (a)           relate to the supply, provision or making available of goods, services or

facilities in association with the provision of public electronic

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communications services; and

           (b)           give effect to Community obligations to provide protection for such

end-users in relation to the supply, provision or making available of

those goods, services or facilities.

     (3)    The power to set general conditions in relation to a description of electronic

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communications network or electronic communications service does not

include power—

           (a)           to set conditions that are made applicable according to the identity of

the provider of a network or service; or

           (b)           to set conditions that differ according to the identity of the provider of

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the networks or services to which they relate.

     (4)    The power to set general conditions falling within subsection (1)(b) does not

include power to set conditions containing provision which under—

           (a)           section 71, or

           (b)           any of sections 85 to 90,

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            must be or may be included, in a case in which it appears to OFCOM to be

appropriate to do so, in an access-related condition or SMP condition.

     (5)    The conditions falling within subsection (1)(c) include conditions making such

provision as OFCOM consider appropriate for the purpose, in accordance with

Community obligations, of preventing or restricting electro-magnetic

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interference—

           (a)           with the provision of an electronic communications network or

electronic communications service; or

           (b)           with, or with the receipt of, anything conveyed or provided by means

of such a network or service.

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     (6)    In this section “electro-magnetic interference” means interference by means of

the emission or reflection of electro-magnetic energy in the course of, or in

connection with, the provision any electronic communications network or

electronic communications service;

     (7)    In this section “disaster” includes any major incident having a significant effect

45

on the general public; and for this purpose a major incident includes any

incident of contamination involving radioactive substances or other toxic

materials.

 

 

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

    51

 

General conditions: customer interests

 50    Conditions relating to customer interests

     (1)    It shall be the duty of OFCOM to set such general conditions (if any) as they

consider appropriate for securing that—

           (a)           public communications providers, or

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           (b)           such descriptions of them as OFCOM consider appropriate,

            establish and maintain procedures, standards and policies with respect to the

matters mentioned in subsection (2).

     (2)    Those matters are—

           (a)           the handling of complaints made to public communications providers

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by any of their domestic and small business customers;

           (b)           the resolution of disputes between such providers and any of their

domestic and small business customers;

           (c)           the provision of remedies and redress in respect of matters that form

the subject-matter of such complaints or disputes;

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           (d)           the information about service standards and about the rights of

domestic and small business customers that is to be made available to

those customers by public communications providers;

           (e)           any other matter appearing to OFCOM to be necessary for securing

effective protection for the domestic and small business customers of

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such providers.

     (3)    It shall be the duty of OFCOM, in setting conditions in accordance with

subsection (1), to secure so far as they consider appropriate—

           (a)           that the procedures established and maintained for the handling of

complaints and the resolution of disputes are easy to use, transparent

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and effective;

           (b)           that domestic and small business customers have the right to use those

procedures free of charge; and

           (c)           that where public communications providers are in contravention of

conditions set in accordance with the preceding provisions of this

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section, the providers follow such procedures as may be required by

the general conditions.

     (4)    Subject to section 53, OFCOM’s duties under subsections (1) and (3) so far as

relating to procedures for the handling of complaints are to be performed, to

such extent as they consider appropriate, by the setting of general conditions

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requiring public communications providers to establish and maintain

procedures that conform with a code of practice which is—

           (a)           applicable to the providers to whom the conditions apply; and

           (b)           for the time being approved by OFCOM for the purposes of this

subsection.

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     (5)    Subject to section 53, OFCOM’s duties under subsections (1) and (3) so far as

relating to procedures for resolving disputes are to be performed, to such

extent as they consider appropriate, by the setting of general conditions

requiring public communications providers—

           (a)           to establish and maintain procedures for resolving disputes; and

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           (b)           to secure that those procedures are, and continue to be, approved by

OFCOM.

 

 

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

    52

 

     (6)    In this section “domestic and small business customer”, in relation to a public

communications provider, means a customer of that provider who is neither—

           (a)           himself a communications provider; nor

           (b)           a person who is such a customer in respect of an undertaking carried on

by him for which more than ten individuals work (whether as

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employees or volunteers or otherwise).

 51    Approval of codes of practice for the purposes of s. 50

     (1)    Where a code of practice is submitted to OFCOM for approval, they shall

approve that code if and only if, in their opinion, it makes all such provision as

they consider necessary in relation to the matters dealt with in the code for the

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protection of the domestic and small business customers of the public

communications providers to whom the code applies.

     (2)    It shall be the duty of OFCOM to keep under review the codes of practice for

the time being approved by them.

     (3)    OFCOM may at any time, by a notification given or published in such manner

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as they consider appropriate—

           (a)           approve modifications that have been made to an approved code;

           (b)           withdraw their approval from a code; or

           (c)           give notice that the withdrawal of their approval will take effect from

such time as may be specified in the notification unless such

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modifications of the code as are specified in the notification are made

before that time.

     (4)    In considering—

           (a)           whether to approve a code of practice, or

           (b)           whether or in what manner to exercise their powers under subsections

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(2) and (3) of this section,

             OFCOM must have regard to the matters mentioned in subsection (5).

     (5)    Those matters are—

           (a)           the need to secure that customers are able readily to comprehend the

procedures that are provided for by an approved code of practice;

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           (b)           the need to secure that there is consistency between the different codes

for the time being approved by OFCOM; and

           (c)           the need to secure that the number of different codes so approved is

kept to a minimum.

     (6)    In this section—

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                    “approval” means approval for the purposes of section 50(4) and

“approve” and “approved” are to be construed accordingly; and

                    “domestic and small business customer” has the same meaning as in

section 50.

 52    Approval of dispute procedures for the purposes of s. 50

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     (1)    Before giving their approval to any dispute procedures, OFCOM must consult

the Secretary of State.

     (2)    OFCOM are not to approve dispute procedures unless they are satisfied that

the arrangements under which the procedures have effect—

 

 

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

    53

 

           (a)           are administered by person who is for practical purposes independent

(so far as decisions in relation to disputes are concerned) of both

OFCOM and the communications providers to whom the

arrangements apply;

           (b)           give effect to procedures that are easy to use, transparent and effective;

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           (c)           give, in the case of every communications provider to whom the

arrangements apply, a right to each of his domestic and small business

customers to use the procedures free of charge;

           (d)           ensure that all information necessary for giving effect to the procedures

is obtained;

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           (e)           ensure that disputes are effectively investigated;

           (f)           include provision conferring power to make awards of appropriate

compensation; and

           (g)           are such as to enable awards of compensation to be properly enforced.

     (3)    OFCOM may approve dispute procedures subject to such conditions

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(including conditions as to the provision of information to OFCOM) as they

may think fit.

     (4)    It shall be the duty of OFCOM to keep under review the dispute procedures for

the time being approved by them.

     (5)    OFCOM may at any time, by a notification given or published in such manner

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as they consider appropriate—

           (a)           modify the conditions of their approval of any dispute procedures or

withdraw such an approval; or

           (b)           give notice that the modification of those conditions, or the withdrawal

of such an approval, will take effect from such time as may be specified

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in the notification unless the procedures (or the arrangements under

which they have effect) are modified before that time in the manner

required by the notification.

     (6)    In considering—

           (a)           whether to approve dispute procedures, or

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           (b)           whether or in what manner to exercise their powers under subsections

(3) to (5),

            OFCOM must have regard to the matters mentioned in subsection (7).

     (7)    Those matters are—

           (a)           the need to secure that customers are able readily to comprehend

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dispute procedures;

           (b)           the need to secure that there is consistency between the different

procedures for the time being approved by OFCOM; and

           (c)           the need to secure that the number of different sets of procedures so

approved is kept to a minimum.

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     (8)    In this section—

                    “approval” means approval for the purposes of subsection (5) of section

50 and “approve” and “approved” are to be construed accordingly;

                    “dispute procedures” means any such procedures as may fall to be

approved for the purposes of that subsection; and

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                    “domestic and small business customer” has the same meaning as in

section 50.

 

 

 
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