Providers of electronic communications networks and services (“CPs”), are generally authorised to operate in the UK without a licence, save for certain exceptions where a licence is still required (e.g., use of spectrum).
The UK regulator (“Ofcom”) requires CPs to comply with Ofcom’s General Conditions of Entitlement (the “General Conditions”). These have been subject to a recent update under the European Electronic Communications Code’s (“EECC”) requirements.
Although the UK left the EU on 31 January 2020, under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has remained under an obligation to implement the EECC into domestic law. The UK has carried out such implementation in stages:
- The UK Government made changes to the Communications Act 2003to implement various requirements of the EECC into domestic law; and
- On 17 June 2022, Ofcom made changes to the General Conditions to implement the new EECC protections (i.e., a package of measures designed to protect customers of electronic communications services). The main changes are summarised below.
UPDATES TO THE GENERAL CONDITIONS
Provision Of Contract Information
The contract information requirements under the General Conditions have been strengthened and widened:
- CPs must provide customers with a detailed set of contract information that is clear, comprehensible and in a durable medium, before the customers are bound by the contract. These requirements will also apply to service bundles.
- This obligation will apply to all communication services (including machine to machine) and customers who are consumers, micro enterprise, small enterprise and not for profit customers (unless agreed otherwise). Additionally, customers must receive a one-page contract summary in writing with the information specified in following . Documents must also be appropriately accessible for customers with disabilities.
Extended Customers Rights
Communication providers must give customers a month’s notice in a clear, comprehensible and in a durable medium of any contract changes that are not on their benefit and be given a cost-free right to exit the contract upon receipt of such notice.
This requirement will apply to providers of all communication services, bundles, and all end users of those services except for machine-to-machine services, for customers that are consumers, micro enterprise, small enterprise, and not for profit customers.
Emergency Video-Relay Service
There were further protections regarding the continued provision of emergency video-relay services. For more details about this change, please follow the link to read more on the topic.
Please contact Jose Saras if you have any questions regarding the above.
The material contained in this article is only for general review of the topics covered and does not constitute any legal advice. No legal or business decision should be based on its content.