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Telecommunications Act 1984

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3 General duties of Secretary of State and Director.E+W+S+N.I.

[F1(1)The Secretary of State and the Director shall each have a duty to exercise the functions assigned or transferred to him by or under Part II or Part III of this Act in the manner which he considers is best calculated—

(a)to secure that there are provided throughout the United Kingdom, save in so far as the provision thereof is impracticable or not reasonably practicable, such telecommunication services as satisfy all reasonable demands for them including, in particular, emergency services, public call box services, directory information services, maritime services and services in rural areas; and

(b)without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (a) above, to secure that any person by whom any such services fall to be provided is able to finance the provision of those services.

(2)Subject to subsection (1) above, the Secretary of State and the Director shall each have a duty to exercise the functions assigned or transferred to him by or under Part II or Part III of this Act in the manner which he considers is best calculated—

(a)to promote the interests of consumers, purchasers and other users in the United Kingdom (including, in particular, those who are disabled or of pensionable age) in respect of the prices charged for, and the quality and variety of, telecommunication services provided and telecommunication apparatus supplied;

(b)to maintain and promote effective competition between persons engaged in commercial activities connected with telecommunications in the United Kingdom;

(c)to promote efficiency and economy on the part of such persons;

(d)to promote research into and the development and use of new techniques by such persons;

(e)to encourage major users of telecommunication services whose places of business are outside the United Kingdom to establish places of business in the United Kingdom;

(f)to promote the provision of international transit services by persons providing telecommunication services in the United Kingdom;

(g)to enable persons providing telecommunications services in the United Kingdom to compete effectively in the provision of such services outside the United Kingdom;

(h)to enable persons producing telecommunication apparatus in the United Kingdom to compete effectively in the supply of such apparatus both in and outside the United Kingdom.

(3)Subsections (1) and (2) above do not apply in relation to anything done—

(a)by the Secretary of State in the interests of national security or relations with the government of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom; or

(b)in the exercise of functions assigned or transferred by or under [F2section 50(1) or (2)] below;

and subsection (2) above does not apply in relation to anything done in the exercise of functions assigned by section 10(3) or (8) or 52 below.

[F3(3A)Subsections (1) and (2) above do not apply in relation to the determination of disputes by the Director under or by virtue of section 27A, 27F, 27G or 27I below.]

[F4(3B)Subsections (1) and (2) above do not apply in relation to anything done by the Director in the exercise of functions assigned to him by section 50(3) below (“Competition Act functions”).

F4(3C)The Director may nevertheless, when exercising any Competition Act function, have regard to any matter in respect of which a duty is imposed by subsection (1) or (2) above (“a general matter”), if it is a matter to which [F5the Office of Fair Trading] could have regard when exercising that function; but that is not to be taken as implying that, in relation to any of the matters mentioned in subsection (3) or (3A) above, regard may not be had to any general matter.]

(4)In this section “international transit service” means a telecommunications service consisting in the conveyance of sounds, visual images or signals which have been conveyed from, and are to be conveyed to, places outside the United Kingdom.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F1S. 3 repealed (25.7.2003 for specified purposes, 29.12.2003 otherwise) by Communications Act 2003 (c. 21), ss. 406, 408, 411, Sch. 19(1) (with Sch. 18, Sch. 19(1) Note 1); S.I. 2003/1900, arts. 1(2), 2(1), 3(1), Sch. 1 (with art. 3(2) (as amended (8.12.2003) by S.I. 2003/3142, art. 1(3))); S.I. 2003/3142, art. 3, Sch. 1 (with art. 11)

F2Words in s. 3(3)(b) substituted (26.11.1998 for specified purposes and otherwise 1.3.2000) by 1998 c. 41, s. 66(5), Sch. 10 Pt. II para. 2(3); S.I. 1998/2750, art. 2; 2000/344, art. 2, Sch.

F3S. 3(3A) inserted (1.7.1992) by Competition and Service (Utilities) Act 1992 (c. 43), s. 56(6), Sch. 1 para. 1; Competition and Service (Utilities) Act 1992 (Commencement No. 1) Order 1992, art. 3, Sch. Pt. I

F4S. 3(3B)(3C) inserted (26.11.1998 for specified purposes and otherwise 1.3.2000) by 1998 c. 41, s. 66(5), Sch. 10 Pt. II para. 2(4); S.I. 1998/2750, art. 2; S.I. 2000/344, art. 2, Sch.

F5Words in s. 3(3C) substituted (1.4.2003) by 2002 c. 40, ss. 278, 279, Sch. 25 para. 13(2); S.I. 2003/766, art. 2, Sch. (with transitional and transitory provisions in art. 3)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Ss. 3-7, 12-19, Pt. III (ss. 47-55) applied (with modifications) (7.1.1997) by S.I. 1996/3151, reg. 8(2), Sch. 1 para. 1

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