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Communications Act 2003

Section 132: Powers to require suspension or restriction of a provider’s entitlement

314.This section gives the Secretary of State a power to direct OFCOM to issue a person with a direction to suspend or restrict that person’s entitlement to provide an electronic communications network or service or an associated facility where she has reasonable grounds for believing that it is necessary to do so to protect the public from any threat to public safety or public health, or in the interests of national security. This is permitted by Article 3 of the Authorisation Directive.

315.Subsection (2) places OFCOM under a duty to comply with any such direction by the Secretary of State. Once a suspension or restriction is in place, both the Secretary of State and OFCOM must allow the person in question an opportunity to make representations to them, and to propose steps for remedying the situation. OFCOM may modify the terms of a suspension or restriction imposed under this section. The Secretary of State may direct OFCOM to revoke a suspension or restriction imposed under this section.

316.A direction by OFCOM under this section may suspend entitlement generally or in relation to particular networks, services or facilities, and may take effect indefinitely or for a fixed period. It may also postpone the suspension or restriction (and, if doing so, may also impose additional conditions - such as compensation of their customers for loss suffered - in order to protect the customers of the provider).

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