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Communications Act 2003

Section 147: Repeal of provisions of Telecommunications Act 1984

339.This section repeals certain sections of the Telecommunications Act 1984. One of the principal effects of these repeals will be to abolish the current requirement for persons running telecommunications systems to hold individual or class licences.

  • *Sections 5 to 8 of the Telecommunications Act 1984 make it a criminal offence to run a telecommunications system without a licence and set out the powers of the Secretary of State and the Director General of Telecommunications to grant licences.  Section 9 allows the Secretary of State to designate certain telecommunications systems as “public telecommunications systems”.  This designation confers additional rights and imposes additional duties on the licensee.  Sections 10 and 11 relate to the telecommunications code (see the notes on section 106).  Sections 12 to 15 set out the circumstances in which the Director General of Telecommunications may modify the conditions of telecommunications licences.  Sections 16 to 19 deal with the powers of the Director General to enforce compliance with licence conditions.  Finally, sections 27A to 27L make provision for standards of performance and service to customers in the telecommunications industry and for procedures for dealing with complaints and billing disputes.  These sections also govern the terms upon which deposits may be required from customers, and the circumstances in which operators may disconnect customers.

340.As a result of the abolition of telecommunications licensing it is necessary to make certain savings and transitional provision. These are set out in paragraphs 3, 4, 9, 11-14 and 16-18 of Schedule 18 (transitional provisions).

341.Paragraphs 3 and 4 provide savings for the effects of certain agreements expressed by reference to licences. Paragraphs 9 and 11 deal with the saving of certain licence conditions relating to the regulation of premium rate services, to significant market power or access, and to accounting, respectively. Paragraph 12 makes provision in respect of the payment of licence fees. Paragraph 13 enables OFCOM to enforce the licence conditions saved in paragraphs 9 and 11 and any liabilities saved under paragraph 12 which were previously enforceable by the Director General of Telecommunications under the Telecommunications Act 1984.

342.Paragraph 14 provides that where an agreement entered into for the purposes of a condition of a licence granted under section 7 of the Telecommunications Act 1984 entitles a party to it to terminate the agreement if he or another party ceases to be a Schedule 2 public operator, that right is not to be exercisable by reason of the coming into force of provisions of the Act, providing that corresponding general conditions, access-related conditions or a provision made by an SMP condition are imposed on one or both of the parties to the agreement.

343.Schedule 2 public operator has the same meaning as in Schedule 1 to the Telecommunications (Licence Modifications) (Standard Schedules) Regulations 1999 (S.I. 1999/2450).

344.Paragraphs 16-18 provide savings for allocated telephone numbers, the grant of powers under the telecommunications code, and guarantees of liabilities of code operators.

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