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Communications Act 2003

Section 71: Sharing of burden of universal service obligations

186.If, following a study of costs pursuant to section 70, OFCOM conclude that a financial burden is imposed on the provider of universal services, OFCOM must assess whether it would be unfair for that provider to shoulder the entire burden. If OFCOM determine that it would be unfair, and if the provider applies to OFCOM, OFCOM may determine that contributions from other communications providers, who themselves are subject to general conditions, are to be made. Subsection (4) provides that all this should be carried out in accordance with regulations made by OFCOM. These regulations should ensure that the calculation, collection and distribution of such contributions is to be done in an objective, transparent, and non-discriminatory way, and in a manner that avoids or minimises any distortion to competition or demand.

187.Section 51(1)(d) enables OFCOM to set general conditions giving effect to determinations or regulations made under this section. This implements condition 1 of Part A of the Annex to the Authorisation Directive.

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