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Communications Act 2003

Section 98: Power to deal with urgent cases

240.This section gives OFCOM additional powers where they determine that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that a contravention of a condition of entitlement (other than an SMP apparatus condition) has caused, or creates a risk of, either a serious threat to public safety, public health or national security; or serious economic or operational problems or any communications provider or provider of associated facilities or any person who uses them.

241.In such exceptional circumstances, OFCOM may in a notification of the contravention under section 94, reduce the one-month period allowed to the person who is alleged to be in breach of a condition to make representations and to take steps towards compliance. In addition, OFCOM may suspend the person’s entitlement to provide networks, services and/or associated facilities, or may restrict that entitlement in some way (subsection (4)). OFCOM may postpone the entry into effect of the suspension and may also impose such conditions on the person whose service is to be suspended as they consider necessary to protect customers. Those conditions may include requirements for payment of compensation to customers for loss or damage or for annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety caused in consequence of the suspension; however, such conditions have effect only where the direction is confirmed in accordance with section 99.

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