Search Legislation

Communications Act 2003

What Version

 Help about what version

Advanced Features

 Help about advanced features

Changes to legislation:

Communications Act 2003, Section 51 is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 17 August 2018. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. Changes that have been made appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

Close

Changes to Legislation

Revised legislation carried on this site may not be fully up to date. Changes and effects are recorded by our editorial team in lists which can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area. Where those effects have yet to be applied to the text of the legislation by the editorial team they are also listed alongside the legislation in the affected provisions. Use the ‘more’ link to open the changes and effects relevant to the provision you are viewing.

Changes and effects yet to be applied to :

 Help about changes and effects
Close

Changes and effects

This section lists the changes and effects yet to be applied to the specific provision you are viewing.

Changes and effects yet to be applied to the whole Act associated Parts and Chapters:

 Help about changes and effects
Close

Changes and effects

This section lists the changes and effects yet to be applied to the whole Act, associated Parts and Chapters where applicable. This includes any insertions of whole new Parts, Chapters or provisions yet to be inserted into this Act. These effects are included in this view as they may be (but won’t necessarily be) relevant to the specific provision that you are viewing.

Whole provisions yet to be inserted into this Act (including any effects on those provisions):

51Matters to which general conditions may relateE+W+S+N.I.
This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)Subject to sections 52 to 64, the only conditions that may be set under section 45 as general conditions are conditions falling within one or more of the following paragraphs—

(a)conditions making such provision as OFCOM consider appropriate for protecting the interests of the end-users of public electronic communications services;

(b)conditions making such provision as OFCOM consider appropriate for securing service interoperability and for securing, or otherwise relating to, network access;

(c)conditions making such provision as OFCOM consider appropriate for securing the proper and effective functioning of public electronic communications networks;

(d)conditions for giving effect to determinations or regulations made under section 71;

(e)conditions requiring F1... the provision, availability and use, in the event of a disaster, of electronic communications networks, electronic communications services and associated facilities;

(f)conditions making such provision as OFCOM consider appropriate for securing the protection of public health by the prevention or avoidance of the exposure of individuals to electro-magnetic fields created in connection with the operation of electronic communications networks;

(g)conditions requiring compliance with relevant international standards.

(2)The power under subsection (1)(a) to set conditions for protecting the interests of the end-users of public electronic communications services includes power to set conditions for that purpose which—

(a)relate to the supply, provision or making available of goods, services or facilities in association with the provision of public electronic communications services; F2...

(b)give effect to [F3EU] obligations to provide protection for such end-users in relation to the supply, provision or making available of those goods, services or facilities.

[F4(c)specify requirements in relation to the provision of services to disabled end-users;

(d)require the provision, free of charge, of specified information, or information of a specified kind, to end-users;

[F5(da)require a communications provider to pay compensation to an end-user on failing to meet a specified standard or obligation;]

(e)in order to prevent the degradation of service and the hindering or slowing down of traffic over networks, impose minimum requirements in relation to the quality of public electronic communications networks;

(f)require a communications provider, in specified circumstances, to block access to telephone numbers or services in order to prevent fraud or misuse, and enable them to withhold fees payable to another communications provider in those circumstances;

(g)impose a limit on the duration of a contract between an end-user and a communications provider; F6...

(h)ensure that conditions and procedures for the termination of a contract do not act as a disincentive to an end-user changing communications provider.]

[F7(i)specify requirements in relation to arrangements that enable an end-user to change communications provider on request.]

[F8(2A)Where OFCOM propose to set a general condition of a kind specified in subsection (2)(e), they must—

(a)notify the European Commission and BEREC, and

(b)take due account of comments and recommendations made by the Commission.]

(3)The power to set general conditions in relation to a description of electronic communications network or electronic communications service does not include power—

(a)to set conditions that are made applicable according to the identity of the provider of a network or service; or

(b)to set conditions that differ according to the identity of the provider of the networks or services to which they relate.

(4)The power to set general conditions falling within subsection (1)(b) does not include power to set conditions containing provision which under—

(a)section 73, or

(b)any of sections 87 to [F991] ,

must be or may be included, in a case in which it appears to OFCOM to be appropriate to do so, in an access-related condition or SMP condition.

(5)The conditions falling within subsection (1)(c) include conditions making such provision as OFCOM consider appropriate for the purpose, in accordance with [F3EU] obligations, of preventing or restricting electro-magnetic interference—

(a)with the provision of an electronic communications network or electronic communications service; or

(b)with, or with the receipt of, anything conveyed or provided by means of such a network or service.

(6)In this section “electro-magnetic interference” means interference by means of the emission or reflection of electro-magnetic energy in the course of, or in connection with, the provision any electronic communications network or electronic communications service.

(7)In this section “disaster” includes any major incident having a significant effect on the general public; and for this purpose a major incident includes any incident of contamination involving radioactive substances or other toxic materials.

Annotations: Help about Annotation
Close

Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

F6Word in s. 51(2) omitted (27.6.2017) by virtue of Digital Economy Act 2017 (c. 30), ss. 2(2), 118(2)

Commencement Information

I1S. 51 in force at 25.7.2003 for specified purposes by S.I. 2003/1900, arts. 1(2), 2(1), Sch. 1 (with art. 3) (as amended by S.I. 2003/3142, art. 1(3))

I2S. 51 in force at 29.12.2003 in so far as not already in force by S.I. 2003/3142, art. 3(2) (with art. 11)

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

You have chosen to open The Whole Act

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open The Whole Act as a PDF

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open The Whole Act without Schedules

The Whole Act without Schedules you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open The Whole Act without Schedules as a PDF

The Whole Act without Schedules you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open The Whole Part

The Whole Part you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open The Whole Part as a PDF

The Whole Part you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open the Whole Act

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open the Whole Act without Schedules

The Whole Act without Schedules you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open Schedules only

The Schedules you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made):The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

See additional information alongside the content

Geographical Extent: Indicates the geographical area that this provision applies to. For further information see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Show Timeline of Changes: See how this legislation has or could change over time. Turning this feature on will show extra navigation options to go to these specific points in time. Return to the latest available version by using the controls above in the What Version box.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources