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Communications Act 2003

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4Duties for the purpose of fulfilling [F1EU] obligationsU.K.

This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)This section applies to the following functions of OFCOM—

(a)their functions under Chapter 1 of Part 2;

(b)their functions under the enactments relating to the management of the radio spectrum;

(c)their functions under Chapter 3 of Part 2 in relation to disputes referred to them under section 185;

(d)their functions under sections 24 and 25 so far as they relate to information required for purposes connected with matters in relation to which functions specified in this subsection are conferred on OFCOM; and

(e)their functions under section 26 so far as they are carried out for the purpose of making information available to persons mentioned in subsection (2)(a) to (c) of that section.

(2)It shall be the duty of OFCOM, in carrying out any of those functions, to act in accordance with the [F2seven] Community requirements (which give effect, amongst other things, to the requirements of [F3Article 3 of the EECC Directive] and are to be read accordingly).

(3)The first Community requirement is a requirement to promote competition—

(a)in relation to the provision of electronic communications networks and electronic communications services;

(b)in relation to the provision and making available of services and facilities that are provided or made available in association with the provision of electronic communications networks or electronic communications services; and

(c)in relation to the supply of directories capable of being used in connection with the use of electronic communications networks or electronic communications services.

(4)The second Community requirement is a requirement to secure that OFCOM’s activities contribute to the development of the European internal market.

(5)The third Community requirement is a requirement to promote the interests of all persons who are citizens of the European Union (within the meaning of [F4Article 20 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union] ).

(6)The fourth Community requirement is a requirement to take account of the desirability of OFCOM’s carrying out their functions in a manner which, so far as practicable, does not favour—

(a)one form of electronic communications network, electronic communications service or associated facility; or

(b)one means of providing or making available such a network, service or facility,

over another.

[F5(6A)The fourth Community requirement does not apply to—

(a)the imposition, in relation to a wireless telegraphy licence, of a limitation of a kind falling within section 9ZA(1) of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006; or

(b)the review, variation or removal of such a limitation.]

(7)The fifth Community requirement is a requirement to encourage, to such extent as OFCOM consider appropriate for the purpose mentioned in subsection (8), the provision of network access and service interoperability.

(8)That purpose is the purpose of securing—

(a)efficiency and sustainable competition F6...; F7...

[F8(aa)efficient investment and innovation; and]

(b)the maximum benefit for the persons who are customers of communications providers and of persons who make [F9associated facilities] available.

(9)The sixth Community requirement is a requirement to encourage such compliance with the standards mentioned in subsection (10) as is necessary for—

(a)facilitating service interoperability;

[F10(aa)facilitating end-to-end connectivity;

(ab)facilitating the changing by end-users of their communications provider;

(ac)facilitating the retention by end-users of their telephone numbers after a change of communications provider; and]

(b)securing freedom of choice for the customers of communications providers.

(10)Those standards are—

(a)standards or specifications from time to time drawn up and published in accordance with Article 17 of the Framework Directive [F11or Article 39 of the EECC Directive];

(b)the standards and specifications from time to time adopted by—

(i)the European Committee for Standardisation;

(ii)the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation; [F12and]

(iii)the European Telecommunications Standards Institute; and

(c)the international standards and recommendations from time to time adopted by—

(i)the International Telecommunication Union;

(ii)the International Organisation for Standardisation; F13...

[F14(iia)the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations; and]

(iii)the International Electrotechnical Committee.

[F15(10A)The seventh Community requirement is a requirement to promote connectivity and access to very high capacity networks by members of the public and businesses in the United Kingdom.]

(11)Where it appears to OFCOM that any of the Community requirements conflict with each other, they must secure that the conflict is resolved in the manner they think best in the circumstances.

(12)In this section—

  • F16...

  • [F17“end-to-end connectivity” has the meaning given by section 74(3);]

  • network access” and “service interoperability” each has the same meaning as in Chapter 1 of Part 2.

  • [F18“telephone number” has the meaning given by section 56(5).]

[F19(12A)In this Act “very high capacity network” means an electronic communications network which—

(a)consists wholly of optical fibre elements at least up to the distribution point at the serving location; or

(b)is capable of delivering, under usual peak-time conditions, network performance that, in OFCOM’s opinion, is similar, in terms of available downlink and uplink bandwidth, resilience, error-related parameters and latency and its variation, to the network performance of a network falling within paragraph (a).

(12B)For the purposes of subsection (12A)(b), network performance can be considered similar regardless of whether the end-user experience varies due to the inherently different characteristics of the medium by which the network ultimately connects with the network termination point.]

[F20(13)In this section and sections 4A and 5, “the Framework Directive” means Directive 2002/21/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on a common regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services, as amended by Directive 2009/140/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council.]

Textual Amendments

Commencement Information

I1S. 4 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. 4 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)

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