Telecommunications

Telecommunications Act 1984TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACT 19842002-03-222002-01-292002-03-182002-04-222002-03-132002-03-151984-06-222002-01-18Electronic Communications Act 2000TSO (The Stationery Office), St Crispins, Duke Street, Norwich, NR3 1PD, 01603 622211, customer.services@tso.co.uk56516852852

OFTEL

NOTICE UNDER SECTION 12(2) OF THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACT 1984
PROPOSED MODIFICATION TO THE LICENCES OF EARTHADVICE LTD, EUROCALL LTD, FIBRENET UK LTD AND AT&T GLOBAL NETWORK SERVICES (UK) B.V.

1.  The Director General of Telecommunications (the “Director”) in accordance with section 12(2) of the Telecommunications Act 1984 as amended by the Electronic Communications Act 2000 (the “Act”) hereby gives notice that he proposes to make a modification to the licence granted to Earthadvice Ltd on 29 January 2002, the licence granted to Eurocall Ltd on 13 March 2002, the licence granted to Fibrenet UK Ltd on 13 March 2002 and the licence granted to AT&T Global Network Services (UK) B.V. on 15 March 2002, by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry under section 7 of the Act, collectively referred to hereinafter as the “licences”. 2.  Both the effect of and the reason for the proposed modification are set out in the Schedule below. They have been detailed in full in the Consultation Document of June 2001 entitled ‘Use of automatic calling equipment review’. The full text of the proposed modification is set out in Annex B to Oftel’s Statement of January 2002. Both documents are available through the Oftel website at www.oftel.gov.uk. 3.  The same modification was made on 18 March 2002 to all licences granted during the period beginning on 22 June 1984 and ending on 18 January 2002 under section 7 of the Act to particular persons which the Secretary of State has designated by order under section 9 of the Act as having public telecommunications systems. The notice for this modification was published on 18 January 2002 in accordance with section 12(2) of the Act. The proposed modification will bring the licences into line with those licences already modified. 4.  Section 12 a (7) of the Act provides that a modification is deregulatory if: (a) the effect of the conditions to be modified is to impose a burden affecting the holder of the licence in which those conditions are included; (b) the modification would remove or reduce the burden without removing any necessary protection; and (c) the modification is such that no person holding a licence granted under section 7 of the Act to a particular person would be unduly disadvantaged by the modification in competing with the holder of the licence in which those conditions are included. 5.  In the opinion of the Director, the proposed modification of the licences is deregulatory within the meaning of section 12 a (7) of the Act for the reasons set out in the Schedule below. 6.  The Director is seeking comments on the proposed modification to the licences. Interested parties have 28 days from the day after publication of this notice to make representations on the proposed modification. There will be no further period for interested parties to make comments on any representations made during the above-mentioned period. In accordance with section 12(6D) of the Act, representations made against the proposed modification shall be taken to constitute an objection only if they are accompanied by a written statement that they are to be so taken. 7.  Representations on or objections to the proposed modification may be made to Selina Chadha, Oftel, 50 Ludgate Hill, London EC4M 7JJ (telephone 020 7634 5307, e-mail selina.chadha@oftel.gov.uk) by no later than 22 April 2002. 8.  Any confidential information should be clearly marked as such and separated out into a confidential annex. All representations received by Oftel, with the exception of material marked confidential, will be made available for inspection on Oftel’s Research and Intelligence Unit and may be published. 9.  The Director is required by section 12(2) of the Act to consider any representations or objections on the proposed modifications duly made and not withdrawn. Subject to such consideration, the Director proposes to make the modifications as soon as practicable after the statutory consultation has been completed. 10.  Copies of the proposed modifications and a full list of licences affected can be obtained from Gabrielle Dakhama, Oftel, 50 Ludgate Hill, London EC4M 7JJ (tel 020 7634 8735, e-mail gabrielle.dakhama @oftel.gov.uk) Schedule 1.  The words ‘in writing’ in Condition 17.2(a) are to be deleted. 2.  In its present form, Condition 17 prohibits the use of ACE where the resultant call does not consist of live speech, unles written consent has been obtained from the recipient of the call. 3.  The effect of the modification is that Licencees will no longer have to obtain consent in writing. 4.  The Director considers that requiring consent to be obtained in writing is inhibiting the development and launch of new products and services. The retention of the requirement to obtain consent will ensure that consumers remain adequately protected. However, removing the requirement for this consent to be obtained in writing will allow more products and services using ACE is to be provided that will enable consumers to receive the benefit of automated services should they wish to. This is in line with Oftel’s long term strategy of ensuring that regulation is kept to the minimum necessary to obtain the appropriate outcome. 5.  The Director considers this amendment to be deregulatory for the following reasons: (a) in its present form, Condition 17 imposes a burden on licensees by prohibiting the use of ACE where the resultant call does not consist of live speech, unless written consent has been obtained from the recipient of the call; (b) the proposed modification reduces this burden by removing the requirement that consent be obtained in writing. It does not remove any necessary protection as the retention of the requirement to obtain consent, albeit not in writing, will ensure adequate consumer protection; and (c) the modification will not unduly disadvantage any person holding a licence granted under section 7 of the Act to a particular person as the proposed modification will apply to all licence holders which have been designated under section 9 of the Act as having public telecommunication systems.