Regulatory Outlook

Telecoms | Regulatory Outlook June 2022

Published on 20th Jun 2022

This month we look at Ofcom's update to its General Conditions of Entitlement, a consultation on a proposed revision of its Regulatory Enforcement Guidelines, and the regulation of phone-paid services

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General Conditions of Entitlement Update

Ofcom has released an update of its General Conditions of Entitlement which comes into force on 17 June 2022, together with revised guidance.

The relevant customers covered by the new protections are consumers, micro and small enterprise customers (that is, businesses with 10 individuals or less working for them) and not-for-profit organisations.

The new measures include: 

  • A requirement on providers of public electronic communications services to share key contractual information with relevant customers before they enter into the contract; and
  • A requirement to notify customers of changes to their contract, and a right for customers to terminate for such changes other than those that are:
    • exclusively to the benefit of the customer (previously a change had to be of material detriment to the customer);
    • purely administrative in a way that has no negative effect on the customer; or
    • imposed by law.

Ofcom launches consultation on proposals to revise its Regulatory Enforcement Guidelines

On 24 May Ofcom published a consultation on proposed revisions to its Regulatory Enforcement Guidelines. The Regulatory Enforcement Guidelines set out how Ofcom approaches the enforcement of the regulatory requirements and consumer protection laws which relate to the industries that it is responsible for.

The proposals put forward by Ofcom include: 

  • expanding the Regulatory Enforcement Guidelines to cover new enforcement powers;
  • restructuring the Regulatory Enforcement Guidelines to make them easier to follow;
  • updating and clarifying the text of the Regulatory Enforcement Guidelines; and
  • including information about civil liability for a breach of regulatory requirements. 

The consultation closes on 19 July 2022.

Ofcom likely to take on responsibility for regulation of phone-paid services

Ofcom and the Phone-Paid Services Authority (PSA) have announced that, subject to DCMS approval, responsibility for regulating phone-paid services is to be transferred to Ofcom. 

Ofcom has stated that the move follows long-term market trends and the current low levels of consumer harm in this area, and that the move will provide an opportunity for both organisations to address future challenges as the market develops. 

The change is anticipated to take effect in the second half of 2023. 


* This article is current as of the date of its publication and does not necessarily reflect the present state of the law or relevant regulation.

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