Ofcom to review and update General Conditions of Entitlement affecting all communications providers operating in the UK

If you read past the Openreach headlines in Ofcom’s Digital Communications Market review, you can find four paragraphs in chapter eight announcing a review of the UK’s General Conditions of Entitlement, which will affect anyone operating a telecoms network or providing telecoms services in the UK  Since individual licences were (largely) abolished in the UK in 2003, providers of electronic communications networks or services have operated subject to the General Conditions of Entitlement (aka General Conditions or GCs).

It is interesting to see how the GCs have grown over time. The first set published (2003) comprised 20 conditions and took up 46 pages. The last published consolidated set (2015) comprised 23 conditions and took up 109 pages (albeit this includes some explanatory explanations).

Ofcom say that they expect their review to “…involve simplification, consolidation and in some cases deregulation. In some areas, we may seek to extend or strengthen regulation. Ofcom expect to consult on proposals by summer 2016″. As Ofcom also state that “this will make it easier for us to enforce compliance”, the review is well worth tracking and responding to if you are operating an electronic communications network or providing an electronic communications service in the UK.

It remains to be seen where this ends up, but if I were a betting man, I think it highly unlikely that the new revised GCs will be shorter than the original 2003 set and suspect that it is an evens bet as to whether they are shorter than the current GCs. Maybe I will be proved wrong?