Challenging decisions of the UK communications regulator
Produced in partnership with Charles Russell Speechlys
Challenging decisions of the UK communications regulator

The following TMT guidance note Produced in partnership with Charles Russell Speechlys provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Challenging decisions of the UK communications regulator
  • Applicable EU regulatory framework
  • UK communications regulator—Ofcom
  • What Ofcom decisions can be challenged before the CAT?
  • CAT appeal
  • Ofcom decisions that cannot be challenged before the CAT—judicial review by the High Court

This Practice Note considers appeals against decisions made by the communications regulator in the UK, Ofcom. In this context, it takes account of relevant EU directives (as transposed into UK law), considers the establishment and functions of Ofcom and the ways in which Ofcom’s regulatory decisions may be challenged at the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) (and subsequently the Court of Appeal), and/or the High Court.

Applicable EU regulatory framework

The EU regulatory framework on electronic communications (the Framework) was established in 2002 with the aim of strengthening competition by facilitating market entry and stimulating investment in the electronic communications sector. See Practice Note: EU regulatory framework for electronic communications.

The Framework consists of a number of directives, the primary one being Directive 2002/21/EC on a common regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services (the Framework Directive). This is supported by Directive 2002/20/EC (the Authorisation Directive), Directive 2002/19/EC (the Access Directive), Directive 2002/22/EC (the Universal Services Directive) and Directive 2002/58/EC (the ePrivacy Directive). In 2009, these directives were amended by Directive 2009/140/EC (the Better Regulation Directive) and Directive 2009/136/EC (the Citizens’ Rights Directive). The Framework Directive was designed to deal with divergences between Member States and aimed to establish a harmonised framework for the regulation of electronic communications networks and services. Key aspects of the Framework Directive for the purposes of