The Office of Communications (Ofcom)
Produced in partnership with Andrew Sharpe of Orange Business Services

The following TMT practice note produced in partnership with Andrew Sharpe of Orange Business Services provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The Office of Communications (Ofcom)
  • EU regulation and Brexit
  • Ofcom functions and duties
  • General duties
  • Duties for the purpose of fulfilling certain regulatory obligations
  • Directions in respect of networks and spectrum functions
  • Duties to review regulatory burdens
  • Duty to carry out impact assessments
  • Ofcom partner regulators

The Office of Communications (Ofcom)

This Practice Note sets out Ofcom’s role in connection with electronic communications networks, services and radio spectrum.

Ofcom was created under the Office of Communications Act 2002. Its functions (and duties) were established mainly by the Communications Act 2003 (CA 2003). These cover regulatory functions over:

  1. electronic communications networks, services and radio spectrum

  2. television and radio services, including the licensing of television reception, and

  3. competition in communications markets

EU regulation and Brexit

Part of the reason for the creation of Ofcom was the requirement for EU Member States to ensure that a competent body was made responsible for the tasks assigned to national regulatory authorities (NRAs) by the following directives, which originally comprised the common regulatory framework governing the regulation of electronic communications in the EU (the Framework):

  1. Directive 2002/21/EC (the EU Framework Directive)

  2. Directive 2002/20/EC (the EU Authorisation Directive)

  3. Directive 2002/19/EC (the EU Access Directive)

  4. Directive 2002/22/EC (the EU Universal Service Directive), and

  5. Directive 2002/58/EC (the EU ePrivacy Directive)

Ofcom became the UK’s NRA for the purposes of the Framework, with privacy and data protection responsibilities retained by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Spectrum management was also further influenced by the Radio Spectrum Decision (EC) 676/2002.

Ofcom’s functions and duties were also affected by legislation concerning its role as a sector regulator for competition law purposes. This legislation includes:

  1. Directive 2002/77/EC on competition in the

Popular documents