S.I. No. 308/2003 - European Communities (Electronic Communications Networks and Services)(Universal Service and Users' Rights) Regulations 2003


Corrigendum

S.I. No. 308 of 2003

On page 2, Regulation 1(1),, should read as follows:

“These Regulations may be cited as the European Communities (Electronic Communications Networks and Services) (Universal Service and Users' Rights) Regulations 2003.”

S.I. No. 308 of 2003

EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES (ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS AND SERVICES)(UNIVERSAL SERVICE AND USERS' RIGHTS) REGULATIONS 2003

I, Dermot Ahern, Minister for Communications, Marine, and Natural Resources, in exercise of the powers conferred on me by section 3 of the European Communities Act, 1972 (No. 27 of 1972), and for the purpose of giving effect to Directive No. 2002/22/EC1 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 March 2002, hereby make the following regulations:

Citation and commencement

1.         (1)  These Regulations may be cited as the European Communities (Electronic Communications)(Universal Service and Users' Rights) Regulations 2003.

(2)  These Regulations, other than Regulations 7 and 29, come into operation on 25 July 2003.

(3)  Regulations 7 and 29 come into operation on the making of these Regulations.

Interpretation

2.         (1)  For the purposes of these Regulations, the definitions as set out in Regulation 2(1) of the Framework Regulations apply.

(2)  In these Regulations, except where the context otherwise requires:

“Act of 2002” means the Communications Regulation Act 2002 (No. 20 of 2002;

“designated undertaking” means an undertaking designated under Regulation 7;

“Framework Regulations” means the European Communities (Electronic Communications)(Framework) Regulations 2003 ( S.I. No. 307 of 2003 );

“geographic number” means a number from the national numbering scheme where part of its digit structure contains geographic significance used for routing calls to the physical location of the network termination point;

“Minister” means the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources;

“network termination point” means the physical point at which a subscriber is provided with access to a public communications network; in the case of networks involving switching or routing, the network termination point is identified by means of a specific network address, which may be linked to a subscriber number or name;

“non-geographic number” means a number from the national numbering scheme that is not a geographic number and includes a mobile, freephone and premium rate number;

“publicly available telephone service” means a service available to the public for originating and receiving national and international calls and access to emergency services through a number or numbers in a national or international telephone numbering plan, and in addition may, where relevant, include one or more of the following services: the provision of operator assistance, directory inquiry services, directories provision of public pay phones, provision of service under special terms, provision of special facilities for customers with disabilities or special social needs or the provision of non-geographic services or both;

“public pay telephone” means a telephone available to the general public for the use of which the means of payment may include coins credit cards, debit cards or pre-payment cards, including cards for use with dialling codes;

“public telephone network” means an electronic communications network which is used to provide publicly available telephone services;it supports the transfer between network termination points of speech communications, and also other forms for communication, such as facsimile and data;

“Regulations of 1999” means the European Communities (Voice Telephony and Universal Service) Regulations 1999 ( S.I. No. 71 of 1999 );

“Regulator” means the Commission for Communications Regulation;

“retail market” means a relevant market involving the provision of products or services to end-users;

“Universal Service Directive” means Directive No. 2002/22/EC1 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 March, 2002, on universal service and users' rights relating to electronic communications networks and services;

“universal service obligation” means an obligation imposed on an undertaking under Regulation 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 or 9.

(2)       A word or expression that is used in these Regulations and is also used in the Universal Service Directive or in the Framework Directive has unless the contrary intention appears, the same meaning in these Regulations that it has in those Directives.

(3)       In these Regulations, unless the contrary intention appears —

(a)       a reference to a Regulation or Schedule is a reference to a Regulation of or Schedule to these Regulations; and

(b)       a reference to a paragraph or subparagraph is reference to a paragraph or subparagraph of the provision in which the reference occurs.

(4)       In these Regulations a reference to an enactment shall be construed as a reference to the enactment as amended by any subsequent enactment including these Regulations.

Provision of access at a fixed location

3.         (1)       A designated undertaking shall satisfy any reasonable request to provide at a fixed location—

(a)       connections to the public telephone network, and

(b)       access to publicly available telephone services.

(2)       Any connection provided by a designated undertaking shall be capable of allowing end-users to make and receive —

(a)       local, national and international telephone calls,

(b)       facsimile communications, and

(c)       data communications at data rates that are sufficient to permit functional Internet access,

taking into account prevailing technologies used by the majority of subscribers and technological feasibility.

(3)       Where a designated undertaking denies any reasonable request made under paragraph (1) it shall inform the person making the request of his or her right to pursue the dispute resolution procedures in accordance with Regulation 28.

(4)       The Regulator may, with the consent of the Minister, for the purposes of the services referred to in this Regulation, specify requirements to be complied with by a designated undertaking in relation to —

(a)       functional Internet access, having regard to prevailing technologies used by the majority of subscribers and to technological feasibility,

(b)       the reasonableness of requests for connection at a fixed location to the public telephone network and for access to publicly available telephone services at a fixed location pursuant to paragraph (1),

(c)       the provision of operator assistance for the purpose of handling calls to the emergency services using the single European emergency call number “112” or any national emergency call number that may be specified by the Regulator, and

(d)       the terms and conditions upon which connection and access referred to in paragraph (1) shall be provided.

(5)       The Minister may by notification require the Regulator to make such arrangements as may be specified in the requirement for the purposes of paragraph (4)(c). The Regulator shall comply with the requirement.

Directory inquiry services and directories

4.          (1)      A designated undertaking shall ensure, based on data provided to it in accordance with paragraph (3) —

(a)  that a comprehensive directory of subscribers is made available to all end-users in a form approved of by the Regulator, whether printed or electronic or both, and is updated at least once in each year, or

(b)  that a comprehensive telephone directory inquiry service is made available to all end-users, including users of public pay telephones.

(2)       A directory or directory inquiry service referred to in paragraph (1 shall comprise, subject to Regulation 8 of the European Communities (Data Protection and Privacy in Telecommunications) Regulations 2002 ( S.I. No. 192 of 2002 ) all subscribers of publicly available telephone services in the State including those with fixed, mobile and personal numbers, who have not refused to be included in such directories.

(3)       A designated undertaking shall, subject to Regulation 10 of the European Communities (Data Protection and Privacy in Telecommunications) Regulations 2002 ( S.I. No. 192 of 2002 ) keep a record (to be known as the National Directory Database) of all subscribers of publicly available telephone services in the State including those with fixed, personal and mobile numbers, who have not refused to be included in that record, and allow access to any information contained in such record to any other such undertaking or any person in accordance with such terms and conditions as may be specified by it and approved by the Regulator.

(4)       A designated undertaking shall for the purposes of this Regulation apply the principle of non-discrimination to the treatment of information that has been provided to it by other undertakings or which it has in its possession or under its control.

(5)       A reference in the European Communities (Data Protection and Privacy in Telecommunications) Regulations 2002 ( S.I. No. 192 of 2002 ) to Regulation 10(2) of the Regulations of 1999 shall be read as a reference to paragraph (4).

Public pay telephones

5.         (1)       A designated undertaking shall ensure that public pay telephones are provided to meet the reasonable needs of end-users in terms of the geographical coverage, the number of telephones, the accessibility of such telephones to disabled users and the quality of services.

(2)       The Regulator may, with the consent of the Minister, specify terms and conditions applicable to the provision of public pay telephones, for the purpose of ensuring that the requirements specified in paragraph (1) are met.

(3)       Where the Regulator determines, after consultation with the Minister and having regard to views expressed to it pursuant to a public consultation carried out in accordance with Regulation 27, that there exists a sufficient number of public pay telephones in any geographic area to satisfy the reasonable needs for such service in that area, taking into account the population density in such geographic area and the state of development of the communications market in that area, the Regulator may decide not to designate an undertaking under Regulation 7 for the purposes of paragraph (1) in relation to that area or in a specified part of that area, as the case may be.

(4)       (a)       The Regulator shall conduct a review of any decision it makes under paragraph (3) as and when it considers it appropriate.

(b)       Where the Regulator makes a decision that the number of public pay telephones is no longer sufficient to serve the reasonable needs for such services in that area, the Regulator may designate an undertaking under Regulation 7 as having an obligation under paragraph (1) in respect of public pay telephones in that area.

(5)       An undertaking providing public pay telephones shall ensure that it is possible to make emergency calls from a public pay telephone using the single European emergency call number “112” and any national emergency call number that may be specified by the Regulator in each case free of charge and without the necessity to use coins or cards or any other means of payment.

(6)       Any undertaking providing public pay telephones shall ensure that the users of those telephones have access to a directory inquiry service referred to in Regulation 4.

Specific measures for disabled users

6.         (1)       The Regulator may with the consent of the Minister, specify obligations applicable to designated undertakings, designated for the purpose of ensuring that disabled end-users can enjoy access to and affordability of publicly available telephone services, including access to emergency services, directory inquiry services and directories equivalent to that enjoyed by other end-users.

(2)       The Regulator may specify the terms and conditions to be complied with by designated undertakings for the purpose of ensuring that disabled end-users can take advantage of the choice of undertakings and service providers available to the majority of end-users.

Designation of undertakings

7.         (1)       As soon as practicable after the coming into operation of these Regulations, the Regulator shall designate one or more undertakings for such period as may be specified by the Regulator, to comply with an obligation referred to in Regulation 3, 4(1)(a), 4(1)(b), 4(3), 5 or 6 and, where applicable, Regulation 8(2), so that the whole of the territory may be covered

(2)       The Regulator may designate different undertakings or sets of undertakings to comply with one or more of the obligations referred to in paragraph (1) or to cover different parts of the territory of the State.

(3)       In designating an undertaking under paragraph (1), the Regulator shall adopt an efficient, objective, transparent and non-discriminatory designation mechanism whereby no undertaking is a priori excluded from being designated. The designation methods adopted shall ensure that the obligations referred to in paragraph (1) are provided in a cost effective manner and may be used as a means of determining the net cost of the universal service obligation in accordance with Regulation 11.

(4)       Pending a designation under paragraph (1), a designation under Regulation 3 of the Regulations of 1999 is deemed to be a designation under paragraph (1).

(5)       Notwithstanding Regulation 38 of the Framework Regulations, an undertaking referred to in paragraph (4) shall continue to comply with any obligations applicable to it on 24 July 2003 under Regulation 8, 9 10, 11 or 12 of the Regulations of 1999 until such time, not later than 24 October 2003, as obligations under Regulation 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 are imposed on any undertaking.

Affordability of tariffs

8.         (1)       The Regulator shall monitor the evolution and level of retail tariffs of the services identified in Regulations 3, 4, 5, and 6 and provided by designated undertakings in particular in relation to national consumer prices and income.

(2)       The Regulator may, in the light of national conditions, specify, with the consent of the Minister, requirements to be complied with by a designated undertaking for the purpose of ensuring that such undertaking provides tariff options or packages to consumers which depart from those provided under normal commercial conditions, in particular to ensure that those on low incomes or on special social needs are not prevented from accessing or using the publicly available telephone service.

(3)       The Regulator may, with the consent of the Minister, require an undertaking designated by the Regulator under Regulation 7 to apply common tariffs including geographical averaging throughout the State in the light of national conditions.

(4)       The conditions of any scheme to provide special tariff options common tariffs, including geographical averaging, (including an order under section 7 of the Telecommunications (Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1996 ) shall be fully transparent and shall be published and applied in accordance with the principle of non-discrimination. The Regulator may require, where it considers a scheme does not comply with this paragraph, that the scheme be modified or withdrawn.

Control of expenditure

9.         (1)       A designated undertaking shall, where it provides facilities and services additional to those referred to in Regulations 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8(2), establish terms and conditions for the provision of such additional facilities and services in such a way that the subscriber is not obliged to pay for facilities or services which are not necessary or not required for the service requested by him or her.

(2)       A designated undertaking shall, for the purpose of ensuring that subscribers can monitor and control expenditure and avoid unwarranted disconnection of service provide the specific facilities and services set out in Schedule 1, Part A.

(3)       The Regulator may waive any requirement imposed under paragraph (2) in relation to all or any part of the State, if it is satisfied that the relevant facility or service is widely available in, or in any part of, the State.

Quality of service of designated undertakings

10.       (1)       A designated undertaking with an obligation under Regulation 3, 4, 5 6 or 8(2) as applicable, shall publish adequate and up to date information concerning its performance in relation to the provision of universal service obligations, based on the quality of service parameters, definitions and measurement methods set out in Annex III to the Directive and shall supply such published information to the Regulator.

(2)       The Regulator may specify, inter alia, additional quality of service standards, where relevant parameters have been developed, to assess the performance of undertakings in the provision of services to disabled end-users and disabled consumers. A designated undertaking by the Regulator in respect of the services referred to in Regulation 6 shall publish and make available to the Regulator information concerning its performance in relation to the parameters.

(3)       The Regulator may, in addition, specify the regularity, content, form and manner of information to be published pursuant to this Regulation for the purpose of ensuring that end-users and consumers have access to comprehensive, comparable user-friendly information.

(4)       The Regulator may set performance targets for those designated undertakings in respect of the services referred to in Regulation 3 and in respect of such other services referred to in Regulations 4, 5, 6 and 8 as the Regulator deems appropriate from time to time. In so doing it shall have regard to any views expressed by interested parties, in particular pursuant to public consultations carried out in accordance with Regulation 27.

(5)       The Regulator may arrange, or require an undertaking to which this Regulation refers to arrange, an independent audit or review paid for by the undertaking concerned, of the performance data supplied by that undertaking to ensure the accuracy and compatibility of that data with universal service obligations.

(6)       In the case of persistent failure by an undertaking to meet performance targets referred to in paragraph (4), the Regulator may issue directions to the undertaking concerned for the purpose of ensuring compliance by the undertaking with the performance targets concerned.

Costing of universal service obligations

11.       (1)       Where an undertaking designated as having an obligation under Regulation 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 or 9 seeks to receive funding for the net costs of meeting the obligation concerned, it may submit to the Regulator a written request for such funding.

(2)       A request under paragraph (1) shall be accompanied by such supporting information as may be reasonably required by the Regulator for the purposes of paragraph (3). The data may be based on such period as may be specified by the Regulator.

(3)       The Regulator shall, on the basis of such information, including information supplied pursuant to paragraph (2), as it considers sufficient to enable a determination under this paragraph to be made determine whether an obligation referred to in paragraph (1) may represent an unfair burden on the undertaking concerned.

(4)       Where the Regulator determines that an obligation referred to in paragraph (1) may represent an unfair burden it shall calculate the net costs of its provision, based on —

(a)  the net costs, taking into account any market benefit which accrues to the undertaking, calculated in accordance with Schedule 2, Part A, or

(b)  where applicable, the net costs identified by a designation method in accordance with Regulation 7(3).

(5)       A designated undertaking referred to in paragraph (1) shall provide such information as is reasonably required by the Regulator for the purposes of paragraph (4).

(6)       Where the Regulator determines that an obligation referred to in paragraph (1) may not represent an unfair burden it shall notify the undertaking concerned of that determination, together with the reasons for the determination as soon as reasonably practicable after the determination is made.

(7)       The accuracy of the accounts or other information or both, serving as the basis for the calculation of the net cost of an obligation shall be audited or verified, as appropriate, by the Regulator or by a body independent of the undertaking concerned and approved of by the Regulator.

(8)       The Regulator shall make publicly available the results of the cost calculations and the conclusions of any audit or verification undertaken pursuant to this Regulation.

Financing of universal service obligations

12.       (1)       Where the Regulator, on the basis of the net cost calculation referred to in Regulation 11, finds that the net cost of meeting an obligation under Regulation 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 or 9 represents an unfair burden on an undertaking it shall apportion the net cost of the universal service obligation among providers of electronic communications network and services.

(2)       The Regulator shall establish a sharing mechanism administered by it or by a body independent from the designated undertakings, which body shall be under the supervision of the Regulator. Only the net cost, as determined in accordance with Regulation 11, of the obligations provided for in Regulation 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 or 9 may be financed.

(3)       A sharing mechanism established under paragraph (2) shall respect the principles of transparency, least market distortion, non-discrimination and proportionality in accordance with the principles of Schedule 2 Part B. The Regulator may choose not to require contributions from undertakings whose audited national turnover is less than such amount as may, from time to time, be specified by the Regulator, having regard to any views expressed to it pursuant to any consultations carried out in accordance with Regulation 27.

(4)       Any charges related to the sharing of the cost of universal service in accordance with an apportionment under paragraph (1) shall be unbundled and identified separately for each undertaking.

(5)       The Regulator shall not impose any charges pursuant to this Regulation on undertakings that are not providing services within the territory of the State.

(6)       The Regulator shall notify each undertaking required to share the cost of a universal service obligation of its obligation to contribute to such cost including the amount, manner and timing of payments to be made.

(7)       An undertaking which has been notified of its obligation to contribute an amount specified by the Regulator shall pay that amount in the time and manner specified by the Regulator.

(8)       Any amount payable to the Regulator under this Regulation that remains unpaid may be recovered by the Regulator as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction and any such amount shall include interest at the rate per annum standing specified for the time being in section 26 of the Debtors (Ireland) Act 1840, on the amount or part thereof remaining unpaid in respect of the period between the date when such amount or part thereof fell due and the date of payment of such amount or part.

(9)       The Regulator shall, subject to the protection of the confidentiality of any information which it considers confidential, publish an annual report setting out the calculated net cost of universal service obligations, identify the contributions made by all the undertakings involved and identifying any market benefits, that may have accrued to any undertaking designated by the Regulator under Regulation 7.

(10)     The Regulator shall, subject to the Freedom of Information Acts 1997 and 2003, maintain and accept as confidential any information provided under these Regulations by an undertaking providing electronic communications networks or services expressed by it to be confidential, except where the Regulator has good reason to consider otherwise.

(11)     The Regulator shall publish and make publicly available all information in relation to the principles used for cost sharing, including the details of the mechanism used.

Continuation of existing obligations

13.       Notwithstanding Regulation 38 of the Framework Regulations, an undertaking shall continue to comply with any obligations applicable to it on 24 July 2003 relating to —

(a)        retail tariffs for the provision of access to and use of the public telephone network under Regulation 21 of the Regulations of 1999,

(b)        carrier selection or pre-selection imposed under the European Communities (Interconnection in Telecommunications) Regulations 1998 to 2000, or

(c)        leased lines, imposed under the European Communities (Leased Lines Regulations 1998 ( S.I. No. 109 of 1998 ),

until such time as obligations under Regulation 14, 15 or 16 are imposed on any undertaking.

Regulatory controls on retail markets

14.     (1)     Where —

(a)        the Regulator determines, as a result of a market analysis carried out by it in accordance with Regulation 27 of the Framework Regulations, that a given retail market identified in accordance with Regulation 26 of the Framework Regulations is not effectively competitive, and

(b)        the Regulator concludes that obligations imposed under the Access Regulations or Regulation 16 of these Regulations would not result in the achievement of the objectives set out in section 12 of the Act of 2002,

the Regulator shall impose such obligations as it considers appropriate to achieve those objectives on undertakings identified by the Regulator under Regulation 27(4) of the Framework Regulations as having significant market power on a given retail market.

(2)       Any obligations imposed by the Regulator pursuant to paragraph (1 shall be based on the nature of the problem identified pursuant to the market analysis and be proportionate and justified in the light of the objectives set out in section 12 of the Act of 2002 and may include requirements to ensure that the undertaking concerned does not —

(a)        charge excessive prices,

(b)        inhibit market entry or restrict competition by setting predatory prices,

(c)        show undue preference to specific end-users, or

(d)        unreasonably bundle services.

(3)       The Regulator may require an undertaking to which paragraph (1 applies to comply with —

(i)         measures to control individual tariffs, or

(ii)        measures to orient tariffs towards costs or prices on comparable markets,

in order to protect end-users' interests whilst promoting effective competition.

(4)       The Regulator shall, on request, provide information to the European Commission concerning any retail controls applied and, where appropriate, the cost accounting systems used by the undertakings concerned.

(5)       An undertaking that is subject to retail tariff regulation or other relevant retail control shall operate and maintain a cost accounting system that is—

(i)         based on generally accepted accounting practices,

(ii)        is suitable for ensuring compliance with this Regulation, and

(iii)       is capable of verification by the Regulator.

(6)       The Regulator may specify the format and accounting methodology to be used by an undertaking to which paragraph (5) applies.

(7)       Compliance by an undertaking with a cost accounting system referred to in paragraph (5) shall be verified by a qualified independent body. For this purpose, the Regulator may carry out an audit itself, provided it has the necessary qualified staff, or it may require an audit to be carried out by another qualified body, independent of the undertaking concerned.

(8)       An undertaking to which paragraph (5) applies shall publish in its annual accounts a statement concerning compliance by it with a cost accounting system referred to in paragraph (5).

(9)       Without prejudice to Regulations 8(2) and 9, the Regulator shall not apply retail control mechanisms under paragraph (1) in a relevant market, in relation to which the Regulator is satisfied that effective competition exists.

Regulatory controls on the minimum set of leased lines

15.     (1)         Where the Regulator determines, as a result of a market analysis carried out by it in accordance with Regulation 27 of the Framework Regulations, that a relevant market consisting of the provision of part or all of the minimum set of leased lines, as identified in the list of standards published in the Official Journal of the European Communities pursuant to Article 17 of the Framework Directive, is not effectively competitive, it shall impose obligations regarding such provision, and regarding the conditions for such provision which are set out in Schedule 3, on an undertaking designated under Regulation 27(4) of the Framework Regulations as having significant market power in such relevant market.

(2)       Where, as a result of a market analysis referred to in paragraph (1), the Regulator determines that a relevant market for the provision of leased lines in the minimum set is effectively competitive, it shall withdraw the obligations referred to in Regulation 13 or, as appropriate paragraph (1), in relation to that specific leased line market.

Carrier selection and carrier pre-selection

16.     (1)         Where the Regulator determines, as a result of a market analysis carried out by it in accordance with Regulation 27 of the Framework Regulations, that a relevant market consisting of the provision of connection to and use of the public telephone network at a fixed location is not effectively competitive, the Regulator shall impose obligations to be complied with by an undertaking designated under Regulation 27(4) of the Framework Regulations as having significant market power in such relevant market for the purpose of enabling subscribers of such undertaking to access the services of any interconnected provider of publicly available telephone services—

(a)        on a call-by-call basis by dialling a carrier selection code, and

(b)        by means of pre-selection, with a facility to over-ride any pre-selected choice on a call-by-call basis by dialling a carrier selection code.

(2)       The Regulator may, pursuant to a market analysis under Regulation 27 of the Framework Regulations, determine that user requirements for the facilities referred to in paragraph (1)(a) and (b) shall be implemented on other networks or in other ways and any such determination shall be implemented in accordance with Regulation 12 of the Access Regulations.

(3)       An undertaking to which paragraph (1) refers shall ensure that pricing for access and interconnection related to the provision of the facilities referred to in paragraph (1)(a) and (b) is cost oriented and that direct charges to subscribers, if any, do not act as a disincentive for the use of these facilities.

Contracts

17.       (1)       An undertaking that provides to end-users connection or access or both connection and access to the public telephone network shall do so in accordance with a contract.

(2)       A contract referred to in paragraph (1) shall specify, inter alia

(a)        the identity and address of the supplier,

(b)        services provided, the service quality levels offered, as well as the time for the initial connection,

(c)        the types of maintenance service offered,

(d)        particulars of prices and tariffs and the means by which up to date information on all applicable tariffs and maintenance charges may be obtained,

(e)        the duration of the contract, conditions for renewal and termination of services and of the contract,

(f)        any compensation and refund arrangements which apply if contracted service quality levels are not met, and

(g)        the method of initiating procedures for settlement of disputes in accordance with Regulation 28.

(3)       Where a contract is agreed between an end-user and a provider of electronic communications services, other than one providing connection or access or both to the public telephone network, such contract shall include the information specified in paragraph (2).

(4)       An undertaking referred to in paragraph (1) or a provider of electronic communications services referred to in paragraph (3) shall, not less than one month prior to the date of implementation of any proposed modification, notify its subscribers to that service —

(a)        of the proposed modification in the conditions of the contract for that service, and

(b)        their right to withdraw without penalty from such contract if they do not accept the modification.

(5)       A subscriber referred to in paragraph (4) may withdraw from his or her contract with the undertaking or provider, without penalty if he or she does not accept a proposed modification referred to in paragraph (4).

Transparency and publication of information and quality of service

18.       (1)       The Regulator shall ensure that transparent and up to date information on applicable prices and tariffs, and on standard terms and conditions in respect of access to and use of publicly available telephone services is available to end users and consumers in accordance with this Regulation.

(2)       The Regulator may specify that an undertaking providing a public telephone network or publicly available telephone services or both such network and services shall provide to end users and consumers such of the information set out in Schedule 4 as the Regulator shall specify.

(3)       The Regulator shall encourage the provision of information to enable end-users, as far as appropriate, and consumers to make an independent evaluation of the cost of alternative usage patterns, by means of, for instance, interactive guides.

(4)       The Regulator may specify obligations to be complied with by an undertaking providing publicly available electronic communications services requiring such undertaking to publish comparable, adequate and up to date information for end-users on the quality of its services.

(5)       The Regulator may require an undertaking to which paragraph (4 relates to supply such information to the Regulator in advance of the publication.

(6)       An undertaking shall comply with any requirement made of it under paragraph (4) within such reasonable period as the Regulator shall specify.

(7)       The Regulator shall, before specifying obligations under paragraph (4) have regard to any views expressed to it pursuant to any public consultation carried out by it in accordance with Regulation 27.

(8)       For the purposes of paragraph (4), the Regulator may specify, inter alia, the quality-of-service parameters to be measured, and the content form and manner of information to be published in order to ensure that end-users have access to comprehensive, comparable and user-friendly information and where it considers it appropriate, the Regulator may specify the quality of service parameters, definitions and measurement methods set out in Annex III to the Directive.

Integrity of the network

19.       (1)       The Regulator may specify obligations to be complied with by an undertaking operating a public telephone network at fixed locations, in order to ensure the integrity of such network and, in the event of catastrophic network breakdown or in cases of force majeure, to ensure the availability of the public telephone network and publicly available telephone services at fixed locations.

(2)       An undertaking providing a publicly available telephone service at fixed locations shall take all reasonable steps to ensure uninterrupted access to emergency services.

Interoperability of consumer digital television equipment

20.       (1)       A person who places on the market for sale or rent or otherwise makes available consumer equipment intended for the reception of digital television signals that is capable of descrambling digital television signals, shall ensure that such equipment possesses the capability to—

(a)       allow the descrambling of such signals according to the common European scrambling algorithm as administered by a recognised European standards organisation, and

(b)       display signals that have been transmitted in clear, provided that, in the event that such equipment is rented, the rentee is in compliance with the relevant rental agreement.

(2)       Paragraph (1) does not apply to consumer equipment first placed on the market for sale or for rent or otherwise in the European Community before 23 August 1996.

(3)       A person who places on the market for sale or rent or otherwise an analogue television set with an integral viewing screen of visible diagonal greater than 42 centimetres, shall ensure that the set is fitted with at least one open interface socket (as standardised by a recognised European standards organisation) permitting simple connection of peripherals, especially additional decoders and digital receivers.

(4)       Paragraph (3) does not apply to a television set that was placed on the market in the European Community for sale or rent before 23 August 1996.

(5)       A person who places on the market for sale or rent a digital television set with an integral screen of visible diagonal greater than 30 centimetres shall ensure that the set is fitted with at least one open interface socket (either standardised by, or conforming to a standard adopted by, a recognised European standards organisation, or conforming to an industry-wide specification) (e.g. the DVB common interface connector) permitting simple connection of peripherals, and able to pass all the elements of a digital television signal, including information relating to interactive and conditionally accessed services.

(6)       Paragraph (5) does not apply to any television set that was placed on the market in the Community for sale or rent before 25 April 2002.

(7)       In this Regulation “rent” in relation to any television set or other equipment, means the first supplying to a customer of that set or equipment pursuant to a rental agreement.

(8)       It shall be a function of the Director of Consumer Affairs to monitor compliance with paragraphs (3) and (5).

Operator assistance and directory inquiry services

21.       (1)       An undertaking providing a publicly available telephone service shall ensure that its subscribers have the right, without charge, to have an entry in a directory as provided for in Regulation 4(1), and a directory inquiry service as provided for in Regulation 4(2).

(2)       An undertaking that assigns telephone numbers to subscribers shall meet all reasonable requests to make available, for the purposes of the provision of publicly available directory inquiry services, directories and the record referred to in Regulation 4(4), the relevant information in an agreed format on terms that are fair, objective, cost oriented and non-discriminatory.

(3)       An undertaking providing a connection to the public telephone network to end-users shall ensure that all such end-users can access operator assistance services and a directory inquiry service, in accordance with Regulation 4.

(4)       The Regulator shall not maintain any regulatory restriction which prevents an end-user in the State from accessing directly a directory enquiry service in another Member State or an end-user in another Member State from accessing directory enquiry services in the State.

(5)       This Regulation applies subject to the requirements of European Community legislation on the protection of personal data and privacy.

Single European emergency call number

22.       (1)       An undertaking providing a publicly available telephone service (including public pay telephones) to end-users shall ensure that such end-users are able to call the emergency services free of charge, by using the single European emergency call number “112” or any national emergency call number that may be specified by the Regulator.

(2)       An undertaking operating public telephone networks shall, as soon as practicable, make caller location information available to authorities handling emergencies, to the extent technically feasible, for all calls to the single European emergency call number “112” and any national emergency call number that may be specified by the Regulator.

(3)       The Regulator may specify obligations for compliance by undertakings of any particular class or classes that may be specified by the Regulator, for the purpose of ensuring that members of the public are adequately informed about the existence and use of the single European emergency call number “112”.

European telephone access codes

23.       (1)       The Regulator shall ensure that the “00” code is the standard international access code.

(2)       Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the Regulator may specify requirements for compliance by undertakings for the purpose of ensuring that special arrangements for making calls between the State and Northern Ireland may be established or continued and that the end-users of publicly available telephone services in the State are fully informed of such arrangements.

(3)       An undertaking operating a public telephone network shall convey all calls originating on or transiting through its network to the European telephony numbering space, without prejudice to the need for an undertaking that operates a public telephone network to recover the cost of the conveyance of calls on its network

(4)       The Regulator may specify requirements for the purposes of ensuring compliance by an undertaking with paragraph (3).

Non-geographic numbers

24.       The Regulator may specify requirements for compliance by an undertaking operating a public telephone network or providing publicly available telephone services, for the purpose of ensuring that end-users from other Member States are able to access non-geographic numbers within the State where technically and economically feasible, except where a called subscriber has chosen for commercial reasons to limit access by calling parties located in specific geographical areas.

Provision of additional facilities

25.       (1)       Subject to paragraph (4), an undertaking operating a public telephone network shall make available to end-users the facilities listed in Schedule I, Part B, subject to technical feasibility and economic viability.

(2)       Where an undertaking referred to in paragraph (1) considers that it is not technically feasible nor economic to provide the facilities listed in Schedule I, Part B, it shall notify the Regulator of the fact and give reasons, including all relevant information in support of its views.

(3)       The Regulator shall consider the information given to it pursuant to paragraph (2) and any other information it considers relevant and shall either agree or disagree with the decision of the undertaking.

(4)       Where the Regulator disagrees with the decision of the undertaking as aforesaid, it may issue a direction to that undertaking to provide the facilities listed in Schedule I, Part B.

(5)       If the Regulator considers, after taking into account any views expressed to it pursuant to a public consultation carried out in accordance with Regulation 27, that there is sufficient access to the facilities referred to in paragraph (1) in all or in any part of the State, it may dis-apply paragraph (1) in relation to the whole or any such part of the State.

(6)       Without prejudice to Regulation 9(2) the Regulator may require all undertakings of a class or classes specified by the Regulator to comply with the requirements of subparagraph (e) of that paragraph.

Number portability

26.       (1)       An undertaking providing a publicly available telephone service including a mobile service, shall ensure that a subscriber to such service can, upon request, retain his or her number independently of the undertaking providing the service—

(a)        in the case of geographic numbers, at a specific location, and

(b)        in the case of non-geographic numbers, at any location.

This paragraph shall not apply to the porting of numbers between networks providing services at a fixed location and mobile networks.

(2)       The Regulator may specify obligations for compliance by an undertaking to which paragraph (1) relates for the purpose of ensuring that pricing for interconnection related to the provision of number portability as provided for in paragraph (1) is cost oriented and that direct charges to subscribers, if any, do not act as a disincentive for the use of these facilities.

(3)       Obligations under paragraph (2) may include a requirement that there shall be no direct charges to subscribers for number portability. Where retail tariffs for porting of numbers are permitted, the Regulator shall ensure that such tariffs may not be imposed in a manner that would distort competition and for this purpose may specify obligations to be complied with by an undertaking.

Consultation with interested parties

27.       For the purposes of its functions under these Regulations, the Regulator shall where specified in these Regulations and otherwise where it considers it appropriate, have regard to the views of end-users and consumers (including in particular, disabled users), manufacturers and undertakings, on issues related to all end-user and consumer rights concerning publicly available electronic communications services, in particular where they have a significant impact on the market, in accordance with such procedures as may be drawn up by the Regulator under Regulation 19(5) of the Framework Regulations.

Dispute resolution

28.       (1)       Without prejudice to any legal rights of action which may apply, an undertaking shall implement a code of practice for handling complaints from end-users in respect of an alleged contravention of these Regulations, which code of practice shall make provision for the following matters—

(a)        first point of contact for complainants,

(b)        a means of recording complaints,

(c)        a time frame within which the undertaking concerned shall respond to complaints,

(d)        procedures for resolving complaints,

(e)        appropriate cases where reimbursement of payments and payments in settlement of losses incurred will be made, and

(f)        retention of records of complaints (including copies of the complaint, any response thereto, any determination in respect of the complaint and any documentation considered in the course of such determination) for a period of not less than one year following the resolution of the complaint.

(2)       The Regulator may specify requirements to be met for the purposes of ensuring compliance with paragraph (1) and the manner of publication of a code of practice referred to in paragraph (1).

(3)       The Regulator may issue directions to an undertaking to which paragraph (1) relates to require that the undertaking make such alterations or additions to its code of practice as the Regulator considers appropriate and specifies in the directions.

(4)       The Regulator, or an independent person appointed by the Regulator may, in accordance with such procedures as may be specified by the Regulator, resolve disputes which remain unresolved after due completion of all the procedures of a code of practice referred to in paragraph (1), and in this regard, the Regulator may issue directions to an undertaking requiring that undertaking to comply with such measures as it or the independent person may specify for the resolution of the dispute including, where appropriate, reimbursement of payments and payments in settlement of losses incurred, in accordance with the provisions of a code of practice, referred to in paragraph (1)(e).

(5)       The Regulator shall make publicly available any procedures established by it pursuant to paragraph (4) and amendments thereto.

(6)       The procedures established for the purposes of paragraphs (1), (3) and (4) shall be—

(a)        transparent,

(b)        simple,

(c)        inexpensive, and

(d)        enable disputes to be settled fairly and promptly.

(7)       A person may, where the dispute involves undertakings in more than one Member State, request the Regulator co-ordinates its efforts with any relevant regulatory authority in another Member State with a view to bringing about a resolution of the dispute.

(8)       Unless alternative arrangements for payment of remuneration and expenses of an independent person referred to in paragraph (4) exist the Regulator may pay such remuneration and expenses of such person as it considers appropriate and the amount of such payments shall be included in the expenses of the Regulator for the purposes of section 30 of the Act of 2002.

Notification, monitoring and review procedures

29.       (1)       The Regulator shall notify to the European Commission by 25 July 2003 the names of undertakings that have been designated under Regulation 7(1).

(2)       The Regulator shall notify to the European Commission the names of any undertaking identified under Regulation 25 of the Framework Regulations as having significant market power and of any obligations imposed upon them pursuant to these Regulations.

(3)       The Regulator shall notify to the European Commission any changes in the names notified pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) or in any such obligations imposed.

Notices regarding imposition of obligations

30.       (1)       Where in these Regulations the Regulator specifies or imposes requirements or obligations to be complied with, the Regulator shall cause to be published in the Iris Oifigiul and in a newspaper circulating in the State notice of the requirements or obligations and such notice shall include information on where copies of the obligations or requirements can be obtained.

(2)       The Regulator may amend or revoke any obligations or requirements referred and paragraph (1) applies accordingly.

Directions

31.       The Regulator may, for the purpose of further specifying requirements to be complied with relating to an obligation imposed by or under these Regulations, issue directions to a person to do or refrain from doing anything which the Regulator specifies in the direction.

Enforcement - Compliance with obligations

32.       (1)       The Regulator shall monitor compliance with these Regulations, other than Regulation 20(3) and (5).

(2)       Where the Regulator finds that a person has not complied with an obligation or requirement under these Regulations or a direction under Regulation 31, the Regulator shall notify the person of those findings and give the person an opportunity to state his or her views or remedy any non-compliance not later than —

(a)       one month after issue of the notification,

(b)       such shorter period as is agreed by the Regulator with the person concerned or stipulated by the Regulator in case of repeated breaches, or

(c)       such longer period as may be specified by the Regulator.

(3)       The Regulator may publish, in such manner as it thinks fit, any notification given by it under this Regulation subject to the protection of the confidentiality of any information which the Regulator considers confidential.

(4)       The Regulator may amend or revoke any notification under this Regulation.

(5)       Where, at the end of the period referred to in paragraph (2), the Regulator is of the opinion that a person has not complied with an obligation, requirement or direction under these Regulations, the Regulator may apply to the High Court for such order as may be appropriate by way of compliance with the obligation, requirement or direction. The Court may, as it thinks fit, on the hearing of the application make an order compelling compliance with the obligation requirement or direction or refuse the application. An order compelling compliance shall stipulate a reasonable period for the person to comply with the obligation, requirement or direction.

(6)       An application for an order under paragraph (5) shall be by motion and the Court when considering the motion may make such interim or interlocutory order as it considers appropriate.

(7)       The Court shall not deny interim or interlocutory relief solely on the basis that the Regulator may not suffer any damage if such relief were not granted pending conclusion of the action.

(8)       (a)      An application for an order under paragraph (5) or (13) may include an application for an order to pay to the Regulator such amount, by way of financial penalty, as the Regulator may propose as appropriate in the light of the non-compliance.

(b)      In deciding on such an application, the Court shall decide the amount (if any) of the financial penalty which should be payable and shall not be bound by the sum proposed by the Regulator.

(c)      Any financial penalty ordered by the Court to be paid by a person under this paragraph shall be paid to and retained by the Regulator as income.

(d)      In deciding what amount (if any) should be payable, the Court shall consider the circumstances of the non-compliance including —

(i)     its duration,

(ii)    the effect on consumers, users and other operators,

(iii)   the submissions of the Regulator on the appropriate amount, and

(iv)   any excuse or explanation for the non-compliance.

(9)       Where the Regulator has evidence of non-compliance by a person with an obligation or requirement under these Regulations or a direction under Regulation 31 that represents an immediate and serious threat to public safety, public security or public health, the Regulator may issue a direction to the person requiring that the use of such apparatus or part of it, as may be specified in the direction, cease with immediate effect or, on or before such date and time, as may be so specified.

(10)     A person to whom a direction has been issued under paragraph (9 shall cease to use the apparatus or part of it to which the direction relates, unless and until such direction has been withdrawn by the Regulator, and shall take such measures as may be specified by the Regulator in the direction to remedy the non-compliance.

(11)     Where the Regulator has evidence of non-compliance by a person with an obligation or requirement under these Regulations or a direction under Regulation 31 that will in the opinion of the Regulator create serious economic or operational problems for undertakings or for users of electronic communications networks or services, the Regulator may issue a direction to the person requiring immediate compliance.

(12)     A person may make representations to the Regulator concerning a requirement made of the person under paragraph (9) or (11) and the Regulator having considered the representations may confirm, amend or withdraw the requirement.

(13)     Where a person fails to comply with a requirement under paragraph (9 or (11), the Regulator may apply in a summary manner to the High Court for an order compelling compliance.

Enforcement by the Director of Consumer Affairs

33.       (1)       The Director of Consumer Affairs, in a case of non-compliance with Regulation 20(3) or (5), may issue a direction to the undertaking concerned to comply with the Regulation and any stipulations contained in the direction.

(2)       The Director of Consumer Affairs may appoint a person to be an authorised officer for the purposes of paragraph (3) or (5) of Regulation 20.

(3)       Section 39 (2), (3), (4) and (5) and sections 40 and 41 of the Act of 2002 apply in respect of an authorised officer appointed under paragraph (4) and, for the purposes of this Regulation accordingly references to the Commission for Communications Regulation (“Commission”) in those provisions should be read as including references to the Director of Consumer Affairs.

Service of directions and notifications

34.       (1)       Where a direction or notification is made under these Regulations such direction or notification shall be in writing, state the reasons on which it is based and be addressed to the person concerned and, as soon as practicable, be sent or given in any of the following ways—

(a)  by delivering it to the person,

(b)  by leaving it at the address at which the person carries on business,

(c)  by sending it by pre-paid registered post to the address at which the person carries on business,

(d)  if an address for the service of directions or notifications has been furnished by the person to the Regulator, by leaving it at, or sending it by pre-paid registered post to, that address, or

(e)  in any case where the Regulator or the Director of Consumer Affairs, as the case may be, considers that the immediate giving of the direction or notification is required, by sending it, by means of a facsimile machine or by electronic mail, to a device or facility for the reception of facsimiles or electronic mail located at the address at which the person ordinarily carries on business or, if an address for the service of notices has been furnished by the person, that address, provided that the sender's facsimile machine generates a message confirming successful transmission of the total number of pages of the direction or notification, as the case may be, or the sender's facility for the reception of electronic mail generates a message confirming receipt of the electronic mail.

(2)       For the purposes of paragraph (1), a company within the meaning of the Companies Acts 1963 to 2001 is deemed to be carrying on business at its registered office and every other body corporate and every unincorporated body is deemed to be carrying on business at its principal office or place of business.

Proceedings and penalties

35.       (1)       A person who fails to comply with a requirement of the Director of Consumer Affairs under Regulation 33(1) is guilty of an offence.

(2)       Proceedings for an offence under paragraph (1) and section 39(6) of the Act of 2002 relating to an authorised officer appointed under Regulation 33(3) may be brought and prosecuted by the Director of Consumer Affairs.

(3)       A person guilty of an offence under these Regulations is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €3,000.

(4)       Where an offence under these Regulations is committed by a body corporate and is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of, any person, being a director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of such body or a person who was purporting to act in any such capacity that person as well as the body corporate is guilty of an offence and is are liable to be proceeded against and punished as if he or she were guilty of the first-mentioned offence.

(5)       Where the affairs of a body corporate are managed by its members paragraph (4) applies in relation to the acts and defaults of a member of that body in connection with the member's functions of management as if he or she were a director or manager of it.

SCHEDULE 1

DESCRIPTION OF FACILITIES AND SERVICES REFERRED TO IN REGULATIONS 9 AND 25

Regulations 9 (2) and 25

Part A: Facilities and services referred to in Regulation 9

(a)       Itemised billing

The Regulator may, subject to the requirements of relevant legislation on the protection of personal data and privacy, lay down the basic level of itemised bills which are to be provided by designated undertakings to consumers free of charge in order that they can:

(i)        allow verification and control of the charges incurred in using the public telephone network at a fixed location or related publicly available telephone services or both such network and services, and

(ii)        adequately monitor their usage and expenditure and thereby exercise a reasonable degree of control over their bills.

Where appropriate, additional levels of detail may be offered to subscribers at a reasonable tariff or at no charge.

Calls which are free of charge to the calling subscriber, including calls to help lines, are not to be identified in the calling subscribers' itemised bill.

(b)       Selective call barring for outgoing calls, free of charge.

i.e. the facility whereby a subscriber can, on the request to the telephone service provider, bar outgoing calls of defined types or to defined types of numbers free of charge.

(c)       Pre-payment systems.

The Regulator may require designated undertakings to provide the means for consumers to pay for access to the public telephone network and use of publicly available telephone services on pre-paid terms.

(d)       Phased payment of connection fees.

The Regulator may require designated undertakings to allow consumers to pay for connection to the public telephone network on the basis of payments phased over time.

(e)       Non-payment of bills.

The Regulator may authorise specified measures, which are proportionate non-discriminatory and published, to cover non-payment of telephone bills for users of the public telephone network at fixed locations. These measures are to ensure that due warning of any consequent service interruption or disconnection is given to a subscriber beforehand. Except in cases of fraud persistent late payment or non-payment, these measures are to ensure, as far as is technically feasible, that any service interruption is confined to the service confined. Disconnection for non-payment of bills should take place only after due warning is given to subscribers. The Regulator may allow a period of limited service prior to complete disconnection, during which only calls that do not incur charges to subscriber (e.g. “112” calls) are permitted.

Part B: Facilities referred to in Regulation 25

(a)     Tone dialling or DTMF (dual-tone multi-frequency operation)

i.e. the public telephone network supports the use of DTMF tones as defined in ETSI ETR 207 for end-to-end signalling throughout the network both within a Member State and between Member States.

(b)     Calling-line identification

i.e. the calling party's number is presented to the called party prior to the call being established.

This facility should be provided in accordance with relevant legislation on protection of personal data and privacy, in particular Directive 97/66/EC.

To the extent technically feasible, operators should provide data and signals to facilitate the offering of calling-line identity and tone dialling across Member State boundaries.

SCHEDULE 2

CALCULATING THE NET COST, IF ANY, OF UNIVERSAL SERVICE OBLIGATIONS AND ESTABLISHING ANY RECOVERY OR SHARING MECHANISM IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARTICLES 12 AND 13 OF THE UNIVERSAL SERVICE DIRECTIVE

Regulation 12 (3)

Part A: Calculation of net cost

Universal service obligations refer to those obligations placed upon an undertaking by a Member State which concern the provision of a network and service throughout a specified geographical area, including, where required, averaged prices in that geographical area for the provision of that service or provision of specific tariff options for consumers with low incomes or with special social needs.

National regulatory authorities are to consider all means to ensure appropriate incentives for undertakings (designated or not) to provide universal service obligations cost efficiently. In undertaking a calculation exercise, the net cost of universal service obligations is to be calculated as the difference between the net cost for a designated undertaking of operating with the universal service obligations and operating without the universal service obligations. This applies whether the network in a particular Member State is fully developed or is still undergoing development and expansion. Due attention is to be given to correctly assessing the costs that any designated undertaking would have chosen to avoid had there been no universal service obligation. The net cost calculation should assess the benefits, including intangible benefits, to the universal service operator.

The calculation is to be based upon the costs attributable to:

(i)  elements of the identified services which can only be provided at a loss or provided under cost conditions falling outside normal commercial standards.

This category may include service elements such as access to emergency telephone services, provision of certain public pay telephones, provision of certain services or equipment for disabled people, etc;

(ii)  specific end-users or groups of end-users who, taking into account the cost of providing the specified network and service, the revenue generated and any geographical averaging of prices imposed by the Member State, can only be served at a loss or under cost conditions falling outside normal commercial standards.

This category includes those end-users or groups of end-users which would not be served by a commercial operator which did not have an obligation to provide universal service.

The calculation of the net cost of specific aspects of universal service obligations is to be made separately and so as to avoid the double counting of any direct or indirect benefits and costs. The overall net cost of universal service obligations to any undertaking is to be calculated as the sum of the net costs arising from the specific components of universal service obligations, taking account of any intangible benefits. The responsibility for verifying the net cost lies with the national regulatory authority.

Part B: Recovery of any net costs of universal service obligations

The recovery or financing of any net costs of universal service obligations requires designated undertakings with universal service obligations to be compensated for the services they provide under non-commercial conditions. Because such a compensation involves financial transfers, Member States are to ensure that these are undertaken in an objective, transparent, non-discriminatory and proportionate manner.This means that the transfers result in the least distortion to competition and to user demand.

In accordance with Article 13(3) of the Universal Service Directive, a sharing mechanism based on a fund should use a transparent and neutral means for collecting contributions that avoids the danger of a double imposition of contributions falling on both outputs and inputs of undertakings.

The independent body administering the fund is to be responsible for collecting contributions from undertakings which are assessed as liable to contribute to the net cost of universal service obligations in the Member State and is to oversee the transfer of sums due and/or administrative payments to the undertakings entitled to receive payments from the fund.

SCHEDULE 3

CONDITIONS FOR THE MINIMUM SET OF LEASED LINES REFERRED TO IN REGULATION 15

Regulation 15

In this Schedule, “Article 18” means Article 18 of the Universal Service Directive.

Note: In accordance with the procedure in Article 18, provision of the minimum set of leased lines under the conditions established by Directive 92/44/EC should continue until such time as the national regulatory authority determines that there is effective competition in the relevant leased lines market.

National regulatory authorities are to ensure that provision of the minimum set of leased lines referred to in Article 18 of the Universal Service Directive follows the basic principles of non-discrimination, cost orientation and transparency.

1.           Non discrimination

National regulatory authorities are to ensure that the organisations identified as having significant market power pursuant to Article 18(1) adhere to the principle of non-discrimination when providing leased lines referred to in Article 18. Those organisations are to apply similar conditions in similar circumstances to organizations providing similar services, and are to provide leased lines to others under the same conditions and of the same quality as they provide for their own services, or those of their subsidiaries or partners where applicable.

2.           Cost orientation

National regulatory authorities are, where appropriate, to ensure that tariffs for leased lines referred to in Article 18 follow the basic principles of cost orientation. To this end, national regulatory authorities are to ensure that undertakings identified as having significant market power pursuant to Article 18(1) formulate and put in practice a suitable cost accounting system. National regulatory authorities are to keep available, with an adequate level of detail information on the cost accounting systems applied by such undertakings.They are to submit this information to the Commission on request.

3.           Transparency

National regulatory authorities are to ensure that the following information in respect of the minimum set of leased lines referred to in Article 18 is published in an easily accessible form.

3.1. Technical characteristics, including the physical and electrical characteristics as well as the detailed technical and performance specifications which apply at the network termination point.

3.2. Tariffs, including the initial connection charges, the periodic rental charges and other charges. Where tariffs are differentiated, this must be indicated.Where, in response to a particular request, an organisation identified as having significant market power pursuant to Article 18(1) considers it unreasonable to provide a leased line in the minimum set under its published tariffs and supply conditions, it must seek the agreement of the national regulatory authority to vary those conditions in that case.

3.3. Supply conditions, including at least the following elements:

-   information concerning the ordering procedure,

-   the typical delivery period, which is the period, counted from the date when the user has made a firm request for a leased line, in which 95 % of all leased lines of the same type have been put through to the customers.

This period will be established on the basis of the actual delivery periods of leased lines during a recent time interval of reasonable duration. The calculation must not include cases where late delivery periods were requested by users,

-   the contractual period, which includes the period which is in general laid down in the contract and the minimum contractual period which the user is obliged to accept,

-   the typical repair time, which is the period, counted from the time when a failure message has been given to the responsible unit within the undertaking identified as having significant market power pursuant to Article 18(1) up to the moment in which 80 % of all leased lines of the same type have been re-established and in appropriate cases notified back in operation to the users. Where different classes of quality of repair are offered for the same type of leased lines, the different typical repair times shall be published,

-   any refund procedure.

In addition where a Member State considers that the achieved performance for the provision of the minimum set of leased lines does not meet users' needs, it may define appropriate targets for the supply conditions listed above.

SCHEDULE 4

INFORMATION TO BE PUBLISHED IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATION 18

Regulation 18 (2)

1.       The name and address of the head office of the undertaking.

2.       Publicly available telephone services offered, including—

(i)        the scope of the publicly available telephone service

description of the publicly available telephone services offered and indicating what is included in the subscription charge and the periodic rental charge (e.g. operator services, directories, directory inquiry services, selective call barring, itemised billing, maintenance etc.)

(ii)        standard tariffs covering access, all types of usage charges maintenance, and including details of standard discounts applied and special and targetted tariff schemes

(iii)       compensation and refund policies, including specific details of any compensation or refund schemes offered

(iv)       types of maintenance service offered

(v)        standard contract conditions, including any minimum contractual period if relevant.

3.       Dispute settlement mechanisms including those developed by the undertaking.

4.       Information about rights as regards universal service, including the facilities and services mentioned in Schedule 1.

/images/seal.jpg

 

 

GIVEN under my Official Seal

21 July 2003.

 

Dermot Ahern T.D.

Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources.

EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Instrument and does not it purport to be a legal interpretation)

The purpose of these Regulations is to give effect to Directive 2002/22/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 March 2002 on universal service and users' rights relating to electronic communications networks and services (Universal Service Directive). The aim of the Regulations is, inter alia, to ensure the provision of specified electronic communications services and the affordability of those services.

1 O.J. No. L 108 24.4.2002 p. 51

1 O.J. No. L 108 24.4.2002 p. 51