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The Ofcom Metering and Billing Scheme

Statement Published 15|07|08

Introduction and Background

What this Statement does

1.1 On 28 November 2007, Ofcom published a document (at http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/metering_billing/) on the Ofcom Metering and Billing Scheme which included consultations on a modification to General Condition 11 (the “condition”) of the General Conditions of Entitlement on Metering and Billing and to the Oftel Direction made on 22 July 2003 that sets requirements for gaining approval under the condition. The consultation closed on 11 January 2008. There were 22 responses to the consultation of which 12 are from Communications Providers, three are from the Approval Bodies, five are from individuals, and two are confidential. The non-confidential responses have been published at http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/metering_billing/responses/.

1.2 The background to the consultation was that Ofcom regulates the accuracy of bills issued by providers of electronic communications services through the condition. The condition requires providers of publicly available telephone services with a relevant annual turnover in excess of £40m to seek and obtain approval of their metering and billing systems from third-party assessors against a prescribed standard. This complex of approval arrangements represents the Ofcom Metering and Billing Approval Scheme.

1.3 A provider’s metering and billing system was approved when it complied with the requirements of the Oftel Metering and Billing Direction (the “Oftel Direction”), which was in essence a technical standard intended to ensure that compliant systems will deliver accurate bills.

1.4 The consultation proposed to modify the Oftel Direction (to be known as the Ofcom Direction) and consequential changes to the condition.

1.5 This statement (-1-) includes a Notification under section 48(1) of the Communications Act 2003 (“the Act”) setting the revised condition, at Annex 2, and a Notification under section 49 of the Act giving the Ofcom Direction, at Annex 3. The condition and the Ofcom Direction will take effect from the day of publication of this statement.

Footnotes:

1.- In this statement capitalised terms are terms defined in the General Conditions of Entitlement, General Condition 11 or the Ofcom Direction.

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