authorities have access to funds to cover the costs they incur when
removing redundant telecoms apparatus, such as phone boxes and street
Under the proposed new scheme, each individual telecoms operator
would have to provide Oftel with a certificate approved by its Board
of Directors certifying that it had funds in place. Companies would
also have to provide details of how they would ensure that these
funds are made available, for example, insurance or performance
Telecommunications licences state that operators must have access to
funds available, so that highway authorities can remove apparatus
from streets and roads in the event that a telecoms company ceases to
trade or has its licence revoked.
The new proposals follow a consultation last year in which Oftel
sought initial views from a wide range of parties.
Announcing the proposals, David Edmonds, director general of
Telecommunications, said today:
'Telecoms operators have an obligation to ensure they have access to
sufficient funds to cover the removal of redundant apparatus on
streets owned by highway authorities.
'If a company ceases to trade and no other operator takes over the
equipment, redundant items such as phone boxes and street cabinets
need to be removed by highway authorities.
'Informal arrangements have worked well up until now, but as there
are now many more telecoms operators, Oftel believes that a more
formal scheme is needed.
'Under the proposed scheme, operators will have to satisfy Oftel that
they have funds in place and provide details of how they will access
'The new scheme is consistent with Oftel's strategy of moving away
from regulation where appropriate and encouraging the industry to
take greater responsibility.'
1. Funds for liabilities: the way forward is available on Oftel's
Hard copies are available from Oftel's research and
intelligence unit on 020 7634 8761.
2. Oftel launched a consultation, Funds for liabilities, last year
which it set out initial proposals for a new scheme.
3. Oftel's strategy is one of 'appropriate regulation'. Appropriate
regulation means regulation adjusted to the level of competition in
the market and focused on the area of concern. Too much regulation,
as well as too little regulation, can work against consumers'
interests by deterring investment and innovation.