Telecommunications Law 2nd ed
Published: January 2013
Publisher: Sweet & Maxwell Ltd
Country of Publication: UK
Reprint of ISBN 9780414026971
Systems of electronic communications date back some 180 years to the invention of the electric telegraph. For most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries services were generally provided by monopolistic state agencies and there was very little role for the law.
Over the past 30 years, the sector has undergone massive technical and structural changes and today the law has moved to centre stage.
Telecommunications Law gives an introduction to the basic technologies which are changing all our lives before describing the status, role and powers of the Office of Communications and also of the newly established Body of European Electronic Communications Regulators.
It considers the various legal relationships which may exist between network and service providers and also the emerging 'over the top' services such as voice over the Internet (VOIP) telephony. Key areas include the negotiation of access and interconnection agreements at both national and international level. The contractual relationships between providers and consumers are analysed and extensive consideration is given to consumer protection issues in the contexts of universal service and privacy protection.
Telecommunications Law features the following key content:-
- The development of electronic communication law – gives an introduction to the development of the sector while providing a context for a present situation
- Basics of communication technologies – gives a contextual setting and detailed consideration, of how communications technologies function and their legal significance
- Major players and definitions – sets out key definitions applicable to identifying who will be subject to various aspects of telecommunications legislation
- The nature and role of regulatory authorities – explains the structure and role of OFCOM while examining its relationship with other regulatory authorities in the UK and increasingly within the EU
- Key regulatory powers and duties – Describes the duties imposed on OFCOM under the Communications Act. Considers the extent to which decisions of the regulator may be challenged in the courts
- Access and interconnection agreements – considers the need for networks interconnection, access agreements, allowing voice and data traffic using the network facilities of BT, roaming agreements
- Competition Law Aspects – identifies a tendency for sector specific ex ante regulation to be replaced by the application of general principles of competition law
- Universal Service – Considers the scope of the universal service obligation imposed under the universal Service Directive. Looks at the legal relation to a universal right of landline connection and the concept of broadband connectivity as an extension of the universal right. Increasingly enshrined in national legislative programmes
- Data Privacy issues – Examines the proliferation of mobile phones and the expansion of internet usage leading items of data are being recorded. Looks at the legal ramifications of Location Data, discusses in detail The Communications Privacy Directive