Skip to main content

Telephones: Fees and Charges

Volume 458: debated on Monday 12 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what powers Ofcom has to restrict telephone companies' (a) prices and (b) payment charges. (126572)

[holding answer 9 March 2007]: The matter raised is the responsibility of the independent regulator, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), which is accountable to Parliament rather than Ministers. Accordingly, I have asked the chief executive of Ofcom to reply directly to the hon. Gentleman. Copies of the chief executive's letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many telephone operators in the UK have a Universal Service Obligation (USO); and what restrictions the USO places on the operator's charging and pricing policy. (126573)

[holding answer 9 March 2007]: Two UK telephone operators have a Universal Service Obligation (USO); BT and Kingston Communications. USO providers are required to put in place special tariff schemes for vulnerable consumers. Affordability is a key criterion for the approval of such schemes by the independent regulator, the Office of Communications (Ofcom).