Conditions of General Authorizations

There is no standard set of conditions for general authorisations or class licences.  The conditions attached to general authorisations in different countries are products of the individual circumstances and regulatory framework in each country. 

In Canada, the conditions for the basic international telecommunications services (BITS) class licence are relatively short and concise.  The conditions include a requirement to keep information on file with the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) current; a prohibition on anti-competitive conduct; obligations relating to the contribution (universal service) regime; and a requirement to file any information required by the CRTC to be filed.

The conditions of general authorizations issued in EU Member States must comply with the terms of the EU Authorisation Directive.  This Directive stipulates that general authorisations may only be subject to certain conditions listed in the Annex to the Directive.  Box 1 outlines the permissible scope of conditions imposed on general authorizations.

Box 1: Conditions permitted to be imposed on general authorizations pursuant to the EU Authorisation Directive

Pursuant to the EU Authorisation, general authorizations issued by Member States may only be subject to the following conditions: 

·       financial contributions to funding of the universal service;

·        interoperability of services and interconnection of networks;

·        accessibility and portability of numbers- portability means that users have the option to keep their telephone number when they change operators;  

·        rules on privacy protection and, more specifically, the protection of minors;

·        the obligation to transmit certain television and radio programmes ("must carry");

·         environmental and town and country planning requirements;

·         the possible imposition of administrative charges on undertakings; and    

·         restrictions concerning the broadcast of illegal content.


The conditions that have been imposed by the Irish regulator and by Ofcom, the UK regulator, on general authorizations are examples of how these requirements of the Authorisation Directive have been put into practice in an EU Member State. 

In Singapore, the conditions of class licences are contained in the Telecommunications (Class Licences) Regulations.  There are two sets of conditions.  The first set is outlined in Part III of the Regulation and applies generally to all class licences issued in Singapore.  The second set of conditions consists of the specific conditions that apply to each particular type of class licence.  Class licences in Singapore are issued for specific services.  There is a schedule to the Telecommunications (Class Licences) Regulations for each specific type of class licence.  Each schedule contains the particular conditions that are applicable to the class licence described in that schedule.  The general and specific conditions imposed on class licences are set out in the guidelines on Service-Based Operator Licensing published by Infocomm Development Agency (IDA), the regulator in Singapore.  A link to these guidelines is set out below.

The conditions of class licences in Malaysia can be found in the class licences issued by the Minister for Applications Services, Network Facilities, and Network Services.  The conditions for each type of class licence are essentially the same. 

Some general authorizations contain detailed terms and conditions.  In countries where the regulatory framework is still maturing, it may be necessary to include fairly detailed terms and conditions in order to protect the public interest.  In Jordan, for example, the provisions of the Public Telecommunications Class Licence cover a range of matters, including (but not limited to): eligibility; ownership and control; use of Jordanian resources; licence fees; universal service obligations; interconnection; emergency services; directory services; general service obligations and quality of service obligations; confidentiality of information; pricing; modification of Licence; and renewal and termination of Licence.  Some of these terms and conditions are set out in the actual Licence, while others are included in the schedules to the Licence.

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