HC Deb 22 October 2003 vol 411 c586W
Jeff Ennis

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether mobile telephone companies are categorised as statutory undertakers using the same criteria as apply to electricity and gas companies. [133181]

Mr. Timms

'statutory undertaker' is a concept found in a wide range of legislation across different sectors. In the electronic communications sector, a person or undertaking (such as a mobile telephone company) is not likely to satisfy any definition of 'statutory undertaker' unless they have had the electronic communications code applied to them by a direction by Ofcom pursuant to section 106 of the Communications Act 2003. The electronic communications code gives certain powers to operators vis-a-vis the installation of apparatus. The criteria which Ofcom must consider in deciding whether or not to apply the electronic communications code to a person or undertaking are set out in section 107(4) of the Communications Act 2003. The position in the gas and electricity sectors is different, as gas and electricity still have a licensing-based regime, whereas electronic communications does not.