A wide range of companies now have licences allowing them to act as public telephone operators. However, the General Authorisation (under the Telecommunications Act 1984) is subject to the General Conditions of Entitlement (GCs): these conditions apply to all persons providing electronic communications networks and services. The GCs replaced the former licensing regime which applied under the Telecommunications Act 1984 until 25 July 2003, when the new EU communications regulatory framework was implemented in the UK through the Communications Act 2003.

The GCs have recently been changed by Ofcom and came into force on 1 October 2018. In addition to the GCs, Specific Conditions, which apply only to individual communications providers, can also apply in some circumstances. A manager is often tasked with making decisions on choosing appropriate equipment, signing a contract, monitoring the installations and arranging maintenance. This topic provides advice for this process.

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