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Law no.304/2003 on the universal service and users’ rights relating to the electronic communications networks and services

 

CHAPTER I

General Provisions

 

Art. 1. – (1) This Law establishes the regulatory framework for the relations between the providers of electronic communications networks and services, on one hand, and the end-users, on the other hand.

(2) This Law establishes rules concerning:

a) the universal service;

b) the rights of end-users;

c) the obligations of the providers of electronic communications networks and services with significant market power;

d) the obligations of the providers of public communications networks and of the providers of publicly available electronic communications services.

(3) In the exercise of its attributions set out herein, the National Regulatory Authority for Communications, hereinafter referred to as ANRC, shall ensure the promotion of competition as well as the protection of the rights and interests of end-users so that they obtain maximum benefits under the conditions of a competitive market, inasmuch as diversity of the offers, tariffs and quality of services are concerned.

 

Art. 2. – (1) For the purposes of this Law, the following definitions shall apply:

a) public pay telephone – a telephone available to the public, the payment being carried out in cash, by credit or debit cards, by pre-paid cards, including cards for use with dialling codes;

b) public telephone network – an electronic communications network used to provide publicly available telephone services, allowing speech communication or other form of communication, such as facsimile or data, between the network termination points;

c) publicly available telephone service – a service available to the public, allowing origination or receipt of national or international calls and the use of emergency services through a number or numbers established by the national numbering plan or by an international telephone numbering plan. It may also include, as the case may be, one or more of the following services: customer service, directory enquiry services, directories of subscribers, public pay telephones, services provided under special conditions, facilities for customers with disabilities or with special social needs, or non-geographic services;

d) geographic number – a number set out by the national numbering plan where one or more digits are used to identify the network termination point from a geographic point of view;

e) non-geographic number – a number set out by the national numbering plan that is not a geographic number; inter alia, the numbers allocated to mobile telephone services, freephone and premium rate numbers shall constitute non-geographic numbers;

f) network termination point – the physical point at which a subscriber is provided with access to a public communications network; in case of networks using switching or routing, the termination point is identified by means of a specific network address, which may be linked to a subscriber number or name;

g) universal service provider – the provider of electronic communications networks or services designated by ANRC to provide one or more of the services which are within the scope of the universal service.

(2) For the purposes of this Law, the definitions set out in Art. 2, points 8, 9, 12 and 13 of Law no. 676/2001 on the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the telecommunications sector, with the subsequent amendments, in Art. 1 of Government Ordinance no. 18/2002 on the functioning of the National system for emergency calls, approved with amendments and completions by Law no. 398/2002, in Art. 2 of Government Ordinance no. 34/2002 on the access to electronic communications networks and the associated facilities, as well as their interconnection, approved with amendments and completions by Law no. 527/2002, hereinafter referred to as Access Ordinance and in Art. 2 paragraph (1) of Government Emergency Ordinance no. 79/2002 on the general regulatory framework for communications, approved with amendments and completions by Law no. 591/2002, hereinafter referred to as Framework Ordinance, shall also apply.

 

 

CHAPTER II

Universal Service

 

Art. 3. – (1) The right of access to the universal service represents the right of all end-users in the Romanian territory to benefit from the provision of services which are within the scope of the universal service, at a certain quality level, independently of geographical location and at affordable prices.

(2) The services which are within the scope of the universal service are the following:

a) provision of access to the public telephone network, at a fixed location;

b) directory enquiry services and making available of directories of subscribers;

c) access to public pay telephones.

 

Art. 4. – (1) The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology shall establish the policy and the strategy for the implementation of the universal service, whilst respecting the principles of transparency, objectivity, proportionality and non-discrimination.

(2) In establishing the policy and strategy, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology shall act in order to limit the possible negative effects on competition, determined by the provision of the services which are within the scope of the universal service, as well as to ensure the protection of the public interest.

(3) On the basis of the policy and strategy established according to paragraphs (1) and (2), ANRC shall have the obligation to ensure the right of access to the universal service in the entire territory of Romania. For this purpose, ANRC shall designate one or more universal service providers to provide one or more of the services which are within the scope of the universal service, within certain areas or in the entire territory of Romania.

(4) ANRC shall set out the conditions and the procedure for the designation of the universal service providers, whilst respecting the principles of efficiency, objectivity, transparency and non-discrimination.

(5) The designation procedure shall ensure that the services which are within the scope of the universal service are provided in a cost-effective manner.

 

Art. 5. – (1) ANRC shall take all the necessary measures and shall establish the conditions so that the end-users’ reasonable requests for access and connection at a fixed location to the public telephone network and for access to publicly available telephone services at a fixed location are met by at least one provider of electronic communications networks or services.

(2) The universal service providers designated to provide the services specified in Art. 3 paragraph (2) letter a) shall have the obligation to solve the requests of all end-users, within a specified term, under the conditions imposed by ANRC.

(3) The connection provided shall ensure to end-users the possibility to make and receive local, national and international telephone calls, facsimile communications and data communications, at data rates that are sufficient to permit functional Internet access, taking into account prevailing technologies used by the majority of subscribers and technological feasibility.

 

Art. 6. – (1) The universal service providers designated to provide the services specified in Art. 3 paragraph (2) letter b) shall have the obligation to make available to end-users at least one comprehensive directory of subscribers, whether printed or electronic, or both. The directory must be updated on a regular basis, at least once a year, in a form previously approved by ANRC.

(2) The universal service providers designated to provide the services specified in Art. 3 paragraph (2) letter b) shall have the obligation to make available to end-users, including users of public pay telephones, at least one directory enquiry service.

(3) The directory of the subscribers referred to in paragraph (1) and the directory enquiry service referred to in paragraph (2) shall comprise the telephone numbers and personal data of all subscribers of publicly available telephone services, under the conditions set out in Art. 14 of Law no. 676/2001.

(4) The universal service providers designated to make available to end-users the directories of subscribers or directory enquiry services under the conditions set out in paragraphs (1) to (3) shall have the obligation to process in a non-discriminatory manner the data that has been provided to them by the providers of publicly available telephone services.

 

Art. 7. – (1) ANRC may impose on the universal service providers designated to provide the services specified in Art. 3 paragraph (2) letter c) obligations to ensure a sufficient number of public pay telephones, an adequate geographic coverage, accessibility of these telephones to people with disabilities and a certain quality level of services, in order to meet the reasonable needs of end-users.

(2) ANRC may decide not to impose the obligations provided for in paragraph (1) in all or part of the national territory if it considers that the services specified in Art. 3 paragraph (2) letter c) or comparable services are widely accessible. When taking such measure, ANRC shall observe the consultation procedure set out in Art. 50 of Framework Ordinance.

(3) The universal service providers designated to provide the services specified in Art. 3 paragraph (2) letter c) shall have the obligation to ensure to end-users the possibility to make emergency calls from public pay telephones using the single emergency call number or other national emergency numbers, free of charge and without having to use any means of payment.

 

Art. 8. – ANRC shall impose on the universal service providers, where appropriate, the obligation to take specific measures in order to ensure that people with disabilities benefit from the services which are within the scope of the universal service under conditions similar to those offered to the other end-users.

 

Art. 9. – (1) ANRC shall monitor the evolution and level of tariffs of the services which are within the scope of the universal service, provided by the universal service providers, in particular in relation to the general level of prices and consumer income.

(2) ANRC may oblige the universal service providers to apply common tariffs, including geographical averaging, throughout the national territory, in the light of the specific conditions, or to comply with certain tariff ceilings or tariff increase control formulae.

(3) ANRC may oblige the universal service providers to provide tariff options or packages to consumers which depart from those provided under normal commercial conditions, in order to ensure the possibility of people with low incomes or special social needs to benefit from the publicly available telephone services. The Ministry for Communications and Information Technology may establish the categories of persons who benefit from the tariff options or packages offered.

(4) The conditions under which end-users benefit from the tariffs provided for in paragraphs (2) and (3) shall be transparent and shall be published and applied in a non-discriminatory manner by the universal service providers having the obligation to offer such tariffs.

(5) ANRC may impose modification or withdrawal of certain tariffs or tariff schemes, whilst respecting the consultation procedure set out in Art. 50 of Framework Ordinance.

 

Art. 10. – (1) The universal service providers may not impose on subscribers obligations to pay for services additional to those within the scope of the universal service which they are obliged to provide or for facilities additional to those specified in Art. 8 or in Art. 9 paragraph (3), except for the case these are necessary for the provision of those services within the scope of universal service or of those facilities.

(2) The provisions of paragraph (1) shall not apply in cases where the additional services or facilities have been expressly requested by the subscribers.

(3) The universal service providers shall have the obligation to provide, on request, the facilities listed below, in order that subscribers can monitor and control the expenditure incurred by the payment of the tariffs of the services which are within the scope of universal service and avoid unwarranted disconnection:

a) itemised billing;

b) selective call barring for outgoing calls of defined type or to defined types of numbers, free of charge;

c) pre-payment systems;

d) phased payment of fees for connection to the public telephone network.

(4) ANRC may establish, whilst respecting the provisions of Art. 10 of Law no. 676/2001, the minimum information that must be included in the itemised bill which is to be issued by the universal service providers free of charge.

(5) Where appropriate, subscribers may be provided with information additional to that specified in paragraph (3), free of charge or at a reasonable tariff, previously approved by ANRC. Free of charge calls initiated by the subscriber, including emergency calls, shall not be included in the itemised bill.

(6) ANRC may require the universal service providers to provide means for consumers to pay in advance the tariff for use of the public telephone network and of the publicly available telephone services.

(7) ANRC may require the universal service providers to provide means for consumers to pay for the connection to the public telephone network on the basis of payments phased over time.

(8) ANRC shall approve the specific measures which may be taken by the universal service providers in case of non-payment of telephone bills for use of the public telephone network at a fixed location. These measures shall be published, shall be proportionate and shall be applied in a non-discriminatory manner.

(9) As far as it is technically possible, the measures specified in paragraph (8) shall ensure that any service suspension is confined to the service concerned, except in cases of fraud, repeated late payments or persistent not-payment of the telephone bill.

(10) The Ministry for Communications and Information Technology may establish certain categories of persons who, due to their low incomes or special social needs, request additional protection. In this case, ANRC may impose on the universal service providers the obligation to offer to these persons the facilities listed below, applicable in case of non-payment of the telephone bill, which shall be expressly provided for in the contracts concluded with the end-users belonging to these categories:

a) the amounts due by the subscriber shall not bear interest, increases or penalties;

b) disconnection from the public telephone network shall not take place earlier than the expiry of the term established by ANRC beforehand, calculated from the service suspension;

c) during the entire period of service suspension, the subscriber shall be able to make or receive calls that do not incur a charge to him/her and shall not owe any tariffs to the provider;

d) re-establishment of service provision, irrespective of whether it is done after the suspension or after the disconnection, shall be free of charge, after the subscriber has paid the bill whose non-payment has been the cause of the service suspension.

(11) In all cases, the suspension of the provision of the publicly available telephone service at a fixed location for non-payment of the telephone bill shall only take place after the subscriber is being notified by the provider. The disconnection from the public telephone network shall not take place earlier than 60 days after the service suspension, only calls that do not incur a charge to the subscriber being permitted during this period.

(12) ANRC may impose on all electronic communications networks and services providers the obligation to take the measures specified in paragraphs (8), (9), (10) or (11).

(13) ANRC may withdraw the obligations provided for in paragraphs (4), (6), (7) or (10) in case it considers that consumers’ interests are protected without its intervention.

 

Art. 11. – (1) ANRC shall set out the quality parameters for the provision of the services which are within the scope of the universal service and the methods for evaluation of compliance with these parameters.

(2) ANRC may set out additional quality parameters for the provision of the services which are within the scope of the universal service to disabled end-users.

(3) Universal service providers shall have the obligation to transmit to ANRC and to publish adequate and up-to-date information concerning compliance with the quality parameters for the provision of the services within the scope of the universal service which they are obliged to provide.

(4) ANRC shall establish the content, form and manner of transmission and publication of the information specified in paragraph (3) in order to ensure that the end-users benefit from comprehensive, comparable and easily accessible information.

(5) ANRC may impose on the universal service providers the obligation to meet certain performance targets concerning the quality of the services within the scope of universal service which they are obliged to provide. When establishing these targets, ANRC shall respect the consultation procedure set out in Art. 50 of Framework Ordinance.

(6) ANRC shall monitor compliance with the targets referred to in paragraph (5) by the universal service providers. For this purpose, ANRC may order verification of data concerning compliance with the performance targets by an independent audit, paid for by the universal service provider concerned, in order to ensure the accuracy and comparability of the data made available by this provider.

 

Art. 12. – (1) Where ANRC estimates that the provision of the services which are within the scope of the universal service, under the conditions specified in Arts. 5 to 11, may represent an unfair burden on the universal service providers, it shall determine the net cost of the provision of these services.

(2) For that purpose, ANRC may resort to the following methods:

a) calculate the net cost of the obligations to provide the services which are within the scope of the universal service, in accordance with the procedure established by ANRC, taking into account any market benefits which may be realised by the universal service provider in relation to the services within the scope of the universal service which it is obliged to provide;

b) make use of the net cost resulted from the application of the procedure for the designation of the universal service provider.

(3) The accounting information and any other information used for the calculation of the net cost of the provision of the services within the scope of the universal service under paragraph (2) letter a) shall be verified by ANRC or by an independent auditor, the audit being approved by ANRC. The results of the cost calculation and the conclusions of the audit shall be made available to the public by ANRC.

 

Art. 13. – (1) Where, on the basis of the net cost determination in accordance with the provisions of Art. 12, ANRC finds that the provision of the services within the scope of the universal service represents an unfair burden to the universal service provider, it shall decide, upon request from the universal service provider, to compensate the net cost thus determined.

(2) ANRC shall determine the mechanism to compensate the net cost of the provision of the services within the scope of the universal service, whilst respecting the principles of transparency, least competition distortion, non-discrimination and proportionality. For that purpose, ANRC shall identify the providers of electronic communications networks and the providers of electronic communications services having the obligation to contribute to compensation, the amount of the contributions due, the manner and due date of payment, as well as any other elements necessary for the functioning of this mechanism.

 

Art. 14. – (1) ANRC shall make public the mechanism to compensate the net cost established in accordance with the provisions of Art. 13.

(2) Where the compensation of the net cost of the provision of the services within the scope of the universal service has been done, ANRC shall publish an annual report concerning this cost, the contributions made by the providers of electronic communications networks and services identified according to Art. 13 paragraph (2), as well as the commercial benefits that may have been realised by the universal service provider in relation to the services within the scope of the universal service which it is obliged to provide.

 

 

CHAPTER III

Obligations Imposed on the Providers of Electronic Communications Networks and Services with Significant Market Power

 

Art. 15. – (1) Where as a result of a market analysis carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Regulation for conducting market analyses and determining the significant market power, elaborated pursuant to Art. 32 of Framework Ordinance, ANRC establishes that a given retail market is not effectively competitive and the obligations imposed in accordance with the provisions of Art. 8 of Access Ordinance or Art. 18 of this Law are not sufficient to achieve the objectives provided for in Art. 45 of Framework Ordinance, it may impose on the providers of electronic communications networks or services with significant power in the market concerned, as appropriate, one or more of the obligations specified in paragraph (2), in order to protect the interests of end-users and promote effective competition.

(2) The obligations imposed by ANRC may concern:

a) the interdiction of charging prices which are excessive as compared to the costs of the provision of services;

b) the interdiction of setting predatory prices for the provision of services that might result in limiting market entry or restricting competition;

c) the interdiction to show undue preference to specific end-users;

d) the interdiction of conditioning the provision of services to end-users by the acquisition of additional services that are not related to the requested service.

(3) For this purpose, ANRC may decide to:

a) impose tariff ceilings or tariff increase control formulae for the provision of retail services;

b) impose measures to control individual tariffs;

c) impose measures to orient tariffs towards costs or towards prices or tariffs charged on comparable markets.

(4) The obligations referred to in paragraphs (2) and (3) shall be based on the nature of the problem identified, shall be proportionate and necessary for the achievement of the objectives set out in Art. 45 of Framework Ordinance.

(5) ANRC shall impose on the providers whose tariffs are subject to control by ANRC the obligation to implement a cost accounting system necessary for carrying out that control. ANRC may establish the format and the accounting methodology to be used.

(6) The providers referred to in paragraph (5) shall have the obligation to submit to verification by an independent auditor the manner of implementation of the cost accounting system specified in paragraph (5), under the conditions established by ANRC.

(7) The providers specified in paragraph (5) shall publish, on an annual basis and under the conditions established by ANRC, a statement involving the personal responsibility of the signatory concerning compliance with the cost accounting system referred to in paragraph (5).

 

Art. 16. – (1) Where as a result of a market analysis carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Regulation for conducting market analyses and determining the significant market power, elaborated pursuant to Art. 32 of Framework Ordinance, ANRC establishes that the market for the provision of part or all of the minimum set of leased lines specified in Art. 29 paragraph (1) is not effectively competitive, it shall identify the providers with significant power in the market concerned and shall impose on them obligations regarding the provision of part or all of the minimum set of leased lines under conditions of non-discrimination, cost orientation of tariffs and transparency, in accordance with the provisions of paragraphs (2) to (8).

(2) Where appropriate, ANRC shall impose on the providers identified as having significant market power, in accordance with paragraph (1), the obligation to apply similar conditions in similar circumstances to the providers offering similar services and to provide leased lines to third parties under the same conditions and of the same quality as for their own services, or those of their subsidiaries or other companies from the same group.

(3) Where appropriate, ANRC shall impose on the providers identified as having significant market power, in accordance with paragraph (1), the obligation to implement a suitable cost accounting system. These providers shall have the obligation to transmit to ANRC, on request, detailed information on the accounting system applied.

(4) ANRC shall impose on the providers identified as having significant market power, in accordance with paragraph (1), the obligation to publish in an easily accessible form the following information related to the provision of leased lines, and shall also establish the conditions for the publication of this information:

a) technical characteristics, including the physical and electrical characteristics, as well as the detailed technical and performance specifications which apply at the network termination point;

b) tariffs charged, including the initial connection charges, usage tariffs and other tariffs;

c) supply conditions.

(5) Information regarding the leased lines supply conditions shall include at least the following elements:

a) the ordering procedure;

b) the typical delivery period, representing the period in which 95% of the leased lines of the same type have been made available to consumers, counted from the date when the user has made a firm request;

c) the contractual period, including the period which is typically laid down in the contract, as well as the minimum period which the users are obliged to accept;

d) the typical repair time, which is the period in which 80% of the defaults occurred at the leased lines of the same type have been repaired, counted from the moment when notification of the default has been received by the department in charge with default remedy. Where repair services of different quality are offered for the same type of leased lines, the different typical repair times shall be published;

e) the cases and the procedure for compensating the damages or for refunding the users any due amounts.

(6) The typical delivery period referred to in paragraph (5) letter b) shall be established on the basis of the actual periods in which the leased lines have been made available to consumers, during a sufficient time interval close to the moment when such determination is being made. The establishment of the typical delivery period shall not take into account the cases where longer delivery periods were requested by users.

(7) Where, in a particular case, a provider identified as having significant market power in accordance with paragraph (1) considers it unreasonable to provide a leased line in the minimum set specified in Art. 29 paragraph (1) under its tariffs and supply conditions published in accordance with paragraphs (4) and (5), it may request the agreement of ANRC to change the tariffs or conditions.

(8) Where ANRC considers that the achieved performances for the provision of the minimum set of leased lines do not meet users’ needs, it may impose on the providers identified as having significant market power in accordance with paragraph (1) the obligation to meet defined performance targets for the supply conditions referred to in paragraphs (5) and (6).

 

Art. 17. – Where as a result of a market analysis carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Regulation for conducting market analyses and determining the significant market power, elaborated pursuant to Art. 32 of Framework Ordinance, ANRC establishes that the market for the provision of part or all of the minimum set of leased lines specified in Art. 29 paragraph (1) is effectively competitive, it shall withdraw the obligations imposed in accordance with Art. 16 paragraphs (2) to (8).

 

Art. 18. – (1) Where as the result of a market analysis carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Regulation for conducting market analyses and determining the significant market power, elaborated pursuant to Art. 32 of Framework Ordinance, a provider of electronic communications networks or services is identified as having significant power in the market for the provision of connection to and use of the public telephone network at a fixed location, ANRC shall impose on that provider the obligation to enable its subscribers to access the services of any interconnected provider of publicly available telephone services, in the following ways:

a) on a call-by-call basis by dialling a selection code of the service provider that will transport the signal, without affecting the content of the information, from the network where the signal is originated to the destination network;

b) by means of pre-selection, with the possibility to override the pre-selected choice on a call-by-call basis, by dialling a selection code of the service provider referred to in letter a).

(2) User requirements for the facilities specified in paragraph (1) to be also implemented on other networks or in other ways shall be assessed by ANRC on the basis of a market analysis carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Regulation for conducting market analyses and determining the significant market power, elaborated pursuant to Art. 32 of Framework Ordinance, and the obligations necessary for satisfying these requirements shall be imposed in accordance with the provisions of Art. 12 of Access Ordinance.

(3) ANRC shall ensure, by imposing specific obligations, that access and interconnection tariffs related to the provision of the facilities referred to in paragraph (1) are cost oriented and that the charges to subscribers, if any, do not act as a disincentive for the use of these facilities.

 

 

CHAPTER IV

End Users’ Rights

 

Art. 19. – (1) The contracts between end-users and providers of electronic communications services shall be concluded in writing and shall contain the following minimum clauses regarding:

a) the identification data of the provider;

b) the services provided, the service quality levels offered, as well as the time for the initial connection;

c) the types of maintenance and repair services offered;

d) the prices and tariffs for each product or service covered by the contract, the way in which they are applied, as well as the means by which up-to-date information on the tariffs for the provision of the electronic communications services and of the maintenance and repair services may be obtained;

e) the duration of the contract, the conditions for renewal and termination of the contract, as well as the conditions under which service suspension operates;

f) the applicable compensations for damages and the procedure for granting them which apply if contracted service quality levels or the other contractual clauses are not met;

g) the method of initiating the procedure for settlement of disputes.

(2) Where the concluded contract gives the provider the possibility to unilaterally modify the contract, the provider shall have the obligation to notify this intention to the end-user at least 30 days prior to operating the modification. Any subscriber is entitled to unilaterally withdraw from the contract, without paying any compensation for damages, in case he/she does not agree with the proposed modifications.

(3) The notification shall expressly specify the right of the subscriber to unilaterally withdraw from the contract under the conditions provided for in paragraph (2).

 

Art. 20. – (1) The providers of public telephone networks and the providers of publicly available telephone services shall have the obligation to make available to the public clear, detailed and up-to-date information on the applicable prices and tariffs, as well as on the other conditions concerning the possibility of access to and use of publicly available telephone services, in order to ensure that end-users are able to make informed choices.

(2) The information referred to in paragraph (1) shall refer to:

a) the identification data of the provider;

b) the publicly available telephone services offered by the provider;

c) the procedure for dealing with end-users’ complaints and the procedure for settlement of disputes between providers and end-users;

d) the rights related to the provision of the services which are within the scope of the universal service, including the facilities referred to in Art. 10 paragraphs (3) to (11).

(3) The information referred to in paragraph (2) letter b) shall include details on:

a) the categories of services provided, indicating the services for which the tariff for initial connection is paid and the services for which the periodic usage tariff is paid;

b) standard tariffs for connection, usage, maintenance and repair, as well as the standard tariff facilities and the tariffs imposed in accordance with Art. 9 paragraph (2) or (3);

c) the cases and the procedure for granting compensations for damages or for refunding the users any due amounts;

d) types of maintenance and repair services offered;

e) standard contract conditions, including the minimum contractual period, if such is the case.

(4) ANRC shall establish the manner in which the information specified in paragraphs (1) to (3) shall be made available to the public.

(5) ANRC shall provide, by means of its website or by other means, comparative information on tariffs and conditions offered by various providers of electronic communications networks and services, in order to ensure the possibility of end-users to make independent evaluations.

 

Art. 21. – (1) ANRC may impose on the providers of publicly available electronic communications services, after fulfilling the consultation procedure set out in Art. 50 of Framework Ordinance, the obligation to publish comparable, adequate and up-to-date information on the quality of their services. On request, this information shall be supplied to ANRC in advance of its publication.

(2) ANRC may establish the quality of service parameters to be measured and any other elements necessary for assessing the quality of the services offered, as well as the content, form and manner in which the information specified in paragraph (1) shall be published, in order to ensure that end-users benefit from comprehensive, comparable and easily accessible information.

 

Art. 22. – (1) The providers of public telephone networks and the providers of publicly available telephone services shall have the obligation to take all necessary measures in order to ensure the integrity of the public telephone network at the fixed locations and, in the event of serious perturbation of the functioning of the network or in cases of force majeure, the availability of the public telephone network at the fixed locations.

(2) The providers of publicly available telephone services at fixed locations shall have the obligation to take all necessary measures to ensure the uninterrupted possibility of making emergency calls.

(3) ANRC may impose to the providers of public telephone networks and to the providers of publicly available telephone services the minimum measures they must take for the adequate fulfilment of their obligations which are incumbent to them pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2).

 

Art. 23. – (1) All subscribers to publicly available telephone services shall have the right to have an entry in the directory of subscribers referred to in Art. 6 paragraph (1).

(2) The providers of electronic communications services that assign telephone numbers to subscribers shall have the obligation to make available to the providers of directory enquiry services and directories services, upon reasonable request, all relevant information in a format agreed with the applicant, and on terms which are fair, objective, cost oriented and non-discriminatory.

(3) All end-users provided with a connection to the public telephone network shall have the right to access the directory enquiry services, in accordance with the provisions of Art. 6 paragraph (2), as well as to the customer services.

(4) The provisions of this Article are without prejudice to the provisions of Art. 14 of Law no. 676/2001.

 

Art. 24. – ANRC shall take all necessary measures in order to adequately inform the public about the existence and use in the public telephone networks of the single emergency call number 112, regulated by Government Ordinance no.18/2002 approved with amendments and completions by Law no. 398/2002.

 

Art. 25. – (1) The standard international access code is “00”. Calls between adjacent locations across the Romanian state border may be made on the basis of special arrangements, the providers of electronic communications services offering services on the basis of the agreements concerned having the obligation to promptly and fully inform the end-users on the existence and content of these agreements.

(2) The providers of public telephone networks shall have the obligation to convey to their destination all calls made by using the access code referred to in paragraph (1).

 

Art. 26. – Where technically and economically feasible, the providers of public telephone networks and of publicly available telephone services shall ensure the receipt of international calls to non-geographic numbers within the Romanian territory, except where a called subscriber has chosen, for commercial reasons, to limit access by calling parties located in specific geographical points.

 

Art. 27. – (1) ANRC may impose on the providers of public telephone networks the obligation to make available to end-users dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) signalling services and calling-line identification services, subject to technical feasibility and economic availability, under the conditions specified in Art. 11 of Law no. 676/2001.

(2) ANRC may withdraw the obligations imposed in accordance with paragraph (1) in all or part of the national territory, after fulfilling the consultation procedure set out in Art. 50 of Framework Ordinance, if it considers that there is a satisfactory level of availability of these services.

 

Art. 28. – (1) ANRC shall impose on the providers of publicly available telephone services, including on the providers of publicly available mobile telephone services, the obligation to offer to their subscribers, on request, the possibility to retain their telephone number, independently of the service provider, as follows:

a) in case of geographic numbers, at a specific location;

b) in case of non-geographic numbers, at any location.

(2) The provisions of paragraph (1) do not apply to the porting of numbers between the electronic communications networks used for the provision of telephone services at a fixed location and the mobile telephone networks.

(3) ANRC shall impose specific obligations in order to ensure that interconnection tariffs related to the provision of number portability are cost oriented and that charges to subscribers for this service are affordable.

(4) ANRC may impose on the providers of publicly available telephone services the obligation to publish detailed information regarding the tariffs for the number portability service.

(5) ANRC shall not impose retail tariffs for the number portability service in a manner that would affect competition, such as specific or common tariffs.

 

Art. 29. – (1) ANRC shall establish and update the minimum set of leased lines whose provision is necessary for satisfying users’ needs, including the technical characteristics of the types of leased lines included in this set.

(2) In case ANRC considers that users’ needs are not satisfactorily met, it may impose on providers of electronic communications networks or services having the necessary capacity the obligation to provide part or all of the minimum set of leased lines specified in paragraph (1), establishing also the conditions under which the leased lines shall be made available to users.

 

Art. 30. – The provisions of Government Ordinance no. 21/1992 on consumer protection, republished, with the subsequent amendments and completions, of Law no. 193/2000 on the abusive clauses in the contracts concluded between traders and consumers, with the subsequent amendments and completions, of Government Ordinance no. 130/2000 on the legal regime of distance contracts, with the subsequent amendments and completions, as well as the provisions of the other normative acts relevant for this field shall also apply correspondingly.

 

 

CHAPTER V

Sanctions

 

Art. 31. – (1) The followings deeds shall constitute contraventions:

1. breach of the obligations set out in Art. 5;

2. breach of the obligations set out in Art. 6;

3. breach of the obligations set out in Art. 7 paragraph (1);

4. failure to ensure the possibility to make emergency calls, under the conditions set out in Art. 7 paragraph (3);

5. failure to implement the specific measures set out in Art. 8;

6. failure to apply the common tariffs or to comply with the tariff ceilings or tariff increase control formulae set out pursuant to Art. 9 paragraph (2);

7. failure to provide the tariff options or special tariff packages, under the conditions set out in Art. 9 paragraph (3);

8. failure to comply with the provisions of Art. 9 paragraph (4);

9. failure to modify or withdraw certain tariffs or tariff schemes, under the conditions set out in Art. 9 paragraph (5);

10. failure to comply with the provisions of Art. 10 paragraph (1);

11. breach of the obligations set out in Art. 10 paragraph (3);

12. free of charge issue of itemised bills that do not contain all information set out under the conditions of Art. 10 paragraph (4) or charging of a tariff for the issue of itemised bills that contain only the information set out under the conditions of Art. 10 paragraph (4);

13. failure to comply with the provisions of Art. 10 paragraph (5);

14. failure to provide means for consumers to pay in advance the tariff for use of the public telephone network and of the publicly available telephone services under the conditions set out in Art. 10 paragraph (6);

15. failure to provide means for consumers to pay for the connection to the public telephone network on the basis of payments phased over time under the conditions set out in Art. 10 paragraph (7);

16. failure to comply with the provisions of Art. 10 paragraphs (8) and (9);

17. failure to include in the contracts concluded with end-users the facilities applicable in case of non-payment of the telephone bill under the conditions set out in Art. 10 paragraph (10);

18. failure to comply with the provisions of Art. 10 paragraph (11);

19. breach by a provider of electronic communications networks or services of the obligation set out in Art. 10 paragraph (12);

20. breach of the obligations to transmit to ANRC and to publish the information specified in Art. 11 paragraph (3) under the conditions set out in Art. 11 paragraph (4);

21. failure to meet the performance targets referred to in Art. 11 paragraph (5);

22. refuse to submit to the audit concerning compliance with the performance targets under the conditions set out in Art. 11 paragraph (6);

23. breach of the obligations set out in Art. 15 paragraphs (2), (3) or (5);

24. refusal to submit to the audit referred to in Art. 15 paragraph (6);

25. failure to publish the statement involving the personal responsibility of the signatory under the conditions set out in Art. 15 paragraph (7);

26. breach of the obligations set out in Art. 16 paragraphs (1) to (6) or (8);

27. breach of the obligations set out in Art. 18 paragraphs (1) or (3);

28. failure to comply with the provisions of Art. 19;

29. breach of the obligation to make available to the public the information specified in Art. 20 paragraphs (1) to (3) under the conditions set out in Art. 20 paragraph (4);

30. failure to publish, under the conditions set out in Art. 21, the information on the quality of the services provided;

31. failure to take the measures specified in Art. 22;

32. failure to comply with the provisions of Art. 23 paragraph (1);

33. failure to comply with the provisions of Art. 23 paragraph (2);

34. failure to comply with the provisions of Art. 23 paragraph (3);

35. breach of the obligations set out in Art. 25 paragraph (1);

36. breach of the obligations set out in Art. 25 paragraph (2);

37. failure to comply with the provisions of Art. 26;

38. breach of the obligations set out in Art. 27 paragraph (1);

39. breach of the obligations set out in Art. 28 paragraph (1);

40. breach of the obligations set out in Art. 28 paragraph (3);

41. breach of the obligation set out in Art. 28 paragraph (4);

42. breach of the obligations set out in Art. 29 paragraph (2).

(2) The contraventions set out in paragraph (1) shall be sanctioned as follows:

a) by fine from ROL 3,500,000 to ROL 35,000,000, in case of the deeds referred to in points 32, 33, 35 and 38;

b) by fine from ROL 35,000,000 to ROL 350,000,000, in case of the deeds referred to in points 13, 30, 31, 34, 36, 37 and 39 to 42;

c) by way of derogation from the provisions of Art. 8 paragraph )2= letter a) of Government Ordinance no. 2/2001 on the legal regime of contraventions, approved with amendments and completions by Law no. 180/2002, with the subsequent amendments, by fine from ROL 350,000,000 to ROL 3,500,000,000, in case of the deeds referred to in points 1 to 5, 8, 10 to 12, 14 to 16, 18 to 20, 22, 24, 25, 28 and 29;

d) by way of derogation from the provisions of Government Ordinance no. 2/2001, approved with amendments and completions by Law no. 180/2002, with the subsequent amendments, by fine from ROL 3,500,000,000 to ROL 35,000,000,000, in case of the deeds referred to in points 6, 7, 9, 17, 21, 23, 26 and 27.

 

Art. 32. – (1) The contributions due by the providers of electronic communications networks and services for the compensation of the net cost of the provision of services which are within the scope of the universal service shall constitute budgetary duties, in accordance to the provisions of Government Ordinance no. 61/2002 on the collection of budgetary duties, approved with amendments and completions by Law no. 79/2003, with the subsequent amendments, being subject to the provisions therein.

(2) In case the provider fails to pay the due contribution and its accessories within 90 days from the due date, ANRC may suspend or withdraw its right to provide electronic communications networks or services based on the general authorisation.

 

Art. 33. – (1) The control personnel of ANRC empowered for such purpose shall be competent to ascertain the contraventions set out in Art. 31 paragraph (1).

(2) The sanctions provided for in Art. 31 paragraph (2) letter a) shall be applied by the control personnel of ANRC empowered for this purpose.

(3) The sanctions provided for in Art. 31 paragraph (2) letters b), c) and d) shall be applied according to the provisions of Art. 21 paragraph (2) of Government Ordinance no. 2/2001, approved with amendments and completions by Law no. 180/2002, with the subsequent amendments.

(4) The sanctions provided for in Art. 32 paragraph (2) shall be applied by the president of ANRC.

(5) To the extent that this Law does not provide otherwise, the contraventions set out in Art. 31 shall be subject to Government Ordinance no. 2/2001, approved with amendments and completions by Law no. 180/2002, with the subsequent amendments, except for the provisions of Art. 28.

 

Art. 34. – The legal regime of sanctions set out in this Chapter shall be correspondingly complemented with the provisions of Art. 59 of Framework Ordinance.

 

 

CHAPTER VI

Final and Transitory Provisions

 

Art. 35. – (1) ANRC shall take into account, whilst respecting the consultation procedure set out in Art. 50 of Framework Ordinance, the views of end-users, including disabled users, their associations, the National Authority for Consumer Protection, manufacturers and providers of electronic communications networks and services on issues related to end-user rights concerning publicly available electronic communications services, in particular where these issues have a significant impact on the market.

(2) The interested parties may develop, with the support of ANRC, mechanisms that may involve consumers, user groups and providers of services, in order to improve the general quality of services by elaborating codes of conduct and operating standards, as well as by monitoring their application.

 

Art. 36. – Within 90 days from the date of the entry into force of this Law, ANRC shall establish a transparent, simple and inexpensive mediation procedure, in order to amicably, fairly and promptly settle the disputes between end-users and providers of electronic communications networks and services, occasioned by the enforcement of this Law. ANRC may establish a system, applicable in justified cases, for reimbursement of the expenses made by the end-users or for compensation for the damages undergone by them in their relations with the providers of electronic communications networks and services.

 

Art. 37. – The general conditions regarding the interoperability of the consumer digital television equipment shall be established by Government Decision.

 

Art. 38. – Until a Decision of the president of ANRC with respect to the level of tariffs for the retail provision of services is adopted on grounds of this Law, the tariffs charged by the National Telecommunications Company „Romtelecom” – S.A. for these services at the moment of the entry into force of this Law can only be increased with the approval of ANRC.

 

Art. 39. – On the date when this Law enters into force, 5th indent „Basic telephone services”, 6th indent „Basic postal services” and 7th indent „Radio-communications and telecommunications services” of the Annex to Government Emergency Ordinance no. 36/2001 on the legal regime of regulated prices and tariffs, which are established with the approval of the Competition Office, published in the Official Journal of Romania, Part I, no. 115 of March 7th, 2001, approved with amendments and completions by Law no. 205/2002, with the subsequent amendments, shall be repealed.

 

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