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THUS Response to the ICSTIS Consultation Enhancing Stakeholder

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THUS Response to the ICSTIS Consultation Enhancing Stakeholder

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									THUS plc
Gateway House                 T 0845 272 0666
322 Regents Park Road F 0870 052 2350
Finchley, N3 2QQ              www.thus.net


        THUS Response to the ICSTIS Consultation: Enhancing Stakeholder Engagement

Submitted by: Mark Gracey, Content Regulation Manager
              THUS plc
              E: mark.gracey@thus.net
              T: +44 (0)20 8492 7176

Date:                  6th July 2007

Introduction
THUS plc is a leading provider of Internet, data and telecoms services in the United Kingdom.
We deliver fixed line telecommunication services to large business customers and public sector
organisations, while tailoring services to small and mid-sized businesses under the Demon brand.

We welcome this opportunity to comment on ICSTIS’s considerations for stakeholder
engagement and welcome the initiative.

We are very happy, based on our own experiences that ICSTIS is engaging effectively with us.
Someone from ICSTIS is always at hand to provide quick guidance as and when required and we
have never had any problems arranging meetings to discuss particular issues. So, generally we
agree with the principles that ICSTIS set out in the consultation paper. We will not answer all the
specific questions set out, but do have some general points which we would like to make.

Response to Q1
We agree with the general bullets but would make the following comments:

There should be an overarching mission for ICSTIS when engaging with industry stakeholders:
the need to foster trust and confidence in PRS whilst providing effective consumer protection.

With regards to raising awareness about the work of ICSTIS and the industry it regulates, we are
mindful that this can be a costly exercise. Likewise (although we would argue that it is the role of
Ofcom), if ICSTIS is to educate consumers about PRS, this too can be costly. For these reasons
it is important that any such activity is carried out in proper consultation with industry, particularly
whilst agreeing the budget to carry out such activities.

ICSTIS website
We find the ICSTIS website a very useful resource for information. Navigation is straightforward
and information easy to find. One shortcoming though is a lack of information about “precedents”
set by adjudications. Unwritten rules like that of what is acceptable “undue delay” are not set out
in the Code nor documented on the website. This makes it difficult to ensure full compliance with
the rules. We would suggest that the website be expanded to include such information.

Consultations
We welcome the introduction of regulatory impact assessments within ICSTIS consultations and
we support ICSTIS following the 6 principles set out for better regulation.



THUS plc
Registered Office: 1/2 Berkeley Square
99 Berkeley Street Glasgow G3 7HR
Registered in Scotland No: SC192666
We would however ask for better consistency between consultations particularly in terms of
consultation periods. One only has to consider the varying consultation periods between the
consultations on 0871 (9 weeks), this consultation (12 weeks) and that of a prior permission
regime for broadcast PRS (4 weeks) to see a big disparity about how much time industry have to
respond to ICSTIS consultations. We ask that a common consultation period is adapted for all
consultations as set out in criterion 1 of the better regulation guidance.

ILP
We appreciate that the ILP is still finding its feet and has not been operational for very long, but
we would like to see the ILP to grow into an effective body of industry representatives who work
with ICSTIS to address issues and concerns that arise.

There is an opportunity for ICSTIS to engage more with the ILP (and of course for industry to do
the same) to address issues.

We not see that happening at the moment and would ask ICSTIS to encourage this growth; whilst
we will do all we can to ensure that industry engage with the ILP.




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