In a fully competitive market, the information on the features and quality of services is a matter of the utmost importance, in order to allow end-users to choose, in a free and informed way, both the providing undertaking and the most appropriate service to fulfil their needs.
The Law of Electronic Communications thus establishes on undertakings that provide publicly available electronic communications services the obligation to publish and make available to end-users comparable, clear, comprehensive and up-to-date information on the quality of services provided.
The law aims at ensuring that end-users are effectively informed as regards the features and quality of offers made available by the several undertakings qualified to provide publicly available electronic communications services. For this reason, it is determined that the information should be comparable, up-to-date, clear, and comprehensive.
In order to ensure that the information is clear, up-to-date and comparable, it is incumbent upon ANACOM to define the quality of service parameters to be measured, and the contents, form and manner of information to be published.
The definition of parameters of quality of service for electronic communication services and the determination of the respective contents is a complex task, namely considering the different features of each service and the dynamics of the sector, marked by a constant technical development and the consequent presentation of new offers.
As a consequence, ANACOM opted, in an initial stage, to set up only the quality parameters to be made available by undertakings that provide access to the public telephone network at a fixed location and telephone service at a fixed location, regardless of the supporting technology.
The importance of the referred services justify that quality parameters are now set up, especially as in this field a vast study and harmonization work has already been carried out, namely at the level of the European Telecommunications Standard Institute - ETSI.
At a later stage, having pondered the market needs, the development at harmonization level and the regulation objectives to be pursued by ANACOM, this Authority shall weight the opportunity and the need to establish parameters to define the quality levels for other electronic communications services to be integrated in the present regulation.
Therefore, pursuant to point a) of article 9 of the Statutes of the National Communications Authority (ANACOM), approved by Decree-Law no. 309/2001, of 7 December, of paragraph 2 of article 40 and of paragraph 1 of article 125, both of Law no. 5/2004, of 10 February, the Board of Directors of ANACOM, having heard the interested parties in the scope of the general consultation procedure provided for in article 8 of Law no. 5/2004, of 10 February, as well as in article 11 of the mentioned Statutes of ANACOM, hereby approves the following:
(Subject and scope)
1. The present regulation establishes the parameters of quality of service for access to the public telephone network at a fixed location and publicly available telephone service at a fixed location, regardless of the supporting technology, to be measured by the undertakings responsible for the provision thereof, and also determines the contents, form and manner of publication of information on the quality of services provided, without prejudice to the future setting up of quality parameters for other electronic communications services.
2. All undertakings that provide to end-users the services mentioned in the preceding paragraph, hereinafter referred to as “undertakings”, shall comply with the provisions set out herein.
3. The provisions of the present regulation do not withdraw nor do they prejudice the compliance with parameters and levels of quality of service set up specifically under the law, namely:
a) Upon the universal service provider;
b) Upon undertakings providing electronic communications services and networks according to rights of use assigned thereto by ANACOM;
c) Upon the concessionaire of the telecommunications public service;
d) Upon undertakings providing electronic communications services and networks pursuant to Title IV of Law no. 5/2004, of 10 February.
(Parameters of quality of service)
1. The parameters of quality of service to be measured are those that at a given time are defined in annex to the present regulation.
2. The measurement of parameters referred to in paragraph 1 shall only include the standard levels of quality of service for each parameter. This means that from the measurement of parameters are excluded the situations where a provider offers, for the same offer/technology, higher levels of quality of service through the payment of an additional price.
3. The adoption of parameters of quality of service other than those provided for in the annex to the present regulation does not exempt undertakings providing publicly available electronic communications services from the compliance with parameters set out by ANACOM.
4. In the absence of a specific provision, the reference period for the measurement of the quality of service corresponds to each calendar quarter.
5. The parameters of quality of service may be altered, added or complemented by ANACOM pursuant to applicable law and according to the market needs, the development at harmonization level and the regulation objectives to be pursued by this Authority.
(Obligations on providing undertakings)
1. The following obligations fall upon undertakings comprised by the present regulation:
a) As regards the introduction of procedures and information systems intended for the treatment of indicators defined in the scope of the present regulation, to ensure the appropriate mechanisms which facilitate the audit thereto by ANACOM, or by an entity engaged by this Authority, namely the mechanisms comprised in article 4;
b) To make available to users and ANACOM the information on the quality of services provided, under the law and the present regulation.
2. When undertakings decide to adopt parameters of quality of service other than the ones set out in the present regulation, which they wish to disclose to the public, they shall inform ANACOM thereof, within at the most 30 days from the commencement of the respective measurement, explaining also the methods and systems used for that measurement.
(Information systems and procedures used to measure parameters of quality of service)
1. Within 6 months from the expiry of the time-limit for the commencement of the measurement of the parameters of quality of service, established in paragraph 1 of article 8, undertakings shall be provided with a manual integrating the following documentation:
a) Full documentation of work processes regarding indicator treatment;
b) Relevant technical documentation on information systems concerning indicator treatment, giving details on used data structures, which must be duly commented as regards the respective functional usage;
c) Algorithmic manual of indicator calculation, with a clear mention of information sources, which shall comply with the technical documentation referred to in the preceding paragraph.
2. Undertakings shall ensure the permanent updating of the manual referred to in the preceding paragraph, and where ANACOM so requests, they shall submit thereto the different versions applied, both in electronic format and attaching supporting documentation.
3. Where alterations are made to the procedures adopted by the undertakings or in case ANACOM so determines, undertakings shall promote the necessary adaptations to the manual referred to in paragraph 1, within 30 days at the most.
(Unpredictable situations and cases of «force majeure»)
Where at a given time situations of an unpredictable nature occur, such as catastrophes or other cases of «force majeure», in the information regarding the quality of service provided, undertakings shall:
a) Give information on the registered situation of an unpredictable nature or «force majeure»;
b) Make information available, giving details both on real parameters and on parameters cleared from the happenings referred in point a), as well as an explanatory note on the differences observed.
(Information to be submitted to ANACOM)
1. Undertakings shall submit to ANACOM, up to the last working day of the month following the end of each calendar quarter, a report with information on the quality levels registered in the course of that quarter for each of the different parameters set out in the annex hereto, save for those cases where the annex itself sets out another specific time-limit.
2. The information to be made available to ANACOM pursuant to the preceding paragraph shall concern full calendar quarters, except where the commencement of the measurement of parameters of quality of service, defined herein, does not coincide with the commencement of a calendar quarter.
3. Without prejudice to the provision of the preceding paragraph, undertakings shall submit to ANACOM the information made available to end-users pursuant to and within the time limits established in points b) and c) of paragraph 2 of article 7.
4. ANACOM is entitled to publish comparable quality of service reports based on the information gathered under the preceding paragraphs, pursuant to point e) of paragraph 1 of article 109 of Law no. 5/2004, of 10 February.
(Making information available to end-users)
1. Before any contract is concluded, undertakings shall make available to end-users clear, comparable and up-to-date information of the quality of service provided.
2. For the purpose of the preceding paragraph, undertakings shall every year:
a) Disclose, up to the last working day of January, the information on the performance levels registered regarding the elapsed year, within the scope of the measurement of each parameter defined in annex to the present regulation;
b) Disclose, up to the last working day of January, the information on the quality levels they propose to provide, in the course of the year, within the scope of parameters referred to in the preceding point;
c) Update the information made available to end-users under the terms referred to in the preceding point, where in the course of a year, they decide to alter the performance levels proposed to be provided for the same year.
3. In those cases where the commencement of the measurement of parameters of quality of service defined herein does not coincide with the beginning of the calendar year, the information to be made available pursuant to paragraph 1 shall merely relate to the period in which that measurement was performed, and shall be made known as such.
4. The information concerning quality referred to in paragraph 2 shall be made known and made available to users, in writing, in all the service’s points of sale.
5. The information referred to in the preceding paragraph shall also be disclosed in the undertakings’ website, where it exists, in a clearly identifiable advertisement.
1. The measurement of the quality of service pursuant to and for the purposes provided for in the present regulation and in any amendment hereto shall begin at the most five months from the date of the publication hereof, unless otherwise is specifically provided for.
2. Where the service provision begins after the present regulation or any amendment hereto has been published, the five-month time-limit provided for in the preceding paragraph shall be calculated from the date in which the service provision begins.
3. The first conveyance of information to ANACOM on the parameters established herein shall take place up to the last working day of the month following the end of the quarter in which the respective measurement begun.
4. The first disclosure to end-users of the information provided for in point b) of paragraph 2 of article 7 shall coincide with the time limit referred to in the preceding paragraph.
5. Up to the publication of rules specifically applicable to the universal service, the entity responsible for the provision thereof, notwithstanding being bound to the quality parameters established in the present regulation, as well as to the information obligations provided herein, and also to the rules set out in annex to Law no. 5/2004, of 10 February, pursuant to article 92, paragraph 1, of that statutory instrument, shall further submit to ANACOM the information on the quality of service provided, established pursuant to the prior concession contract (Decree-Law no. 40/95, of 15 February).
- Annex https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?categoryId=227582
- Draft Regulation on the Quality of Service https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1093368