The ICSTIS model
The slides are shown between horizontal lines and are headed I.C.S.T.I.S.
Everything else on this page is based on my notes and is my own opinion.
ICSTIS is the body which regulates premium-rate telephone services,
It is unique in that it operates entirely on a contractual basis - when
you rent these lines from BT, Mercury, etc., the contract allows them to
cut you off without notice or compensation if ICSTIS tells them to.
This only works because all telephone companies agree to enforce it.
"Giving consumers information about services and providing tools
with which to manage their own (and their families) patterns of consumption
are two of the most powerful measures which are likely to achieve effective
Extract from ICSTIS response to Oftel consultation document
"Beyond the Telephone, the Television and the PC"
ICSTIS AND PRS
- Independent industry regulator
- Code of Practice for premium rate services (prs) enforced
through provider and telephone company contract
- 4.5 million calls a week generating £160 million a year
- Variety of information and entertainment services
- Off-shore services also covered by Code
EARLY DAYS OF PRS
- Public and parliamentary concerns about the nature
- Provision under the Telecommunications Act 1984
(Section 43) but rarely used
- Role of BT as common carrier
- Industry acted to self regulate
- ICSTIS set up as independent industry regulator
- Similar concerns in other markets around the world
FEATURES OF SELF REGULATION
- Supported by and supportive of industry
- Consumer complaint handling
- Flexible approach
- Quick response
- Enforcement options
- International dimension
An important lesson to be learned from the ICSTIS model is that industry
support is vital.
- Information and education
- Access control
- Standards enforcement
- Complaints handling