Financial penalties for non-compliant UK services

O2 have announced that from May 1st 2011 a financial penalty will be raised against any content provider who receives a yellow or red ‘card’ for operating a non-compliant mobile service on the Telefonica O2 network in the UK.

These cards are a standardized, cross-operator system for notifying content providers – through their technical service provider – of compliance breaches identified by the network operator.

A Red Card notifies the content provider of a serious breach, that will cause (or has caused) some customer harm, the result of which is usually an immediate suspension of the service on the operator’s network for a fixed period of time.

A Yellow Card, while not as serious as a Red Card, nonetheless needs immediate attention.

From May 1st this year, breaches on the O2 network that result in a Yellow or Red card will attract one of the following financial penalties:

Yellow Card = £500 (UK Pounds)

Red Card = £1000

Red Card (content standards breach) = £2000

There is a right of appeal, but for all breaches that stand after an appeal, the relevant financial penalty will be deducted from the content provider’s next payment.

It is clearly as important as ever to ensure mobile content services comply with regulatory requirements. In addition to other penalties that may apply, the cost of fines will have to be met directly by the content provider, which Bango will simply pass through as an earnings deduction.

Currently no other operator has announced an intention to apply such fines, but this may well change in future. Please contact us if you have any questions.

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