Regulation no. 46/2005, published on 14 of June

Official Portuguese version published in D.R. number 112 (Serie II) of 14 June 2005

Ministério das Obras Públicas, Transportes e Comunicações (Ministry for Public Works, Transports and Communications)

ICP - Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações (ICP - National Communications Authority)

Regulation


(This is not an official translation of the law)

Regulation no. 46/2005 - Regulation on Quality of Service - 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 Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações (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:

Article 1
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.

Article 2
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.

Article 3
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.

Article 4
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.

Article 5
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.

Article 6
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.

Article 7
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.

Article 8
Final provisions

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).

23 May 2005. The President, Pedro Duarte Neves.
 


Annex
 

Parameters of quality of service (PQS) for access to the public telephone network at a fixed location and publicly available telephone service at a fixed location

The parameters of quality of service established in the present annex and identified in the following table are based on ETSI Guide EG 201 769-1 V1.1.1 (2000-04):

Parameters

Presentation of results

Type of access

Scope of application

PQS1 - Supply time for initial network connection

 

Direct access

 

 

Including all reports on faults regarding call originating in the fixed network.

Excluding reports on faults regarding, namely:

- Service facilities (understood as additional services as defined in recommendation I.250 of ITU-T);

- Calls for audiotext services, Internet access services and services for private voice networks;

- Calls made by means of virtual call cards.

PQS2 - Fault rate per access line

a) Number of reported faults per access

Direct access

PQS3 - Fault repair time

a) Average fault repair time of the local access network which correspond to 80% and 95% percentile values of the swifter installations.

b) Average fault repair time of other type of repairs which correspond to 80% and 95% percentile values of the swifter installations.

c) Rate of repairs carried out within the repair time limit intended to be provided to clients.

Direct access

 

PQS4 - Response time for operator services

a) Average response time for operator services.

b) Rate of calls taken within 20 seconds.

Direct and indirect access

Parameters concern all calls received at operator services, provided that they regard requests within the scope of services under consideration (including requests intended for mobile numbers).

The parameters identified above do not apply to:

- Service facilities (understood as supplementary services as defined in recommendation I.250 of ITU-1);
- Calls for audiotext services;
- Calls for Internet access and services for private voice networks;
- Calls made by means of virtual call cards, except for parameter hereinafter referred to as QSP4, the measurement of which includes all calls received, provided that they regard requests within the scope of services under consideration.

PQS1 - Supply time for initial network connection

1. Definition:

1.1. The PQS1 is intended to measure the time duration, in calendar days, from the instant a valid service request is made by a client regarding the supply of a connection by the providing undertaking for access to the public telephone network at a fixed location, to the instant that undertaking actually provides a publicly available telephone service at a fixed location, regardless of the supporting technology.

1.2. To calculate the present parameter, a valid connection request means any solicitation made to the providing undertaking and accepted by it, concerning:

A new connection to the service of access to the public telephone network at a fixed location provided by the undertaking (first connection of a specific client or a new connection as result of a change of the respective address); or

An additional connection of a client of the undertaking (for the same address or a different one); or

Migration from the analogue line of a client of the undertaking to RDIS.

1.3. The cases where a new connection for the access to the FTS is installed at the same time the ADSL technology is made available shall not be excluded from the measurement of the present parameter.

1.4. The connection for access to the public telephone network at a fixed location means installing and making effectively available to the client, for the use thereof, a connection between the local switching central or concentrator and the first terminal device for exclusive use of the client, or in alternative, to the client’s network, pursuant to legislation in force regarding telecommunications infrastructure in buildings.

1.5. The measurement of this parameter shall be carried out only as regards the requests for connection which comprise also a network connection and service activation.

1.6. In those cases where a request for installation involves more than one connection for access to the public telephone network at a fixed location, the installation of each one of these connections shall be accounted in separate for the calculation of the parameter

1.7. The measurement of the PQS1 shall not consider:

The temporary installations, which refer to those the duration of which is of one month at the most;

The cases where the providing undertaking resorts to third parties’ infrastructures (local loop, leased lines) for the supply of the service connection.

2. To measure the quality of service according to the present parameter, providing undertakings shall gather

a) Delay values in the supply of connections corresponding to 95% and 99% percentile values of the swifter installations;

b) Rate of supply requests fulfiled up to the date agreed with the client.

3. Calculation method regarding the information provided for in point a) of the preceding paragraph:

3.1. The calculation of values provided for in point a) of paragraph 2 shall be based on the method comprised in Annex B of the document ETSI EG 201 769-1 v1.1.1 (2000-04).

3.2. The calculation of values provided for in point a) of the paragraph 2 shall disregard the cases where the client defines an aim date, nevertheless, the providing undertaking shall supply, in addition to the present parameter, information on the ratio between the number of initial connections supplied, the client having established an aim date, and the total number of initial connections supplied.

3.3. For the purpose of the preceding paragraph, an aim date is deemed to exist where the established installation date has been requested by the client and is subsequent to the date which results from the application of the value disclosed for the present parameter of quality in the scope of point b) of paragraph 2 of article 7 of the present Regulation.

3.4. The supply time limit shall be considered:

From the date of reception of the request by the providing undertaking; or

From the date of amendments/additions to agreements already concluded.

3.5. The parameter calculation shall disregard:

Time imputable to the client that elapses from the moment the providing undertaking is informed or is aware that the premises of the client do not offer conditions for the supply of the connection, up to the moment the referred situation is cleared;

The delays associated to the installation of the client’s network or to the first terminal device for the client’s exclusive use, pursuant to legislation in force regarding telecommunications infrastructure in buildings, where such installation is not under the responsibility of the providing undertaking.

3.6. The periods between delays imputable to the client, where they exist, are deemed as being under the responsibility of the providing undertaking, and as such, shall be added up for parameter calculation purposes.

3.7. The present parameter concerns all requests for connection fulfilled within the reference period and shall be unbundled, where applicable, by the different types of access:

Analogue;

Basic RDIS;

Primary RDIS;

Others.

4. Calculation method regarding the information provided for in point b) of paragraph 2:

4.1. The date agreed with the client shall mean:

Any date requested by the client and accepted by the providing undertaking;

Any date set by the providing undertaking and not refused by the client.

4.2. In case of postponement of a first date agreed with the client and later setting of a new date for reasons imputable to the providing undertaking, the first date shall be considered for parameter calculation purposes.

4.3. The cases where the client defines an aim date shall be considered for the purpose of calculation of the present parameter.

PQS2 - Fault rate per access line

1. Definition:

1.1. The QSP2 measures the number of valid fault reports made by users to the services of the providing undertaking, for reasons of disrupted or degraded service attributable to the network of the providing undertaking or any interconnected public network involved in eligible communications 2 for calculation purposes.

1.2. A valid fault report shall mean:

a) The fault the existence of which is confirmed after a test is made;

b) A fault which disappears when the test is carried out, there being means to prove that it actually took place.

1.3. The measurement of the QSP2 shall not consider fault reports concerning the physical state of public pay phones for the access to the telephone service at a fixed location, but the reports on faults concerning communications made from public pay phones where the disrupted or degraded service is attributable to the network of the providing undertaking of the telephone service at a fixed location shall be considered.

1.4. The services of the providing undertaking shall mean the services intended for the report of faults on the part of clients.

1.5. For each valid report regarding a basic or primary access, only one fault shall be accounted for, regardless of the number of activated channels that have been affected by the fault.

1.6. Until the fault has been repaired by the providing undertaking, the reports on the same access shall be accounted for as a single report.

1.7. The common faults that affect several clients shall be accounted for by the number of client reports associated to each fault.

1.8. For the purpose of parameter calculation, faults and accesses shall be accounted for evenly, even where they have been reported by the same client.

1.9. The network faults from the first terminal device for the client’s exclusive use shall be excluded, pursuant to legislation in force regarding telecommunication infrastructure in buildings, and likewise shall be excluded faults in the equipment on the side of the client.

2. To measure the quality of service according to the present parameter, providing undertakings shall assemble the total number of faults reported in the course of the reference period, only the values regarding direct access being considered for this purpose.

2.1. For the purpose of the preceding paragraph, the average number of accesses for a given period shall be accounted for, including all type of access 3 made available by the providing undertaking, namely, analogue access (including public pay phones for the access to the telephone service at a fixed location), and digital access, regardless of the means (means owned by third parties, including local loop and leased lines, or the undertaking’s own means) or the infrastructure involved (for example, cable, optic means, radio means).

PQS3 - Fault repair time

1. Definition:

1.1. The PQS3 is intended to measure the time duration, in consecutive hours, from the instant a valid fault in the network of the providing undertaking (or in any interconnected public network involved in eligible communications for calculation purposes) has been reported to the services of the providing undertaking to the instant where the service has been restored to full normal working order.

1.2. The services of the providing undertaking shall mean the services intended for the report of faults on the part of clients.

1.3. For the purpose of calculation of the present parameter, full normal working order is deemed to exist where the initial situation that existed before the fault occurred has been restored, that is, where the problem reported by the client/user has been solved (this corresponds to the moment of notification to the client concerning the fault repair, this notification not being contested by the client within at the most 5 working days).

1.4. In the event the same fault is reported more than once, by the same client/user or not, the instant in which the providing undertaking is aware of the fault for the first time, through the client/user report, shall be considered for purposes of parameter accounting.

1.5. The valid fault reports considered in point b) of point 1.2 of PQS2 shall not be considered for the calculation of the present parameter.

1.6. Where the fault repair is scheduled for a date/hour later that that established initially by the providing undertaking, at the convenience of the client, the time elapsed between these two dates/hours shall not be accounted for.

1.7. The calculation of the present parameter shall include faults repaired within the reference period, regardless of the report date.

1.8. The calculation of the PQS3 shall not include:

Situations where, following a prior notice of the visit, it is impossible to restore the service to full normal working order for reasons imputable to the client;

Situations where the providing undertaking provides a swifter repair service through the payment of an additional amount.

2. To measure the quality of service according to the present parameter, providing undertakings shall assemble the values regarding:

a) Time to repair faults of the local access network which correspond to 80% and 95% percentile values of the swifter installations (direct access);

b) Time to repair other type of faults, which correspond to 80% and 95% percentile values of the swifter installations (direct access);

c) Rate of repairs carried out within the repair time limit intended to be offered to clients (direct access).

2.1. The calculation of values provided for in point a) and b) of paragraph 2 shall be based on the method comprised in Annex B of ETSI EG 201 769-1 v1.1.1 (2000-04).

2.2. For the purpose of calculation of the present parameter, the full list of events occurred shall be considered for the reference period.

2.3. Faults in the local access network shall mean those imputable to the connection between the first concentrator of the network of the providing undertaking and the first terminal device for exclusive use of the client, or in alternative, to the client’s network, pursuant to legislation in force regarding telecommunications infrastructure in buildings.

2.4. “Other repairs” shall mean those deemed not to be imputable to the local access network.

2.5. The providing undertaking, in the scope of the parameter indicated in 2.c), shall submit to ANACOM updated information on the fault repair time limit it has established to be offered to the clients for the reference period (direct access) and as such disclosed in the scope of point b) of paragraph 2 of article 7 of this Regulation.

2.6. In addition to the information provided for in 2 a), b) and c), the providing undertaking shall submit to ANACOM updated information on the numbers for access to services made available to report faults.

PQS4 - Response time for operator services

1. Definition:

1.1. The PQS4 is intended to measure the time duration, in seconds, from the instant the calling signal is established to the instant the calling user is answered by the human operator, from whom the service effectively desired shall be solicited.

1.2. Operator services shall mean those services with specific access codes used for the establishment of communications with assistant intervention, to be charged at the destination or not, intended to support difficulties in obtaining calls.

1.3. Where providing undertakings do not offer operator services as defined in the preceding paragraph and, thus, do not measure the PQS4, they shall notify ANACOM thereof.

1.4. The calculation of PQS4 shall include the time spent in going through the equivalent systems activated by voice or other means, up to the moment the caller actually requests the desired service.

1.5. The calculation of PQS4 shall not consider:

Services provided wholly by automatic response systems;

Emergency services;

Time spent with the treatment of the request, namely the conversation time between the caller and the human operator.

2. To measure the quality of service according to the present parameter, providing undertakings shall assemble

a) Average response time for operator services (direct and indirect access);

b) Rate of calls taken within 20 seconds by the human operator from whom the calling user requests the service effectively desired (direct and indirect access).

2.1. For the purpose of calculation of the present parameter, the full list of events occurred shall be considered for the reference period.

2.2. Where the providing undertaking provides both direct and indirect access, it shall present an unbundled parameter for both types of access

2.3. In those cases where a third entity is subcontracted to provide operator services, the providing undertaking of the publicly available electronic communications service at a fixed location, notwithstanding being responsible for submitting parameters, may subcontract with that entity the calculation of the parameter.

Notes
nt_title
 
1 Recomendação I. 250 da União Internacional de Telecomunicações, ''Refinition of supplementary services''.
2 Deverão ser exceptuadas as comunicações referidas nas notas que se seguem ao quadro síntese do presente anexo.
3 Deverá ser contabilizado o número de acessos (não o respectivo número de canais, no caso dos acessos básicos e primários).