Communications Act 2003

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The Communications Act 2003 (c 21) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It gave regulation body Ofcom its full powers. Among other measures, it introduced legal recognition of community radio and paved the way for full-time community radio services in the UK; as well as controversially lifting many restrictions on cross-media ownership. It also made it illegal to use other people's wifi broadband connections without their permission.[1]

The legislation also allowed for the first time non-European entities to wholly own a British television company.[2][3]


  1. ^ "Man arrested over wi-fi 'theft'". BBC. 22 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-22. "Dishonestly obtaining free internet access is an offence under the Communications Act 2003 and a potential breach of the Computer Misuse Act." 
  2. ^ UK Office of Communications [4.4.1] | ICT Regulation Toolkit
  3. ^ Department for Culture Media and Sport - media ownership

External links[edit]

  • Wireless hijacking under scrutiny: "A recent court case, which saw a West London man fined £500 and sentenced to 12 months' conditional discharge for unauthorised use of a wireless broadband connection, has repercussions for almost every user of wi-fi networks. ... Gaining unauthorised access to a computer is an offence covered by the Computer Misuse Act. In Straszkiewcz's case, he was prosecuted under the Communications Act and found guilty of dishonestly obtaining an electronic communications service."

Further reading[edit]

For more on the regulation of communications in the UK, see Practical Law Company's Communications: a quick guide.

UK Legislation[edit]