It repealed Section 15 of the Telegraph Act 1868, and substituted for it provisions enabling the Postmaster-General, with the consent of the Commissioners of the Treasury, to make regulations about the hours and general conduct of business at telegraph offices, the conditions of use of telegraphic services, and the fees for those services. However, it laid down maximum charges for the most common uses of the service.
It stipulated that charges throughout the United Kingdom were to be at a fixed rate regardless of distance, not exceeding 6d for the first twelve words or ½d per additional word, inclusive of addresses. This charge was to include delivery on foot within one mile of the telegraph office, or to the town postal boundaries; if the message was to travel further, it would be delivered with the next standard postal delivery from that office, at no additional charge, or optionally by foot messenger at no more than 6d per two miles.
All regulations made under this Act were to be laid before Parliament, and have statutory force; any regulations made under the 1868 Act were to remain in force until repealed by the Postmaster-General or superseded by new regulations. The Act extended to the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.