Interpretation guidelines on players and services

This page and the following subpages contain information on the grounds on which it is assessed whether a community or service belongs to a group of players or to operations supervised by FICORA.

The assessment is based on law, preambles and the authority's interpretation procedure. Interpretation information and examples are provided, in particular, of telecommunications and the distinction between telecommunications and other ICT services. Also, these pages discuss authority networks, other transmission of communications defined in the Information Society Code in 2015, as well as associated facilities and associated services.

Purpose and coverage of interpretation guidelines

Technology and businesses' service concepts develop all the time. Therefore, it is impossible to give in advance a comprehensive definition in authorities' interpretation guidelines which service structures or technical implementations belong to certain operations defined in law, such as telecommunications or other transfer of communications.

Interpretation guidelines describe the main principles that are stated in the preamble to the Information Society Code or other act (HE 221/2013 vp) or that FICORA has constituted in the application practice of the definitions in the Act. The list of the assessment criteria presented in the interpretation guidelines is not comprehensive.

The interpretation guidelines available here contain analyses of such service types and services of which FICORA has received questions. The examples describe the criteria that FICORA uses for assessing services. The same interpretation guidelines and criteria can also be used in other cases, but their applicability must always be considered case by case. These interpretation guidelines are primarily intended for professionals in the sector.

The titles for services and service types used in the interpretation guidelines are not terms defined in the legislation, but concepts that have been created at FICORA to support interpretations.

The legislation and interpretation of it are primarily technology neutral, but in practice interpretation issues quite often relate to IP-based services which are provided on the open internet. Primarily, telecommunications regulation applies to these services. Communal or networked provision of services also raises questions about interpretation. This phenomenon is discussed, for example, in FICORA's WLAN memorandum [pdf, 153 KB]

Regulation of telecommunications operators (public telecommunications)

The definition of telecommunications is described in detail on the following subpage.

Telecommunications operator and telecommunications

Public authority networks

According to section 250 of the Information Society Code, public authority networks mean a communications network built for the needs of government measures and state security, military defence, public order and security, border control, rescue activities, maritime rescue activities, emergency centre activities, immigration, first aid services, railway security or civil defence.

Interpretation: Because the set of users using public authority networks is subject to prior restriction, the networks are not public telecommunications. Public authority networks may be incorporated into telecommunications operators' public communications networks. Thus, they must not cause operability or information security disturbances in a public communications network.

Technical operability

Other electronic conveyance of communications

With regard to the regulation, other providers of electronic communications, which have become subject to the regulation of information security and data protection as of the beginning of 2015 in accordance with the Information Society Code, must be distinguished from telecommunications and telecommunications operators. According to the Act, a communications provider means, in addition to telecommunications operators and corporate subscribers, other party that conveys electronic communications for other than personal or comparable customary private purposes.

The definition of a communications provider and a corporate or association subscriber is discussed in more detail on the Data protection page.

Supervision of data protection

Associated services and associated facilities

The Information Society Code also defines associated services and associated facilities related to communications networks or communications services.

Associated service means a system subject to a conditional right of use; electronic programme guide; number conversion system; identification, location and presence service as well as similar service associated with communications networks or services that allows the offering of a communications network or service or supports the provision of services through them.

Associated facilities means an associated service and a building; entry to building and building cabling; cable duct; mast and other physical structure, function or element related to a communications network or service that allows the offering of a communications network or service or supports the provision of services through them.

Interpretation: Interpretative practice related to associated facilities or services does not exist yet. The examples included in the definitions steer the interpretation. The definition of the functions may be of significance e.g. in the regulation of the technical quality and information security of communications networks and services (sections 243 and 244 of the Information Society Code). The definitions also describe the functions and the services that are not regarded as telecommunications when treated separately.

Key words: Internet , Telephone , Broadband , Guidelines

Updated 22.11.2016

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