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Session 2002 - 03
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Communications Bill


Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 2 — Regulatory Structure for Independent Television Services

    192

 

 216   Licensing of the public teletext service

     (1)    The licence that is required for the purposes of section 13 of the 1990 Act in

respect of the public teletext service is a licence under Part 1 of that Act

complying with this section.

     (2)    The licence—

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           (a)           must be a licence which continues in force, from the time from which it

takes effect, until the end of the licensing period beginning or current

at that time; and

           (b)           shall be renewable, on one or more occasions, under section 219.

     (3)    For the purposes of subsection (2) a licensing period is—

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           (a)           the period beginning with the commencement of this section and

ending with the initial expiry date; or

           (b)           any subsequent period of ten years beginning with the end of the

previous licensing period.

     (4)    The licence must contain the conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for

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the purpose of performing their duty under section 259.

     (5)    The conditions of the licence must also include conditions prohibiting the

imposition, whether directly or indirectly, of any charges on persons in respect

of their reception in the United Kingdom of the licensed service.

     (6)    It shall be unlawful to impose a charge in contravention of a condition imposed

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under subsection (5).

     (7)    The service authorised by a licence under this section, so far as it comprises a

service provided in digital form, is a qualifying service for the purposes of Part

1 of the 1996 Act.

     (8)    Schedule 10 (which makes further provision about the award and grant of the

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licence for the public teletext service and about the conditions and enforcement

of that licence) shall have effect.

 217   Delegation of provision of public teletext service

     (1)    The licence for the provision of the public teletext service may—

           (a)           include provision enabling the licence holder to authorise an eligible

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person to provide the whole or a part of the public teletext service on

his behalf; and

           (b)           impose conditions subject to and in accordance with which the whole

or a part of that service may be provided by a person authorised by the

licence holder.

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     (2)    The conditions of the licence to provide the public teletext service apply in

relation to its provision by a person authorised to do so on the licence holder’s

behalf as they apply to its provision by the licence holder.

     (3)    A contravention of those conditions by a person so authorised shall be treated

for the purposes of this Chapter and the 1990 Act as a contravention on the part

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of the licence holder.

     (4)    In this section “eligible person” means a person who is not a disqualified

person under Part 2 of Schedule 2 to the 1990 Act in relation to the licence for

the public teletext service.

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 2 — Regulatory Structure for Independent Television Services

    193

 

 218   Replacement of existing public teletext provider’s licence

     (1)    It shall be the duty of OFCOM to make an offer under this section to the person

who, when the offer is made, is the holder of the licence to provide the existing

service (the “existing licence”).

     (2)    The offer made to a person under this section—

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           (a)           must be an offer to exchange his existing licence for a replacement

licence; and

           (b)           must be made as soon as practicable after the television transfer date.

     (3)    The replacement licence is to be one which is granted—

           (a)           for the purposes of section 215 of this Act; and

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           (b)           in accordance with section 216 of this Act and the provisions of Part 1

of the 1990 Act;

            but Part 1 of Schedule 10 to this Act is not to apply in the case of the

replacement licence.

     (4)    Where OFCOM make an offer under this section, the service which they are

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proposing to license by or under the replacement licence must be a service

which comprises both—

           (a)           a service that appears to OFCOM to be equivalent in all material

respects to the existing service; and

           (b)           a service that appears to them to be equivalent in all material respects

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to the teletext service in digital form which that person is required to

provide by virtue of section 30 of the 1996 Act.

     (5)    The offer must propose the inclusion in the replacement licence of conditions

as to the payment of amounts to OFCOM which require the payment of—

           (a)           the same amount in respect of each complete calendar year falling

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wholly or partly within the period for which the replacement licence is

in force, and

           (b)           an amount equal to the same percentage of the qualifying revenue for

each accounting period of the licence holder falling within that period,

            as would have been payable under the existing licence had that licence

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continued in force until the end of the period for which the replacement licence

is granted.

     (6)    That offer must also propose conditions allowing amounts paid for a period

under the existing licence to be set off against liabilities for the same period

arising under the replacement licence.

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     (7)    An offer under this section must set out—

           (a)           the terms of the proposed replacement licence;

           (b)           the conditions on which OFCOM are proposing to grant the

replacement licence;

           (c)           the period for which the offer is open;

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           (d)           the time as from which it is proposed the replacement licence will take

effect if the offer is accepted; and

           (e)           the time from which the existing licence will cease to have effect if the

offer is not accepted.

     (8)    The times set out under subsection (7) must—

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           (a)           in the case of the time set out under paragraph (d), be in the period of

twelve months beginning with the television transfer date; and

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 2 — Regulatory Structure for Independent Television Services

    194

 

           (b)           in the case of the time set out under paragraph (e), be in the period of

eighteen months after the end of the period set out under paragraph (c)

of that subsection.

     (9)    Where the person to whom an offer has been made under this section elects, by

notification to OFCOM, to exchange his licence for the replacement licence

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offered to him—

           (a)           he is entitled to be granted the replacement licence in the terms, and on

the conditions, set out in the offer; and

           (b)           the replacement licence shall come into force, and the existing licence

cease to have effect, at the time specified in the offer, or such later time

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as OFCOM may, with the consent of that person, direct.

     (10)   Where the person to whom an offer has been made under this section—

           (a)           does not elect, during the period for which the offer is open, to

exchange the existing licence for the replacement licence, or

           (b)           rejects the offer before the end of that period,

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            the existing licence shall have effect as if the period for which it is to continue

in force ended with the time specified in the offer for the purposes of

subsection (7)(e).

     (11)   In this section “the existing service” means the teletext service which—

           (a)           is being provided immediately before the television transfer date on the

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combined spare capacity available for the provision of additional

television services on frequencies on which Channel 3 services and

Channel 4 are provided; and

           (b)           is the service by reference to which the Independent Television

Commission have discharged their duty under section 49(2) of the 1990

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Act.

     (12)   In this section “qualifying revenue” means the revenue which would be

qualifying revenue (within the meaning of section 52 of the 1990 Act) in

relation to the holder of a licence to provide the analogue teletext service

comprised in the public teletext service.

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 219   Renewal of public teletext licence

     (1)    The holder of the licence to provide the public teletext service may apply to

OFCOM for the renewal of his licence for a period of ten years from the end of

the licensing period current at the time of the application.

     (2)    An application for renewal may only be made in the period which—

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           (a)           begins four years before the end of the current licensing period; and

           (b)           ends three months before the day that OFCOM have determined to be

the day by which they would need to publish a tender notice if they

were proposing to grant a fresh licence to take effect from the end of

that period.

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     (3)    A determination for the purposes of subsection (2)(b)—

           (a)           must be made at least one year before the day determined; and

           (b)           must be notified by OFCOM to the holder, at the time of the

determination, of the licence to provide the public teletext service.

     (4)    Where OFCOM receive an application under this section for the renewal of a

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licence, they must—

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 2 — Regulatory Structure for Independent Television Services

    195

 

           (a)           decide whether they will be renewing the licence;

           (b)           if they decide that they will be, determine in accordance with section

220 the financial terms on which the licence will be renewed; and

           (c)           notify the applicant of their decision and determination.

     (5)    Section 17(5) to (7) of the 1990 Act (suspect sources of funds) apply in relation

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to an applicant for a renewal under this section as they apply in relation to an

applicant mentioned in section 17(5) of that Act, but as if—

           (a)           references to the award of a licence were references to its renewal; and

           (b)           the reference in subsection (7)(a) to section 19(1) of that Act were a

reference to paragraph 7 of Schedule 10.

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     (6)    OFCOM may decide not to renew the licence if they are not satisfied that the

applicant (if his licence were renewed) would provide a service complying

with the requirements imposed under Chapter 4 of this Part by conditions

relating to—

           (a)           the public service remit for the public teletext service;

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           (b)           news; and

           (c)           regional matters.

     (7)    OFCOM may also decide not to renew the licence if they propose to grant a

fresh licence for the public teletext service which would differ in any material

respect from the licensed service.

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     (8)    In all cases in which—

           (a)           the applicant notifies OFCOM that he accepts the terms notified to him

under subsection (4)(c), and

           (b)           they are not required or allowed by subsections (5) to (7) to refuse a

renewal,

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            they must grant the renewal as soon as reasonably practicable.

     (9)    But OFCOM must not grant a renewal under this section more than eighteen

months before the end of the licensing period from the end of which the

renewal will take effect.

     (10)   Where a licence is renewed under this section, it must be renewed on the same

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terms and conditions subject only to such modifications as are required to give

effect, in accordance with the determination under subsection (4)(b), to

paragraph 7 of Schedule 10.

     (11)   Nothing in this section requires OFCOM, following the receipt of an

application for the renewal of a licence—

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           (a)           to make a decision or determination, or

           (b)           to take any other step under this section,

            at any time after an order under section 227 has come into force preventing the

renewal of the licence.

     (12)   For the purposes of this section a licensing period is—

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           (a)           the period beginning with the commencement of this section and

ending with the initial expiry date; or

           (b)           any subsequent period of ten years beginning with the end of the

previous licensing period.

     (13)   In this section “tender notice” means a notice under paragraph 1 of Schedule

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10.

 

 

 
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