(b) such persons providing services to which that section applies as
OFCOM think fit.
(2) OFCOM must publish the code drawn up under section 298, and every
revision of it, in such manner as, having regard to the need to make the code or
revision accessible to—
(a) persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, and
(b) persons who are blind or partially sighted,
they consider appropriate.
300 Meaning of “relevant date” in s. 298
(1) In relation to a service, the relevant date for the purposes of section 298 is—
(a) in a case to which any of subsections (2) to (4) applies, the date given by
that subsection; and
(b) in any other case, the date (whether before or after the passing of this
Act) when the provision of that service began or begins.
(2) In the case of a service the provision of which began before the television
transfer date but which is not—
(a) a service provided by the Welsh Authority,
(b) a licensed public service channel,
(c) a digital television programme service, or
(d) a service which immediately before the television transfer date was a
qualifying service within the meaning of Part 1 of the 1996 Act,
the relevant date is the date of the coming into force of this section.
(3) In the case of—
(a) a Channel 3 service the provision of which began before the date of the
passing of this Act, and
(b) Channel 4 and S4C Digital,
the relevant date is 1st January 2000.
(4) In the case of Channel 5, so far as it consists of a service the provision of which
began before the date of the passing of this Act, the relevant date is 1st January
(5) OFCOM may determine that a service provided by a person is to be treated for
the purposes of section 298 and this section as a continuation of a service
previously provided by him.
301 Power to modify targets in s. 298
(1) The Secretary of State may by order modify section 298 so as to do one or both
of the following—
(a) substitute a later anniversary for the anniversary specified in
subsection (2) of that section;
(b) substitute a different percentage for the percentage for the time being
specified in any paragraph of subsection (3) of that section.
(2) The provision that may be made by virtue of subsection (1) includes—
(a) modifications for requiring the code to set out additional obligations to
be fulfilled once the obligations previously required to be set out in the
code have been fulfilled; and
(b) savings for the obligations previously set out in the code.
(3) Before making an order under this section the Secretary of State must consult
(4) No order is to be made containing provision authorised by subsection (1)
unless a draft of the order has been laid before Parliament and approved by a
resolution of each House.
302 Observance of code under s. 298
(1) The regulatory regime for every service to which this section applies includes
the conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for securing that the code
maintained by them under section 298 is observed in the provision of those
(2) This section applies to every service to which section 298 applies which is
licensed by a Broadcasting Act licence.
Programming quotas for digital television programme services
303 Quotas for independent programmes
(1) The regulatory regime for every digital television programme service that is
not comprised in a licensed public service channel includes the conditions that
OFCOM consider appropriate for securing that, in each year, not less than 10
per cent. of the total amount of time allocated to the broadcasting of qualifying
programmes included in the service is allocated to the broadcasting of a range
and diversity of independent productions.
(2) In subsection (1)—
(a) the reference to qualifying programmes is a reference to programmes
of such description as the Secretary of State may by order specify as
describing the programmes that are to be qualifying programmes for
the purposes of that subsection;
(b) the reference to independent productions is a reference to programmes
of such description as the Secretary of State may by order specify as
describing the programmes that are to be independent productions for
the purposes of that subsection; and
(c) the reference to a range of independent productions is a reference to a
range of such productions in terms of cost of acquisition as well as in
terms of the types of programme involved.
(3) The Secretary of State may by order amend subsection (1) by substituting a
different percentage for the percentage for the time being specified in that
(4) Before making an order under this section the Secretary of State must consult
(5) No order is to be made containing provision authorised by this section unless
a draft of the order has been laid before Parliament and approved by a
resolution of each House.
(6) In this section “programme” does not include an advertisement.
Regulation of electronic programme guides
304 Code of practice for electronic programme guides
(1) It shall be the duty of OFCOM to draw up, and from time to time to review and
revise, a code giving guidance as to the practices to be followed in the
provision of electronic programme guides.
(2) The practices required by the code must include the giving, in the manner
provided for in the code, of such degree of prominence as OFCOM consider
(a) the listing or promotion, or both the listing and promotion, of the
programmes included in the public service channels; and
(b) the facilities for selecting or accessing those programmes.
(3) Subject to subsection (4), in subsection (2) the reference to the public service
channels is a reference to any of the following—
(a) any service of television programmes provided by the BBC in digital
form so as to be available for reception by members of the public;
(b) any Channel 3 service in digital form;
(c) Channel 4 in digital form;
(d) Channel 5 in digital form;
(e) S4C Digital;
(f) the digital public teletext service.
(4) The Secretary of State may by order—
(a) add any programme service to the services for the time being specified
in subsection (3) as public service channels; or
(b) delete a service from that subsection.
(5) Before making an order under subsection (4) the Secretary of State must
(6) In this section “electronic programme guide” means a service which—
(a) is or is included in a television licensable content service, a digital
television programme service or a digital additional television service;
(b) consists of—
(i) the listing or promotion, or both the listing and the promotion,
of some or all of the programmes included in any one or more
programme services the providers of which are or include
persons other than the provider of the guide; and
(ii) a facility for obtaining access, in whole or in part, to the
programme service or services listed or promoted in the guide.
305 Conditions to comply with code under s. 304
(1) The regulatory regime for every service consisting in or including an electronic
programme guide includes whatever conditions (if any) OFCOM consider
appropriate for securing that the code maintained by them under section 304 is
observed in the provision of those services.
(2) In this section “electronic programme guide” has the same meaning as in
Character and coverage of radio services
306 Character and coverage of sound broadcasting services
(1) Section 106 of the 1990 Act (requirements as to character and coverage of local
and national radio services) shall be amended as follows.
(2) In subsection (1), the words from “except” onwards shall be omitted.
(3) After subsection (1) (duty to ensure character preserved subject to departures
that do not restrict service) there shall be inserted—
“(1A) Conditions included in a licence for the purposes of subsection (1) may
provide that OFCOM may consent to a departure from the character of
the licensed service if, and only if, they are satisfied—
(a) that the departure would not substantially alter the character of
(b) that the departure would not narrow the range of programmes
available by way of relevant independent radio services to
persons living in the area or locality for which the service is
licensed to be provided;
(c) that, in the case of a local licence, the departure would be
conducive to the maintenance or promotion of fair and effective
competition in that area or locality; or
(d) that, in the case of a local licence, there is evidence that, amongst
persons living in that area or locality, there is a significant
demand for, or significant support for, the change that would
result from the departure.”
(4) For subsection (5) (restriction on power to extend licence to new area or
locality) there shall be substituted—
“(5) OFCOM shall only exercise the power conferred on them by subsection
(4) if it appears to them—
(a) that to do so would not result in a significant increase of the area
or locality for which the service in question is licensed to be
(b) that the increase that would result is justifiable in the
exceptional circumstances of the case.”
(5) After subsection (6) of that section there shall be inserted—
“(7) In this section ‘relevant independent radio services’ means the
following services so far as they are services falling to be regulated
under section 242 of the Communications Act 2003—
(a) sound broadcasting services;
(b) radio licensable content services;
(c) additional services;
but, in relation to a departure from the character of a service provided
under a local licence, does not include a service that is provided
otherwise than wholly or mainly for reception by persons living and
working in the area or locality in question.”