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Session 2002 - 03
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Communications Bill


Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 4 — Regulatory provisions

    267

 

           (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—

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           (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—

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           (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

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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

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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

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           (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

1998.

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     (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

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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.

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     (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

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 4 — Regulatory provisions

    268

 

           (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

OFCOM.

     (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

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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

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services.

     (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

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     (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

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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

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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

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           (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

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subsection.

     (4)    Before making an order under this section the Secretary of State must consult

OFCOM.

     (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

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resolution of each House.

     (6)    In this section “programme” does not include an advertisement.

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 4 — Regulatory provisions

    269

 

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.

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     (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

appropriate to—

           (a)           the listing or promotion, or both the listing and promotion, of the

programmes included in the public service channels; and

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           (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;

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           (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.

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     (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

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consult OFCOM.

     (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;

and

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           (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

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                  (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

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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

section 304.

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 4 — Regulatory provisions

    270

 

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.

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     (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—

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                  (a)                 that the departure would not substantially alter the character of

the service;

                  (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

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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

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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—

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           “(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

provided; or

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                  (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

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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

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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.”

 

 

 
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