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Communications Bill


Communications Bill
Part 4 — Licensing of TV reception

    316

 

           (c)           the places where the installation and use of the television receiver is

authorised by the licence;

           (d)           the circumstances in which the installation and use of such a receiver is

so authorised;

           (e)           the purposes for which the installation and use of such a receiver is so

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authorised;

           (f)           the use of such receiver in a manner that causes, or may cause,

interference (within the meaning of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949

(c. 54)) with wireless telegraphy.

     (3)    The restrictions and conditions subject to which a TV licence may be issued do

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not include—

           (a)           a provision conferring a power of entry to any premises; or

           (b)           a provision prohibited by a direction to the BBC by the Secretary of

State.

     (4)    A TV licence shall continue in force, unless previously revoked by the BBC, for

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such period as may be specified in the licence.

     (5)    The BBC may revoke or modify a TV licence, or the restrictions or conditions

of such a licence—

           (a)           by a notice to the holder of the licence; or

           (b)           by a general notice published in such manner as may be specified in the

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licence.

     (6)    It shall be the duty of the BBC to exercise their power under subsection (5) to

revoke or modify a TV licence, or any of its restrictions or conditions, if they

are directed to do so by the Secretary of State.

     (7)    A direction by the Secretary of State under this section may be given either

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generally in relation to all TV licences (or all TV licences of a particular

description) or in relation to a particular licence.

     (8)    A notice under subsection (5)(a) must be given—

           (a)           in the manner specified in the licence; or

           (b)           if no manner of service is so specified, in the manner authorised by

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section 387.

     (9)    For the purposes of the application, in relation to the giving of such a notice,

of—

           (a)           section 387; and

           (b)           section 7 of the Interpretation Act 1978 (c. 30) (service by post) in its

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application for the purposes of that section,

            a person’s proper address is any address where he is authorised by a TV

licence to install or use a TV receiver or, if there is no such address, his last

known address.

 358   TV licence fees

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     (1)    A person to whom a TV licence is issued shall be liable to pay—

           (a)           on the issue of the licence (whether initially or by way of renewal), and

           (b)           in such other circumstances as regulations made by the Secretary of

State may provide,

            such sum (if any) as may be provided for by any such regulations.

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Communications Bill
Part 4 — Licensing of TV reception

    317

 

     (2)    Sums which a person is liable to pay by virtue of regulations under subsection

(1) must be paid to the BBC and are to be recoverable by them accordingly.

     (3)    The BBC are entitled, in such cases as they may determine, to make refunds of

sums received by them by virtue of regulations under this section.

     (4)    Regulations under this section may include provision—

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           (a)           for the means by which an entitlement to a concession must be

established; and

           (b)           for the payment of sums by means of an instalment scheme set out in

the regulations.

     (5)    The reference to a concession in subsection (4) is a reference to any concession

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under which a person is, on the satisfaction of specified requirements—

           (a)           exempted from the liability to pay a sum in respect of a TV licence; or

           (b)           required to pay only a reduced sum in respect of such a licence.

     (6)    The consent of the Treasury shall be required for the making of any regulations

under this section by the Secretary of State.

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     (7)    Subject to subsection (8), sums received by the BBC by virtue of any regulations

under this section must be paid into the Consolidated Fund.

     (8)    The BBC may retain, out of the sums received by them by virtue of regulations

under this section, any sums they require for making refunds of sums so

received.

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 359   Powers to enforce TV licensing

     (1)    If a justice of the peace, a sheriff in Scotland or a lay magistrate in Northern

Ireland is satisfied by information on oath that there are reasonable grounds

for believing—

           (a)           that an offence under section 356 has been or is being committed,

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           (b)           that evidence of the commission of the offence is likely to be on

premises specified in the information, or in a vehicle so specified, and

           (c)           that one or more of the conditions set out in subsection (3) is satisfied,

            he may grant a warrant under this section.

     (2)    A warrant under this section is a warrant authorising any one or more persons

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authorised for the purpose by the BBC or by OFCOM—

           (a)           to enter the premises or vehicle at any time (either alone or in the

company of one or more constables); and

           (b)           to search the premises or vehicle and examine and test any television

receiver found there.

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     (3)    Those conditions are—

           (a)           that there is no person entitled to grant entry to the premises or vehicle

with whom it is practicable to communicate;

           (b)           that there is no person entitled to grant access to the evidence with

whom it is practicable to communicate;

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           (c)           that entry to the premises or vehicle will not be granted unless a

warrant is produced;

           (d)           that the purpose of the search may be frustrated or seriously prejudiced

unless the search is carried out by a person who secures entry

immediately upon arriving at the premises or vehicle.

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Communications Bill
Part 4 — Licensing of TV reception

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     (4)    A person is not to enter premises or a vehicle in pursuance of a warrant under

this section at any time more than one month after the day on which the

warrant was granted.

     (5)    The powers conferred by a warrant under this section on a person authorised

by OFCOM are exercisable in relation only to a contravention or suspected

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contravention of a condition of a TV licence relating to interference with

wireless telegraphy.

     (6)    A person authorised by the BBC, or by OFCOM, to exercise a power conferred

by a warrant under this section may (if necessary) use such force as may be

reasonable in the exercise of that power.

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     (7)    Where a person has the power by virtue of a warrant under this section to

examine or test any television receiver found on any premises, or in any

vehicle, it shall be the duty—

           (a)           of a person who is on the premises or in the vehicle, and

           (b)           in the case of a vehicle, of a person who has charge of it or is present

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when it is searched,

            to give the person carrying out the examination or test all such assistance as

that person may reasonably require for carrying it out.

     (8)    A person is guilty of an offence if he—

           (a)           intentionally obstructs a person in the exercise of any power conferred

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on that person by virtue of a warrant under this section; or

           (b)           without reasonable excuse, fails to give any assistance that he is under

a duty to give by virtue of subsection (7).

     (9)    A person guilty of an offence under subsection (8) shall be liable, on summary

conviction, to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

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     (10)   In this section—

                    “interference”, in relation to wireless telegraphy, has the same meaning as

in the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 (c. 54); and

                    “vehicle” includes vessel, aircraft or hovercraft.

     (11)   In the application of this section to Scotland, the reference in subsection (1) to

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information on oath shall have effect as a reference to evidence on oath.

     (12)   In the application of this section to Northern Ireland, the reference in

subsection (1) to a lay magistrate shall have effect, in relation to times before

the coming into force of sections 9 and 10 of the Justice (Northern Ireland) Act

2002 (c. 26), as a reference to a justice of the peace.

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 360   Interpretation of provisions about dealer notification

     (1)    Section 6 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1967 (interpretation of provisions

requiring notification of sale and hire of television sets) shall be amended as

follows.

     (2)    In subsection (1), for the definitions of “television dealer”, “television

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programme” and “television set” there shall be substituted—

                                  “‘television dealer’ means a person of any description specified in

regulations made by the Secretary of State setting out the

descriptions of persons who are to be television dealers for the

purposes of this Part;

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Communications Bill
Part 5 — Competition in communications markets
Chapter 1 — Functions of OFCOM under competition legislation

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                                  ‘television set’ means any apparatus of a description specified in

regulations made by the Secretary of State setting out the

descriptions of apparatus that are to be television sets for the

purposes of this Part.”

     (3)    After that subsection there shall be inserted—

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           “(1A)              Regulations under subsection (1) defining a television set may provide

for references to such a set to include references to software used in

association with apparatus.”

 361   Meanings of “television receiver” and “use”

     (1)    In this Part “television receiver” means any apparatus of a description specified

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in regulations made by the Secretary of State setting out the descriptions of

apparatus that are to be television receivers for the purposes of this Part.

     (2)    Regulations under this section defining a television receiver may provide for

references to such a receiver to include references to software used in

association with apparatus.

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     (3)    References in this Part to using a television receiver are references to using it

for receiving television programmes.

     (4)    The power to make regulations under this section defining a television receiver

includes power to modify subsection (3).

Part 5

20

Competition in communications markets

Chapter 1

Functions of OFCOM under competition legislation

 362   Matters in relation to which OFCOM have competition functions

     (1)    In this Chapter references to communications matters are references to any one

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or more of the following—

           (a)           the provision of electronic communications networks;

           (b)           the provision of electronic communications services;

           (c)           the provision or making available of services or facilities which are

provided or made available—

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                  (i)                 by means of, or in association with the provision (by the same

person or another) of, an electronic communications network or

electronic communications service; or

                  (ii)                for the purpose of facilitating the use of any such network or

service (whether provided by the same person or another);

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           (d)           apparatus used for providing or making available anything mentioned

in the preceding paragraphs;

           (e)           broadcasting and related matters.

     (2)    The Secretary of State may by order make such amendments of subsection (1)

as he may consider appropriate for the purpose of modifying the description

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of activities in respect of which any of the provisions of this Part—

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 5 — Competition in communications markets
Chapter 1 — Functions of OFCOM under competition legislation

    320

 

           (a)           confer functions on OFCOM under Part 1 of the Competition Act 1998

(c. 41) or relate to the carrying out by OFCOM of those functions; or

           (b)           confer functions on OFCOM under Part 4 of the Enterprise Act 2002

(c. 40) or relate to the carrying out by OFCOM of those functions.

     (3)    No order is to be made containing provision authorised by this section unless

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a draft of the order has been laid before Parliament and approved by a

resolution of each House.

 363   OFCOM’s functions under Part 4 of the Enterprise Act 2002

     (1)    The functions to which subsection (2) applies shall be concurrent functions of

OFCOM and the Office of Fair Trading.

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     (2)    This subsection applies to the functions of the Office of Fair Trading under Part

4 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (market investigations) (other than sections 166

and 171) so far as relating to commercial activities connected with

communications matters.

     (3)    So far as necessary for the purposes of, or in connection with, subsections (1)

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and (2), references in Part 4 of the Enterprise Act 2002 to the Office of Fair

Trading (including references in provisions of that Act applied by that Part)

shall be construed as including references to OFCOM except—

           (a)           in sections 166 and 171; and

           (b)           where the context otherwise requires.

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     (4)    In subsection (2) the reference to activities connected with communications

matters, so far as it is a reference to activities connected with any apparatus

falling within paragraph (d) of section 362(1), includes a reference to—

           (a)           the supply and export of any such apparatus; and

           (b)           the production or acquisition of any such apparatus for supply or

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export.

     (5)    Before the Office of Fair Trading or OFCOM first exercises in relation to any

matter functions which are exercisable concurrently by virtue of this section,

that person shall consult the other.

     (6)    Neither the Office of Fair Trading nor OFCOM shall exercise in relation to any

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matter functions which are exercisable concurrently by virtue of this section if

functions which are so exercisable have been exercised in relation to that

matter by the other.

     (7)    It shall be the duty of OFCOM, for the purpose of assisting the Competition

Commission in carrying out an investigation on a reference made to them by

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OFCOM by virtue of subsection (1), to give to the Commission—

           (a)           any information which is in OFCOM’s possession and relates to

matters falling within the scope of the investigation and—

                  (i)                 is requested by the Commission for that purpose, or

                  (ii)                is information which, in OFCOM’s opinion, it would be

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appropriate for that purpose to give to the Commission without

any such request;

                         and

           (b)           any other assistance which the Commission may require, and which it

is within OFCOM’s power to give, in relation to any such matters,

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Communications Bill
Part 5 — Competition in communications markets
Chapter 1 — Functions of OFCOM under competition legislation

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                   and the Commission, for the purposes of carrying out any such investigation,

shall take into account any information given to it for that purpose under this

subsection.

     (8)    If any question arises as to whether, by virtue of this section, any functions fall

to be, or are capable of being, carried out by OFCOM in relation to any

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particular case, that question shall be referred to and determined by the

Secretary of State.

     (9)    No objection shall be taken to anything done under Part 4 of the Enterprise Act

2002 (c. 40) by or in relation to OFCOM on the ground that it should have been

done by or in relation to the Office of Fair Trading.

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     (10)   Section 117 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (offences of supplying false or

misleading information) as applied by section 180 of that Act shall have effect

so far as relating to functions exercisable by OFCOM by virtue of this section

as if the references in section 117(1)(a) and (2) to the Office of Fair Trading

included references to OFCOM.

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     (11)   Subject to subsection (12), section 3 does not apply in relation to anything done

by OFCOM in the carrying out of their functions by virtue of this section.

     (12)   In the carrying out of any functions by virtue of this section OFCOM may

nevertheless have regard to any of the matters in respect of which a duty is

imposed by section 3(1) or (3) if it is a matter to which the Office of Fair Trading

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is entitled to have regard in the carrying out of those functions.

 364   OFCOM’s functions under the Competition Act 1998

     (1)    The functions to which subsection (2) applies shall be concurrent functions of

OFCOM and the Office of Fair Trading.

     (2)    This subsection applies to the functions of the Office of Fair Trading under the

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provisions of Part 1 of the Competition Act 1998 (c. 41) (other than sections

38(1) to (6) and 51) so far as relating to—

           (a)           agreements, decisions or concerted practices which are of the kind

mentioned in section 2(1) of that Act (agreements, decisions or practices

affecting trade and having as their object or effect the prevention,

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restriction or distortion of competition) and which relate to activities

connected with communications matters; or

           (b)           conduct which is of the kind mentioned in section 18(1) of that Act

(conduct abusing a dominant position) and relates to such activities.

     (3)    So far as necessary for the purposes of, or in connection with, the provisions of

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subsections (1) and (2), references to the Office of Fair Trading in Part 1 of the

Competition Act 1998 are to be read as including references to OFCOM,

except—

           (a)           in sections 38(1) to (6), 51, 52(6) and (8) and 54, and

           (b)           where the context otherwise requires.

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     (4)    In subsection (2), the reference to activities connected with communications

matters, so far as it is a reference to activities connected with any apparatus

falling within paragraph (d) of section 362(1), includes a reference to—

           (a)           the supply and export of any such apparatus; and

           (b)           the production or acquisition of any such apparatus for supply or

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export.

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 5 — Competition in communications markets
Chapter 1 — Functions of OFCOM under competition legislation

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     (5)    In section 54 of the Competition Act 1998 (c. 41)—

           (a)           in subsection (1) (definition of “regulator” for the purposes of Part 1 of

that Act), for paragraph (a) there shall be substituted—

                        “(a)                           the Office of Communications;”

           (b)           in subsection (4) (power to make regulations about concurrent

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functions of the Office of Fair Trading and sectoral regulators), “or by

Chapter V of Part I of the Transport Act 2000” there shall be inserted “to

this Act, by Chapter 5 of Part 1 of the Transport Act 2000 or by section

364 of the Communications Act 2003”.

     (6)    In paragraph 5 of Schedule 2 to the Competition Act 1998 (publication of list of

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networking arrangements under the 1990 Act excluded from the Chapter 1

prohibition)—

           (a)           in sub-paragraph (2), for “The Independent Television Commission

(‘ITC’)” there shall be substituted “OFCOM”; and

           (b)           in sub-paragraph (3), for “The ITC” there shall be substituted

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“OFCOM”.

     (7)    In section 59(1) of the Competition Act 1998 (interpretation of Part 1), after the

definition of “Minister of the Crown” there shall be inserted—

                                  “‘OFCOM’ means the Office of Communications;”.

     (8)    OFCOM may carry out, in respect of activities connected with communications

20

matters and concurrently with the Office of Fair Trading, the functions of the

Office of Fair Trading under any of paragraphs 3, 7, 19(3) and 36 to 39 of

Schedule 13 to the Competition Act 1998 (transitional provisions).

     (9)    If any question arises as to whether, by virtue of this section, any functions fall

to be, or are capable of being, carried out by OFCOM in relation to a particular

25

case, that question shall be referred to and determined by the Secretary of State.

     (10)   No objection shall be taken to anything done under by or in relation to OFCOM

under the Competition Act 1998 on the ground that it should have been done

by or in relation to the Office of Fair Trading.

     (11)   Subject to subsection (12), section 3 does not apply in relation to anything done

30

by OFCOM in the carrying out of their functions by virtue of this section.

     (12)   In the carrying out of any functions by virtue of this section OFCOM may

nevertheless have regard to any of the matters in respect of which a duty is

imposed by section 3(1) or (3) if it is a matter to which the Office of Fair Trading

is entitled to have regard in the carrying out of those functions.

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 365   Application of the Competition Act 1998 to news provision

     (1)    Section 194A of the 1990 Act (which modifies the Competition Act 1998 in

relation to agreements relating to Channel 3 news provision) shall be amended

as follows.

     (2)    In subsection (1) (meaning of “relevant agreement”)—

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           (a)           for “section 31A(a)” there shall be substituted “section 276 of the

Communications Act 2003”; and

           (b)           for “section 31(2)” (in both places) there shall be substituted “that

section”.

 

 

 
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