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Communications Bill


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

    232

 

Access radio

 260   Access radio

     (1)    The Secretary of State may by order provide for—

           (a)           any of the provisions of this Part (apart from this section and the

provisions relating exclusively to television), or

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           (b)           any provision of Part 3 of the 1990 Act or of Part 2 of the 1996 Act

(regulation of radio services),

            to have effect, in relation to services of such descriptions as may be set out in

an order under this section, with such modifications as he considers necessary

or appropriate for services of that description.

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     (2)    The Secretary of State is not to make an order under this section in relation to

a description of services unless—

           (a)           the description is of services to be provided primarily for the good of

members of the public or of a particular community, rather than for

commercial reasons; and

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           (b)           he considers that the provision of services of that description confer, or

would confer, significant benefits on the public or on the communities

for which they are provided.

     (3)    An order under this section in relation to a description of services may, in

particular, impose prohibitions or limitations on the inclusion of

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advertisements in services of that description and on the sponsorship of

programmes included in the services.

     (4)    The power, by an order under this section, to make incidental, supplemental or

consequential provision in connection with provision authorised by subsection

(1) includes power to make incidental, supplemental or consequential

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provision modifying provisions of the 1990 Act, the 1996 Act or this Act that

are not mentioned in that subsection.

     (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.

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Chapter 4

Regulatory provisions

Application of regulatory regimes

 261   Application of regulatory regimes

     (1)    It shall be the duty of OFCOM, by exercising—

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           (a)           their powers under the 1990 Act and the 1996 Act, and

           (b)           their powers under this Part,

            to secure that the holder of every Broadcasting Act licence at all times holds his

licence on the conditions which are for the time being included, under this

Chapter and Chapter 5 of this Part, in the regulatory regime for the licensed

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service.

 

 

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

    233

 

     (2)    It shall also be the duty of OFCOM to do all that they can to secure that the

holder of every such licence complies, in relation to the licensed service, with

the conditions so included in the regulatory regime for that service.

     (3)    Where—

           (a)           the licence for a Channel 3 service, for Channel 4, for Channel 5 or for

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the public teletext service (“the main service”) authorises or requires a

corresponding or additional service to be provided in analogue form,

and

           (b)           the regulatory regime for the main service imposes obligations in

relation to programmes and other items included in that service,

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            those obligations are to apply equally to programmes that are included in the

analogue service without being included in the main service.

     (4)    The Secretary of State may by order provide for conditions which are included

by virtue of a provision of this Act in the regulatory regime for any service to

cease to be so included.

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     (5)    No order is to be made containing provision authorised by subsection (4)

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

resolution of each House.

     (6)    This section does not restrict OFCOM’s powers and duties apart from this

section to impose obligations by means of the inclusion of conditions in a

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Broadcasting Act licence.

The public service remit for television

 262   OFCOM reports on the fulfilment of the public service remit

     (1)    It shall be the duty of OFCOM—

           (a)           as soon as practicable after the end of the period of twelve months

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beginning with the commencement of this section, and

           (b)           as soon as practicable after the end of each such subsequent period as

may be selected by OFCOM for the purposes of this section,

            to satisfy, for that period, the review and reporting obligations of

subsection (3).

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     (2)    The period selected by OFCOM for the purposes of subsection (1)(b) must be a

period of not more than five years beginning with the end of the previous

period for which OFCOM have satisfied those review and reporting

obligations.

     (3)    The review and reporting obligations for a period are—

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           (a)           an obligation to carry out a review of the extent to which the public

service broadcasters have, during that period, provided relevant

television services which (taking them all together over the period as a

whole) fulfil the purposes of public service television broadcasting in

the United Kingdom; and

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           (b)           an obligation, with a view to maintaining and strengthening the quality

of public service television broadcasting in the United Kingdom, to

prepare a report on the matters found on the review.

     (4)    The purposes of public service television broadcasting in the United Kingdom

are—

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

    234

 

           (a)           the provision of relevant television services which secure that

programmes dealing with a wide range of subject-matters are made

available for viewing;

           (b)           the provision of relevant television services in a manner which (having

regard to the days on which they are shown and the times of day at

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which they are shown) is likely to meet the needs and satisfy the

interests of as many different audiences as practicable;

           (c)           the provision of relevant television services which (taken together and

having regard to the same matters) are properly balanced, so far as their

nature and subject-matters are concerned, for meeting the needs and

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satisfying the interests of the available audiences; and

           (d)           the provision of relevant television services which (taken together)

maintain high general standards with respect to the programmes

included in them, and, in particular with respect to—

                  (i)                 the contents of the programmes;

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                  (ii)                the quality of the programme making; and

                  (iii)               the professional skill and editorial integrity applied in the

making of the programmes.

     (5)    When—

           (a)           determining the extent to which any of the purposes of public service

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television broadcasting in the United Kingdom are fulfilled, and

           (b)           reviewing and reporting on that matter,

            OFCOM must have regard to the desirability of those purposes being fulfilled

in a manner that is compatible with subsection (6).

     (6)    A manner of fulfilling the purposes of public service television broadcasting in

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the United Kingdom is compatible with this subsection if it ensures—

           (a)           that the relevant television services (taken together) comprise a public

service for the dissemination of information and for the provision of

education and entertainment;

           (b)           that cultural activity in the United Kingdom, and its diversity, are

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reflected, supported and stimulated by the representation in those

services (taken together) of drama, comedy and music, by the inclusion

of feature films in those services and by the treatment of other visual

and performing arts;

           (c)           that those services (taken together) provide, to the extent that is

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appropriate for facilitating civic understanding and fair and well-

informed debate on news and current affairs, a comprehensive and

authoritative coverage of news and current affairs in, and in the

different parts of, the United Kingdom and from around the world;

           (d)           that those services (taken together) satisfy a wide range of different

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sporting and other leisure interests;

           (e)           that those services (taken together) include what appears to OFCOM to

be a suitable quantity and range of programmes on educational

matters, of programmes of an educational nature and of other

programmes of educative value;

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           (f)           that those services (taken together) include what appears to OFCOM to

be a suitable quantity and range of programmes dealing with each of

the following, science, religion and other beliefs, social issues, matters

of international significance or interest and matters of specialist

interest;

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

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           (g)           that the programmes included in those services that deal with religion

and other beliefs include—

                  (i)                 programmes providing news and other information about

different religions and other beliefs;

                  (ii)                programmes about the history of different religions and other

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beliefs; and

                  (iii)               programmes showing acts of worship and other ceremonies

and practices (including some showing acts of worship and

other ceremonies in their entirety);

           (h)           that those services (taken together) include what appears to OFCOM to

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be a suitable quantity and range of high quality and original

programmes for children and young people;

           (i)           that those services (taken together) include what appears to OFCOM to

be a sufficient quantity of programmes that reflect the lives and

concerns of different communities and cultural interests and traditions

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within the United Kingdom, and locally in different parts of the United

Kingdom;

           (j)           that those services (taken together), so far as they include programmes

made in the United Kingdom, include what appears to OFCOM to be

an appropriate range and proportion of programmes made outside the

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M25 area.

     (7)    In carrying out a review under this section OFCOM must consider—

           (a)           the costs to persons providing relevant television services of the

fulfilment of the purposes of public service television broadcasting in a

manner compatible with subsection (6); and

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           (b)           the sources of income available to each of them for meeting those costs.

     (8)    Every report under this section must—

           (a)           specify, and comment on, whatever changes appear to OFCOM to have

occurred, during the period to which the report relates, in the extent to

which the purposes of public service television broadcasting in the

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United Kingdom have been satisfied;

           (b)           specify, and comment on, whatever changes appear to OFCOM to have

occurred, during that period, in the manner in which those purposes

are fulfilled;

           (c)           set out the findings of OFCOM on their consideration of the matters

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mentioned in subsection (7) and any conclusions they have arrived at

in relation to those findings; and

           (d)           set out OFCOM’s conclusions on the current state of public service

television broadcasting in the United Kingdom.

     (9)    In performing their duties under this section, OFCOM must have regard, in

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particular, to—

           (a)           every statement of programme or service policy which has been made

by virtue of this Chapter by a public service broadcaster, or which is

treated as such a statement;

           (b)           every equivalent statement of policy made by the BBC in pursuance of

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the BBC Charter and Agreement; and

           (c)           such matters arising at times before the coming into force of this section

as OFCOM consider material.

     (10)   Every report prepared by OFCOM under this section must be published by

them—

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

    236

 

           (a)           as soon as practicable after its preparation is complete; and

           (b)           in such manner as they consider appropriate.

     (11)   The following are relevant television services for the purposes of this section—

           (a)           the television broadcasting services provided by the BBC;

           (b)           the television programme services that are public services of the Welsh

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Authority (within the meaning of section 205);

           (c)           every Channel 3 service;

           (d)           Channel 4;

           (e)           Channel 5;

           (f)           the public teletext service.

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     (12)   The following are public service broadcasters for the purposes of this section—

           (a)           the BBC;

           (b)           the Welsh Authority;

           (c)           the providers of the licensed public service channels; and

           (d)           the public teletext provider.

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     (13)   In this section “belief” means a collective belief in, or other adherence to, a

systemised set of ethical or philosophical principles or of mystical or

transcendental doctrines.

 263   Public service remits of licensed providers

     (1)    The regulatory regime for every licensed public service channel, and for the

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public teletext service, includes a condition requiring the provider of the

channel or service to fulfil the public service remit for that channel or service.

     (2)    The public service remit—

           (a)           for every Channel 3 service, and

           (b)           for Channel 5,

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            is the provision of a range of high quality and diverse programming.

     (3)    The public service remit for Channel 4 is the provision of a broad range of high

quality and diverse programming which, in particular—

           (a)           demonstrates innovation, experiment and creativity in the form and

content of programmes;

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           (b)           appeals to the tastes and interests of a culturally diverse society;

           (c)           makes a significant contribution to meeting the need for the licensed

public service channels to include programmes of an educational

nature and other programmes of educative value; and

           (d)           exhibits a distinctive character.

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     (4)    The public service remit for the public teletext service is the provision of a

range of high quality and diverse text material.

     (5)    For so long as the public teletext service comprises both—

           (a)           an analogue teletext service, and

           (b)           a teletext service provided in digital form,

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            the conditions imposed under this section must require the public service remit

of the public teletext service to be fulfilled separately in the case of each of those

services.

 

 

 
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