150 Advisory service in relation to interference
(1) It shall be a function of OFCOM to provide a service consisting in the giving of
advice and assistance to persons complaining of interference with wireless
(2) In this section “interference”, in relation to wireless telegraphy, has the same
meaning as in the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 (c. 54).
151 Directions with respect to the radio spectrum
(1) The Secretary of State may by order give general or specific directions to
OFCOM about the carrying out by OFCOM of their functions under the
enactments relating to the management of the radio spectrum.
(2) The directions that may be given under this section include a direction
requiring OFCOM to secure that such frequencies of the electro-magnetic
spectrum as may be specified in the direction are kept available or become
(a) for such uses or descriptions of uses, or
(b) for such users or descriptions of users,
as may be so specified.
(3) The directions that may be given under this section include a direction
requiring OFCOM to exercise their powers under the provisions mentioned in
(a) in such cases,
(b) in such manner,
(c) subject to such restrictions and constraints, and
(d) with a view to achieving such purposes,
as may be specified in the direction or as may be determined by the Secretary
of State in accordance with the order.
(4) Those provisions are—
(a) the proviso to section 1 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949
(exemptions from requirement of wireless telegraphy licence); and
(b) sections 1 to 3A of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1998 (c. 6) (payments in
respect of wireless telegraphy licences and grants of recognised
(5) This section is not to be construed as restricting the power of the Secretary of
State under section 5, without the making of an order, to give a direction for
any of the purposes for the time being specified in subsection (3) of that section.
152 Procedure for directions under s. 151
(1) An order containing a direction under section 151, if it is not one falling within
subsection (2) or (4) of that section, must state the purpose for which the
direction is given.
(2) Before making an order containing a direction under section 151, the Secretary
of State must consult both—
(a) OFCOM; and
(b) such other persons as he thinks fit.
(3) Subsection (2) does not apply where the Secretary of State considers that the
urgency of the case makes it inexpedient to carry out the consultation before
making the order.
(4) Subject to subsection (5), no order is to be made containing provision
authorised by section 151 unless a draft of the order has been laid before
Parliament and approved by a resolution of each House.
(5) Subsection (4) does not apply where the Secretary of State considers either—
(a) before or in the course of the consultation required by subsection (2); or
(b) after the consultation and before or after a draft of the order has been
laid before Parliament,
that the urgency of the case is or has become such that he should make the
order straight away.
(6) Where under subsection (5) the Secretary of State makes an order containing a
direction under section 151 without a draft of the order having been approved,
the order shall cease to have effect at the end of the period of forty days
beginning with the day on which it was made unless, before the end of that
period, it has been approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.
(7) For the purposes of subsection (6)—
(a) the order’s ceasing to have effect is without prejudice to anything
previously done, or to the making of a new order; and
(b) in reckoning the period of forty days no account shall be taken of any
period during which Parliament is dissolved or prorogued or during
which both Houses are adjourned for more than four days.
Reservation of spectrum for multiplex use
153 Special duty in relation to television multiplexes
(1) This section applies where OFCOM, in exercise of their functions under the
enactments relating to the management of the radio spectrum, have reserved
frequencies for the broadcasting of television programmes.
(2) It shall be the duty of OFCOM, in the carrying out of their functions under
those enactments, to exercise their powers so as to secure, so far as practicable,
that the requirement of subsection (3) is satisfied.
(3) That requirement is that sufficient capacity is made available on the reserved
frequencies for ensuring, in the case of every licensed television multiplex
service, that the qualifying services are broadcast by means of that multiplex
(4) In subsection (3) “licensed television multiplex service” means a television
multiplex service the provision of which is authorised by a licence under Part
1 of the 1996 Act.
(5) In this section “qualifying service” and “television multiplex service” each has
the same meaning as in Part 3 of this Act.
Recognised spectrum access
154 Grant of recognised spectrum access
(1) This section applies where—
(a) a person is proposing to use or to continue to use a station or apparatus
for wireless telegraphy;
(b) the circumstances of the use are circumstances specified for the
purposes of this section in regulations made by OFCOM;
(c) that use does not require a wireless telegraphy licence but will involve
the emission of electro-magnetic energy with a view to the reception of
anything at places in the United Kingdom or in the territorial waters
adjacent to the United Kingdom;
and for the purposes of this section it is immaterial whether the emissions are
from a place within the United Kingdom or from a place outside the United
(2) On an application by that person, OFCOM may make a grant of recognised
spectrum access in respect of any use by him of anything for wireless
telegraphy that is specified in the grant.
(3) A grant of recognised spectrum access made to a person shall set out, by
reference to such factors as OFCOM think fit (including, so far as they think fit,
frequencies, times and places of reception and strength and type of signal), the
respects in which the use of anything by that person for wireless telegraphy is
recognised by the grant.
(4) A grant of recognised spectrum access to a person is made by giving him a
notification containing the grant.
(5) A grant of recognised spectrum access may be made subject to such restrictions
and conditions as OFCOM think fit, including, in particular—
(a) restrictions or conditions as to strength or type of signal, as to times of
use and as to the sharing of frequencies;
(b) restrictions of, or conditions imposing prohibitions on, the
transmission or broadcasting of particular matters by the holder of the
(c) conditions requiring the transmission or broadcasting of particular
matters by that person.
(6) The restrictions and conditions of a grant of recognised spectrum access made
to a person must not duplicate obligations already imposed on him by general
conditions set under section 41.
(7) Where a grant of recognised spectrum access is made subject to restrictions and
conditions, the restrictions and conditions must be set out in the notification by
which the grant is made.
(8) Schedule 5 (which makes provision about the grant, revocation and
modification of recognised spectrum access) shall have effect.
(9) Section 388 applies to the power of OFCOM to make regulations under
(10) Expressions used in this section and in the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 (c. 54)
have the same meanings in this section as in that Act.
155 Effect of grant of recognised spectrum access
(1) This section applies to the following functions of OFCOM—
(a) their functions under section 1 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949
(c. 54) (licensing of the use of the radio spectrum) with respect to the
granting of wireless telegraphy licences;
(b) their functions under section 154 of this Act with respect to the making
of grants of recognised spectrum access; and
(c) any of their other functions under the enactments relating to the
management of the radio spectrum in the carrying out of which it is
appropriate for them to have regard to—
(i) whether wireless telegraphy licences are in force, or
(ii) the terms, provisions or limitations of wireless telegraphy
licences that are for the time being in force.
(2) In carrying out the functions to which this section applies it shall be the duty
of OFCOM to take into account—
(a) the existence of any grant of recognised spectrum access that is for the
time being in force, and
(b) the provisions imposing the restrictions and conditions subject to
which the grant has effect,
to the same extent as they would take into account a wireless telegraphy licence
with terms, provisions or limitations making equivalent provision.
156 Charges in respect of grants of recognised spectrum access
(1) The Wireless Telegraphy Act 1998 (c. 6) (which makes provision about the
sums that may be charged in respect of the issue and renewal of wireless
telegraphy licences etc.) shall be amended as follows.
(2) In section 1 (charges for wireless telegraphy licences)—
(a) in subsection (1), after “this Act” there shall be inserted—
“(a) references to a grant of recognised spectrum access are
references to a grant made under section 154 of the
Communications Act 2003 (recognised spectrum
(b) in subsection (2), for the words from “or renewal”, where they first
occur, to “is issued” there shall be substituted “of a wireless telegraphy
licence or the making of a grant of recognised spectrum access and,
where regulations under this section so provide, subsequently at such
times during the term of the licence or grant and such times in respect
of its variation, modification or revocation, as may be prescribed by the
regulations, there shall be paid to OFCOM by the person to whom the
licence is issued or the grant made”; and
(c) in subsection (4), for the words from “or renewal”, where they first
occur, to “the licence” there shall be substituted “of a licence or the
making of a grant of recognised spectrum access, OFCOM may, on the
issue of the licence or the making of the grant,”.
(3) After section 3 of that Act there shall be inserted the following section—