Amendments proposed to the Communications Bill - continued House of Commons

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Conditions to secure access to public teletext service

   

Nick Harvey
Mr Richard Allan

NC27

To move the following Clause:—

       'The regulatory regime for the public teletext service includes the conditions that OFCOM considers appropriate for securing that the provision of so much of the public teletext service as is provided in digital form is accessible to persons who are blind and partially sighted.'.


Meaning of 'initial expiry date'

   

Mr Stephen Timms
Dr Kim Howells

NC28

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   Subject to any postponement under this section, the date which is the initial expiry date for the purposes of this Part is 31st December 2014.

    (2)   The Secretary of State may (on one or more occasions) by order postpone the initial expiry date.

    (3)   The Secretary of State's power to postpone the initial expiry date—

      (a) is to be exercisable before 30th June 2013 only if he has fixed a date after 30th June 2013 as the date for digital switchover; and

      (b) is not to be exercisable on or after 30th June 2013 if he has fixed 30th June 2013 or an earlier date as the date for digital switchover.

    (4)   Where the Secretary of State makes an order under this section at a time after he has fixed a date for digital switchover, the date to which the initial expiry date is postponed must be a date not less than eighteen months after the date for digital switchover.

    (5)   The Secretary of State must exercise his power to postpone the initial expiry date if it at any time appears to him that that date would otherwise fall within the period of eighteen months immediately following the date fixed for digital switchover.

    (6)   Where an order under this section extends a licensing period for which a licence has been granted in accordance with section 209 or 214, the 1990 Act and this Part shall have effect (subject to subsection (7)) as if the licence had originally been granted for the extended period.

    (7)   Where an order under this section extends the period for which a licence is to continue in force—

      (a) that order shall not affect the earliest time at which an application for the renewal of that licence may be made in accordance with section 211(2)(a) or 217(2)(a);

      (b) as soon as reasonably practicable after making the order, OFCOM must make such modification of any determination made by them in the case of that licence for the purposes of section 211(2)(b) or 217(2)(b) as they consider appropriate in consequence of the extension; and

      (c) neither section 211(3)(a) nor section 217(3)(a) applies to the making of that modification.

    (8)   In this section a reference to the date for digital switchover is a reference to the date fixed by the Secretary of State for the purposes of this section as the date which appears to him, in consequence of directions given by him for the purposes of the conditions of the licences for the relevant public broadcasting services, to be the date after which none of those services will be broadcast to any significant extent in analogue form.

    (9)   In this section "the relevant public broadcasting service" means any of the following—

      (a) the services comprised in Channel 3; and

      (b) Channel 5.'.


Power to confer further functions on OFCOM relating to the BBC

   

Mr John Whittingdale
Mr John Greenway
Mr Andrew Robathan
Mr Mark Hoban

NC29

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   The Secretary of State may by order amend this Act to such extent as he considers appropriate to give effect to the provisions of—

      (a) any Royal Charter granted to the BBC after the commencement date;

      (b) any licence granted by the Secretary of State to the BBC after that date;

      (c) any agreement made by the Secretary of State and the BBC after that date.

    (2)   In subsection (1) "the commencement date" means the date of commencement of section 193.

    (3)   An order under this section shall not be made unless a draft of the order has been laid before Parliament and approved by a resolution of each House.'.


Public Services Fund

   

Mr John Whittingdale
Mr John Greenway
Mr Andrew Robathan
Mr Mark Hoban

NC30

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   The Secretary of State shall by order make provision for the establishment of a Fund to be known as the Public Services Broadcasting Fund.

    (2)   There shall be at least three trustees of the Fund and the order shall make provision for the terms of their appointment, including their remuneration.

    (3)   The primary function of the Trustees shall be the making of financial contributions to groups or organisations which make or propose to make programmes of local, regional or sectional interest for inclusion in a programme service.

    (4)   The Trustees shall have such other powers as may be conferred on them by the order.

    (5)   The BBC shall pay to the Trustees of the Fund in January of each calendar year in accordance with the provisions of the order made under subsection (1) an amount equal to 1 per cent. of the licence fee received by the BBC in the preceding calendar year.

    (6)   An order under this section shall not be made unless a draft of the order has been laid before Parliament and approved by a resolution of each House.'.


Community radio

   

Mr Richard Allan

NC32

To move the following Clause:—

    '—(1)   In subsection (2) of section 84 of the 1990 Act, after paragraph (a)(iii) there shall be inserted—

           "or

          (iv) for the benefit of members of the public in a defined geographical locality or of a particular community and not operated by the BBC or for commercial purposes (a "community service").".

    (2)   In subsection (6) of section 104 of the 1990 Act, in paragraph (b) after "satellite" there shall be inserted ", community".

    (3)   After that subsection there shall be inserted—

      "(6A) In determining whether or to whom to grant a licence to provide a community service and the duration of such licence OFCOM shall have regard to—

      (a) the extent to which the service would confer significant benefits on the public or on the particular community for which it is proposed to be provided;

      (b) the extent to which the proposed service is supported by the public or the particular community for which it is proposed to be provided;

      (c) the extent to which the proposed service includes provision for public access to training, production and broadcast facilities; and

      (d) the extent to which the proposed service includes measures to ensure accountability to and participation by the public or the particular community for which it is proposed to be provided."

    (4)   After section 49 of the 1996 Act there shall be inserted—

          "49A Reservation of digital capacity for community radio services    (1)   In exercising their powers to grant local radio multiplex licences, OFCOM shall reserve such digital capacity as they consider appropriate for digital sound programming and additional services which are operated for the benefit of members of the public in a defined geographical locality or in a particular community and not operated by the BBC or for commercial purposes ("digital community services").

          (2)   In performing their duty under subsection (1) OFCOM shall endeavour to ensure that every community radio service which is licensed to broadcast other than in digital form is also able to be received in digital form.

          (4)   Where a local multiplex licence is granted in respect of a locality in which digital capacity is reserved in pursuance of this section, the licence shall include such conditions as appear to OFCOM to be appropriate for the purpose of securing that the holder of the licence uses such digital capacity for the broadcasting of such services."

    (5)   In subsection (2) of section 50 of the 1996 Act, after paragraph (d) there shall be inserted—

          "(dd) stating whether in pursuance of a direction under section 49A any digital capacity on the frequency or frequencies in that locality is to be reserved for digital community services".'.


Community television
   

Brian White

NC33

To move the following Clause:—

       'After section 42B of the 1990 Act there is inserted—

          "42C Community television services       In this Part "community service" means a service which—

          (a) consists in the broadcasting of television programmes for the benefit of members of the public in a defined geographical locality or of a particular community and not operated by the BBC or for commercial purposes (a "community service"), and

          (b) is provided on a frequency or frequencies assigned to OFCOM under section 65.

          42D Licences for Community television services    .—(1)   An application for a licence to provide a community service shall be made in such manner as OFCOM may determine, and shall be accompanied by such fee (if any) as OFCOM may determine.

          (2)   In determining whether or to whom to grant a licence to provide a community service and the duration of such licence OFCOM shall have regard to—

          (a) the extent to which the service would confer significant benefits on the public or on the particular community for which it is proposed to be provided;

          (b) the extent to which the proposed service is supported by the public or the particular community for which it is proposed to be provided;

          (c) the extent to which the proposed service includes provision for public access to training, production and broadcast facilities; and

          (d) the extent to which the proposed service includes measures to ensure accountability to and participation by the public or the particular community for which it is proposed to be provided.".'

 
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