4(1)Subject to the following provisions of this paragraph, a person who is the holder of a licence to provide a prescribed diffusion service, being a licence to which paragraph 1(1) above applies (“the existing licence”), may apply to the Commission for the grant, as from the date on which the existing licence is due to expire (“the expiry date”), of a licence under Part II of this Act to provide a local delivery service for the area in which the prescribed diffusion service is authorised to be provided under the existing licence.E+W+S+N.I.
(2)An application under sub-paragraph (1)—
(a)may be made by the holder of the existing licence not earlier than five years before the expiry date and not later than the relevant date; and
(b)must be in writing and specify—
(i)the area which would be covered by the applicant’s proposed local delivery service, and
(ii)the technical means by which that service would be provided.
(3)Where any such application is made before the relevant date, the Commission may postpone the consideration of it by them for as long as they think appropriate but not beyond that date.
(4)In sub-paragraphs (2) and (3) “the relevant date” means the date which the Commission determine to be that by which they would need to publish a notice under section 74 of this Act if they were to grant, as from the expiry date, such a licence under Part II of this Act as is mentioned in sub-paragraph (1).
(5)Notwithstanding anything in sections 74 to 76 of this Act, where an application under sub-paragraph (1) has been duly made to the Commission, they may only refuse the application if—
(a)they propose to grant, as a replacement for the existing licence, a local delivery licence authorising the provision of a local delivery service for an area which would be different from that in which the applicant’s service is authorised to be provided under the existing licence (“the franchise area”); or
(b)the applicant is not, at the time when he makes his application, providing a prescribed diffusion service throughout the whole of the franchise area; or
(c)it appears to them that the applicant’s proposed local delivery service would not cover the whole of the franchise area; or
(d)it appears to them that any telecommunication system proposed to be used by the applicant in the provision of that service would not be acceptable to the relevant licensing authorities.
(6)A local delivery licence granted in pursuance of this paragraph shall come into force on the expiry date.
(7)Subject to sub-paragraph (8), subsections (6) to (9) of section 78 of this Act shall apply in connection with the grant of an application for a local delivery licence under sub-paragraph (1) above as they apply in connection with the grant of an application for the renewal of a local delivery licence under subsection (1) of that section.
(8)In the application of those subsections in accordance with sub-paragraph (7)—
(a)any reference to the renewal of a local delivery licence shall be construed as a reference to the grant of such a licence in pursuance of this paragraph (and related expressions shall be construed accordingly);
(b)in subsection (6)(b), the words from “a different” to “as” shall be omitted;
(c)in subsection (7), the words “ , in accordance with sections 74 to 76, a licence ” shall be substituted for “a fresh licence”; and
(d)in subsection (8), the words from “formally” to “so” shall be omitted.
(9)Sub-paragraphs (3) and (7) to (9) of paragraph 2 above shall have effect in relation to a local delivery licence granted in pursuance of this paragraph as they have effect in relation to such a licence granted in pursuance of that paragraph.
(10)In this paragraph “” has the same meaning as in section 75 of this Act.