Search Legislation

Communications Act 2003

Section 242: Composition of services in television multiplexes

541.This section amends section 12 of the Broadcasting Act 1996. OFCOM will now be able to include conditions in any multiplex licence granted under that Act to secure that: (i) all digital programme services and digital additional services provided by the BBC may be carried on that multiplex, (ii) the digital sound programme services broadcast under the licence are either provided by the BBC or licensed under section 60 of that Act and (iii) a licensee does not show undue discrimination either against or in favour of a digital sound programme service provider, or restrict that provider’s ability to share any of his spare capacity (unless it is reasonable to do so in order to ensure the technical quality of the multiplex service).

542.Currently, section 12(1)(h) requires that at least 90 per cent. of digital capacity on the frequency of the service to which the licence relates be available for broadcasting digital programmes and related services. Subsection (1)(f) amends the 90 per cent. threshold to ‘the required percentage’. This figure, to be set by OFCOM as they think appropriate, must be 90 per cent or higher. The Secretary of State retains the power to amend the minimum percentage, by order. Subsection (2) adds digital programme services and digital sound programme services provided by the BBC to the services currently listed in section 12(1)(h). Digital sound programme services provided otherwise than by the BBC must be accommodated within the remaining capacity. Subsection (3) of this section makes a consequential change to the test that the Independent Television Commission currently apply where a multiplex licence holder applies for a variation of any condition imposed relating to the implementation of any proposals as to the characteristics of the digital programme services to be broadcast.

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources