Communications Act 2003 Explanatory Notes

Section 245: Regulation of independent radio services

545.This section sets out those independent radio services whose regulation is a function of OFCOM, as specified in subsections (1) and (2). These are national, local or restricted sound broadcasting services (so long as not broadcast solely by satellite); radio licensable content services; additional radio services; radio multiplex services; digital sound programme services; and digital additional sound services. All of these must be broadcast from the United Kingdom and are not to be regulated under this section if they are broadcast by the BBC. OFCOM’s regulatory function also extends to the types of service set out above provided from somewhere outside the United Kingdom by a person (other than the BBC) whose principal place of business is in the United Kingdom.

  • *additional radio service” has the meaning given to it by section 114(1) of the Broadcasting Act 1990, namely any radio service which consists in the sending of signals for transmission by wireless telegraphy using the spare capacity within signals carrying any sound broadcasting service.

  • *digital additional sound service” means a digital additional service as defined by section 63 of the Broadcasting Act 1996, being any service which is provided for broadcast in digital form by means of a multiplex service, for reception by members of the public, but which is not a digital sound programme service, a simulcast radio service, an ancillary service or a technical service.

  • *an “ancillary service” refers to services that are ancillary to programmes and directly related to their contents, or which relate to the promotion or listing of such programmes.  Such a service is provided by the holder of a digital sound programme licence or by an independent national (analogue radio) broadcaster.

  • *a “technical service” is a service provided for the encryption or decryption of digital programme services or digital additional services and specified in an order made by the Secretary of State (see section 63 of the 1996 Act).

  • *digital sound programme service”, defined in section 40(5) of the Broadcasting Act 1996 (as amended by paragraph 101 of Schedule 15), means a service consisting in the provision of programmes consisting wholly of sound (together with any ancillary services), with a view to their being broadcast in digital form so as to be available for reception by members of the public (as defined in section 361 of this Act), but does not include a simulcast radio service or a service where the sounds are to be received through the use of coded reference to pre-defined phonetic elements of sounds.

  • *radio multiplex service” is defined in section 40(1) of the Broadcasting Act 1996 (and see also section 258 of this Act, and paragraph 101(2) of Schedule 15) as a service provided by any person which consists in broadcasting, for general reception, two or more digital sound programme services, simulcast radio services or digital additional sound services, by combining the relevant information in digital form.

  • *radio licensable content service” has the meaning given in section 247.

  • *simulcast radio service” is defined in section 41(2) of the Broadcasting Act 1996 (as amended by section 256 of this Act) as a service which is provided by an independent national broadcaster for broadcasting in digital form, which corresponds to a national service provided in analogue form.

546.Subsections (5) and (6) specify when services will be treated as if they are provided from the United Kingdom. Satellite radio services transmitted to the satellite from the UK are to be so treated, unless they are licensed or otherwise authorised under the laws of another EEA state.

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