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Communications Act 2003

Section 312: Character and coverage of sound broadcasting services

659.This section amends section 106 of the Broadcasting Act 1990 dealing with the character and coverage of radio services. Broadly, OFCOM are to set such conditions as are necessary for maintaining the character of the service. The character of the service includes the music and spoken material selected for inclusion in that service. The conditions may provide that OFCOM may only consent to a departure from the original character if such a departure would not substantially change that character, if the departure would not narrow the range of relevant independent radio services available in the area covered by the service, if, in the case of local licences, there is user demand for the changes that the departure would effect or if the departure would be in the interests of competition.

  • *Relevant independent radio services” consist of sound broadcasting services, radio licensable content services and additional radio services that fall within the scope of OFCOM’s regulatory functions under section 245.

660.OFCOM may allow a local licence holder to extend the area to which he broadcasts, but only if such an extension is not significant and is justified by exceptional circumstances.

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