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Communications Act 2003

Section 315: Variations of radio multiplex licences affecting service characteristics

664.This section replaces subsection (6) of section 54 of the Broadcasting Act 1996 with subsections (6) to (6B). Upon the request of a radio multiplex licensee to vary a licence condition implementing a proposal submitted in his original application under section 46(4) or 50(4) of the Broadcasting Act 1996 relating to the number of digital sound programme services and the characteristics of each service to be broadcast, the timetable for the launch for those services, the broadcasting of digital additional services or the promotion of the acquisition of digital receivers by the listening public, OFCOM must vary the licence as requested, subject to the tests set out in subsections (6A) and (6B).

665.Section 54(6A) provides that OFCOM may not vary a national radio multiplex licence where it appears that, if the requested amendment were made, the capacity of the digital sound programme services broadcast under the licence to appeal to a variety of tastes and interests would be unacceptably diminished.

666.Section 54(6B) stipulates that OFCOM may vary a local radio multiplex licence only where they are satisfied that:

  • the variation would not unacceptably narrow the range of programmes available to people living in the areas where the multiplex service is provided;

  • the variation is in the interests of competition; or

  • there is user demand for the changes to the services.

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