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Communications Act 2003

Section 348: Modification of disqualification provisions

720.This section amends Part 2 of Schedule 2 to the Broadcasting Act 1990. Under subsection (1) persons not resident or established in the EEA are no longer disqualified from holding Broadcasting Act licences. Subsections (2) and (3) amend paragraph 2 of that Part, disqualifying religious bodies from holding the following licences granted under the Broadcasting Acts 1990 and 1996:

  • A Channel 3 licence;

  • A Channel 5 licence;

  • A national sound broadcasting licence;

  • A public teletext licence;

  • An additional television service licence;

  • A television multiplex licence; and

  • A radio multiplex licence.

This needs to be read with paragraph 15 in Part 4 of Schedule 14 to the Act.  In the case of licences that are not in this list, a religious body may apply for a licence and OFCOM may grant the licence if they make a determination in the case of that organisation; and they may make such a determination if (and only if) they consider it appropriate for that body to hold a licence of that description.  This applies to-

  • restricted service licences;

  • digital television programme licences;

  • digital additional television services licences;

  • licences to provide television licensable content services;

  • licences under Part 3 of the 1990 Act (other than a national licence) - meaning local analogue radio licences, licences to provide radio licensable content services, and licences to provide (analogue) additional services;

  • national and local digital sound programme licences;

  • digital additional sound services licences.

721.OFCOM are required to publish guidance for persons wishing to make such applications.

722.Subsections (5), (6) and (7) allow the Secretary of State, following consultation with OFCOM and with Parliament’s approval, to make an order amending or repealing the provisions of paragraph 2 of Part 2 of Schedule 2 to the 1990 Act . Paragraph 16 of Schedule 14 gives a similar power to repeal or otherwise modify the restrictions set out in Part 4 of that Schedule.

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