Part 2Networks, services and the radio spectrum

Chapter 1Electronic communications networks and services

Grants for networks and services in Northern Ireland

149Grants by Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment

(1)The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment may, in accordance with this section, make payments to persons engaged in, or in commercial activities connected with—

(a)the provision of electronic communications networks and electronic communications services in Northern Ireland; or

(b)improving the extent, quality and reliability of such networks or services.

(2)A payment shall not be made under this section unless in the opinion of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment—

(a)the making of the payment is likely to achieve—

(i)one or more of the purposes set out in subsection (1); and

(ii)any other purposes prescribed by regulations made by that Department with the approval of the Department of Finance and Personnel; and

(b)the amount of the payment is reasonable having regard to all the circumstances.

(3)Payments under this section shall—

(a)be of such amounts, and

(b)be made subject to such conditions (including conditions as to repayment),

as the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment may determine.

(4)This section extends only to Northern Ireland.

150Grants by district councils

(1)This section applies where a district council in Northern Ireland consider that it would be for the benefit of their area—

(a)for a public electronic communications network or electronic communications service to be provided by a particular person;

(b)for facilities to be made available by a particular person for the purposes of, or in connection with, the provision of such a network or service; or

(c)for such a network or service that is being provided by a particular person, or for any such facilities that are being so made available by a particular person, to continue to be provided or made available.

(2)The district council may—

(a)undertake to pay to that person, and

(b)pay him,

whatever sums they think appropriate for, or towards, compensating him for losses sustained in the provision of the network or service or in making the facilities available.

(3)For the purposes of this section it is immaterial—

(a)in the case of a network, whether any part of the network is situated in the council’s area; and

(b)in the case of a service or facility, whether any of the persons to whom the service or facility is provided or made available are in that area.