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Communications Act 2003

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

270Enforcement of public service remits
This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)This section applies if OFCOM are of the opinion that the provider of a licensed public service channel or the public teletext provider—

(a)has failed to fulfil the public service remit for that channel or the public teletext service; or

(b)has failed, in any respect, to make an adequate contribution towards the fulfilment of the purposes of public service television broadcasting in the United Kingdom.

(2)This section does not apply unless—

(a)OFCOM are of the opinion that the failure of the provider is serious and is not excused by economic or market conditions; and

(b)OFCOM determine that the situation requires the exercise of their powers under this section.

(3)In making a determination under subsection (2)(b), OFCOM must have regard, in particular, to—

(a)the public service remit of that provider;

(b)the statements of programme policy or statements of service policy made (or treated as made) by the provider under section 266 or 268;

(c)the record generally of the provider in relation to the carrying out of obligations imposed by conditions of licences under the 1990 Act and the 1996 Act (including past obligations);

(d)the effectiveness and efficiency of the provider in monitoring his own performance; and

(e)general economic and market conditions affecting generally the providers of television programme services or the providers of television multiplex services, or both of them.

(4)OFCOM shall have power to give directions to the provider to do one or both of the following—

(a)to revise the provider’s latest statement of programme policy, or statement of service policy, in accordance with the directions; and

(b)to take such steps for remedying the provider’s failure as OFCOM may specify in the direction as necessary for that purpose.

(5)A direction given under this section must set out—

(a)a reasonable timetable for complying with it; and

(b)the factors that will be taken into account by OFCOM in determining—

(i)whether or not a failure of the provider has been remedied; and

(ii)whether or not to exercise their powers under subsection (6).

(6)If OFCOM are satisfied—

(a)that the provider of a public service channel or the public teletext provider has failed to comply with a direction under this section,

(b)that that provider is still failing to fulfil the public service remit for that channel or service or adequately to contribute to the fulfilment of the purposes of public service television broadcasting in the United Kingdom, and

(c)that it would be both reasonable and proportionate to the seriousness of that failure to vary the provider’s licence in accordance with this subsection,

OFCOM may, by notice to the provider, vary that licence so as to replace self-regulation with detailed regulation.

(7)For the purposes of subsection (6) a variation replacing self-regulation with detailed regulation is a variation which—

(a)omits the conditions imposed by virtue of sections 265 to 269; and

(b)replaces those conditions with such specific conditions as OFCOM consider appropriate for securing that the provider—

(i)fulfils the public service remit for his service; and

(ii)makes an adequate contribution towards the fulfilment of the purposes of public service television broadcasting in the United Kingdom.

(8)If, at any time following a variation in accordance with subsection (6) of a provider’s licence, OFCOM consider that detailed regulation is no longer necessary, they may again vary the licence so as, with effect from such time as they may determine—

(a)to provide for the conditions required by virtue of sections 265 to 269 again to be included in the regulatory regime for the service provided by that provider; and

(b)to remove or modify some or all of the specific conditions inserted under that subsection.

(9)Before giving a direction under this section to a provider or exercising their power under this section to vary a provider’s licence, OFCOM must consult that provider.

(10)In accordance with section 265(5), the reference in subsection (1) to a failure to fulfil the public service remit for the public teletext service includes a failure to fulfil that remit as respects only one of the services comprised in that service.

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