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Communications Act 2003

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

272Must-offer obligations in relation to networks
This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)The regulatory regime for—

(a)every licensed public service channel,

(b)the public teletext service, and

(c)every licensed television service added by order under section 64 to the list of must-carry services,

includes the conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for securing the three objectives set out in this section (so far as they are not secured by provision made under section 243).

(2)The first objective is that the channel or other service, so far as it is provided in digital form, is at all times offered as available (subject to the need to agree terms) to be broadcast or distributed by means of every appropriate network.

(3)The second objective is that the person providing the channel or other service does his best to secure that arrangements are entered into, and kept in force, that ensure—

(a)that the channel or other service, so far as it is provided in digital form, is broadcast or distributed on appropriate networks; and

(b)that the broadcasting and distribution of the channel or other service, in accordance with those arrangements, result in its being available for reception, by means of appropriate networks, by as many members of its intended audience as practicable.

(4)The third objective is that the arrangements entered into and kept in force for the purpose of securing the second objective prohibit the imposition, for or in connection with the provision of an appropriate network, of any charge that is attributable (whether directly or indirectly) to the conferring of an entitlement to receive the channel or other service in question in an intelligible form by means of that network.

(5)The three objectives apply only in relation to times when the channel or other service in its digital form is included in the list of must-carry services in section 64.

(6)Conditions imposed under this section in relation to a channel or other service must, to such extent as OFCOM consider appropriate—

(a)require arrangements made or kept in force for the purpose of securing the second objective to apply in the case of every service which is an ancillary service by reference to the channel or other service in question as they apply to the channel or other service itself; and

(b)provide for the channel or other service to which the conditions apply to be treated, in relation to particular appropriate networks, as constituting such services comprised in or provided with that channel or other service as may be determined by OFCOM.

(7)In this section—

  • “appropriate network” means (subject to subsection (8)) an electronic communications network by means of which public electronic communications services are provided that are used by a significant number of end-users as their principal means of receiving television programmes;

  • “intended audience”, in relation to a channel or other service, means—

    (a)

    if the channel or other service is one provided only for a particular area or locality of the United Kingdom, members of the public in that area or locality;

    (b)

    if the channel or other service is one provided for members of a particular community, members of that community; and

    (c)

    in any other case, members of the public in the United Kingdom;

  • “licensed television service” means a service falling to be licensed under Part 1 of the 1990 Act or Part 1 of the 1996 Act.

(8)For the purposes of this section an electronic communications network is not an appropriate network in relation to so much of a channel or other service as is provided only for a particular area or locality of the United Kingdom unless it is a network by means of which electronic communications services are provided to persons in that area or locality

(9)In subsection (7) “public electronic communications service” and “end-user” each has the same meaning as in Part 2.

(10)An order under section 411 must not appoint a day for provisions of this section to come into force that falls less than six months after the day on which the order is made.

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