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Communications Act 2003

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312Character and coverage of sound broadcasting servicesE+W+S+N.I.
This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)Section 106 of the 1990 Act (requirements as to character and coverage of local and national radio services) shall be amended as follows.

(2)In subsection (1), the words from “except” onwards shall be omitted.

(3)After subsection (1) (duty to ensure character preserved subject to departures that do not restrict service) there shall be inserted—

(1A)Conditions included in a licence for the purposes of subsection (1) may provide that OFCOM may consent to a departure from the character of the licensed service if, and only if, they are satisfied—

(a)that the departure would not substantially alter the character of the service;

(b)that the departure would not narrow the range of programmes available by way of relevant independent radio services to persons living in the area or locality for which the service is licensed to be provided;

(c)that, in the case of a local licence, the departure would be conducive to the maintenance or promotion of fair and effective competition in that area or locality; or

(d)that, in the case of a local licence, there is evidence that, amongst persons living in that area or locality, there is a significant demand for, or significant support for, the change that would result from the departure.

(1B)The matters to which OFCOM must have regard in determining for the purposes of this section the character of a service provided under a local licence include, in particular, the selection of spoken material and music in programmes included in the service.

(4)For subsection (5) (restriction on power to extend licence to new area or locality) there shall be substituted—

(5)OFCOM shall only exercise the power conferred on them by subsection (4) if it appears to them—

(a)that to do so would not result in a significant increase of the area or locality for which the service in question is licensed to be provided; or

(b)that the increase that would result is justifiable in the exceptional circumstances of the case.

(5)After subsection (6) of that section there shall be inserted—

(7)In this section “relevant independent radio services” means the following services so far as they are services falling to be regulated under section 245 of the Communications Act 2003—

(a)sound broadcasting services;

(b)radio licensable content services;

(c)additional services;

but, in relation to a departure from the character of a service provided under a local licence, does not include a service that is provided otherwise than wholly or mainly for reception by persons living and working in the area or locality in question.

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