§ Mr. Teddy Taylor
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proposals have been made by the European Community for the harmonisation of satellite television-receiving equipment, what will be the impact of these proposals on individuals who have such equipment in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Redwood
The European Commission is consulting interested parties on how to follow up directive 86/529/EEC which imposes the MAC family of transmission standards on high-power direct-to-home satellite broadcasts. Currently the majority of viewers receive satellite broadcasts in PAL from medium-power satellites. It is understood that the Commission will make its proposals known shortly. The Government are not in favour of any regulations which impose on viewers the obligation to purchase new or additional equipment in order to receive the services they currently enjoy. The Government believe that consumers should be free to invest in new technology when they decide the time is right.