§ Mr. Dorrell
The consultants have provided me with an initial appraisal of the options for the future of the BBC's transmission service. The matters considered are commercially sensitive, and I do not intend to publish their report.
§ Mr. Allen
To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what steps he has taken to ensure that the British broadcasting industry benefits from the increasing channels for distributing programming, from digital transmission to the information super-highway, in European and international markets.
§ Mr. Dorrell
The White Paper on the Future of the BBC made it clear that the development of an international multi-media market would provide unprecedented commercial opportunities for United Kingdom broadcasters and programme makers over the next few years. The White Paper set out the part that the BBC should play in expanding international markets.
Our current review of media ownership regulation is considering, among other things, how far current controls are consistent with promoting internationally competitive UK media industries. My predecessor announced on 14 July 1994, Official Report, columns 706–7, the basis on which we intend that frequencies will be made available for new digital television services, and we hope to set out later this year the framework we propose for the operation of such services.