HC Deb 13 June 1996 vol 279 cc262-3W
Mr. William Powell

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what arrangements are being made for the contracting out of the management and licensing of the radio spectrum used for making programmes and similar activities. [33150]

Mr. Lang

The Radiocommunications Agency published on 15 May the report of its review of spectrum used in programme making and related activities by broadcasters, independent programme makers and others. The spectrum is currently managed and licensed on the agency's behalf by ASP Frequency Management Ltd. and the Broadcasters' JFMG Ltd. One of the main recommendations of the review was that a single spectrum management organisation should be established with responsibility for licensing all programme making spectrum. I have decided to accept this recommendation and intend to establish new arrangements under a contract which would run from 1 April 1997. The agency will shortly advertise the intention to appoint a single contractor and will invite expressions of interest. I intend, in exercise of powers conferred by section 69 of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994, to make an order enabling me to authorise another person to exercise my licensing function under section 1 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 in respect of programme making spectrum. The contract will be made under the order.

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