The ITC licenses the use of telecommunications systems for delivering television services to viewers’ homes. The systems used may include broadband or narrowband cable networks, broadband fixed wireless access (such as microwave video delivery services in the 28GHz or 40GHz bands) or the use of xDSL technology over upgraded telephone networks. Every system used is itself also licensed under the Telecommunications Act 1984 and, where relevant, the Wireless Telegraphy Acts.
The ITC licences confer no exclusive rights. There are exemptions from ITC licensing for systems which relay only the terrestrial analogue broadcast services or their digital counterparts, for those which cannot serve more than 1000 homes, and for those providing only true video-on-demand rather than simultaneous relay of television channels.
The ITC’s licences, which are renewable, fall into two categories:
Local delivery services (LDS), licensed for 15 years.
Local delivery (transitional) (LDT) licences, valid for 5 years. These apply to some older systems, usually of restricted capacity, whose original licences pre-dated the current arrangements.