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7 January 2003


Radio Authority publishes assessment of additional service licence award

The Radio Authority has today (7 January) published the details of its assessment of the advertised national additional service licence award. The Authority awarded the licence to the sole applicant, ITIS Holdings Plc, on 12 December. The award of the licence was conditional upon the acceptability to the DTI of the technical plan submitted by the licensee.

A copy of the assessment is attached.

 

ENDS

NOTE TO EDITORS

The Radio Authority is responsible for licensing and regulating Independent Radio in accordance with the statutory requirements of the Broadcasting Acts 1990 and 1996. It plans frequencies, awards licences, regulates programming and advertising, and plays an active role in the discussion and formulation of policies which affect the Independent Radio industry and its listeners.

ADDITIONAL SERVICE AWARD

ASSESSMENT OF LICENCE AWARD

Applications were invited on 23 July 2002. By the closing date of 15 October 2002, one application was received, from ITIS Holdings Plc. At their meeting on 12 December, Members of the Radio Authority awarded the Additional Service licence to the sole applicant:

ITIS HOLDINGS PLC - 5th Floor, Station House, Stamford New Road, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA14 1EP (contact: Danny Woolard or Stuart Marks, tel. 0161 929 5788);

The award was conditional on the acceptability to the DTI of the technical plan submitted by the licensee. The new licence is for a period of eight years from 1 January 2004.

Consideration of the application

The Broadcasting Act 1990 (Section 115) provides that the Radio Authority should do all that it can to secure that the spare capacity on the national licensees' signals is used for the provision of separately-licensed ‘additional services’. For practical purposes this applies for the time being just to the INR1 licence held by Classic FM. Under the terms of section 117 of the Broadcasting Act 1990, the Authority shall award the licence to the applicant who submitted the highest cash bid, provided that -

(a)   that the technical plan submitted under section 116(3)(b) is, so far as it involves the use of any telecommunication system, acceptable to the relevant licensing authorities; and

(b)   that the services proposed to be provided under the licence would be capable of being maintained throughout the period for which the licence would be in force.

ITIS Holdings Plc was the sole applicant offering a cash bid of £600,000. The licensee is required to pay its cash bid to the Treasury each year, plus 4% of its qualifying revenue for each accounting period in addition to an annual licence fee.

The service will consist of systems for the broadcasting of a commercial RDS-TMC (Radio Data System-Traffic Message Channel) service, compliant to EN ISO 14819 standardisation. Whilst appreciating that, consistent with all new or developing technologies, there will be a level of inherent risk attached to the project, Members considered that the services proposed under the licence would be capable of being maintained throughout the period for which the licence would be in force.

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Revised: January 07, 2003