A DTPS is a service providing television programmes - generally, a DTPS consists of “normal” television channels (consisting of moving pictures), including their interactive enhancements. A DTAS is a service which usually consists of self-standing text or data services, including teletext services and EPGs.
A TLCS is a television service broadcast from a satellite, distributed using an electronic communications network (including services broadcast over the internet), or a service made available by a radio multiplex.
On 19 November 2014 Ofcom published a statement setting out our decision to make spectrum in the 700 MHz band available for mobile data use. This is part of the spectrum band currently used to broadcast digital television, including local TV.
To enable the change of use, we will need to re-plan the frequencies used by digital television. Until this exercise is complete, the future coverage of local services cannot be accurately predicted with confidence.
Our invitations to apply for local television licences have always included information on coverage, to help applicants make their business plans. These business plans are an important element of our consideration of applications, following the statutory criteria for licence awards.
Once Ofcom has sufficient clarity over spectrum availability we will consider whether and when to advertise the remaining three areas that we have not yet advertised: Kidderminster, Bromsgrove and Stratford upon Avon. We have no current plans to advertise any other areas.
An RTSL-E is a licence which allows the broadcasting of television programmes for a particular event. Both a Broadcasting Act licence and a Wireless Telegraphy Act licence are required in order to broadcast a restricted television service.
The UK Government has already made changes to the law that applies to broadcasting in and to the UK. The changes are made by the Broadcasting (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (‘the regulations’). Unless changed, the regulations will come into force on exit day, which is immediately after the end of the transition period. The transition period is expected to end at 11pm on 31 December 2020.
During the transition period
During the transition period, the UK will continue to be subject to EU regulations. So the arrangements for linear TV services and video on demand services will remain the same as they are now – with the framework for TV licensing and video on demand notification system being based on the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD).
The European Commission revised the AVMSD in 2018. The revised AVMSD introduces a number of new rules, and updates others. The UK Government has to bring these new and updated rules into law (‘transpose’ them) by 19 September 2020 – so before the end of the transition period. The Government ran a consultation on its proposals to implement the revised AVMSD between May and August 2019.
After the revised AVMSD has been brought into law, Ofcom will consult on what the changes mean for broadcasters and video on demand providers. For example, broadcast licences will need to be changed, and there will be some changes to the content rules that apply too.
Because Ofcom will also need to consult on what the changes brought about by the Broadcasting (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 mean for broadcasters and video on demand providers, we will aim to consult on both sets of changes at the same time. We will aim to do in Spring/Summer 2020, implement the AVMSD changes by September 2020, and the Brexit changes by December 2020.