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Ofcom to Consult on Spectrum Pricing for Digital Broadcasting

03/13/2013 | 06:31am US/Eastern

LONDON--The independent regulator and competition authority for the U.K. communications industries Ofcom, said has Wednesday published a consultation on introducing spectrum charges for digital broadcasting.

MAIN FACTS:

-It considers whether spectrum charges should be levied on national digital terrestrial TV, local TV and digital audio broadcasting, in line with Ofcom's duty to secure optimal use of radio spectrum.

-The consultation proposes to introduce spectrum charges for all three services from the end of 2014.

-These charges will be set at a level to recover the costs Ofcom incurs in regulatory management of the relevant spectrum.

-Ofcom will consult on the level of these cost-based charges later in 2013. Currently, digital broadcasters do not pay cost-based fees for their spectrum licenses.

-The consultation also considers whether we should apply charges at a higher level.

-Ofcom expects to introduce Administered Incentivised Pricing or for national digital terrestrial TV or DTT by around 2020.

-For local TV and digital audio broadcasting or DAB, there is little or no excess demand for the spectrum and therefore Ofcom currently has no plans to implement AIP for these services.

-Write to Razak Musah Baba at razak.baba@dowjones.com

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