UK regulator Ofcom has published a consultation on introducing spectrum charges for digital broadcasting. The consultation will look at 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, and 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 licences.
The consultation also considers whether Ofocm should apply charges at a higher level. Ofcom expects to introduce Administered Incentivised Pricing (AIP) for DTT by around 2020.
For local TV and DAB, there is little or no excess demand for the spectrum and therefore Ofcom currently has no plans to implement AIP for these services.