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Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 (c. 36)

(The document as of February, 2008)

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Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006

2006 CHAPTER 36

CONTENTS

Content
  1. Part 1

    General provision about radio spectrum

    1. Radio spectrum functions of OFCOM

      1. 1. General functions

      2. 2. United Kingdom Plan for Frequency Authorisation

      3. 3. Duties of OFCOM when carrying out functions

      4. 4. Advisory service in relation to interference

      5. 5. Directions of Secretary of State

      6. 6. Procedure for directions

    2. Reservation of spectrum for multiplex use

      1. 7. Special duty in relation to television multiplexes

  2. Part 2

    Regulation of radio spectrum

    1. Chapter 1

      Wireless telegraphy licences

      1. Licensing of wireless telegraphy

        1. 8. Licences and exemptions

        2. 9. Terms, provisions and limitations

        3. 10. Procedure

        4. 11. Surrender of licence

      2. Charges etc

        1. 12. Charges for grant of licence

        2. 13. Matters taken into account

        3. 14. Bidding for licences

        4. 15. Recovery

        5. 16. Regulations

        6. 17. Sections 12 to 16: interpretation

    2. Chapter 2

      Grants of recognised spectrum access

      1. Making of grants

        1. 18. Grant of recognised spectrum access

        2. 19. Procedure

        3. 20. Effect of grant of recognised spectrum access

      2. Charges etc

        1. 21. Charges for grant of recognised spectrum access

        2. 22. Matters taken into account

        3. 23. Bidding for grants

        4. 24. Recovery

        5. 25. Regulations

        6. 26. Sections 21 to 25: interpretation

    3. Chapter 3

      Management of radio spectrum

      1. General

        1. 27. Conversion into and from wireless telegraphy licences

        2. 28. Payments by the Crown

        3. 29. Limitations on authorised spectrum use

        4. 30. Spectrum trading

      2. Wireless telegraphy register

        1. 31. Wireless telegraphy register

      3. Statistical information

        1. 32. Statistical information

        2. 33. Failure to provide information etc

        3. 34. Statement of policy

    4. Chapter 4

      Enforcement

      1. Unauthorised use etc

        1. 35. Unauthorised use etc of wireless telegraphy station or apparatus

        2. 36. Keeping available for unauthorised use

        3. 37. Allowing premises to be used for unlawful broadcasting

        4. 38. Facilitating unauthorised broadcasting

      2. Procedures for contraventions

        1. 39. Contravention of terms, etc

        2. 40. Repeated contravention

        3. 41. Procedure for prosecutions

        4. 42. Special procedure for contraventions by multiplex licence holders

        5. 43. Amount of penalty under section 42

        6. 44. Relevant amount of gross revenue

    5. Chapter 5

      Miscellaneous

      1. Regulations about wireless telegraphy

        1. 45. Regulations

        2. 46. Offences

      2. Misuse of wireless telegraphy

        1. 47. Misleading messages

        2. 48. Interception and disclosure of messages

        3. 49. Interception authorities

      3. Miscellaneous

        1. 50. Apparatus on foreign-registered ships etc

        2. 51. Apparatus in vehicles

        3. 52. Wireless personnel

        4. 53. Surrender of authority

  3. Part 3

    Regulation of apparatus

    1. Undue interference

      1. 54. Regulations about use and sale etc of apparatus

      2. 55. Enforcement: use of apparatus

      3. 56. Enforcement: sale etc of apparatus

      4. 57. Appeal against notice under section 55 or 56 etc

      5. 58. Contravening notice under section 55 or 56

      6. 59. Entry and search of premises etc

      7. 60. Obstruction and failure to assist

      8. 61. Sections 54 to 60: interpretation

    2. Restriction orders

      1. 62. Restriction orders

      2. 63. Authorities

      3. 64. Compatibility with international obligations

      4. 65. Powers of Commissioners for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs

      5. 66. Offences

      6. 67. Restriction orders: interpretation

    3. Deliberate interference

      1. 68. Deliberate interference

  4. Part 4

    Approval of apparatus etc

    1. Approval of apparatus

      1. 69. Approval of apparatus

      2. 70. Approvals: supplementary

      3. 71. The relevant authority

    2. Marking etc of apparatus

      1. 72. Information etc on or with apparatus

      2. 73. Information etc in advertisements

      3. 74. Offences

      4. 75. Default of third person

    3. Interpretation

      1. 76. Part 4: interpretation

  5. Part 5

    Prohibition of broadcasting from sea or air

    1. Prohibitions

      1. 77. Broadcasting from ships and aircraft

      2. 78. Broadcasting from marine structures etc

      3. 79. Broadcasting from prescribed areas of high seas

      4. 80. Acts connected with broadcasting

      5. 81. Management of station

      6. 82. Facilitating broadcasting from ships or aircraft

      7. 83. Facilitating broadcasting from structures etc

      8. 84. Maintaining or repairing apparatus

      9. 85. Acts relating to broadcast material

      10. 86. Facilitation offences: territorial scope

      11. 87. Procuring person to commit offence abroad

    2. Enforcement

      1. 88. Enforcement officers

      2. 89. Enforcement powers

      3. 90. Enforcement powers: facilitation offences

      4. 91. Exercise of powers

      5. 92. Further provisions

    3. Penalties and proceedings

      1. 93. Penalties and proceedings

    4. Saving

      1. 94. Saving for certain broadcasts

    5. Interpretation

      1. 95. Part 5: interpretation

  6. Part 6

    General

    1. Fixed penalties

      1. 96. Fixed penalties for summary offences

    2. Entry, search and seizure

      1. 97. Powers of entry and search

      2. 98. Obstruction and failure to assist

      3. 99. Powers of seizure

      4. 100. Obstruction

    3. Disposal and forfeiture

      1. 101. Detention and disposal of property

      2. 102. Section 101: conclusion of proceedings

      3. 103. Forfeiture on conviction

      4. 104. Forfeiture etc of restricted apparatus

    4. Enforcement, proceedings etc

      1. 105. Offences relating to ships or aircraft

      2. 106. Continuing offences

      3. 107. Proceedings and enforcement

      4. 108. Civil proceedings

      5. 109. Fines in Scotland

      6. 110. Criminal liability of company directors etc

    5. Disclosure of information

      1. 111. General restrictions

    6. Notifications etc and electronic working

      1. 112. Service of documents

      2. 113. Documents in electronic form

      3. 114. Timing and location of things done electronically

    7. Interpretation

      1. 115. General interpretation

      2. 116. "Wireless telegraphy"

      3. 117. "Wireless telegraphy apparatus" and "wireless telegraphy station"

    8. Extent and application

      1. 118. Extent

      2. 119. Territorial application

      3. 120. Territorial sea and other waters

    9. Supplemental

      1. 121. Orders and regulations made by Secretary of State

      2. 122. Orders and regulations made by OFCOM

      3. 123. Consequential amendments

      4. 124. Transitional provisions, savings and transitory modifications

      5. 125. Repeals and revocations

      6. 126. Short title and commencement

    1. Schedule 1

      Procedure for wireless telegraphy licences

    2. Schedule 2

      Procedure for grants of recognised spectrum access

    3. Schedule 3

      Suspension and revocation of authorities issued to wireless personnel

    4. Schedule 4

      Fixed penalties

    5. Schedule 5

      Forfeiture on conviction

    6. Schedule 6

      Seizure and forfeiture of restricted apparatus

    7. Schedule 7

      Consequential amendments

    8. Schedule 8

      Transitional provisions, savings and transitory modifications

      1. Part 1

        Transitional provisions and savings

      2. Part 2

        Transitory modifications

    9. Schedule 9

      Repeals and revocations

      1. Part 1

        Repeals

      2. Part 2

        Revocations

An Act to consolidate enactments about wireless telegraphy.

[8th November 2006]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:--



Part 1 General provision about radio spectrum

Radio spectrum functions of OFCOM

1 General functions

(1) It is a function of OFCOM--

(a) to give such advice in relation to the use of the electromagnetic spectrum for wireless telegraphy,

(b) to provide such other services, and

(c) to maintain such records,

as they consider appropriate for the purpose of facilitating or managing the use of the spectrum for wireless telegraphy.

(2) It is a function of OFCOM, in relation to the use of the electromagnetic spectrum for wireless telegraphy--

(a) to give such further advice,

(b) to provide such other services, and

(c) to maintain such other records,

as the Secretary of State may require for the purpose of securing compliance with the international obligations of the United Kingdom.

(3) The advice, other services and records that OFCOM may give, provide or maintain under this section include advice, other services and records with respect to the use of the electromagnetic spectrum at places outside the United Kingdom.

(4) The powers of OFCOM under Part 1 of the Communications Act 2003 (c. 21) to carry out research, or to arrange for others to carry out research, are to be exercisable, in particular, for ascertaining, for the purpose of carrying out OFCOM's functions under this section, information about--

(a) the demands for use of the electromagnetic spectrum for wireless telegraphy in the United Kingdom;

(b) the effects, in the United Kingdom, of any such use of the spectrum;

(c) likely future developments in relation to those matters; and

(d) any other connected matters that OFCOM think relevant.

(5) OFCOM may make a grant to any person if, in their opinion, the making of the grant is likely to promote--

(a) the efficient use in the United Kingdom of the electromagnetic spectrum for wireless telegraphy; or

(b) the efficient management of that use.

(6) A grant--

(a) may be made to a person holding a wireless telegraphy licence or a grant of recognised spectrum access or to any other person; and

(b) is to be made on such terms and conditions as OFCOM consider appropriate;

and the terms and conditions may include terms requiring the repayment of the grant in specified circumstances.

(7) The consent of the Treasury is required--

(a) for the making of a grant under subsection (5); and

(b) for the terms and conditions on which such a grant is made.

(8) Where OFCOM are required to give advice or provide another service to a person under this section, they may make the giving of the advice or the provision of the other service conditional on the payment to them of such sums--

(a) as they may determine in advance; or

(b) as may be agreed between them and that person.

(9) In this section references to providing a service to a person include references to a service consisting in--

(a) the entry of that person's particulars in a register or other record kept by OFCOM for the purpose of carrying out their functions under this section; or

(b) the taking of steps for the purposes of determining whether to grant an application for an entry in a register or record so kept.

2 United Kingdom Plan for Frequency Authorisation

(1) OFCOM must, from time to time as they think fit, publish a plan ("the United Kingdom Plan for Frequency Authorisation").

(2) The plan must set out--

(a) in relation to the United Kingdom, the frequencies that--

(i) have been allocated for particular wireless telegraphy purposes, and

(ii) are available for assignment; and

(b) the purposes for which the different frequencies have been allocated.

3 Duties of OFCOM when carrying out functions

(1) In carrying out their radio spectrum functions, OFCOM must have regard, in particular, to--

(a) the extent to which the electromagnetic spectrum is available for use, or further use, for wireless telegraphy;

(b) the demand for use of the spectrum for wireless telegraphy; and

(c) the demand that is likely to arise in future for the use of the spectrum for wireless telegraphy.

(2) In carrying out those functions, they must also have regard, in particular, to the desirability of promoting--

(a) the efficient management and use of the part of the electromagnetic spectrum available for wireless telegraphy;

(b) the economic and other benefits that may arise from the use of wireless telegraphy;

(c) the development of innovative services; and

(d) competition in the provision of electronic communications services.

(3) Subsection (4) has effect in the case of OFCOM's radio spectrum functions, other than their functions under sections 13 and 22.

(4) In the application of this section to those functions, OFCOM may disregard such of the matters mentioned in subsections (1) and (2) as appear to them--

(a) to be matters to which they are not required to have regard apart from this section; and

(b) to have no application to the case in question.

(5) Where it appears to OFCOM that a duty under this section conflicts with one or more of their duties under sections 3 to 6 of the Communications Act 2003 (c. 21), priority must be given to their duties under those sections.

(6) Where it appears to OFCOM that a duty under this section conflicts with another in a particular case, they must secure that the conflict is resolved in the manner they think best in the circumstances.

4 Advisory service in relation to interference

It is a function of OFCOM to provide a service consisting in the giving of advice and assistance to persons complaining of interference with wireless telegraphy.

5 Directions of Secretary of State

(1) The Secretary of State may by order give general or specific directions to OFCOM about the carrying out by them of their radio spectrum functions.

(2) An order under this section may require OFCOM to secure that such frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum as may be specified in the order are kept available or become available--

(a) for such uses or descriptions of uses, or

(b) for such users or descriptions of users,

as may be so specified.

(3) An order under this section may require OFCOM to exercise their powers under the provisions mentioned in subsection (4)--

(a) in such cases,

(b) in such manner,

(c) subject to such restrictions and constraints, and

(d) with a view to achieving such purposes,

as may be specified in, or determined by the Secretary of State in accordance with, the order.

(4) The provisions are--

(a) section 8(3);

(b) sections 12 to 14; and

(c) sections 21 to 23.

(5) This section does not restrict the Secretary of State's power under section 5 of the Communications Act 2003 (c. 21) (directions in respect of networks and spectrum functions).

6 Procedure for directions

(1) An order under section 5 must state the purpose for which a direction is given, unless it falls within section 5(2) or (3).

(2) Before making an order under section 5, the Secretary of State must consult--

(a) OFCOM; and

(b) such other persons as he thinks fit.

(3) Subsection (2) does not apply where the Secretary of State considers that the urgency of the case makes it inexpedient to consult before making the order.

(4) No order is to be made under section 5 unless a draft of the order has been laid before Parliament and approved by a resolution of each House.

(5) But subsection (4) does not apply where--

(a) before or in the course of the consultation required by subsection (2), or

(b) after the consultation and before or after a draft of the order has been laid before Parliament,

the Secretary of State considers that the urgency of the case is or has become such that he should make the order straight away.

(6) Where under subsection (5) the Secretary of State makes an order under section 5 without a draft of the order having been approved, the order ceases to have effect at the end of the period of forty days beginning with the day on which it was made unless, before the end of that period, it has been approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.

(7) For the purposes of subsection (6)--

(a) the order's ceasing to have effect is without prejudice to anything previously done, or to the making of a new order; and

(b) in reckoning the period of forty days no account is to be taken of any period during which Parliament is dissolved or prorogued or during which both Houses are adjourned for more than four days.



Reservation of spectrum for multiplex use

7 Special duty in relation to television multiplexes

(1) This section applies where OFCOM, in the exercise of their radio spectrum functions, have reserved frequencies for the broadcasting of television programmes.

(2) OFCOM must, in carrying out those functions, exercise their powers so as to secure, so far as practicable, that the requirement in subsection (3) is satisfied.

(3) The requirement is that sufficient capacity is made available on the reserved frequencies for ensuring, in the case of every licensed television multiplex service, that the qualifying services are broadcast by means of that multiplex service.

(4) "Licensed television multiplex service" means a television multiplex service the provision of which is authorised by a licence under Part 1 of the Broadcasting Act 1996 (c. 55).

(5) "Qualifying service" and "television multiplex service" each has the same meaning as in Part 3 of the Communications Act 2003 (c. 21).



Part 2 Regulation of radio spectrum

Chapter 1 Wireless telegraphy licences

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Licensing of wireless telegraphy

8 Licences and exemptions

(1) It is unlawful--

(a) to establish or use a wireless telegraphy station, or

(b) to instal or use wireless telegraphy apparatus,

except under and in accordance with a licence (a "wireless telegraphy licence") granted under this section by OFCOM.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to--

(a) the use of a television receiver (within the meaning of Part 4 of the Communications Act 2003) for receiving a television programme; or

(b) the installation of a television receiver for use solely for that purpose.

(3) OFCOM may by regulations exempt from subsection (1) the establishment, installation or use of wireless telegraphy stations or wireless telegraphy apparatus of such classes or descriptions as may be specified in the regulations, either absolutely or subject to such terms, provisions and limitations as may be so specified.

(4) If OFCOM are satisfied that the condition in subsection (5) is satisfied as respects the use of stations or apparatus of a particular description, they must make regulations under subsection (3) exempting the establishment, installation and use of a station or apparatus of that description from subsection (1).

(5) The condition is that the use of stations or apparatus of that description is not likely to involve undue interference with wireless telegraphy.

9 Terms, provisions and limitations

(1) A wireless telegraphy licence may be granted subject to such terms, provisions and limitations as OFCOM think fit.

(2) In the case of a licence to establish a station, the limitations may, in particular, include limitations as to--

(a) the position and nature of the station;

(b) the purpose for which, the circumstances in which and the persons by whom the station may be used;

(c) the apparatus that may be installed or used in the station.

(3) In the case of any other licence, the limitations may, in particular, include limitations as to--

(a) the apparatus that may be installed or used;

(b) the places where, the purposes for which, the circumstances in which and the persons by whom the apparatus may be used.

(4) The terms, provisions and limitations may also include, in particular--

(a) terms, provisions and limitations as to strength or type of signal, as to times of use and as to the sharing of frequencies;

(b) terms, provisions or limitations imposing prohibitions on the transmission or broadcasting of particular matters by the holder of the licence;

(c) terms or provisions requiring the transmission or broadcasting of particular matters by that person.

(5) A wireless telegraphy licence may be granted--

(a) in relation to a particular station or particular apparatus; or

(b) in relation to any station or apparatus falling within a description specified in the licence;

and such a description may be expressed by reference to such factors (including factors confined to the manner in which it is established, installed or used) as OFCOM think fit.

(6) The terms, provisions and limitations of a wireless telegraphy licence granted to a person must not duplicate obligations already imposed on him by general conditions set under section 45 of the Communications Act 2003 (c. 21) (power of OFCOM to set conditions in relation to electronic communications networks and services).

(7) In imposing terms, provisions or limitations on a wireless telegraphy licence, OFCOM may impose only those that they are satisfied are--

(a) objectively justifiable in relation to the networks and services to which they relate;

(b) not such as to discriminate unduly against particular persons or against a particular description of persons;

(c) proportionate to what they are intended to achieve; and

(d) in relation to what they are intended to achieve, transparent.

(8) This section has effect subject to regulations under section 14.

10 Procedure

Schedule 1 (which makes provision about the grant, revocation and variation of wireless telegraphy licences) has effect.

11 Surrender of licence

(1) Where a wireless telegraphy licence has expired or has been revoked, it is the duty of--

(a) the person to whom the licence was granted, and

(b) any other person in whose possession or under whose control the licence may be,

to cause it to be surrendered to OFCOM if required by them to do so.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a licence that relates solely to receiving apparatus.

(3) A person commits an offence if--

(a) he has a duty under subsection (1) to cause a wireless telegraphy licence to be surrendered to OFCOM; and

(b) without reasonable excuse he fails or refuses to do so.

(4) A person who commits an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.



Charges etc

12 Charges for grant of licence

(1) A person to whom a wireless telegraphy licence is granted must pay to OFCOM--

(a) on the grant of the licence, and

(b) if regulations made by OFCOM so provide, subsequently at such times during its term and such times in respect of its variation or revocation as may be prescribed by the regulations,

the sums described in subsection (2).

(2) The sums are--

(a) such sums as OFCOM may prescribe by regulations, or

(b) if regulations made by OFCOM so provide, such sums (whether on the grant of the licence or subsequently) as OFCOM may determine in the particular case.

(3) Regulations under this section may--

(a) confer exemptions from provisions of the regulations in particular cases; and

(b) provide for sums paid to be refunded, in whole or in part, in such cases as may be specified in the regulations or in such cases as OFCOM think fit.

(4) On the grant of a licence in respect of which sums will or may subsequently become payable under regulations under this section, OFCOM may require such security to be given, by way of deposit or otherwise, for the payment of those sums as they think fit.

(5) Regulations under this section do not apply in relation to a licence granted in accordance with regulations under section 14.

13 Matters taken into account

(1) This section applies where OFCOM exercise a power under section 12 to prescribe sums payable in respect of wireless telegraphy licences, other than a power to prescribe sums payable where a licence is varied or revoked at the request or with the consent of the holder of the licence.

(2) OFCOM may, if they think fit in the light (in particular) of the matters to which they must have regard under section 3, prescribe sums greater than those necessary to recover costs incurred by them in connection with their radio spectrum functions.

(3) "Prescribe" means prescribe by regulations or determine in accordance with regulations.

14 Bidding for licences

(1) Having regard to the desirability of promoting the optimal use of the electromagnetic spectrum, OFCOM may by regulations provide that, in such cases as may be specified in the regulations, applications for wireless telegraphy licences must be made in accordance with a procedure that involves the making by the applicant of a bid specifying an amount that he is willing to pay to OFCOM in respect of the licence.

(2) The regulations may make provision with respect to--

(a) the grant of the licences to which they apply; and

(b) the terms, provisions and limitations subject to which such licences are granted.

(3) The regulations may, in particular--

(a) require the applicant's bid to specify the amount he is willing to pay;

(b) require that amount to be expressed--

(i) as a cash sum;

(ii) as a sum determined by reference to a variable (such as income attributable wholly or in part to the holding of the licence);

(iii) as a combination of the two; or

(iv) (at the applicant's choice) in any one of the ways falling within sub-paragraphs (i) to (iii) that is authorised by the regulations;

(c) require that amount to be expressed in terms of--

(i) the making of a single payment;

(ii) the making of periodic payments;

(iii) a combination of the two; or

(iv) (at the applicant's choice) any one of the ways falling within sub-paragraphs (i) to (iii) that is authorised by the regulations;

(d) specify requirements (for example, technical or financial requirements, requirements relating to fitness to hold the licence and requirements intended to restrict the holding of two or more wireless telegraphy licences by any one person) which must be met by applicants for a licence;

(e) require an applicant to pay a deposit to OFCOM;

(f) specify circumstances in which a deposit is, or is not, to be refundable;

(g) specify matters to be taken into account by OFCOM (in addition to the bids made in accordance with the procedure provided for in the regulations) in deciding whether, or to whom, to grant a licence;

(h) specify the other terms, provisions and limitations subject to which a licence to which the regulations apply is to be granted;

(i) make any provision referred to in section 12(3).

(4) Regulations do not require OFCOM to grant a wireless telegraphy licence on the completion of the procedure provided for in the regulations, except in such circumstances as may be provided for in the regulations.

(5) A wireless telegraphy licence granted in accordance with the regulations must specify--

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