Ofcom has announced that from 2014, they will be charging an Administered Incentive Pricing (AIP) fee to all operators of a digital radio multiplex, both nationally and locally. The fee is similar to a charge currently paid by commercial broadcasters for use of the analogue spectrum (FM and AM).
The regulator also said that from 2008 the BBC will also pay for spectrum used on analogue radio, to bring them in line with commercial radio.
The AIP fees are not yet known. Ofcom does not expect the charges to be large in comparison to the broadcasters' other costs. These proposals will also be considered within the broader context of securing high quality public service broadcasting for the digital age.
Ed Richards, Chief Executive of Ofcom, said: "Radio spectrum is a vital national asset. It underpins all modern communications and demand is increasing all the time. As innovation develops and more commercial or public uses are identified, it is essential that we encourage all spectrum users to make the most efficient possible use of this scarce resource."
The AIP will also apply to digital broadcasts by television stations. The full consultation document can be found [link=http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/futurepricing/statement/]here[/link].
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