BSkyB is regulated in relation to broadcasting content under the TV without frontiers directive, which provides that broadcasters are subject to such regulation in one country only. As BSkyB's headquarters is in Britain, it is subject to content regulation in that state.
The new EU regulatory package on electronic communication networks, services and associated facilities must be transposed into national law by 25 July 2003. The regulation of content is specifically excluded from the scope of the directives implementing that regulatory package and thus the transposing regulations will not result in BSkyB, or other providers of television services, being subject to regulation on broadcasting content in this State. In the context of the transposition into Irish law of the European regulatory package, the extent to which the package applies to other aspects of the provision of television services in the State by satellite as well as other platforms arises. Such aspects include access to facilities, quality of service and consumer protection.
If it emerges that the new regulatory package does not allow for the regulation of those aspects of television service provision in Ireland, I will consider additional legislation to address those other aspects. This stance is in line with the policy direction I issued to the CCR earlier this year, instructing the Commission to provide consistency across platforms in terms of regulation. In this direction I mandated the CCR to: ensure that regulatory obligations imposed upon undertakings engaged in the provision of similar electronic communications services but using different technologies are consistent, taking into account any different conditions that may exist, including the existence of market power. In issuing this direction I have mandated the CCR to ensure that a level playing field exists across platforms and this includes satellite. My Department is currently in discussion with the CCR on this issue and where new legislation is required and is consistent with the EU framework it will be provided.