I move amendment No. 22:
In page 12, before section 8, to insert the following new section:
"9.—(1) The Director shall, on a date specified by the Minister, after consultation with the Minister for Public Enterprise, for the purposes of this section, grant to the multiplex company, under the Wireless Telegraphy Acts, 1926 to 1988, a licence which shall be known, and is in this Act referred to, as the 'digital multiplex licence'.
(2) The digital multiplex licence shall be expressed to authorise, and shall operate to authorise, the multiplex company to establish, operate and maintain 6 multiplexes.
(3) The Director shall attach to the digital multiplex licence a condition requiring the multiplex company to use the whole or, as the case may be, the part of a multiplex specified in column (2) of the Table to this section solely for the purposes of programme material and related and other data supplied to it by the person who is specified in column (1) of that Table opposite the specification of that whole or that part of a multiplex.
(4) If, on the expiration of the appropriate period, a person specified in column (1) of the Table to this section—
(a) has not supplied any programme material and related and other data to the multiplex company for the purposes of that material and data being combined in a digital form by means of the multiplex or part of the multiplex specified in column (2) of that Table opposite the specification of that person, or
(b) is not supplying programme material and related and other data that is sufficient to exhaust, on a day-to-day basis, the capacity of the said multiplex or part,
the designated multiplex company may use—
(i) in a case falling within paragraph (a), the whole of the said multiplex or part,
(ii) in a case falling within paragraph (b), so much of the said multiplex or part as is not being so exhausted,
in respect of programme material and related and other data supplied to it by another person or persons under and in accordance with this Act or for the purposes referred to in subsection (8).
(5) In subsection (4) 'appropriate period' means the period beginning on the commencement of this section and ending on such day as the Commission, after consultation with the multiplex company and the first-mentioned person in subsection (4), determines to be the day by which in the opinion of the Commission, it would be reasonable to expect that person to be supplying sufficient programme material to that company to exhaust, on a day-to-day basis, the capacity of the multiplex or part referred to in that subsection.
(6) The Director shall attach a condition to the digital multiplex licence requiring the multiplex company, where the Commission, in accordance with a direction given by the Minister under subsection (7) for the time being in force, requests it to do so, to use a multiplex or part of a multiplex solely for the purposes of programme material supplied to it under and in accordance with this Act by a person who provides a broadcasting service in Northern Ireland, being a broadcasting service that is receivable throughout the whole of Northern Ireland and which is provided by terrestrial means.
(7) The Minister may, whenever and so often as he or she considers it appropriate to do so, give a direction to the Commission requiring it to make a request of the multiplex company of the kind referred to in subsection (6) and the Commission shall comply with that direction; such a direction may be revoked at any time by the Minister and where the direction is so revoked, the multiplex company shall thereupon be relieved of the obligation of having to comply any further with the request concerned of the Commission.
(8) Subject to subsections (3) and (6), nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing the multiplex company from using one or more of the multiplexes for the purposes of providing electronic information services in accordance with the requirements (if any) imposed by any enactment relating to the provision of services concerned which is for the time being in force.
(9) Without prejudice to any powers he or she may have in that behalf under the Wireless Telegraphy Acts, 1926 to 1988, the Director may attach such conditions to the digital multiplex licence as he or she considers appropriate including conditions specifying requirements to be complied with by the multiplex company in relation to the imposition of charges under section 12(4).
(10) The requirement imposed by a condition referred to in subsection (3) or (6) to use a multiplex or part of a multiplex for the purposes referred to in subsection (3) or (6), as the case may be, may be satisfied by the multiplex company using, with the consent of the relevant person specified in column (1) of the Table to this section, so much of the capacity of 2 or more of the multiplexes that is equivalent to the capacity of that multiplex or part, and references in this section to the capacity of a multiplex or a part of a multiplex being exhausted or not being exhausted, as the case may be, shall be construed accordingly.
(11) Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing the Director from granting under the Wireless Telegraphy Acts, 1926 to 1988, in addition to the digital multiplex licence and whether to the multiplex company or any other person, licences authorising the combination, by means of a multiplex other than a multiplex referred to in section 8(3), of programme material and related and other data in a digital form.
The Authority Teilifís na Gaeilge The television programme service contractor
One multiplex One half of one multiplex One half of one multiplex
Amendment No. 22 deals with the licensing by the ODTR of the multiplex company. At the start of the meeting on the first day and yesterday these matters were discussed, along with amendments Nos. 3 and 5. I outlined the strategy behind amendment No. 22 and discussed its provisions in detail. I have nothing further to add other than to address the point raised by Deputy O'Shea earlier with regard to the question pertaining to the North.
We do not know the number of Northern services that might be the subject of a direction under this subsection. There seems to be little point now in determining precisely the capacity that would be needed. It may be a full multiplex or it may be simply part of the capacity on a multiplex. For the purposes of the direction to guarantee access for Northern broadcasters, all we need to have is the power to direct that sufficient space be made available. That is what is contained in the Bill.